BackLit Keyboard Issues

No, not a review, yet… but I can see that coming. This is about PC backlit keyboards and the problems you can have with both cheap and expensive versions.

keyboard adsMy first gripe is the number of sellers on the web who claim to be UK based, then what you get is the US-based keyboard (hash where the POUND symbol should be and other keys out of place).

That narrows your choice down a little – the next item is just as important.

It seems that despite the optimised (often pained in) photos in the ads, that some keyboards (including both of my current keyboards) use one LED per key despite having say, numbers and symbols  either alongside or above-below… and not enough light for both. Colour-sequencing is all very nice for a gimmick but after the novelty wears off and you get down to some solid typing, often at an angle to the keyboard and with less tmp6BE0than ideal background light, you’d be better off with normal white key-tops than some of the pretty backlighting out there. On one of my keyboards, the numbers (not the number keypad) are just fine but the symbols above them are all but un-readable. Similarly with the function keys.

I’ve shown one of my keyboards in the second photo here as an example – virtually no backlighting on the “ins”,”Del” and other symbols. The first photo is a typical ad with all keys brightly lit.

Finally three other points worth mentioning: make sure you get a mechanical keyboard (the cheap ones without springs are truly awful) and check for real injection-moulded keys, not just paint around letters, symbols and numbers as the latter will wear away on frequently used keys in no time. Those wonderful colour combinations are great for a gimmick but do they include the option to go for one colour for all keys (like a nice red or green)… neither of my keyboards do, so watch out for that one.

If anyone has already been through this, comments are most welcome.

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8 thoughts on “BackLit Keyboard Issues

    1. Amazon.co.uk show "English keyboard layout" but their photos are all American, not UK.. hash symbol is not next to ENTER. Does yours have the UK pound symbol on the "3" key and where is the hash??

  1. I have an excellent one with red backlights. Thought I'd brought it via Amazon but I can't find it in my order list. I'm not at home at the moment so I can't tell you what it is. I'll try to remember to update later.

    It has macro keys that I've never bothered to use & I've never bothered to install the full driver set - it works just fine other than the macro keys.

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