On the test bench today is the ROCCAT Isku FX, a new version of the Isku that adds a 16.8 million color backlight system to the mix. While most new high-end keyboards offer mechanical switches, the Isku FX sticks to the traditional, cheaper membranes. Geared towards gamers, the Isku FX offers eight dedicated, programmable macro keys, Easy-Shift[+] to give the keys around the WASD zone a second functionality, and on-the-fly macro recording thanks to a dedicated record button.
Other than that, there are also a lot of other, software-based features such as the Roccat Timer, basically a spoken countdown clock, as well as Roccat Talk, a function that lets the keyboard communicate with a supported Roccat mouse such as the Kone XTD/Kone Pure. For example, when you need more precise markmanship in sniper mode, you can press and hold a single key on the keyboard to automatically optimize the DPI setting on your mouse for more efficient sniping.
The Isku FX ships in large, colorful box that highlights all of the product's special features.
Besides the keyboard, the product box is surprisingly empty for a keyboard of this price class. All you get is a brief quick-installation guide, which explains the keyboard's features and points you to Roccat's website to download the keyboard's driver. The lack of an installation CD is not necessarily a bad thing, it reduces waste and ensures that people do not install a driver version that may already be outdated by the time the keyboard hits retail shelves.
The Isku FX keyboard measures 247mm x 509mm x 10-32mm (42mm with height adjustment) and feels a little light for its size. At first sight the build quality of the Isku FX fails to impress me, the overall look and feel doesn't really fit with the Isku FX's hefty price tag. The keyboard's plastic bends a little when you apply some force to it, you're unlikely to break it anytime soon but it just feels too cheap for a $99 keyboard. The wristrest is made from hard, matte plastic, while the rest of the keyboard's front uses a glossy type of plastic that attracts a lot of dust and fingerprints. The keyboard has an all-black design and has off-white UV-coated keys with a somewhat slippery feel.
MULTICOLOR KEY ILLUMINATION
with 16.8 million colors of your choice; with 6 brightness levels
3 EASY-SHIFT[+]™ ZONES
for easy key duplication
36 EASY-TO-REACH MACRO KEYS
including 3 Thumbster keys
MACRO LIVE! RECORDING
with dedicated M-Rec button; 180+ macros in 5 profiles
8 CONFIGURABLE MEDIA & HOTKEYS
25+ assignable functions
with an optimum keystroke & pressure point;
advanced anti-ghosting; 1000Hz polling rate
ROCCAT™ DRIVER + MACRO MANAGER
incl. Sound Feedback; Macro Presets for games,
multimedia and office apps
EXTRA-LARGE GRANULAR WRIST REST
with special surface texture
INTEGRATED CABLE CHANNELS
for better device organization
with lock-on keyboard feet
ULTRA-FAST PROFILE SWITCHING
5 Profile-Status LEDs
ROCCAT™ TALK® – SET BONUS
get more out of your ROCCAT™ devices
by combining their functions
ROCCAT™ TALK® FX
translates on-screen action into sensory
effects on your Isku FX
Illuminated keyboard with 123 keys
Enhanced anti-ghosting capability
3 programmable Thumbster Keys (T1-T3)
5 programmable Macro Keys (M1-M5)
20 additional Macro Keys (Easy Zone)
5 Profile-Status LEDs
3 Status LEDs (Caps Lock, Easy Shift[+]™, Num Lock)
1000Hz polling rate, 1ms response time
2m USB cable
The keyboard connects to your PC via USB. A nice touch is that ROCCAT customized the USB connector, it has a distinctive shape and features the company's logo and the product's name so you'll be able to easily recognize it between all the other USB connectors at the rear of your PC.