Specifications, Availability and Pricing
Since we know the Isku is based on rubber dome switches there isn't much more to say we all know what they are and how they feel. What we need to cover is what else the Isku delivers. First of all, it's in the title of this keyboard and that is the illumination from blue LEDs that can be set in six levels of brightness and has a "sleep" mode for the lighting as well. Just like the mice we have seen from them, the Isku offers its own EasyShift[+] key to take command of twenty-five keys in the layout for multiple functionality with the press of a single key. Along with profiles, macro capabilities and multimedia keys there are profile buttons you use with your thumbs, the Macro Live key for on the fly recording and since I already have the Kone[+] on my desk, I can now play around with the ROCCAT Talk connectivity that allows both easy shift keys to work for each device while still working as separate units at the same time.
The Isku is a larger keyboard than most. Made of plastic with a black key layout of the 122 keys on the board, the angular design surrounds things in a way that makes sense as it separates the sections and incorporates a wrist wrest into the front of the board because they know your arm is going to be there for hours, maybe even days as you level up or finish that quest. This 24.7cm by 50.9cm keyboard is pretty light for its size and the back has rubber pads to keep it in place with adjustable legs for a more ergonomic angle of use if that is what you prefer.
I haven't even touched on the software really, I mean I made some mentions to what parts are, but I didn't explain anything fully. Suffice to say that ROCCAT has every angle of the Isku covered when it comes to the question "what else can a keyboard do?" and the answer from them was pretty much anything your heart desires! There are the more mundane controls like character repeat settings, the amount of light for each of the five programmable profiles and if you want the audio playback for changes made to the profiles and such. On the flip side of that coin, there are over twenty-five keys that you can set up to do anything you want, as long as you take the time to run through the software and set up the macros, use them for system functions or a full list of pre-installed programs and their various controls already given to you. You just need to set the button to use and hit apply and enjoy your effort in the control settings as daily computing gets much easier because of it.
At this point it comes down to what all of these features and getting an illuminated keyboard is going to cost. Actual locations to find one currently are quite slim for the picking, but I was still able to find the Isku for what I think is a reasonable price considering all you get with the keyboard. Comparing apples to apples I have only the Logitech G105 with its Call of Duty uniform on it that was priced at $59.99 when I looked at it. Thinking back that board really doesn't compare as it was one of those dressed up and had the usual parts with nothing extra, but the lighting. For the $89.99 at Amazon.com, the $30 separation is well justified in what the Isku delivers, especially to hardcore gamers or the ones who just love macros and being able to have the latest and greatest in customizable keyboard development.