I am a clanmate of Rawlins, and at his suggestion I'm posting my own review.
I purchased the ICE style. After sitting vigil for a couple of hours at my in-laws waiting for my deck to arrive for 2 days, it came last night
This keyboard is compact. Keys that aren't used are gone. In First Person Shooter games, you use the right hand on the mouse and manipulate the keyboard entirely with the left hand. The compact design of the deck facilitates this.
Here's some basic changes to the standard keyboard layout:
The windows key is located in the top right corner. This keeps you from hitting it in a mad button mashing incident by accident (which takes you out of your game to desktop, always fatal). Bravo.
The tilde key ( ~ ) is located where the alt key usually is. This prevents you from hitting it while madly stabbing for the number 1 key to switch weapons ( the tilde brings down the console in most games). The standard position of the tilde gets me killed about twice a night. Bravo.
The alt key is where the windows key normally is (had to put it somewhere).
Regarding the distance the keys travel:
Although you can push them down quite a bit further than a normal keyboard, they still engage in a short distance (bring up notepad and slowly depress a letter to test this). The keys have a lot of tension, which seems to greatly reduce the switch's debounce time.
Advantage: Keys respond fast.
Disadvantage: Takes a little getting used to (about 2 minutes), and hands tire quickly. I'm thinking my hands will get stronger in a few days and the fatigue will not be an ongoing issue.
Regarding the lack of tilt feet - I've always been a fan of tilt feet, but the deck seems to have enough tilt built in that it is not a problem for me. I would howver like to call you on the idea that it was "research" that caused you to leave them off. We all know you left them off because this keyboard was designed for squad cars
The workmansip and durability is immediately noticeable when you take it out of the box. I am imensely pleased, and doubt I will ever use another keyboard for gaming.
As for macro support:
I would like to see macro support added in the future (you could probably accomplish this in software with a control panel).
Should you choose to implement this, please make it useful. Anything less than a full scripting language complete with repetition, selection, and the ability to recoginize/program when a key is depressed or not, is useless for gaming because of the complicated sets of keystrokes it takes to accomplish anything worth scripting. I currently use a razer diamondback mouse (excellent btw). It claims macro support, but the macros are so rudimentary it is useless.
Your software developers might want to check out the scripting support in the RTR MII rotor mouse (www.gamingmouse.com
). The scripting support in this mouse is excellent. The mouse itself is just too strange to use, but if you could add technology like that to your keyboards, it would be incredible.
I love my deck. Yes, it is $100-$120 (the cool blue one is worth the extra $20 IMHO), but the quality is there.