Wednesday, 18 March 2015

The Razer Chroma, the final keyboard?

Had the most surreal BT experience, whereby a number of calls and e-mails are exchanged, and the matter of cancelling my BT TV Essentials is meant to have completed. Only I receive a bill a few days later, and I’d been charged in full for the following month. It’s as if the entire episode simply never happened. Surreal.

Keyboards, well I did it, I ordered a Razer Chroma, and the process of buying it, well that’s another story. As for the keyboard, well, it works well, but with one tiny niggle. Again the difference between Razer (Kalih) switched and Cherry switches is noticeable, even lay people I’ve had press a few keys can tell. This time it's Razer Green vs Cherry Blue. Here’s the thing, the Razer have a squidgy activation click, the Cherry have a much more crisp click when depressed. As for the activation force required to register a key press being reduced, I’m not that sure that’s desirable, well it’s not noticeable, does it cause more typos? I just can’t be 100% sure, but it appears not to. However I was so convinced that the click requires more force, that I used some coins to test the claim. Sure enough the Razer Greens do need less force, but that squidgy feel appears to take that away, and gives me the psychological impression that I am using more force, even though I do not appear to be. Confused? Well I remain so.

On the lighting front, it’s just amazing, the things you can do, ripple parts of the keyboard, have other parts cycling colours etc. It’s just brilliant, to the point that I have almost accepted the Blue/Green switch difference. The colours are nothing like the washed out Corsair ones. The only downside is that they no longer dim well, I pretty much need them at maximum brightness to match the old Razer green backlight at mid-level. Doesn’t bother me, apart from the inter key light bleed now being more pronounced. One last very minor issue. The Caps/scroll lock/Num lock LEDs, they’re so dull, even at maximum brightness, that they may as well not be there. But I never look at them, so no biggie. The media keys are still FN shifted, so no new keys, disappointing. Obviously I went nuts and coloured the keyboard silly, with the keys right of the enter key set to cycle through colours, it was too distracting to have the main typing area cycle in the same way.

Deep rich colours here, the photo doesn't do them justice.

As for the Corsair RGB Cherry Blue, I left that on order at Amazon, some three months ago, after three date changes, in the first week of February, it no longer had a delivery date at all. Finally they cancelled the order altogether. I checked on-line and discovered that they have a problem making switches that have a consistent feel, with some users returning theirs as they felt that some keys were stiffer than others. Rather cheekily Corsair suggested that the market for Blue switch based keyboards is minimal, because apparently they largely sells Red switch based keyboards! They might want to tell Razer who for years have only ever sold Blue switched keyboards, and now its green switched variant. Of course Razer could fold tomorrow and I’d look gift horse in the mouth, but isn’t it meant to be about giving the user/customer what they want? Even Razer decided to start selling softer switch for those who just don’t like the Blue and Green switch's actuation click.

On a final note, I have to admit, my keyboards' lighting does make me a little more cheerful when I come to use my PC, it does make a psychological difference, it’s just nice to look at. Sounds petty, but it’s true. Some may assume that I lead a sad life that is brightened by a gaudy coloured keyboard, but nothing would be further from the reality of how I live, the main issue is that I use my PC for work too, and my ‘work’ has troughs and peaks, as does most work.

Oh the BT problem, they actually fixed it, a relief.