Microsoft Reclusa Gaming Keyboard

by Nate Marion on May 15, 2007 in Peripherals

We took a look at Microsoft and Razer’s first team effort a few weeks ago with our Habu review. Overall, we were left very impressed. Will we receive the same reaction from the new Reclusa gamers keyboard?

Final Thoughts

I’ve covered the software, so I’ll give you my subjective impressions of the board. The key action is good, and is very similar to other Microsoft keyboards you may have used, without excessive play or travel in the keys.

This keyboard is equipped with ‘Hyperesponse technology’, which is a fancy term for increased USB polling rate for lower response time. Unlike with Razer mice drivers, there is no option to set the USB frequency with this keyboard, which to me is unimportant since I could not detect any difference in latency between the Reclusa and the G15.

Some keyboards like the Razer Tarantula are designed so that many keys can be pressed simultaneously and all of the commands will be sent properly – Razer markets this as their ‘Anti-ghosting feature’ on the Tarantula. Most USB keyboards can only properly transmit about 6 keys at once, depending on how the keys are mapped.

Anti-ghosting is not listed as one of the Reclusa’s features, but I’m the optimistic type, so I used a free trial version of keyboard test to try to determine how many keys I could press simultaneously on the Reclusa. Unfortunately, my testing indicated that no more than six keys could be pressed at one time effectively, and in some cases even less depending on the keys that were pressed.

I verified my results in F.E.A.R. using W-A-S-D keys for movement. I found that if I were leaning left (Q) while moving forward (W), I could not also move side to side (A or D) or jump (Space). That is only one example but suffice it to say that the key traces of this keyboard appear to be designed like any other USB keyboard.

Personally, I can’t be too upset by this discovery since there are very few other keyboards available that register more than 6 keys at once (the Logitech G15 is not one of them), and I didn’t experience any undue limitations in my control – the Reclusa performs like any other USB keyboard in this respect.

The aesthetics are good, (although I think blue in general is a little overdone – how about some red?). The backlight is bright yet pleasant and the hand rest is comfortable. I’m not a huge fan of the large Microsoft logo bezel at the top though – it takes up a lot of space yet doesn’t serve any function, and while it looks sleek, it also attracts dust.

Overall I think the Reclusa is a good keyboard, and I’m pleased that there were no big issues with the 1.00 drivers or firmware. While the eight-command limit on macros is a big disappointment, the Reclusa’s feature set is very strong at its price point, and future driver releases (or, dare I say it, hacks?) may eliminate the macro issue.

I think that the Reclusa would be an excellent value for a gamer that doesn’t already have a board with macro key functionality, and would also like a little bling without breaking the bank.

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