Tim Reviews Roccat Valo – Super programmable keyboard
A week ago I got my hands on the Roccat Valo keyboard. This keyboard has more programmable keys than you can shake a stick at. From a multiboxing standpoint, the more programmable keys, the better. Having endless programmable keys is akin to having more HD space, or more RAM. The more programmable keys you have, the more options open up for additional strategies and methods.
From the Roccat Website:
ILLUMINATED KEYS AND DISPLAY for improved key hit rate and vital in-game information
41 MACRO KEYS for ultra long macros with 500 keystrokes plus timing information stored directly on the keyboard
2MB INTERNAL MEMORY for storing 1 Profile-2-Go with 4 layers each including individual macros
MACRO LIVE RECORDING BUTTON for quick and easy key programming without leaving the game
ENHANCED CONNECTIVITY with a USB port, headphone and microphone ports
EXTERNAL ROCCAT™ GAMING MICROPHONE with uni-directional noise-cancellation technology
ANTI-GHOSTING CAPABILITY for simultaneous keystrokes
MEDIA KEYS with quick access to important multimedia functions
GAMING SHAPE with rubber-coated frame for long lasting maximum grip and comfort
KEY DEACTIVATION Windows keys, Shift key, Caps Lock and Tab Key can be deactivated to avoid accidental return to the Windows Desktop or wrong keystrokes
We put this keyboard to the test while multiboxing in World of Warcraft.
Right off the back we were very impressed with the keyboard layout. The tremendous amount of programmable keys could be a huge boon to multiboxing. Unfortunately, the appeal of the keyboard ended right there. The keyboard had a great deal of issues that made using it for us virtually impossible to use effectively.
Here is what we found:
- The keyboard’s built in USB is not USB 2.0 which makes the handy extra port virtually useless as the slow speeds in transferring USB memory files, or USB hard drives, make us reminiscence of circa 1990 PCs.
- The keys on the keyboard are not very reactive or springy to the touch. For those of us used to agile, springy keyboards, a must for fast typers, this keyboard will dissapoint.
- The software with the keyboard freezes every time you hit APPLY.
- The keyboard dropped approx 50% of all keys typed. We put the keyboard to the standard test of rolling our fingers across the keys from 1 to 0. Out of 10 attempts, the keyboard dropped nearly 50% of all keys. This is simply unacceptable.
- The keyboard would randomly turn off while in use. One moment you’d be typing out in-game, another moment the keyboard would power down and “reboot” itself, being unavailable for minutes at a time.
Major Concern: We contacted the Roccat support about some of these issues and were astounded at what their response was.
“Some customers have already informed us about similar problems with missing keystrokes.” … “If it is bothering you a lot, feel free to return the keyboard to your dealer.”
Final Review: Do not buy this keyboard. This keyboard is going back to the dealer and I highly recommend you stay far away from this product as you will be highly dissapointed.
Update #1: The company that sold me the keyboard, Performance-PCs.com, is refusing to do a full refund, even though the keyboard is clearly defective and only a couple weeks has passed. This company is the only US retailer for the keyboard and I strongly recommend not purchasing anything from them.
Update #2 (01/08/10): The Roccat company, the producer of this keyboard, emailed me today stating that I should contact the company who sold me the keyboard for a refund. However, the company that sold me the keyboard decided to send me an email stating that they were ignoring my emails in which I asked for a full refund.