A PC veteran knows that while lacking equipment might be blamed for user error more often than not, a well-designed and forward-thinking gaming set-up is pivotal for success. With that in mind Genius has released a new keyboard under their GX Gaming brand, dubbed the Manticore.
It’s not the most expensive, most jaw-dropping, or most heavy duty keyboard on the market, but with some clever design choices, intuitive interfaces and inspired features, the Manticore is a product whose impacts we hope will be widespread.
Out of the box, the Manticore’s compact appearance may lead some to think that it lacks the punch or prowess of some of the industry’s more ‘shouty’ rigs, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth. With a wealth of macros running along the left side of the keyboard, two additional USB ports tucked into the front (ideal for swapping gaming mouses) and a ‘just-right’ travel distance in the “mechanical-like” keys, the Manticore owes its unassuming impression to its design, not its specifications.
- Full speed professional gaming keyboard
- Brightness switch: Four levels of light brightness low/middle/high/off
- Full color 16M RGB for backlight in three areas
- Two USB ports for USB peripherals
- Eight programmable macro keys – assign up to 24 macros in three profiles
- Advanced anti-ghosting capability up to 20 keys
- Master Record key to record macros intuitively
- Smart cable allocation management
- Onboard memory chip prevents command bottleneck
- Palm rest for superb gaming comfort
- Product dimensions:
- Width: 54.3 cm
- Depth: 20 cm
- Height: 3 cm
- Product weight: 1003 g
The backlit keyboard is divided into three distinct sections, each able to be color-customized from over 16 million colors and pulse rates. It may be a purely cosmetic detail, but the chance to create a matching monitor/mouse/keyboard set is welcomed. In the case of the Manticore, the accompanying software is intuitively designed, making fine-tuning a painless exercise.
The keys themselves are a nice surprise, given their description as “mechanical-like” by Genius. They can’t compare to the feel of a fully analog keyboard, but straddling the line between a noisy-but-precise analog and a standard keyboard, the Manticore offers enough of an improvement for any recreational gamer looking for an all-purpose board that won’t make normal typing an aural nuisance.
To help with performance, the Manticore comes with 32 KB of onboard storage to keep the settings saved to the keyboard itself, and with a 1 millisecond response time, the result is a responsive layout that allows for 20 keys (in the primary section) to be pressed at once without any ghosting effect.
For RTS fans, the Manticore comes equipped with 8 macro keys set along the left edge of the, able to be split into 3 distinct profiles. Users can swap between the profiles by hitting the corresponding key placed just below the space bar, meaning a total of 24 saved macro commands are available with the touch of a button.
Customization aside, the wealth of rubber traction pads on the underside keeps the keyboard from shifting during play. In addition, a channel lets users choose form one of three exit points for the keyboard’s cable; given that the braided cable is 1.8 m long, positioning headaches are kept to a minimum.
While it may be lacking in some of the slick designs or overwrought aesthetic of some more hyped – and more expensive – gaming keyboards, the Manticore offers a well-built layout and precise mechanical keys. Add in some clever features that gamers will be hard pressed to find on competing keyboards, and it’s a solid choice for those looking to invest in a specialized board without breaking the bank.
The GX Gaming Manticore is available now for $79.99. Read more on the official site here.
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