It is a piece of hardware that you use everyday but I bet it does not garner a lot of your attention because it is typically there and just works.
That is until it starts to go on the fritz of course.
For a little background – I am a keyboard destroyer extraordinaire. Those flimsy thin keyboards and similar ones do not last very long under my fingertips. I have several in boxes out in my garage that I have brought to their collective knees. Broken keys are typically the issue although USB can go wonky as well.
I just had to replace a keyboard, the Microsoft Reclusa which they built with Razer, that I have actually had for over 18 months – the longest I have ever kept one keyboard in use. Besides the worn out tops of about 7 keys it started to display some weird USB stuff by not properly powering up when the computer would restart.
So as I was out doing some errands today I decided to stop by the on base Navy Exchange store to see if they might have one of these still on the shelves. Unfortunately, I found the shelf empty but the clerk offered to check in back for me and walked out carrying two of them!
When this keyboard came out back in 2007 it retailed for $79.99 and I believe that was the price I paid for it over 18 months ago but time helps some prices as these were priced at $49.99. Yes, I know you can find them for less online however, I needed it today so it was worth it to me.
This keyboard has some heft to it and sits sturdy on my desktop keyboard shelf and does not move around as I type. The actions of the keys are smooth but defined so you get some good physical feedback from them as you type. It has a collection of keys on the far left and right side of the keyboard that give you access to additional OS functions.
On the left side you find shortcut keys for:
- L1 – Open Default Internet Browser Home Page
- L2 – Open Default Email Program
- L3 – Open Default Media Player
- L4 – Copy
- L5 – Paste
- Left 360 Jog Dial – performs the same functions as your mouse scroll wheel but it does not work unless the Reclusa drivers are installed
On the right side you find these buttons:
- R1 – Play/Pause
- R2 – Shuffle On/Off
- R3 – Eject
- R4 – Next Song/Track
- R5 – Previous Song/Track
- Right 360 Jog Dial – Volume Control
On the part of the keyboard that faces your desk, I guess you would call that the backside, you will find on the right and left gold plated USB ports for additional peripherals. The keyboard also comes with a snap on wrist rest if you like to use those.
The driver software for the keyboard is called Razer Synapse 2.0 and is a cloud based configurator and manager with the latest edition is also Windows 8 compatible.
Apparently the drivers are not Windows 8 compatible for the Reclusa but they do have Windows 7 drivers for the keyboard if you want the additional features. Sorry for the confusion.
So if you work your keyboard hard like I do I recommend you take a look at the Reclusa and do not let the gaming keyboard label turn you away as it is a solid keyboard offering.