The Sharkoon Skiller makes a great gaming keyboard with plenty of features to set it apart including the removable gaming specific keys for replacement with rubberized ones but the price tag is what really makes you sit up and notice this keyboard.
Ease of Use, Performance: 5/5
Look & Feel: 4/5
How much I enjoy 5/5
Recommendation: 5/5 Stars
A keyboard at a $30 price used to mean it was cheap and there was no use looking at it other than as a basic input device that would last long enough till you could afford a better one but not anymore. Sharkoon has released a more than affordable gaming keyboard in the Skiller that also provides great use for everyday tasks and multimedia but also excels at gaming.
The Sharkoon Skiller comes as a full keyboard but also includes the software to reprogram buttons along with many other features including multimedia and mouse functionality along with profiles and macros. The Skiller keyboard comes with the keyboard itself, eight rubberized replaceable keys and a key tool along with a manual and drivers on a CD but drivers are also available from the Sharkoon website.
The Skiller keyboard is a full sized keyboard with tilt up feet for added tilt height and a decent rest for your hands and regular height keys but the keys are the less expensive rubber domed pads for contacts. The keyboard has a long USB cable that is hefty in thickness which I like and has a nice stress relief at the entry point to the keyboard to prevent breaking wires inside.
The Keyboard has the usual full keyboard layout with a number pad and the function buttons along with multimedia and specialty keys along the top and both sides for a very fully featured keyboard. You get your usual multimedia keys for playing music and movies along the right side while the left side sports the Home, Favorites, Refresh, Page Forward and Page Back keys.
The top left set of additional keys are for general computer use with a My Computer, Email, Search, Calculator and Media key which are already programmed to open the specific feature or program. The right top specialty keys computer helper keys with Previous and Next, Wake, Sleep and Power keys but your motherboard Bios may need to be set up for the wake, sleep and power buttons to function correctly.
The nice feature for gaming is the addition of eight removable and replaceable keys with rubberized blue ones for the AWSD and the arrow keys for easy tactile location of these gaming keys. Adding the eight or even four keys for whichever ones you want means you add both height and size increase to those keys which for regular typing can be a bit of a pain but for gaming can mean a better gaming experience and score.
The replaceable keys snap in and out with the included tool and make for an easy way to replace the keys but I would not do this very often as I can see an eventual wearing out of the keys if you keep replacing them on a daily basis. The replaceable rubberized keys do make gaming easier without the need to look down at your keyboard for several gaming genres to make gaming easier.
The Skiller comes with a great software program to change keys, adjust the profile settings and set the special functions like changing keys to mouse functions and adding macros for role playing games. You can reassign any of the regular keyboard keys using the included Skiller software but you cannot change any of the multimedia or specialty keys unless you use a separate program such as KeyTweak.
The Skiller has a profile system that also includes layers with ten profiles you can set along with three layers for each profile for a full thirty different keyboard setups. Each profile is used to set up the keyboard for an individual game or program and when that game or program is launched the keyboard will automatically switch to that profile if you have the profile set to automatically switch.
You can set the profiles to automatically switch with the linked program or just assign a specific key sequence or individual key to switch between the profiles and layers. Switching automatically between profiles and layers makes for an easy way to use the specific layout you want for games and programs that you use often and adds a great amount of functionality for an inexpensive keyboard.
Switching profiles and layouts makes for an easy way to keep shortcuts and single key presses easily assigned to specific programs and the use of macros or timed sequences for role playing games adds even more functionality. You can even assign keys to buttons from the mouse but you cannot add movement of the mouse to a keyboard key but for the cost of this peripheral I am amazed at what they do have.
The Skiller is hands down, bar none the most affordable keyboard I have seen that comes with so many features that I would easily recommend this at twice the price. The key puller tool itself is worthwhile to be able to yank any key on the keyboard for cleaning under the keys to prolong the keyboard life.
I not only recommend the Sharkoon Skiller keyboard for gaming enthusiasts this is by far the best keyboard I have seen for the price and is more than worth the $30 price tag.