Mechanical keyboards, actually, gaming keyboards are not created equal. Lorded above the usual plebian offerings there’s a rigid appeal to having a typing tool beefed up for supremacy, a mish-mash of efficiency for a very different purpose. In an attempt to stick their hand in the lucrative cookie jar eGenPlus tries with the aptly-named Mechanical Feeling LED Multicolor Backlit Keyboard, but only manages to be mediocre at best.
I mean, it does look the part. With its low-profile body, yet elevated keys you get the impression of a serious wired keyboard. By itself, the eGenPlus appears primed for general or business use, with no extras such as macro and separate media buttons (although accessible via FN+F-number keys) to muck the very minimalist styling. However, there are no position tabs to provide tilt action, which isn’t ideal for those concerned with carpal tunnel in their wrists.
But there is LED backlighting to sweeten the deal, and boy is it colorific. It looks a rainbow of keys adorned on your desk and is unmistakably bright, and a partial reason why the keys are raised. We’re grateful that it comes standard but the spectrum is the only choice, with the intensity only adjusted to a breathing mode (aka pulse) or off.
As a basic tool, the eGenPlus will be adequate for many who just need something to type with. But like the scores of budget gaming keyboards before it, this writes a few checks that its credentials can’t cash. Granted, it doesn’t fib by saying it’s a full-on “mechanical” keyboard, but a “mechanical-feeling” one and that’s where things get messy. Mechanical keyboards generally have a more direct and tactile feel from the loud clicking to the overall weight, they’re also built more durable and are disputably linked to improving one’s typing proficiency.
However, the experience didn’t feel dissimilar my old throwaway keyboard that I use in a pinch, except the finger travel is comparatively longer in order to replicate the mechanical aesthetics. And there’s the matter of sound, it’s relatively quiet but has some unintended drawbacks like lesser feedback and quicker fatigue after a couple hours use.
Using this on Microsoft Word was merely “ok” but didn’t impress when utilized for a full days’ work, where typing over 50 words a minutes became prerequisites. We were also divided on the effectiveness of backlighting, and found ourselves disappointed when we couldn’t change the color to a more appropriate white instead of the LSD-induced rainbow — pretty decent in the dark but equally distracting as our eyes constantly shifted away from the display.
These are undeniable issues considering its intentions and functionality is aimed (purposefully or otherwise) at PC gamers or power typists looking for an absolute bargain. It doesn’t quite fit anywhere on those demanding categories without compromising performance, mechanical keyboards are serious business and any facsimile will always be at a disadvantage.
And that realization is a problem if you’re looking at the eGenPlus Mechanical Feeling LED Multicolor Backlit Keyboard as a vested replacement or step-up. Yes, it has backlighting for about $20, but ultimately that’s the only definable perk this keyboard has to offer. You could probably do worse on a casual level, but certainly do better elsewhere.