Review sample provided by Sandberg.
The Sandberg Ironstorm keyboard is part of their ESports Equipment Range and is very reasonably priced at £36.99 RRP including VAT. It comes in a minimal packaging box, just the box itself, a protective soft plastic bag, a soft plastic material to hold the keyboard in place and a couple of cable ties around the wire. Also in the box is a quick start sheet showing what key presses to use to activate the keyboard’s various functions and also contains instructions on how to redeem the five year warranty.
It’s comfortable to use and the coloured lights are a very nice addition. It has a very stylish design, with the top of it looking very similar to something Batman might wear to protect his wrists.
The USB cable uses a nice black nylon braid, it doesn’t feel warm to the touch when in use and I haven’t encountered any of the usual twisting and coiling problems I usually see with the plastic covered alternative.
It’s well made and sturdy feeling and doesn’t slide around when in use, and has a nice weight to it thanks to the metallic frame. The keys are made of plastic and feel slightly rough to the touch, not so rough that they might be abrasive on the fingers though, just enough that you can feel it. The printing on the keys is slightly raised and can also be felt.
There are nine colours for the lights on the keyboard, being split into three groups of three. They can be swapped between with the keyboard shortcut or even cycled through in what is called a breathing effect.
The IronStorm specifications as listed on Sandberg’s website;
- USB Interface
- Cable Length 1.8m
- 104 Standard Keys
- 10 Multimedia Keys
- 9 Switchable Backlight Colours
- Weight: 1100g
- Dimensions: 46.7 x 20.4 x 3.1 cm
When typing with the keyboard I find the keys to be very responsive and springy. If you want keyboard to respond a little faster, however, you can use the keyboard shortcut to switch the key response time between 21.4ms and 62ms. I tried this feature out and I didn’t notice any difference in the response time, although bear in mind this is a keyboard specifically made for gaming and as such the function might prove it’s effectiveness based on the kinds of games you play.
I’ve had the keyboard for a little while now and have played various games and typed with it quite a lot so I can say for certain that it is very comfortable to use, in fact I’m writing this very review using it. For those of you who prefer to use the direction arrow keys when you play games rather than the “W A S D” setup, there is a keyboard shortcut to swap the keys around. I can confirm this also works when using the keyboard outside of a game, though I don’t know if you’d ever have a purpose for typing “W AS D” with the directional arrow keys.
While the keys are mostly springy I did encounter some resistance with the “T” key, it feels as though there could be some extra plastic catching when I press the key. I have no reason to think this would be anything other than an isolated incident, though it did provide me with the opportunity to lift up the key to see what could be causing the resistance. While I didn’t find any problem with the “T” key, it was good to learn that the keys are easy to remove when it comes time to clean the keyboard.
I have to say, the IronStorm keyboard is probably the best keyboard I have ever used. Although to be honest I should confess that I haven’t really considered my use of a keyboard until now but I would definitely say without question that this is the nicest one. I particularly like the lights, it adds a feeling of life when typing, especially when the lights are in breathing mode. To conclude, I would definitely recommend that anyone who might be considering a new keyboard, to go ahead and treat yourself to this one.
If you’d like to purchase this keyboard, it can be found here.