Ideazon MERC keyboard


posted 3/28/2006 by John Yan
other articles by John Yan
One Page Platforms: PC

So while the keyboard is successful in implementing a great WASD setup for games, the main keyboard exhibited some problems for me. I’m a programmer by day so I spend a lot of time typing. With the MERC keyboard, the spacing for the keys seemed a little too tight for me. The keys are very quiet when pressed and offered good feedback. I do like the strength of the springs underneath the keys. While I did become proficient enough to type with it on a daily basis, the feeling of being cramped still came into play and I wasn’t as comfortable doing daily activities with the MERC keyboard as I did with other ones.

As you can see from the above shot with the well used G15 at the top and the MERC on the bottom, the keys for the G15 are a little wider than the MERC's setup. While it doesn't seem like much, the small increase in size and spacing does help typing. Even after a few days usage, I went back to the G15 for general typing.

You’ll also need to get used to the position of the arrow keys and number pad. The left side of the MERC keyboard is contains a combination of the two. The arrow keys are located at the bottom while the number keys are placed above it forming four rows of five keys except for one row of four with the large enter button. In essence, the arrow keys are pretty much positioned as they are normally and I don’t use the number pad that much so it wasn’t too much of a change for me. Other people might have trouble at first but they should get adjusted to the setup with continued usage. Overall, not a huge deal breaker and I can understand Ideazon merging the two into one area to try and save some space.

I do like the positioning of the multimedia keys however. Located in the upper left part of the keyboard, the keys control your media player and are easily accessible with your left hand. They are sized adequately and worked in controlling my Windows Media Player when I listened to my MP3 collection.

Overall as a general keyboard, I didn’t particularly enjoy typing on it over my Logitech G15, Compaq keyboard, or the Microsoft variants that I have around my desk. Working all day on a keyboard, I want to be as comfortable as possible and the MERC keyboard wasn’t at the top of the list. I found myself switching back to other keyboards when doing long sessions of programming or writing.

The gaming portion of the MERC was done well and I expected that as Ideazon’s ZBoards are well liked by the community. The regular portion of the keyboard needs some more work in my opinion. Even so if you do heavy gaming with first person shooters and not as much general typing like a programmer or writer, the MERC keyboard can be a good pickup. I’m anxious to see Ideazon implement the programming capability so that the keyboard can be setup to anyone’s taste. Ther MERC keyboard is also less expensive than a comparable Ideazon ZBoard with a FPS keyset. It’s not as cool or innovative as the ZBoard but is a nice less expensive alternative for FPS heavy gamers.

The gaming aspect works out well but regular typing needs some getting used to. There's also a lack of programming ability but a software fix should be out sometime this year to add that in.

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