Anyone who reads our keyboard reviews knows we tend to lean on mechanical keyboards when it comes to writing, but for gaming, sometimes the right membrane keyboard could make all the difference. It really comes down to the feel, and the feature set to win most people over. The more we used this keyboard, the more comfortable we found ourselves getting with it.
The overall design may take some getting used to, but the soft activation of the switches isn't muddy at all, and the keys actually pop back into place nicely. It must have something to do with those separated cups in this membrane design, as this really does have a different feel than most membrane boards we have used in the past. We also feel that the wrist rest is well designed, and while it is removed for regular use in most cases, we didn't feel it got in the way as a permanent fixture to the design, and the tiny diamonds do help to keep your hands right where they need to be.
The fact that there is software involved only helps when it comes to a keyboard like this. Of course, there is a ton of extra buttons for changing the settings on-the-fly, swapping profiles, and taking advantage of the Macro keys, but it is the lighting and somehow that large dial that strangely attract our eyes. However, we didn't use the dial much at all; to be honest, we would have rather had it used as a volume dial, as it would likely get much more use in that capacity.
While there are a lot of good things that the CHALLENGER Prime does bring to the table, we did have two small issues, and both are related. Our first issue is that the feet that expand in the back feel kind of cheap, aren't very tall, and didn't stay locked outward very well. We also noticed that the ends of these feet are not rubberized, and even when the feet did stay out, the keyboard would move around a lot more than when it was flat on the table. These issue are not exactly detrimental to the keyboard's use, but could be a deal breaker for some.
What we keep coming back to is the pricing, and for what you do get with such a small investment, we can sort of see how and why these things happen. While we do feel that the feet definitely could have been better, for what this CHALLENGER Prime gaming keyboard is, and what it offers, we find there is still tremendous value to be had. Considering this is only going to set you back $29.99, and that it is shipped to your door, all inclusive, it is really hard to pass this deal by. While membrane keyboards are not typically our weapon of choice, Tt eSPORTS has changed our perspective on what to expect with their delivery of the CHALLENGER Prime. The fact it has spent nearly a month in use on our desktop really says a lot.
PRICING: You can find the Thermaltake eSports CHALLENGER Prime for sale below. The prices listed are valid at the time of writing, but can change at any time. Click the link to see the very latest pricing for the best deal.
United States: The CHALLENGER Prime retails for $40.99 at Amazon.
|Quality including Design and Build||90%|
|Bundle and Packaging||88%|
|Value for Money||95%|
|Overall TweakTown Rating||90%|
The Bottom Line: The Challenger Prime is attractive, it has a good feature set, and even feels good to a mechanical keyboard user; but what really will win users over though has to be the affordable price point.