- Category: Thermaltake MEKA G Unit Mechanical Gaming Keyboard
- Created on Friday, 19 October 2012 03:38
- Published on Friday, 19 October 2012 03:38
- Written by Super User
So many of you guys know I do motherboard reviews, well today I have something else in store for you, a hardcore mechanical gaming keyboard named the MEKA G-UNIT by Tt eSPORTS, and I will talk about the last few weeks of which I have been using it for everything from gaming to writing reviews such as this one. I like reviewing boards, and well a keyboard is still a board.
- Tt. Breakaway Gold-Plated USB Connection Cable(2 Meters in Length)
- Audio/Microphone Jacks Onboard
- 7 Easy Access Multimedia Keys
- 60 Macro Keys across 3 Profiles
- Tt Game Mode Option (Disables Windows Key)
- Authentic Cherry Black Mechanical Key Switches
- Selective Backlighting
- Cable Management Slots Located on the Bottom of the Keyboard
- 64KB Onboard Memory
- 1000 Hz Polling Rate Limit
- Detachable Wrist Rest for Maximum Comfort
- 50 Million Keystroke Lifespan
- 2 Onboard USB Hubs
- USB to PS2 Adapter included
- Body dimensions (LxWxH): 430x160x40mm
The specs are attractive, and this isn’t the first gaming keyboard Thermaltake has produced, it is actually a souped up MEKA G1 which was released a while ago. The MEKA GUNIT has some more gaming features as well as two rows of programmable MACRO keys which the MEKA G1 didn’t have.
I will go over the keyboard’s package, then the keyboard itself, and then we will end off with some shots of its software and then talk about my user experience.
Many are you are probably asking yourselves, does Sin game? The answer would be yes.
Many of you guys don’t know that I actually do play some PC games; I really love to play Battlefield Bad Company 2 online against other folks. I have been playing PC games for about a year now, and it all started when I had to play some of the games for one of my reviews and I enjoyed it. Since then I have had a nicer keyboard, but it wasn’t mechanical, instead it had dome buttons which are typical of most consumer keyboards. When I switched over to using this mechanical keyboard there were some good parts to it as well as some parts that took some getting used too, such as the pressure required clicking down Cherry MX blacks.
If I didn’t game how would I be able to do stuff like win a 32 person BFBC2 game?
(If you are wondering why it says invalid next to my name, google it: b/c i am not in a clan and because they think I should be)
So let’s start out with the box and accessories, as this board is the full package:
A fairly attractive box has some key features written on the front.
A shot of the opened box reveals some nice features as well as a package which contains the software and some stickers and manuals.
Here we can see all the accessories provided. We have the keyboard, the palm support, as well as a carrying bag for the keyboard and accessories. We also have a small pouch which houses the USB cable.
Here we have that small package mentioned earlier opened up.
Small pouch has a nice texture.
The USB cable is one that should be used with the board. Both sides are gold-plated for better signal integrity and the cable is braided. The cable is long enough to be practical, but not too long as to hurt the USB signaling. A small Velcro strap is used to tie up the USB cable to move the keyboard and it is permanently attached to the cable so you don’t misplace it. One side is a normal USB plug, but the other side is a 90 degree angled micro-USB connector which plugs into the board. The reason for the angling is so that it doesn’t just stick straight out, and Thermaltake has a system so that the USB cable won’t pull out accidentally, nor can it be pulled out if someone intentionally pulls hard at the cable.
Finally we have the badass keyboard.
Sin’s Take: I like how Thermaltake kept the board black as well as added just small hints of red. Users don’t really like the brand name written all over the product, but Thermaltake’s small double T’s aren’t so bad. The Symbol for the keyboard is pretty cool, and everything about this board seems to be of the highest quality. The build quality of this keyboard can be felt, just by picking it up and using it, it carries a lot of weight. It is so heavy I could use it as a weapon if I get angry at a LAN party, but I think the purpose of the weight is so that it doesn’t slide around.
From this angle we can see the under-side of the keyboard. Nine rubber pads give the keyboard great traction even on slippery surfaces like glass, and its weight helps a lot as well. We can see two USB ports, as well as a headphone jack and a microphone jack. We also have a special groove for security of the USB cable, so it cannot be easily removed by tugging.
Sin’s Take: But what is more interesting is that groove in the keyboard which perfectly fits the wire for the USB cable. The connector is visible and an extra well placed latch helps guide the cable from the input into the groove and back out the back. This system is excellent in my opinion; it gives you the security of being hard wired as well as the safety of being separate.
Sin’s Take: I like how the Enter button is nice and big, but my only qualm with the key sizes is that the right Shift key is a bit shorter than usual, it takes some getting used too.
Here we have our 12 MACRO keys which can be added to 48 other keys for a total of 60 MACRO keys that can be programmed for gaming. The software allows the user to program each key individually, and different profile keys allow the user to select the profile which can active the MACROs.
Sin’s Take: MACROs are great for RTS and RPG games.
A closer shot of the stand and its grip to raise the back of the keyboard up.
Sin’s Take: I think it should be required for a stand to have a rubber grip pad on it, but sadly we don’t always see this. In the case of this keyboard the stand is thick and it doesn’t seem like it will break or come loose anytime soon.
These are the profile selection keys as well as a normal/gaming mode selection key. If the user doesn’t make their own profile, then they can just select gaming mode when they game and it will disable the Windows key which many games accidentally hit.
Here we have a full number pad as well as some functional keys. We have Volume Up, Volume Down, Mute, and Light keys. The light key can be hit and every time it is hit it will turn on the lights, and then take their brightness up. There are a total of 4 lighting brightness modes, even a pulse mode. Then we have some keys for audio selection; play/pause, forward, backwards, and then stop.
Sin’s Take: I like the lights, but I wish they were in every key. Only a few select gaming keys are lit, as well as the lock keys such as Scroll Lock, Number Lock, and Caps Lock which have their own sort of extreme key light which illuminates the keys located below it. Thermaltake used LEDs imbedded in these keys which can be seen below.
We can see the Cherry MX Blacks, which are very well recognized keys. They have a press down weight of 60Grams which I believe is the maximum for Cherry mechanical keys. The keys which are illuminated have a different inside than those which aren’t, which can also be seen above. The LEDs used are white, and can be seen in the rows of keys removed in the SAD row, as well as in the Caps Lock key which has a larger LED.
Sin’s Take: The LEDs are very nice, but sometimes I feel as if the keys having such a large press down pressure make the keyboard a bit hard for typing a review for instance. The pressure is good for gaming because you mash the keys to the bottom anyways and the pressure will prevent users from lightly tapping a key by accident during intense gaming. The beauty of mechanical keys is that you only press them down something like ¾ of the way; you don’t need to bottom out mechanical keys.
Here we have my mechanical keyboard, sitting silently on my desk.
Here are all the keys that can be illuminated turned on, a very nice white light.
Sin’s Take: I am glad they chose white and not red.
Here we have a close up in the dark; You can see how the “Lock” keys have a larger LED which illuminates other keys. You can also see that the keys which do have LEDs seem to illuminate underneath themselves.
The software is pretty well laid out, you have to do some searching, but it isn’t too complicated. You can click on a key to program it, as well as see what it is programmed as.
Here you can pick lighting profiles, same goes for some of the other functions of the keyboard.
Specs: The board advertises a 1000 Hz polling rate as well as anti-ghosting which should allow for the user to hit many keys at the same time and have them register. I am not sure whether the polling rate makes a difference because I just can’t notice something at 1000 times per second, but I am sure the keyboard has a fast response time. I used a program which can detect the amount of key rollover, and this keyboard did 6KRO which is typical for USB keyboard. If it was on PS2 through an adapter it had NKRO (N-Key Roller Over). What is kind of weird is that if I pressed the keys in the WASD area and shift and space bar, I could do 9KRO, which seems to suggest that the keyboard traces are designed to allow for more gaming keys to be simultaneous pressed. I did however like how the keyboard worked, everything else advertised work flawlessly, and all in all I think Thermaltake did a decent job of putting together a nice feature package.
Setup: Now when I talk about setup I am talking about installation and any issues. When I plugged in the keyboard and installed the software, which was very simple to do, I was forced to plug my speakers into the keyboard for sound. This is because Windows 7 made the keyboard the default audio output and to change this is very simple, I just reselect Creative 20K2 as my default output on my G1 board, but on most other motherboards its Realtek which you set as default. Since the keyboard has its own outputs, if you plug in the keyboard and make no changes to Windows settings, then the default audio output is now the keyboard itself which has its own audio jacks which is great if you are at a LAN party and have headphones and the wire isn’t that long. I really love how Thermaltake has designed the USB cord protection mechanism. You wouldn’t think the keyboard has a detachable USB cord, and on top of that you can tug at it much harder than you would ever tug at a wired keyboard and have it survive.
Use of the keyboard: I don’t think it should be legal for someone to write a keyboard review without using the keyboard for at least a week. Same goes for all other hardware. One week is the bare minimum, and I feel like many reviewers just do the whole keyboard review on the first day or two they get it. I used this keyboard for more than 4 weeks; I think almost 5 or 6 weeks now. A month ago I would have agreed full heartedly that this keyboard wasn’t good for typing long reviews like I write, but just like all keyboards this one takes some getting used to. The pressure required for the keystroke is much more than a plastic dome keyboard and slightly more than most mechanical keyboards. I have actually gotten used to it, and not out of necessity. I am writing this review with this keyboard and I wrote some other reviews with it as well. I even played through the entire single player campaign of Battlefield 3 with this keyboard, and it was a nice experience. As time goes on you begin to get a feel for the keyboard, and the press down pressure isn’t so much of an issue. Of course I do have very big hands as well. If anything your fingers will be stronger after using this keyboard, which might come in handy in some unrelated areas. I do enjoy having the volume buttons, and after you install the software you will actual see on-screen displays of the audio level in a percent! This is much better than other keyboards I have used. However I do think that more keys should be illuminated, but if you game in the dark you should actually be just fine and it might help only being able to see the gaming keys. Of course many games require the user to hit other keys. I like how the keyboard was heavy, every part of the keyboard felt well made even the plastic felt sturdy. There must be a lot of metal in the frame of this keyboard to make it so heavy. That weight allows the keyboard to stay in place, even when the user is moving their hands a lot during gaming.
Conclusion: I feel like this keyboard is the whole package. I like how the keys are recessed into the keyboard as I tried out the Corsair mechanical keyboard line and I didn’t like how their keys were not. The lights on the G-Unit are well done, but I would have liked every key to have its own LED and the ability to switch individual keys on or off, but I can only wish right? The layout of the keyboard was nice, the only thing I would change is the size of the right Shift key, as I like it to be a bit longer. Personal preference is something only the user can judge, and I do play a lot of games so I liked the feature set this keyboard possesses. The volume keys were very well done, the fact that the user can actually see the volume level in terms of a number is pretty good, and the media keys are a nice touch. The software was pretty easy to use, and seems to load automatically when the keyboard is plugged in. The audio thing is the only thing a user has to pay attention to when they install the keyboard, and after a while you kind of fall in love with the features. While this keyboard has some great build quality and some great features, its price is among some of the more expensive mechanical keyboards at $139 USD. However if you want the best you have to pay for it, and if you are in the market for a gaming keyboard, and one with Cherry MX Blacks, then this keyboard might fit your bill pretty well. If you want quality you have to pay for it. In my opinion this is a mechanical gaming keyboard done right.