Categories: Hardware

Saitek Eclipse Keyboard – Not Just For Gamers

Pictured: The Saitek Eclipse computer keyboard (click image for full-size view). I just bought two of these on a Black Friday special from NewEgg. They were $29.99 a piece including shipping. It was a deal I couldn’t pass up for this keyboard because of specific features.

My original reason for wanting this keyboard was not for me but rather for my father. He’s 73 and his vision is not as good as it used to be. Yes, he does get his eyeglasses prescription updated at regular intervals, but even then the guy has a hard time seeing the keys at times.

Solution: Get a backlit keyboard with larger print.

The Saitek Eclipse fit the bill nicely in this respect.

The price was so good I bought two. One for me, one for my father.

Here’s what I have to report about this keyboard – both the good and bad.

The bad:

The keys are painted silver. Even though this keyboard gets really good reviews, the #1 complaint is that the key paint wears off over time. However, the only people that ever complain about this are gamers where the W, A, S and D keys have the paint rub off from constant gaming use. Basically put, if you don’t game, the paint won’t rub off.

This keyboard isn’t the most ergonomic thing in the world. Yes, it does come with a free keyboard rest that you can attach if you want, but otherwise it’s no more ergonomic than anything else out there.

The keys feel a bit “spongey”. This is the tradeoff for making it quiet when using it.

The blue LED illumination is good but not great. Still, it’s better than nothing.

The good:

It is notably quiet when typing on it.

All keys are in standard positions (thank God). Arrows and the cluster above are all where they’re supposed to be, as are the F keys on top and everything else is in proper position.

You can turn the LED lights off if you want. I did not know this before I bought it. At the far top right there are four soft buttons. The first three are for sound control (up, down, mute) and the very last is for illumination. There are three settings when you press this button, that being bright, half-bright and off. So if the blue backlit LEDs annoy you, don’t worry, you can turn them off.

The thicker fonts on the keys are a whole lot easier to read.

The construction is solid. Very good build.

When seen “in the flesh” it is far less “cartoony” than the picture shows it to be. This is not Darth Vader’s keyboard although it looks like it is. When on your desk it looks much better compared to the photo.

This is not one of those keyboards where it takes you days to get used to it. Being that all keys are in standard positions you can plug it in and go.

LEDs are all powered by the USB cord. No power adapter necessary.

No drivers necessary. Plug in and start using.

My personal opinion:

I give it a thumbs up. The key feel could be a little better but for $29.99 (which included free shipping by the way) from NewEgg it was a deal I couldn’t pass by.

One final note: It has been said the blue LED version is the one to get and not the red. I have the blue and can say with certainty that yes, if the backlight was red that would have sucked because for my eyes everything would “fuzz” too easily. Blue backlit is the one you want.

Rich Menga :Rich Menga is a pro-blogger and musician living in Tampa Bay Florida. Check out his blog at www.menga.net, follow on Twitter via @richmenga, or follow him on Facebook here.