Installation & Setup:
The setup and installation for this keyboard is very basic, in that it only requires a single USB connection to your PC. Since this is not macro enabled keyboard, there is no additional software or drivers required to be installed. Once cabled up, and the system is powered on, the only real remaining thing to do is to decide whether you want the blue back-lighting enabled or not. By default the back-lighting is enabled, and it’s good to see that whatever your choice is, it is persistent through system reboots. This has not always been the case with past Thermaltake keyboards we have reviewed, and was something we felt detracted from their overall quality. So it’s good to see that so far, we are starting off on the right foot.
Fit, Feel, and Function:
Once connected, I spent a few weeks with the POSEIDON illuminated keyboard. I used it for gaming, productivity (word, excel, etc…), and general use (emails, web surfing, yada yada yada). I wanted to ensure that not only did I spent enough time with it to do a fair review, but also that I used it in the likely scenarios that most consumers would use it for.
The keys of a keyboard are probably the single most important part of the keyboard, so I figure it’s good to start here. As mentioned earlier in the initial impressions section, the keys themselves are very solidly constructed. There is zero play in their operation, so my fingers cradle nicely on them, which translates into a grounded typing experience. The Cherry MX Brown switches don’t require as much actuation force to depress as the Cherry MX Black switches, so the activation feels softer, but operation is leaps and bounds over membrane keyboards. Even with the softer feel, I personally think there is still enough rigidity in the activation of the Cherry MX Brown switches to deter un-intentional keystrokes and the occasional “fat finger”. All of which is critical when it comes to gaming, as un-intentional keystrokes can be a detriment to your K/D ratio. As far as the spacing between the keys and the general layout, I found the spacing to be pronounced but in a good way. It’s very obvious as your fingers move from key to key, and this only further promotes intentional keystrokes.
One thing unique to this particular keyboard model is that Thermaltake has included a Windows Key de-activation toggle key. This allows you to toggle off or disable the dreaded Windows key while gaming to reduce the risk of accidentally hitting it and sending you to your desktop mid-game. This annoyance has lead to many gamers simply removing the Windows key altogether, but when your not gaming, the Windows key can be useful (I personally have never relied on it as much as do I today with windows 8…but I digress). Having to disable this key on the fly is actually a nice feature and one that I think only adds to the overall value of the POSEIDON illuminated keyboard.
With the N-Key rollover support, the POSEIDON illuminated keyboard will allow you to hit multiple keys are once. This ensures that your gaming experience isn’t hindered by your keyboard…only your skill. Anyone that has used the WASD keys for movement in games will understand that sometimes more than one movement direction at a time is required to ensure your in the right spot at the right time.
The POSEIDON illuminated keyboard is a backlit or illuminated keyboard, as it’s name would suggest. There is only a single color option, which is blue. By default this back-lighting is enabled, but can be toggled off and on through the use of function keys. In combination between the laser etching used on the keys and the LED’s, the illumination produced is substantial. This makes any of the keys easily visible in the darkest of environments. If you find the default illumination too bright, there are 4 levels of illumination available, and this is also toggled through the use of function keys. I did happen to notice that the POSEIDON illuminated keyboard suffers from the same issue as noted in past Thermaltake keyboard reviews, that in case where a key has multiple characters on them the back-lighting illumination isn’t consistent for both characters. This is a minor detractor, and it’s not “as” noticeable on this particular keyboard, but I attribute that more to the bright blue back-light color (whereas red back-lighting doesn’t appear as bright and thus accentuates this issue).