A closer look
This is the Venom UK Warrior keyboard. As you can see, it is red and black and looks rather nice. The black surround is metal and this gives the keyboard a really sturdy feel. The red plastic isn’t something I personally would choose, but it does suit the keyboard and it will appeal to younger gamers, which is a huge market.
Down the left-hand side of the keyboard there are 4 macro keys and also the recording key. Each of these 4 macro keys can record 20 different keystrokes for up to 30 seconds which should be plenty for most macro users. I haven’t used macros for a long time, but these seem to work well.
Recording a macro is simple, you press the “REC” key, then one of the “M” keys. Then you type what you want to record, once you are finished, press the “REC” key again, Simple.
The key caps are pad printed, a very cheap and easy way to add print to keys, there is nothing particularly wrong with this method, but the print does have a tendency to wear off after some time. It would have been nice to have a more premium style keycap, but this would add a lot of money to the prices of the keyboard. I do like how they have added red keys for WASD and the arrow keys though. It’s always nice to have WASD as a different colour for those times where you just need to glance at your hand positioning.
At the top right-hand corner of the keyboard we have a volume control, this is always nice to see, this wheel doesn’t actually turn completely, it goes approximately 15 degrees then stops. You can hold it at this point and the volume will increase or decrease accordingly. This works really well and I can’t fault it. It is different to most volume controls so it’s nice to see some innovation. The 4 little lines directly below the wheel are LEDs for Num lock, Caps lock, Windows key lock (FN + Windows key) and also a led to show that a macro is being recorded.
The cable has a red and black braiding which matches the theme for the keyboard, it is nice to see that Venom UK have thought about these little details, this gives the whole product a more “premium” feel.
The USB connector has a gold plating and with rubbery plastic protecting the internal connections.
Speaking of comfort, this the Warrior comes with quite a nice wrist rest, it is plastic covered in a rubbery material giving a really nice comfortable rest for your wrist, or in my case my lower palms. It feels cool to touch which is really nice and even after a lot of use doesn’t really seem to warm up, unlike some leather wrist rests I have used. It does, however, get “dirty” easily. It just needs a quick wipe though and it soon goes back to the original look.
As with the box, there is very little on this keyboard in terms of branding. There is only this one logo which is on the wrist rest, so if you don’t use it, it really is a stealthy board. I do like fewer manufacturers logos. As a modder, I generally have to add logos to show off my sponsors, which I don’t mind at all. When I am paying for items though, I would prefer the logos to be discreet.
The wrist rest is easily installed, you simply put it inline with the two slots and push. To remove it, slightly squeeze the black clips and it slides straight out.
Once installed the keyboard does look quite nice, especially for people who like the “gaming” style.
Looking at some of the other functions of this keyboard we can see that each F key has multiple functions, to use these, just press the “FN” key as well as the associated key. F1 to F4 are volume controls and F5 to F8 are playback controls.
F9 is for email, F10 for your explorer, F11 locks the keyboard, which is a great function and I have been using it when I have been watching films as it stops the cats from walking over the keys and skipping, stopping or closing the movie. The downside to this key is that there is no actual visual indicator to say it is on. So if you watch a film in bed, fall asleep, wake up the next day groggy, it takes a good few minutes before you realise that you have a button that stops the keyboard from working at all. The last button, the F12 key is a calculator button.
The Keys are raised on the board, a little like you might find on the Corsair range of keyboards, I like having the keys like this, I don’t even know why, but it just seems to make the board more open and improves the aesthetics.
This keyboard has an LED backlight, we have 3 colours to choose from, Red, Blue and a pinky/purple colour. To turn these on, you just press the button between the FN and Ctrl key. If you press the FN key and the LED key the colours actually fade into each other quite nicely.
You can also increase or decrease the LEDs brightness, to do this you press the FN key as well as the PGUP or PGDN key.
So, let’s look at the colours, These were really hard to capture with my camera, well more so my lack of experience with it. The colours do look deeper to the naked eye. Below is Red.
And one that doesn’t really look the same at all, it’s far more pinky to the naked eye, the pinky/purple. Now, these colours do make the keyboard stand out a lot. The white bottoms of the switches glow up really well, making it feel like your typing on a futuristic keyboard, however, other than making it look great, the LEDs do very little in terms of functionality with the key caps that are included with the board. The keycaps are pad printed as already mentioned, which means the light doesn’t shine through the keys to identify them. This means in the dark, all the keys just look black, apart from the red keys of course. The red keys might be enough for you to get your bearings, but for some users they buy the backlights so that they can type in the dark. This isn’t a problem for me as I usually use a keyboard with blank keycaps anyway, but for a new user, it doesn’t help much.
So, this keyboard boasts:
“Mechanical shaft keys with liquid silicon generating mechanical resilience with a lubricated key stroke feel”
That is pretty much all we actually know about these keys, there are no details on actuation points, actuation forces or bottoming out distances. We don’t know who manufactures them or even how they look inside. I can say they feel somewhat like a kailh blue switch, but with less of a “click” on actuation. This isn’t to say this keyboard is quiet though, the keys are quite loud when they are returning to their usual position rather than when they are pressed. The feedback is nice from the switches, but it would be nice to see some real information about them.
One thing I can say for sure is that these switches have the cross style like Cherry and keys made for Cherry keyboards do fit. Here is my Team Infused key as the escape key.
So, let’s find out my final thoughts and price.