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Author Topic: Keyboards - Saitek Eclipse II, Logitech G15, or what?  (Read 2112 times)
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Scott
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« on: August 28, 2006, 07:06:48 PM »

I want to replace my old Logitech wireless.  Its getting up in age, and doesn't seem to be working quite as well.  I'm also getting a new computer, so getting a new keyboard appeals.

Anyone have any experience with either system?  I've seen the previous Eclipse in stores, and seems nice, and I like the spacing on the keys.  The Logitech G15 seems to have keys that are spaced a bit closer, so it looks less comfortable.  I haven't been able to find a Logitech open to try around my area.

I'm not sold on the LCD screen or macro keys on the Logitech either.  The Saitek's size looks much nicer to me, then the huge Logitech.  But then, if the Logitech really is more functional, then maybe its better.

Both seem to be around $60-65.  Any comments on them?  How comfortable are they to use?  I use a Microsoft Natural keyboard at work, but have found its not the best keyboard to use with games, which I do quite a bit at home.
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« Reply #1 on: August 29, 2006, 06:23:15 AM »

I now own a G15 and I have to say that it takes a little getting used to, and the screen up top is only moderately useful, but I'm enjoying it.  The Macro keys on the side have come in very handy.  The keys require only a light touch and are backlit.
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Ron Burke
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Thin_J
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« Reply #2 on: August 29, 2006, 07:21:14 AM »

See.. I want a G15. The problem is that I'd have to buy a new desk just to use the goddamned thing. Surely they could have found a way to incorporate all the same features and usability without making it ten feet long.

At the moment I'm waiting on Razer's gamer-directed keyboard to release in the hopes that it won't take up more space than my car.

*edit*

Oh, and beware.. at a biggish lan party I went to in June I saw tons of G15's. Most of them had several keys that were worn off. I don't mean the key itself, I mean the coating on top. The silver color. So you end up with keys without letters on them.

Popular rumor is that the Saitek Eclipse has this same problem, but I've been hammering away on the WASD keys on mine for over a year and a half and it's still fine.
« Last Edit: August 29, 2006, 07:23:33 AM by Thin_J » Logged

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« Reply #3 on: August 29, 2006, 07:29:22 AM »

Quote
At the moment I'm waiting on Razer's gamer-directed keyboard to release in the hopes that it won't take up more space than my car.
I've used it.  It is VERY nice.  The have put a TON of work into it.  You'll be happy with it, and it isn't as wide as a Double-wide Trailer.

Quote
Oh, and beware.. at a biggish lan party I went to in June I saw tons of G15's. Most of them had several keys that were worn off. I don't mean the key itself, I mean the coating on top. The silver color. So you end up with keys without letters on them.
yea, I have that fear as I look at these painted on numbers.  The second that happens I'm calling Logitech though.  We'll see if that'll make it worthy of a replacement.
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Scott
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« Reply #4 on: August 29, 2006, 12:26:16 PM »

Good information, thanks.  I hadn't seen or heard about the Razer keyboard.  My keyboard though is acting up, so I don't think I can wait.  Random keypresses are showing up at times, which drives me crazy.  The batteries are fresh as well, so something else is happening.  With 2 young kids in my house, I just never know...

I think I'm leaning towards the Saitek board now.  I'm not sure I'll take the time to use the macros.  Plus, I like the size, and the Saitek one just looks more comfortable to me.
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« Reply #5 on: August 29, 2006, 01:33:51 PM »

Quote from: Scott on August 29, 2006, 12:26:16 PM

I think I'm leaning towards the Saitek board now.  I'm not sure I'll take the time to use the macros.  Plus, I like the size, and the Saitek one just looks more comfortable to me.

I have the Saitek Eclipse I (the original board) and I like it. Nice, solid keyboard, and the backlighting is...interesting. Unfortunately the light doesn't go through the actual letters on the keyboard, but they instead shine up between all of the keys themselves. Would've been a much nicer keyboard if it did the former IMHO. I have the 9 key pad thingy off to the side of my keyboard, but I've yet to use it. I should hook up WinAMP to the thing or something one of these days.
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« Reply #6 on: August 29, 2006, 02:21:16 PM »

Logitech was supposed to be releasing a version of the G15 without the LCD, the G11.  It was coming this summer, but it has been removed from the Logitech web site and it is not on sale anywhere.
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Thin_J
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« Reply #7 on: August 29, 2006, 05:51:12 PM »

Quote from: Knightshade Dragon on August 29, 2006, 07:29:22 AM

Quote
At the moment I'm waiting on Razer's gamer-directed keyboard to release in the hopes that it won't take up more space than my car.
I've used it.  It is VERY nice.  The have put a TON of work into it.  You'll be happy with it, and it isn't as wide as a Double-wide Trailer.

This makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Any idea when it releases? Their website has said "coming soon" for a while now.
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« Reply #8 on: August 29, 2006, 06:16:51 PM »

The original Saitek Eclipse had the keys where the light would only light up around them, and not through them. Dumb design decision there. They did release an updated version where the light did shine through the keys so you could see the letters. I have that keyboard. It's nice but the keys are a little too mushy for my tastes. I like that the keys are relatively quiet. I'm interested in getting the Eclipse II, but I've only had the original Eclipse for less than a year. I can't justify getting a new keyboard so soon.

One annoying quirk about my Eclipse is that for some reason, on WindowsXP, the volume controls don't work at all. Apparently this is a known problem and Saitek has a workaround posted, which involves poking around in the registry. I tried it but it didn't work.
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« Reply #9 on: August 29, 2006, 09:43:49 PM »

Quote from: Thin_J on August 29, 2006, 05:51:12 PM

Quote from: Knightshade Dragon on August 29, 2006, 07:29:22 AM

Quote
At the moment I'm waiting on Razer's gamer-directed keyboard to release in the hopes that it won't take up more space than my car.
I've used it.  It is VERY nice.  The have put a TON of work into it.  You'll be happy with it, and it isn't as wide as a Double-wide Trailer.

This makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Any idea when it releases? Their website has said "coming soon" for a while now.

The rumor is October.  I'll have a review for it before you have to lay your cash on the table.  Not to worry. smile
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Ron Burke
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« Reply #10 on: August 29, 2006, 11:15:21 PM »

Quote from: Knightshade Dragon
The rumor is October.  I'll have a review for it before you have to lay your cash on the table.  Not to worry. smile

Sounds good to me! biggrin
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Thin_J
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« Reply #11 on: September 27, 2006, 08:51:09 AM »

My interest in the razer keyboard has dropped somewhat. I read that the expected price will be up and above $100. It's a keyboard. It doesn't have an LCD screen or any other such craziness. What's with the price?

Hopefully the Habu mouse isn't totally overpriced frown

*edit*

This is the bit that started my worries:

Quote from: Razer Site
the Razer Tarantula (worth $USD 129.99)

It's right from one of their pages about the keyboard.
« Last Edit: September 27, 2006, 08:55:26 AM by Thin_J » Logged

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Scott
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« Reply #12 on: September 28, 2006, 01:42:03 PM »

I didn't mention, but I ended up with the Eclipse II and love it.  Its the first non-Microsoft Natural keyboard in a while that I've liked.  I can actually type on it fairly well, and it feels great.  Very sturdy, and typing on it is very smooth.  The lights also work fairly well, and its still amusing to switch colors.

Anyway, its been great so far.  Fits well for me between needing to type and playing games (which I didn't want a Microsoft keyboard for).
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« Reply #13 on: October 03, 2006, 12:20:41 AM »

A $12 Microsoft Internet Keyboard if you can find one.. I picked up 6 of them new, as spares, once I heard MS was going to stop making them.  Everytime I try to buy a new and fancy keyboard, they always end up sucking..  Save your money, stick with the basics.

These babies right here, all you need:

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« Reply #14 on: October 20, 2006, 07:41:47 AM »

I seen about 5 of the new G11 keyboards at Target yesterday. Retail was 69.99 and it was exactly like the G15 sans lcd.
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olaf
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« Reply #15 on: October 20, 2006, 02:15:53 PM »

Never used the Logitech one but I do have their G5 laser mouse and LOVE that. 

I bought the first Saitek 'Gamer' kb (it had a little keypad attachment that plugged in via an RJ45 looking jack that I never used), it was backlit but the light flowed around the keys.  I game a lot, the paint wore off the keys I would use most frequently.  I then bought the Saitek Eclipse.  This improved on most of the Gamer's flaws, notably allowing the light to flow through the keys, allowing for better illumination.  Still not really lit well though, IMO.  The keys also wore off for me after heavy use (WASD...those keys only really).

I got an Eclipse II about 2 months ago and I can say that they have continued the improvements.  Lighting is still not where I would like it to be but in any light condition you can always see the keys, so its getting better.  It also has some light coming out of the side that is kind of nice.  The light is also user selectable from blue purple or red.  Finally it has some simple media keys like skip track, stop/play, mute, etc.  These work out of the box with common players like mediaplayer and winamp.

I like this keyboard and if you are the kind of person who will spend $50 on a keyboard, its a good buy.
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« Reply #16 on: November 27, 2006, 03:26:51 AM »

Knightshade, could you give us a direct comparison of the macro functions between the G11/G15, and the Tarantula? I'm really torn for a decision. The Logitech (I'd be getting a G11), appears to have more macro buttons, but the Tarantula, is of course, by gamers, for gamers. I'm wondering if there are any glaring omissions on either companies part in terms of macro functions in gaming. I've read comments around the net about having to leave games to write macro's for the tarantula,. that the g11/g15 doesnt, etc.

Lots comments around the net about the paint on the logitech wearing off... and I've had that problem myself, before... with one of their mx700 mice. But if it had, say, better macro-ing ability, that would possibly swing me back from the ... err.. dark side, as it were.

Doesnt hurt that the logitech is basically half the price.

For the record, I hate the glossy black finish, and the stroby glowy emblem thing is already bothering me, and I don't even own one yet :/

But the logi.. it is .. not black... and to be honest, I'm not a big fan of all the 'extraneous' media keys, etc. Mute might be nice.

and we all know black makes it go faster...

biggrin

Atomic
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« Reply #17 on: November 27, 2006, 01:49:00 PM »

Quote from: TheAtomicKid on November 27, 2006, 03:26:51 AM

Knightshade, could you give us a direct comparison of the macro functions between the G11/G15, and the Tarantula? I'm really torn for a decision. The Logitech (I'd be getting a G11), appears to have more macro buttons, but the Tarantula, is of course, by gamers, for gamers. I'm wondering if there are any glaring omissions on either companies part in terms of macro functions in gaming. I've read comments around the net about having to leave games to write macro's for the tarantula,. that the g11/g15 doesnt, etc.

Lots comments around the net about the paint on the logitech wearing off... and I've had that problem myself, before... with one of their mx700 mice. But if it had, say, better macro-ing ability, that would possibly swing me back from the ... err.. dark side, as it were.

Doesnt hurt that the logitech is basically half the price.

For the record, I hate the glossy black finish, and the stroby glowy emblem thing is already bothering me, and I don't even own one yet :/

But the logi.. it is .. not black... and to be honest, I'm not a big fan of all the 'extraneous' media keys, etc. Mute might be nice.

and we all know black makes it go faster...

biggrin

Atomic

Sure thing AtomicKid - I'll get some time between both of them to refresh my memory on the two softwares.  And yo uare right...Black makes it go much faster.
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« Reply #18 on: November 28, 2006, 09:58:05 AM »

Oooh, thanks. Much obliged!

Atomic
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Thin_J
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« Reply #19 on: November 30, 2006, 07:39:23 AM »

I found a place selling the Tarantula for $70ish so I bought one. It's on the way now.

I'll follow up Ron's general impressions with my own. Though I won't be able to compare it to the G11 or G15 since I've never had either one.

I'll mostly be going on comparison to my Saitek Eclipse.
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« Reply #20 on: November 30, 2006, 11:17:31 PM »

So in some freakish increase in shipping time speed... my new keyboard came today. Initial impressions are that it's an awesome keyboard. The keys are quiet much like the Eclipse I had before but with less play in them. It's a much shorter press than it was on the Eclipse. So basic usability is good.

If I have a complaint at the moment it's that my keyboard tray on my desk is slightly warped and the extremely solid construction of the Tarantula means it wobbles back and forth if I use the feet that prop up the back of the keyboard. The eclipse seemed to just bend a little and accommodate the desk. I'll have to find something to put underneath one of the feet to keep it from wobbling.

I haven't played with any of the macro keys yet but the interface for setting them up seems extremely simple. I'm thinking I'll set them up to buy things in CS: Source and see how it goes. I'm not sure what purpose the customizable keys serve. And I'm also a little baffled by the fact that they have clear emblems on them indicating that they should be lit from behind. It's baffling because the only lit keys on the keyboard can't be replaced by those custom keys. You have to replace the qwerty keys with them. Weird.

I like having the media control keys. It was easy as could be to pick "winamp" from the profiles for the media keys and just have it work.

The glossy surface will definitely attract fingerprints over time. Not something I'm huge on but it's something I won't care about a day from now too.

All in all, hugely positive. I'll get into the macro features after I've had a little more time with it.
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« Reply #21 on: December 05, 2006, 04:46:06 AM »

Mmm... thanks. Heard a lot of good things about the tarantula from around the net. comments, etc. About the only thing that troubles me, would be how good/bad the macroing is, and... Razer support. It's somewhat infamous in my local cluster of friends, due to a poor experience. However, if I buy one, and that is becoming more and more likely due to repeated comments on the quality of the g11/g15 (poor construction, paint wears off, etc), I'd be buying it through compusa, and utilizing their return policy rather than going through razer, at least for as long as possible.

I had a logitech mx700 that really didnt hold up well over time. The paint had a very obvious reaction with my skin, and basically dissolved where your palm sits on the mouse over a few months. Also, one of the internal switches... the rightmouse iirc, cratered several months after purchase. I'm not saying logi is a bad company or anything, they make some awesome stuffs... but my experience with their 'build quality' is somewhat lacking, and comments from around the net about the g11/g15 seem to closely mirror my own general experience with the mouse.

I guess I'm  just being overly cautious. I'll wait til after xmas is done with, and see if I can't swing myself a new keyboard, though it'd be interesting to hear those comparisons on the macroing ability. Sight unseen, my only real 'complaint' about the tarantula, would be the layout for the macro keys. I'd much rather they all be on the left side, than split 50/50. I'm guessing that was to try and accomodate the southpaw crowd by giving each of us easy access to half the macro keys. I have no real use for the audio passthru, and the usb1.1 ports make me wiggle my eyebrows, but... other than a little extra cash, those don't bother me.

If I had my choice, I'd prefer a 'stripped for racing' variant. Flat black finish, no/minimal backlighting, all the macros on the left, no lighted emblem, no audio passthru, no battledock, no usb passthru, etc. Leave the build quality, the general shape/tilt/angle/whatever, all the rest, the same.

Atomic
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