by Rob Williams on September 28, 2006 in Keyboards/Mice
Hardcore gamer? Then you probably are on the lookout for any product that will help you tweak your skill further, and maybe gain an advantage over the competition. If the G15 proves too expensive, or you don’t like the LED screen, this one may be up your alley.
After throwing in the software installation disc, you will be greeted with… an installation screen. Besides the standard software though, you can also install GameSpy Arcade (wow that’s still around?), Ricochet Lost Worlds and Roger Wilco. If you are of the 1% who don’t have PDF reader software installed, that is here also.
The first thing the program will do is scan for installed games. On this benching rig, the single game I have installed is HL2, and it found it no problem.
The following is what you will see the most often. It’s a simple layout of all 18 keys, and here are the defaults. When creating a new macro, you can name it. That way, the macros will be easily identifiable through this app. To create a macro or use a preset one, you can just right-click one of the buttons and select it from the menu.
I wasn’t really interested in using the preset macros, so I wanted to create one.
It seems simple, but this works, and works well. After pushing start, you can type away… whatever actions you want the macro to perform. In my case, I wanted to use G1 to type “sv_cheats 1″ in the console in HL2, so that it will enable the cheats. You will notice that there are some letters twice… but the arrow down and up reflects that you didn’t hold down the key. This would prove useful in an instance like “CTRL+ALT+DEL” where you can’t let go of any keys until you press all three.
There’s more here than what I show though. If you want the macro to be performed realisitally, you can choose the Record Delays option. This tracks how much time you take in between key presses. If you want things executed as fast as possible though, you will want to ignore this.
If you’ve ever dealt with Macros in the past, in any game, you know how touchy they can be. If a key is pressed too fast or too slow, it can adversly affect what it was you were trying to do. I ran into this problem with my macro above. I had it set as “~ impulse 101 ~” which basically brings up the console, types in the command and then closes the console. However, the action is so fast, that the last tilde does not have any affect. So, right clicking the last tilde, I inserted a delay of .5 seconds. This took care of the problem and the macro performed perfectly.
So, this will be work. Creating macros is almost like creating code… it needs to be precise in order to function properly. After you spend some time setting things up though, things will work well.
More often than not when I review a new keyboard, I will continue to use it until a new one rolls in. That said, I didn’t give this keyboard as much attention as I have previous ones… it’s just not for me. It’s far from being a bad board, but the layout played with my patience. I work often on the PC, and when a keyboard switches things up, it throws me for a loop.
Yes, this is a great gaming keyboard, there is -no- denying that. If you are up for a slight learning curve, you are good to go. To me though, regardless of the macros I still prefer any media keyboard out there. It’s just more comfortable, plain and simple.
Because the primary selling point of the board is the macro keys, it only makes sense that they were well thought out. Luckily, it has the software to match. It will take a while to customize everything to your liking, but I don’t have a single complaint regarding anything software related. Completely easy to understand, and macros worked as they should.
Besides that, this keyboard features a few additions that are worthwhile. The subtle but sweet “windows key disabler” is a helpful tool… especially if you have a knack for hitting that button at the worse possible times. Oh, and the LED’s are not so bad either ;-)
I am awarding the G11 an 8 out of 10. For the retail price of $70US… I feel this keyboard is well worth it. However, I’d love to see the G spot hit a different area of the board if it’s even possible. I found myself hitting those keys much more than I should be, when not playing games. If you have the patience to set up many macros and don’t mind a slight learning curve, pick one up. If you are well off with whatever keyboard you are using now and don’t require macros, then stick with it.
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