OCZ prepares to take on the world of gaming keyboards with their new Alchemy Elixir, part of the company’s Alchemy lineup of gaming peripherals. How does it stack up to the competition from established gaming peripheral companies like Razer, Logitech, and Creative?
The included software offers an easy way to set up and create different macros and profiles. The software also works on either Windows XP or Vista, for both 32-bit and 64-bit versions. Once installed, just run the program to bring up a GUI that allows you to program each macro button and profile.
Each macro key will allow up to 8 keystrokes programmed as well as the insertion of a delay ranging from 50-250ms between keystrokes. Once you program the keys, you can save it to one of the three profiles. You can cycle through the different profiles by use of the mode key at any time. This makes it easy to set up different macros that allow for quick menu purchasing in Counter-Strike or a new set of macros for World of Warcraft that might require more than ten macros.
OCZ’s Alchemy Elixir actually surprised me with not only smooth keystrokes but quiet ones as well. One of the reasons keystrokes flow so naturally was due to the fact OCZ has a rubber covering coated over the keys. This creates the smooth touch that I have grown to love the more I use the board.
Now, as much as I like this keyboard, there are a few things that do bother me. I have been using a backlit keyboard for some time now, so the fact that the Elixir had no lit keys did take some getting used to. I really like the feature in gaming keyboards because I do a lot of gaming in the dark. But, I also understand that they probably couldn’t have included the feature and keep the boards affordable price of $29.99 in tact.
The other thing that I do not like about this keyboard is the sheer size. Its dimensions are (W)20″x(D)7.87″x(H)1.14″ and is much larger than the gaming keyboards I am used to operating. I have had my situations where I was hitting the side of the board with my mouse when I moved it, simply because of the boards width. I wish they would have put the multimedia keys along the top of the board and not the sides, as it would have reduced the board by a couple of inches in width.
One thing that isn’t included is any type of information about the warranty. I checked their website, and there is no information there either. I’d assume a one-year warranty would be in place, but I cannot confirm or deny that to be the case.
One last thing that bothered me was the size of the keys. I normally use a scissor-style board with much smaller keys than the ones here. The rubber-domed keys seemed to be larger than normal, however, and took some time to get used to. In the end, this is all a matter of opinion, and any keyboard can be gotten used to after a while.
In conclusion, this is a great keyboard to look into if you want a quality product that won’t break your wallet. OCZ mixes style, features, and affordability to create the Elixir. The board has a design and look to it that is much like Razer’s Tarantula gaming keyboard. The only difference is the $29.99 price tag, which is nearly two thirds less of Razers price for a virtually identical board.
I was very happy with Elixir after several hours of testing and felt that it was just as comfortable as any other keyboard that I have gamed on over the years. OCZ has really stepped up to the plate with this one, and I’m excited to see what else they have in store for gamers in the future in the Alchemy line. Whether your building your first gaming PC or have been a hardcore gamer for years, this board has something to offer for anyone who’s looking for a solid gaming experience.
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