Roccat is a company which manufacturers a variety of high quality gaming mice and gaming keyboards. The company sent us their Isku FX keyboard (and Kone Pure mouse; review coming soon) for review and consideration in our PC Build feature. Today, we’ll be taking a look at the quality and features this keyboard possesses.

The Isku FX is a gaming keyboard, and, as such, has gaming features first and foremost on its agenda. The keys feature LED lighting, which can be changed to any of the 16.8 million colours available to suit your mood. Also present are profiles, which allow you to save your custom key settings for different games, and easily switch profiles on the go. Macro keys and media keys, of course, also feature.

Following on from the last point, lets take a look at the customisation available to the gamer. In terms of mentioned macro keys; five are available with up to twenty additional becoming available when you have a compatible Roccat mouse (which use a special button combination to offer additional keys). Three thumbster keys are also featured on the Isku. A 1ms response time is advertised by the company.

In terms of packaging, the keyboard comes in Roccat’s usual black with accented blue colour scheme, and on the front of the box is a large, glossy picture of the keyboard itself features, with accompanying text to explain the myriad of features available from the Isku FX. One of the very nice features is the large wrist rest which adds extra comfort to your gaming session. The box additionally points out the 1ms response time and 1000Hz polling rate.

On the back of the box, there is a huge amount of information pertaining to the keyboard, however, it generally just re-iterates or goes into a bit more detail about the main features already mentioned on the keyboard. It shows the Easy-Shift[+] system which adds the additional Macro keys when paired with a compatible Roccat mouse. This allows a cluster of keys to be used as macro keys when triggered with the right button press, however, you will need to do some tinkering to get a decent layout.

Within the box, the keyboard comes in an anti-static bag and has no driver CD (which is a good thing, as you should always get the latest driver from the manufacturers website when buying any PC component or accessory). Also included is a quick installation guide for the Isku FX keyboard. After removing from the box, and the anti-static bag and peeling back all the protective plastic, you will finally be greeted by your new Isku FX keyboard! LED lights in the top corner of the keyboard show the current user profiles, with additional brightness indication lights. Shortcut keys and media keys are also present on the keyboard.

The keys on the keyboard are not mechanical. The entire of the keyboard is made of plastic, and, due to it being extremely thin, can flex easily. It would have been nicer to see some more sturdy materials being used for the keyboard, however, this product is not extremely expensive and you can’t expect much more than Roccat have offered for the price. While on that topic, the keyboard is available on Amazon UK for £79.98 and can be purchased on Amazon US for $99.99.

On the underside of the keyboard, two folding feet can be used to stand the keyboard upright. The feet are quite standard, but feel fairly sturdy and are unlikely to break. The USB cable is fairly long, however, it does not have custom braiding. The cable can be routed out of any side of the keyboard using the indents in the casing of the keyboard.

So, we tested the keyboard across various aspects such as gaming experience, comfort and ease-of-use and quality. The very large wrist rest is extremely comfortable, and is a really nice addition to the keyboard. The keyboard, thankfully, stays completely still while in use (even when resting on the wrist rest) due to the rubber feet. We found, however, that, while the keys are ok, they can build up oils and marks easily and occasionally become slippery, however, this can be fixed using a quick wipe of a cloth.

In terms of our gaming experience, we were particularly impressed by the profile switching. This feature looks extremely well, and the key mappings change almost instantly, even when in game, just making things easier on the user in general. The keyboard has extremely fast response times, and is a perfect gaming keyboard. All the features of the keyboard are optimised for perfect gaming use, and, at this price, the keyboard is one of the best premium gaming inputs available.

The macro keys are very well positioned, and easy to access in-game and the other extra keys (such as the media keys) are easy to use and can be very useful in saving time. In terms of the Easy-Shift[+] function, the CAPS LOCK key used to activate the function is a horrible way to use the feature, and definitely needs to be remapped to a better key. Once the layout for Easy-Shift[+] is customised to your needs, it is an amazing way to gain an extra 20 customisable keys, and really adds value to picking up a Roccat mouse alongside your keyboard.

The Isku FX software is very well laid-out, and makes it extremely simple and hassle free to customise the keyboard LEDs, macro keys and Easy-Shift[+]. Advanced features are made simple, and a lot of customisation is made available through the program. Pre-made profiles for particular games are available, but, you can also create your own and assign them to the different profiles available on the keyboard. The one negative is that the media keys cannot be reassigned to macros; only opening programs and other functions of that nature.

Once you get into the advanced mode, that is where the Isku software gets complicated. The customisation which can be done to the LEDs is ridiculously rigourous, and Roccat must have put a huge amount of time into making these customisations available to customers. The impressive settings allow colour flow, release timings, brightness, key disabling and even tracking of how many times you have used certain keys.

To round up the review, the Roccat Isku FX is a fantastic keyboard for the price which it is available at, and is definitely an option to be considered by all gamers, even those in the extreme end. One flaw I must mention is that the LED lighting can be a bit dim at times, however, this is not the end of the world in any otherwise excellent product.