eluminX Illuminated Keyboard

Review

posted 4/14/2003 by Charlie Sinhaseni
other articles by Charlie Sinhaseni
One Page Platforms: PC
Do you spend a hefty amount of hours on the PC everyday? If you’re like John and you don’t have a job, chances are you find yourself up at all hours of the morning chatting and typing away in front of your monitor. Sometimes you may find yourself turning off the lights to reduce the glare on your monitor but then if you’re not adept with your keyboard, you may find yourself fumbling to find the right keys to respond to the other people in that all-important “Alternative Lifestyle” chatroom. So then you turn the lights back on so that you can type LOL without straining your eyes but then the glare off the monitor is making it impossible to read.

This is a day in the life of Gaming Nexus’ hardware editor, John Yan; there are no happy endings for him. You can’t have the best of both worlds right? You can’t type in a dark room and see all your keys at the same time, right? Well let’s just say that a little company called Auravision is looking to change John’s life forever. No longer does he have to fumble in the dark to find the right keys and no longer does he have to suffer from annoying glare problems caused by nearby light sources. Now he can turn to the eluminX illuminated keyboard to solve many of his problems.


Picture of the unit during the daytime, notice how nicely the colors match my PowerMate and Z-680 display unit.

When I removed the eluminX from its packaging I noted a few oddities with the unit. First off it’s much thinner than your usual keyboard and is only about an inch thick. Upon inspecting the bottom of the unit I realized that it’s missing those little flip-out legs that help prop up your keyboard as well. It’s also very light and compact. When you first look at it you may not notice it but there’s an oddity in the layout but we’ll get to that later.

The device is powered entirely by the computer’s power supply. This a great choice as forcing the consumer to provide batteries would have really proved to be fatal for this device. As another nice touch the keyboard uses the small PS/2 jack as opposed to a USB port, freeing up space for your other devices. The keys are translucent and behind them is a blue light which illuminates the entire unit. The unit is available in your choice of two colors, black and white with more colors to come after E3. I fell in love with the hue of blue that the unit emitted as it matched the colors of my Griffin PowerMate and Logitech Z-680 control unit.

In the daytime or under direct artificial lighting the backlight is barely visible and will make little to no impact on your typing. If anything the unit still looks pretty damn sweet, especially the translucent keys. As long as you’re typing the keys will stay illuminated and while there is no on/off switch the unit powers itself down after a short period of inactivity. It’s under the cloak of night where this puppy really shines. While you may not notice it during the daytime the backlight is pretty bright. Bright enough to light up the entire keyboard while not bright enough to become distracting. If anything the unit is a true crowd pleaser, it just looks great in the dark.

With the lights out this puppy just looks brilliant. It has that sort of hypnotic glow to it that could keep a stoner occupied for hours. During loading times I found myself glancing down at the keys, mesmerized by its brilliant glow. Sure it’s not the most useful or most comfortable keyboard that I’ve ever used but it’s still cool enough to have found a permanent place on my desk. Then again you buy a keyboard to use, not to look at.
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