|Ideazon Merc Stealth Illuminated Gaming Keyboard
|List Price: $89.99
Our Price: $56.90
You Save: $33.09 (37%)
PRODUCT FEATURES:Astounding three color illumination in RED, BLUE and PURPLEChoose your level of brightness (Subtle, Ambient, Intense, Off)Illuminated characters on every keyRubberized movement keys for superior responseTilted 11 degrees to match natural wrist position34 gaming keys labeled and positioned for ultimate precision and controlSimultaneous key stroke response - no need to worry about phantom keys in the heat of the battleProgrammable with easy-to-use drag-and-drop macro editingOver 125 pre-defined key mapping layoutsTwo USB 2.0 ports to plug in mice and other peripheralsGold plated audio jacks for headsets and microphonesMultimedia controls for in and out of game use
- Illuminated characters on every key
- 34 gaming terrain keys with 9 rubberized keys for jump, crouch, run, and directional movement
- Three color illumination (red, purple, and blue)
- Choose your level of brightness
- Plug and play--software not required for basic typing and gaming functionality
- Great Keyboard!
I've never used a keyboard better than this one! Besides the great look of this kb (the multi-colored LED back lighting evenly illuminates every key, and, let's face it, it looks COOL!) the functionality of it far surpassed my expectations. The Gamepad on the left side is well placed, angled, and designed. The included software includes keyboard layouts for most of the games out there- and they are always adding more! Not to mention you can open the program and customize the keys to do just about anything you need them to do, including macros. I definitely recommend this board for the true gamers out there...Counter-Strike, WoW, Quake, any game seems to be more fun to play with this kb. Great Product!***** ...more info
- Good keyboard but keys lose their letters in a short time.
I'm on my second keyboard and it's having the exact problem as the first.
Over time the keys wear off their letter and become just a indiscernible colored blob. If one of the features that is most important to you is illumination I would recommend you look else where. Half of the keys on this second keyboard I can no longer read the letters....more info
- Interesting but not perfect
I wanted this keyboard to play a few games, WOW, being one of them. The keyboard takes some getting used to. You have to use more force to type and the normal keyboard part is not so normal.
As for the gaming keypad, the main problem I have is the keys are too close together. I am a woman with average sized hands. A man with larger hands would have a real problem. I am keeping the board because it does ease the stress on my hands while playing and that was the main reason I purchased it. The Ideazon company should rethink the spacing on the gaming pad and also angle it just slightly more. ...more info
- Best 'compromise' keyboard I've tried
I've had the Merc Stealth for about a year now, and I love it. I found the gaming keys to suit my hand perfectly, with the addition of a Fellowes gel wrist rest (a wrist rest for a MOUSE fits the gaming keys perfectly). I've tried a couple of the dedicated gaming devices such as the Belkin Nostromo n52 and I couldn't get comfortable but the MERC is great - I suspect this is hit or miss depending on the shape of your hand, so YMMV.
Regular keyboard use is pretty good. I like the feel of the keys, the illumination is actually most subtle and usable on purple (as unlikely as that sounds), the media keys work well, and the Z-Engine software is pretty well evolved and not too blinged-out, once you turn the skins off (skins; meh).
Not all perfect of course; the main problem is the lack of a number pad. Well, there is a number pad but the keys are shared with Home/End/PgUp/PgDn etc. I got so sick of hitting NUM LOCK every time I wanted numbers *or* the DEL key that I learned to leave NUM LOCK off and just use the 1-0 keys across the top (if you mainly use a laptop you're probably already used to this). Of course, if these keys were split out the keyboard would be impossibly wide, so I guess it's an OK compromise.
Also as noted in other reviews the USB hub is useless; almost every device I try gives me "USB Hub Power Exceeded" messages under Windows.
But overall I love this keyboard - mine's so well used I'm thinking about getting a new one :)...more info
- Good, but not Great
I bought my first one of these keyboards, and the gamepad WASD keys would lock every few minutes, so my character would just run forward or sideways until I hit a wall. Not fun. Makes you really look like a noob. I had to bang on it or unplug it to make it work again.
I brought it back and got a new one, which didn't have that problem. Instead after a few days the lighting got screwed up and it won't change blue or violet anymore. I press the color button and I get either red, off, or red again. I don't even like red that much. The weird thing is that sometimes it will change color for a few minutes, and then blink back to red. So it's not completely broken, it just has attitude...
Also as one reviewer said, the paint or whatever lets the light come through the keys does rub off. Not easily though. My WASD keys on the gamepad are starting to blur, probably because of finger sweat, but it's hardly noticeable.
The best thing about this keyboard is the built in gamepad. There are no other keyboards that I have seen with both the gamepad and the backlighting. The built in feature is great, as I have a separate gamepad which is a real pain with some games because you have to export a profile, remap all the keys, etc. I originally got a gaming keyboard to play WoW, which it is GREAT for. Now I play Half Life 2 and Portal which it also works well for with a few minor key remaps (like suit zoom, last weapon, flashlight, etc.)
The USB, headphone and microphone jacks built into the keyboard are convienient too.
So buy this. But be sure to keep your receipt....more info
- Expensive, but good
My thoughts on the keyboard.
First, the negatives:
1) It doesn't have a standard number pad. Instead of finding 0 on the bottom you find the direction keys.
2) The Home End Del block is not located at the normal same place; it actually took me a bit to find them.
3) The tactile feedback is only so so, and the side pad could use a couple marks like the F and J keys have, to allow for better on the fly finger position adjustments. (I would have to say one on the 3 key would be great)
Now the positives:
1) The backlight has 3 separate colors. (My girlfriend loves this)
2) You can turn OFF the back light. (My girlfriend loves this even more, since a super intense keyboard light, aka my Saitek Eclipse Keyboard, is no longer keeping her awake.)
3) The offset Control pad is really awesome for FPS style games. The amount of control gained through extra hotkeys is significant, and bestow a slight advantage.
4) In the same vein, the chance of fat fingering a key is significantly reduced because all of the meta-keys are separated.
4) All the hot keys work without having drivers installed.
5) All keys are fully customizable, including multi key presses or combinations. E.G. you can make it so whenever you press a certain key, it will type E, G, Shift-A, pause for a period of time, G. (oh the possibilities, imagine the trash talk macros in a typical FPS, or the wow macros.)
And a review:
I, personally, am an ESDF gamer, not a WASD gamer. this puts me into a bit of a hard spot when trying to use this type of keyboard, mainly because all of the default hotkeys are shifted over one when I go to use them on the normal portion of the keyboard.
Luckily this is easily remedied by installing the included software. (I actually just downloaded it, since I was lazy to run downstairs and get the box) Once installed, you can setup the default key layout however you like; you can actually adjust any key, not just the side pad. For example you could completely change the layout of the keys to match a Dvor¨˘k keyboard instead of being the standard QWERTY.
As for actual gaming, it was the most convenient setup I had ever used. Typically I can only go up to about 4 or 5 without having to look down, with this layout I can actually press any number key without looking down, and with improved accuracy. (This is great for games like WOW where you have the entire number row assigned to useful abilities)
Overall I would give the keyboard an A- for usability and functionality and a B- on looks and feel. (It would gain a couple points in both areas if the num pad was actually normal but I imagine the extra space required for the arrows would make the keyboard just a bit too long)
- nice keyboard, but it takes a while to get used to it
great keyboard, it takes a while to get used to the game pad , but you will
--the illumination is awesome, the only con i see is the merged numeric pad with the navigation pad, you have to be activating and deactivating the block if you wanna use one or the other, a little annoying if are accustomed to delete files with the DEL key and type numbers with that numeric pad.but i think you will get used to it too.
- POOR SUPPORT
Ever lose or break a key, or have the text wear off, beware, you can't get a replacement, say goodbye to your hard earned money......more info
- Excellent High End Gaming Keyboard
Ideazon's Merc Stealth shares the same keyboard layout as earlier iterations of the MERCs. The primary draw to the Merc Stealth is the back-lit keyboard which displays 3 colors, blue, red and purple. The lights have three brightness levels which compliments most LED-lit gaming towers will impress any hard-core gaming geeks and office onlookers alike. Even if the lights become offensive or distracting, you can opt to turn them off, which is a handy feature (sleep? who needs sleep).
The keyboard contains a standard QWERTY arrangement with normal sized, easily readable letters(even in the dark with illumination on). The keys have a soft-cushion feel with adequate tactile feedback. I'm not sure if this is the same with the other MERC keyboards but I've traditionally used harder responding keys. Note the home/end and arrow keys are combined with the numpad, which is a bit disorientating at first. You need to remove the num-lock to activate these keys.
The gaming keys are large and have great spacing, though smaller hands may get strained reaching for the outer keys. In general, the gaming keys are arranged and designed in such a way (some are concaved or convexed, rubberized) so you can locate them without having to look down. Overall the gaming keys are excellent for almost any games, though most would agree that it's built for a first person shooter.
The build of the keyboard is of excellent quality. The keyboard is made of plastic but is has a heft and a firm heavier-than-average feel. Rubberized feet prevent crazy keyboard sliding from hardcore gaming sessions. A note to make is that it is longer than an old standard keyboard (around 22 inches in length).
-Connected via USB (contains two USB slots on the topside north of the F10 and F11 keys)
-The standard multimedia keys do the job, no shortcomings but nothing special worth noting.
-There are three angles you can set the keyboard, flat and two angled orientations
-You'd want to download the latest drivers and especially the software called Z-Engine for different game profiles for different genres (FPS, RTS, RPG etc) and macros. The Z-Engine software provides extensive functionality to the keyboard.
All and all, this keyboard comes highly recommended for gamers willing to put some money down on a premium keyboard. Some key placement may take a bit of getting used to, but the solid build, sexy illumination, great gaming key arrangement and a huge amount of customizability stemming from Z-Engine software makes this Ideazon keyboard a definite winner....more info
- The best keyboard I've ever owned.
I've been gaming for almost 25 years now. I've owned a number of keyboards over the years. Out of those, only one in the distant past was my favorite. I went years with sub-par keyboards until I found Zboard. This keyboard is perfect for everything I do. It's not just for gamers. It's also a great keyboard for anything else you might be working on. Periodic cleaning is a snap with the removeable keyboard. It allows for the most thorough cleaning of any keyboard I've owned. The keys are perfect. On a whim I purchased the Razer Tarantula to see if it was better. I hated it. After using the Razer Tarantula for a few weeks I tossed it in storage and went back to my old Zboard. I used it for a long time with the World of Warcraft keyboard, but now I'm using the regular keyboard and love it....more info
- Awesome Keyboard
I should have bought this thing a hellva lot sooner. I like the fact that it is illuminated and it aint bad for WOW either. I have yet to make the program work with vista but other than that it works just great andthe keys dont feel like cheap crap. I am not a paid sponsor as you can tell. It was cheaper here than at Best Buy. [...]. ...more info
- Irritating but nice.
There are parts of this keyboard that I love and parts that I just HATE. The WSAD keypad on the left is just wonderful but the software that runs it is a pain. If you forget to load the keypad asignment for the game you are playing you have to quit out of the game and change the settings and then reload the game. The number pad on the right is where I just hate this keyboard. The Insert, Delete, PgUP, PgDn and arrow keys are merged in with the number keys and it just drives me nuts having to switch back and forth while working. I'm always hitting delete and seeing a 4 typed onto the page or entering numbers and deleting stuff instead.
If you are using this keyboard exclusively for gaming then it's great. If you also use it for word processing and web surfing then look for something else....more info
- Actually, it's perfect!
I really stressed over buying a new keyboard, and did extensive research first. I wanted something that I could type on (I'm in college) and would be great for gaming (I also write gaming articles). My other big problem is that I'm ambidextrous. I constantly switch hands while using the mouse. Many keyboards are definitely geared for right-handers. I wanted customization options. And finally, I wanted a lighted keyboard, but orange or red weren't really doing it for me.
I ordered the Merc Stealth, and must say it has been great!
First, it's comfortable for all applications. I can set it up customized for either hand, since you can customize any buttons and there is the number pad on the right, and the gaming pad on the left. It's fast and easy to customize and switch customizations for various applications.
I was worried about the size, but it's not overly huge by any means; actually it's much smaller than I thought it would be, and nicely so. I have a small frame and small hands and this works well for me.
The lighting feature is awesome! You have a choice of three colors - red, blue, or purple; and several intensity settings. I'm glad I went with a keyboard able to do purple, since that seems to be the clearest to read at night; but the other colors are nice too. The keyboard lights up very well, including the characters (not just underneath the keys), so everything is very easy to read. I also was worried whether the lighting would be irritating, but it's not - it's just right!
The gaming pad is comfortable and utterly configurable.
Something I didn't really appreciate until I got it was how nice the pre-designed keyboard schemes are. The keyboard comes with software that allows you to select a pre-designed scheme that maps the keys for specific games etc. You can visit the company website to download more. And you can create your own custom schemes.
So, it is super-easy to switch between games. If I play WoW, I just click the button on the keyboard itself that opens the software and select the WoW scheme, then play. If I then want to play Crysis, it's just as easy - push one button, click one default scheme, and away you go. You can create your own macros using the software easily too. That's good for all kinds of things, not just gaming (i.e. if you are a screenwriter or college student you can find plenty of uses for that).
Also the multi-media keys are handy for adjusting speaker volume etc.
The keyboard seems nicely made and sturdy, but it's not problematically heavy.
Overall, I really am so satisfied with how much this keyboard offers that I can really use, and use easily and seamlessly. That's the way to design a product. It truly offers a lot more usefulness than a regular keyboard, making the extra cost a bargain. It's something worth springing for.
- Great Iem, terrible customer support
I have been using this keyboard since March 2008, All in all its worked great. But there have been some glitches , and Ideazone's customer support is non existant. Numerous e-mails to tech support zero answers.
You are forced to either give up, fix it yourself or get help from other users in the online community.
They claim to have a 1 year warranty, but since they have no support phone number and do not answer e-mails... I guess its a moot point....more info
- Nice gaming board.
I'm a big fan of Ideazon products. I previously owned their Zboard, but had some problems with it. The Merc Stealth, though, that solves all the problems I had and then some.
On the positive side of things, the keyboard is responsive, with solid keys and good action. A complete, full-sized QWERTY board sits next to a pad of game specific keys, allowing easy transition from gaming to typing without any problems. The back lighting is clear, with three colors to choose from, all at three levels of brightness (or off, if you'd rather). Unlike some earlier boards of this type, the lettering on the keys themselves is translucent, so the light actually shines through. This makes them very visible in dim light. A jack for a mic and headphones, a pair of USB ports and a few multimedia controls fill out the physical features.
The software the board comes with allows you a great deal of flexibility. Using the software, you can build a keyboard layout profile for any specific game, changing what each key will do when pressed. You can just swap letters, or set up entire macros that will run on a single key press. A goodly number of pre-made profiles comes with the board. It's easy to use the software, and you can print out a sheet showing exactly what each key is programmed to do, in case you forget. The board will automatically switch profiles based on what game you are running.
On the negative side, this thing is HUGE. It pretty much takes up the entire keyboard shelf on my desk, and is big enough it can be awkward to get to various keys at times. It also has no integrated wrist support, you'll need to get something separate for that. The software, while good, can be picky. In my case, it took a bit of work and an email to Ideazon to get everything working. And while there is a full numerical keypad, there is no separate section with the delete, home, end and page keys, they are all part of the number pad. When you have number lock on, you have a number pad. When you have number lock off, you have the various keys that surround the home key. That can be a bit awkward to use.
Finally, Ideazon was recently bought up by SteelSeries. It remains to be seen what level of support SteelSeries plans to give to the older, Ideazon products. They seem to have integrated the products into their website, but it still might pay to be aware of this potential problem....more info
- Just because it looks cool
Doesn't mean it is.
I was, on first impression, OMG this rocks! You can change the colors to match your mood. The side gaming pad was wonderful; everything was at your fingertips, fantastic for PVP, and the extra USB ports I found very helpful.
I tried to use it as a normal keyboard for word processing. /sigh don't bother. It would be better to have a back up keyboard that you can switch to if you need to do any type of that work.
After one month of use, the key paint started to rub off, now after four months of use I am sad to say the home keys are now only glowing dots of color, and 10 key pad is no longer functioning. This leaves me in the market for a new keyboard and about $100 USD down the tube. Thumbs down with a slice of /fail from this WoW player....more info
- Great product -- for some people.
Summary: Excellent gaming keyboard, if the angle of the left-hand pad works for you. Not so great for normal typing / office applications. Very high quality and good feel overall.
1) Works exactly as advertised.
2) High quality manufacturing impression.
3) Excellent tactile feedback.
4) Very attractive and functional backlighting system.
5) Versatile programming software.
6) Nice gaming keypad (but see below)
1) Non-standard numeric/functional keypad on right. This takes a LOT of getting used to, and it has proven impossible for me to re-train my touch typing reflexes. My productivity has slowed way down due to always having to visually search for the keys. To Ideazon's credit, I don't know how else they could have kept the footprint this small. So I understand, but I don't like it.
2) The angle of the gaming keypad is fixed. It will either work for you or it won't.
3) The gaming keypad offers less functionality than the original Fang it was derived from, and the default software template (at least for World of Warcraft) did not put the same functions in the corresponding locations as the Fang software.
My bottom line is that I gave it to my spouse. It is intrinsically an excellent keyboard, and she is delighted with it.
As an aside: My personal solution was to buy the original Fang standalone keypad from the same company (Ideazon) and reinstate the conventional keyboard I was accustomed to touch typing with. This solution does have two drawbacks: The Fang is not backlit, and the footprint is obviously larger. The upside is that the Fang can be angled to anyone's preference, and it offers more functional buttons....more info
- Only for Gaming!
The Merc Stealth is a pretty good keyboard so long as you only use it for gaming. The combination Numberpad/Insert/Home/Delete keyset really makes using many other applications a royal pain.
Be warned: If you're a longtime gamer you WILL have to spend some time re-training your fingers to use this keyboard. It's a WASD setup sure, but you'll find everything just a little "off".
The illuminated keys are great, would be better if it would remember which color it was set to last whenever you turn the PC back on....more info
- Fails as a standard keyboard
After having used the Zboard for several years, I decided to give their new gaming keyboard a try. The one problem is that with the Zboard you have to switch the keyset out to have the functionality of a standard keyboard. Not a big deal if you are staying with it for a long period of time, but a pain to do on a regular basis. The Merc was designed to function as a gaming keyboard AND a standard keyboard. A great concept, and at first glance it looked like they had succeeded. Unfortunately, looks can be deceiving.
The keyboard contains a standard (sort of) keyboard with a numpad on the right. On the left is the gaming pad with a butterfly pad that replaces the WASD movement keys used in gaming. Surrounding the butterfly pad are all the standard keys used in gaming. The butterfly pad is slightly smaller than the one on the zboard and all the buttons are crowded closer together, but it gives you easier access to more keys including all the number keys in two rows directly in front of the butterfly pad. It takes some getting use to, but it is a good design.
Now for the bad. The first one is minor. The keyboard is quite a bit larger than a standard keyboard. If you us a keyboard tray or have limited space, it may not fit. I ended up having to turn it at an angle to use it. It was uncomfortable, but obviously something that really couldn't be avoided. The really bad part is unforgivable. They went through the trouble of creating a full size keyboard with a numpad and then put key functions onto keys on the numpad and no where else. There are not separate keys for Delete, Pg Up, Pg Down, Home, Insert, or End. You have to turn the numlock off to use those keys and back on to use the numbers. This may not sound bad at first, but wait until you use it for a while. I use the numpad for number all the time. Most people leave it on 24/7 365 days of the year. Now, if you are typing and need to delete something, you have to turn the numpad off. If it is numbers you have to delete and retype you are constantly having to turn the numlock on and off. If you are a hunter and pecker you may be well into something before you realize that you don't have the numlock set correctly, so instead of typing numbers you cursor is jumping all over the screen and maybe deleting several things along the way. It is frustrating beyond belief. There are also applications that use the plus and minus keys along with the home, End, Pg Up/Down keys, but the Plus/Minus keys need numlock on and the other keys need it off. It is so annoying. Such a stupid little design flaw ruins what would other wise be a great keyboard. For some people it may not be an issue, but if you use your keyboard for thing other than gaming you may become annoyed rather quickly. Maybe get this for gaming and have a second keyboard for your other work. ...more info