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Recently my Macbook hasn’t been behaving very well and I wondered why since it hasn’t let me down in the last five years apart from an injured hard drive that was soon replaced under warranty. One of the issues that I was beginning to realise was the fact that the QWERTY keys were also beginning to get too slippery, sometimes not Apple “chicket” square keys wouldn’t function as quickly as they should of and often made typing a bit of a chore. A quick visit to an Apple store in Glasgow rectified the problem straight away and replaced the laptop’s battery since it was beginning to push itself outwards from its fixing as well as causing the track pad & top keyboard to expand, thus also slowing down the instant nature of the Macbook’s natural fast ability of typing. An instant repair meant I was back on track with the Mac and soon, began to settle back into writing reviews and general business duties. Apple also replaced the top cover keyboard completely free of charge due to their new quality improvement programme. However, to prevent future blemishes and over use on the new keys I decided to change my Macbook into a desk top computer, simply by buying a PC & Mac compatible wired USB keyboard and mounting my Macbook on a PC pedestal, also giving my eyes less glare than I was used to. That way, I can use the Macbook keyboard minimally and more at home attached to a separate wired USB keyboard of my choice.
However, one of the aspects of owning a Macbook or Apple computer in general is finding a suitable keyboard without paying through the nose for an Apple marked accessory and I can access the short cut function keys on the Macbook at an arm’s stretch without having to distract me much whenever I’m using my computer – and I use it every day to do business, not just reviews online.
Nar2’s Quick Skip Product Spec
• PC and MAC compatible “gaming” plug and play USB keyboard. • Permanently fitted with long USB cable. • Colour coded “W,A,S,D” letter keys and cursor keys. • Lightweight with optional stand points on the base. • Three LED panel with Num lock, Caps and Scroll alert. • Permanent design incorporates shiny plastic palm/wrists rests. • Waterproof design, easy to clean & able to be used with 5 to 6 keys pressed once. • Cost price £9-99 to £14-99.
General Design & Quality
One of the aspects that is very evident of the Texet WK 408 gaming keyboard is that it is made of very thin plastic and commands quite a big space taken up by its organic shape, nodding at several rivals from Microsoft with the way parts of the keyboard’s outer body bends in and out. This isn’t a big problem but for those expecting or having owned similar PC keyboards such as the rectangular and far more compact Samsung Pleomax with its sprung, soft keys, thicker plastic textures and a quiet time of it when it comes to use, the Texet offering here is very rattly and reeks of cheapness due to the lack of sprung textures. Although the keys are well spaced out, the keyboard suffers largely from a lack of perceived quality, creating a noisy performance whenever typing is required, or game play.
Made up of a mix of shiny and matt black plastic to emphasize the palm rests at the bottom of the keyboard, the Texet WK 408 doesn’t bring anything new to those experienced with PC keyboards and certainly whilst the keys have a slightly speckled, grippy texture, I was expecting a bit more for the cost price I paid out for. Still, for the fact that it does offer you to push your hand downwards and rest the back of your palm on the rests, it should provide better comfort than from keyboards which don’t have this feature.
There are optional stand supports on the base of the keyboard but they elevate the keyboard at a slight angle that doesn’t make much of a difference.
General Performance & Downsides
Compared to my Macbook and Mac Mini with its Apple wired keyboard and associated soft to the touch square Chicklet keys, the Text WK 408 isn’t at all bad for typing on and despite the highlighted red keys on the letters, I often touch type without looking at the keyboard to notice much of a psychological difference from the different coloured keys. At times it takes me back to the days of typing on a BBC Computer and the noise is passable but not obtrusive. Being Mac compatible means that many universal short cuts can be used, although there are odd times when I inadvertently hit a single function key and the Dashboard on the Macbook appears!
When it comes to game play however, the odd question appears as to why there are no game play buttons other than red keys that would normally be used if you were using a standard PC keyboard? It would have been handy here to add in necessary and proper function keys for game play only as opposed to just offering up a different colour and pasting the word “gaming” on the product title.As such you'll find no macro functions or any dials to adjust game play accessible features and nothing visual stands out apart from the red keys. If Texet tried to snatch buyers away from the Microsoft Sidewinder X6 gaming keyboard, then they've miserably failed - that keyboard has a better gaming feel with purpose buttons and a detachable numerical number pad so it doesn't get in the way, or suitable for left or right hand players who prefer the track pad being put on the other side - nothing here exists in terms of those features.
As such when it comes to game play, I haven’t found any difference between this keyboard and a standard PC keyboard that doesn’t feature the different keys. It remains to be seen as to whether the colour change can justify the product and for those after a gaming keyboard, they will be solely disappointed by the lack of versatility and lack of necessary, additional keys that could help online or offline playing.
In terms of speed however, the Texet WK 408 is pretty fast. It doesn’t seem to slow down with either my Mac or my PC at work when using for typing or general functioning and that is a good advantage if not basic. Even when typing speeds can be changed on a computer, at least the fact that up to five or six keys can be pressed down together to function gives some extra versatility, and the palm rests are indeed comfortable and not at all slippery even though their shiny panels say otherwise. From typing “on” the keyboard to “in” to the keyboard by either hovering my hands over the Texet WK 408 or taking advantage of the rests, I find no difference at all, and typing as a result is comfortable, quick and easy.
If you are a serious gamer who is used to using a gaming keyboard instead of joystick controls and other additional peripherals to make game play fun, the Texet WK 408 really isn’t a suitable gaming keyboard. It does however make for a cheap and well-designed replacement computer keyboard, if you are prepared to put up with the constant “rat-a-tat-tat” of the keys as they are pressed.