If you spend a lot of time gaming on PC, chances are you’re always on the lookout for those rare perfect peripherals. The gaming experience is all filtered through your keyboard, mouse, controller and so on, so finding the best of the best is key to having the best possible time. As for myself, I’ve been a fan of Bloody Gaming Gear for a while now; they’re a smaller company that doesn’t get the same kind of attention that others might, but they make respectable hardware at decent prices.
I had a chance to check out Bloody’s B840 LightStrike Gaming Keyboard and, unsurprisingly, it does the job without tossing in a lot of unnecessary, price-inflating fluff.
The B840 is a fairly standard mechanical keyboard with few bells and whistles; it’s got some fancy RGB lighting if you’re into that and the gold plating certainly looks impressive, but there’s no macro keys or anything like that. For your $100 you’re getting a standard-layout keyboard, though if you insist on having macros you can make them via Bloody’s software suite. Plug it in via USB, configure it to your liking and get to work. And by work I mean gaming! You think we’re here for spreadsheets?
The “LightStrike” name refers to the sort of infrared/mechanical hybrid switches Bloody uses here, and that proves to be the main feature setting the B840 apart from the average mechanical keyboard. I found I was able to type noticeably faster and more accurately on the B840 than some – but not all – other keyboards I’ve used. It certainly feels like you need a lighter keypress to get results, so that might be why.
In terms of gaming the B840 works as well as you’d expect. As mentioned, there aren’t a lot of crazy features here, so it’s going to do about as well as any other keyboard for most gaming purposes. There might be some difference in performance if you’re playing something that requires intense twitch action, but for blockbuster games like Overwatch there wasn’t a noticeable change. This isn’t bad, per se, and the asking price is low enough that the B840 makes a great introductory gaming keyboard. The ability to disable the Windows key is always appreciate when gaming – and a must-have.
Not everything is sunshine and roses, of course. My main irritation with the B840 is one that’s come up quite a few times when I look at keyboards: I can’t stand the use of a function key to adjust volume or mute sound. I can deal with that sort of thing on a laptop or hybrid, but for a desktop keyboard it can be a huge bother. Cherry’s MX Board had the same issue, for what it’s worth, and I understand the importance of conserving space by not including a slider or dedicated volume keys, but it still drives me nuts.
There’s also the fact that the B840 is surprisingly loud. I know you’re familiar with mechanical keyboards and you’re ready for some loud key reports, but the B840 takes the cake when it comes to decibels. This is going to affect some users more than others. I didn’t have many problems with it, but it was noticeable enough that my SO mentioned my new, noisy keyboard. This probably isn’t a great choice for a quiet office environment, a covert ops mission, or anything along those lines as a result.
If the above issues don’t bother you, though, then chances are you’ll probably be fine with Blood Gaming’s B840 LightStrike Gaming Keyboard. It’s a well-made piece of hardware that feels sturdy and does its job as well as more recognizable brands. Best of all, it’s fairly affordable, at least in comparison to many other mechanical keyboards on the market, and despite Bloody Gaming lacking the “household name” appeal of brands like Logitech or Razer, the B840 does its job admirably.