MAX Keyboard Blackbird TKL Backlit Mechanical Keyboard
Fresh out of the box, you can see that the Blackbird being Tenkeyless definitely lessens the width of this keyboard, but MAX Keyboard also takes the depth to a minimum as well, coming in at one half to a full inch less than any other mechanical in the lab currently. Outside of that there is the basic U.S. ANSI Layout on the 87 keys on the U.S. version.
The top of each of the keys is concave for a much better feel on the fingertips as they nestle your fingers on the center of the switches. The legends are currently white, but once powered these will be illuminated by blue LEDs.
On the front facing edge of the top row of keys you will see icons painted on the key caps, MAX keyboards uses this for double layered controls. For instance, with the use of the Fn-key and the stopwatch icon, I can set a timer on the keyboard from 10 to 120 minutes, and the keyboard will flash rapidly when the time has elapsed.
Sliding over just a bit, there is the full set of multimedia keys. There is mute, volume up and down, play/pause, rewind, and fast forward to move the tracks along. Again just press the Fn-key and whatever you want here to make the changes.
Off to the far right of the Blackbird, there are ten keys with multi-functionality. The G-key is to lock the Windows key so as not to be thrown to the desktop in-game. The REC button is for programming your LED settings, the moon wedge turns the lights off, and the gear turns the side lights on. The next row offers the light icon to turn on the LEDs, six key roll-over support, and the button to turn the LED intensity up. The last row offers CM for custom WASD and arrow lighting, full NKRO support, and the key to turn the LEDs down.
The sides of the Blackbird are angled for a good feel to the hands with the same black, textured, plastic used on the rest of the outer housing, now also used on the side panels to surround the LED panel. This inner panel, while looking like a bike reflector at the moment, will illuminate from one LED all the way across this plastic insert.
Off to the left on the back edge of the keyboard, there is a bright red sticker that is really hard to miss. This sticker is a warning to users not to expect more than 100mA of power through the USB hub under it. It will power mice and headsets without issue, just that charging devices are not a good idea.
With the sticker removed, the pair of gold plated USB 2.0 ports is now visible. They are easy to feel when attempting to hook something to it, and the ports are tight, and won't let things accidentally pop out of the port like some other boards will.