The Genius KB-G265 gaming computer keyboard.
Computer peripheral company Genius has recently released its new KB-G265 gaming keyboard in North America. The company refers to it as an upgrade to its previously-available KB-G255 keyboard. While that might be true, it doesn't exactly shower its predecessor with praise.
Advertised as a keyboard made for PC gamers who want the features of a gaming keyboard without breaking the bank to pay for them, the KB-G265 really is a good value at its price point. Retailing at all of $40, it's pretty easy on the pocketbook and that might be good because parts of it feel somewhat cheap and users might find themselves replacing it sooner rather than later.
While lacking some of the features found in more expensive gaming keyboards such as programmable macro keys and integrated audio in/out jacks, this value-oriented gaming keyboard does have a few noteworthy features of its own. Perhaps the most obvious of them is its nice blue backlighting that illuminates the key letters/numbers making them easy to see in low-light conditions. While there are no options for dimming the glow, it can be turned off for those who don't want or need it. In addition to a pair of conveniently located USB 2.0 ports across the top-rear of the keyboard, eight special-use keys are laid out across the top that give users quick access to their PC's volume, media, and My Computer. There is also a button that disengages the Windows key so gamers don't accidentally hit it while gaming, which can have adverse affects on their gameplay.
The KB-G265 also has a rather short USB cord. Genius is advertising this as a desirable feature. While this may be true for users who keep their tower on their desks next to their keyboard, mouse, and monitor, those who keep their rig further away might have to invests in a USB extension cable.
As far as they keyboard itself goes while in use, gaming afficianatos will probably scoff at it not having mechanical keys. At this price point, it wouldn't anyway. What it does have, however, are keys that feel almost mechanical in terms of physical feedback and tactile sensation. And, because they're not actually mechanical, they lack the loud tapping sound that some users don't like about the higher-quality mechanical keyboards.
Outside of key-tapping volume, the keyboard seems to work just as good as would be expected. They key layout, however, leaves a bit to be desired. While things are spread out as any standard QWERTY keyboard would be, the <ENTER> key is unnecessarily over-sized and the <BACKSPACE> key is half the size it should be. While minor in the grand scheme of things, these little things make the keyboard a bit awckward to use initially - especially when typing.
As a bonus for those who but an emphasis on gamer-oriented aesthetics, the KB-G265 not only has a pair of glowing dashed lines in the hard plastic wrist rest, it also features eight swappable keys and the tool needed to perform the simple operation. Included in the box are silver up/down/left/right and WASD keys that can be user-installed to replace the default black keys that come on the keyboard. These are purely for visuals, however, and don't change the performance of the keyboard one bit.
In short, there are better gaming keyboards on the market. The Razer Black Widow we typically use is a prime example of this. Of course, that keyboard costs a cool one hundred dollars more than the Genius KB-G265. For those who are looking to keep costs down or simply don't game enough to justify a big price tag for their gaming-oriented computer keyboard, this $40 option just might fit the bill. For the price, it's not half bad.