Cyborg V5Manufacturer: Cyborg
UK Price (as reviewed): £33.02
US Price (as reviewed): $56.99
As we mentioned in the Cyborg R.A.T 7
mouse review, Saitek is now a subsidiary of Mad Catz and many of its products have been rebranded under the Cyborg brand. This includes one of our favourite keyboards, the Saitek Eclipse, which left the shelves in the UK some time ago.
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Thankfully, it's reappeared and is now called the Cyborg V5. Compared with the likes of Logitech's all singing-all dancing G series keyboards, the Cyborg V5 is extremely basic. There's no LCD screen, media controls or USB ports, and the key switches operate on a membrane, rather than noisy and expensive individual switches.
The Cyborg V5 simply has a volume controller and an abundance of style. The lack of features is balanced out by fantastic ergonomics that have made it a favourite among gamers, helped along by its £33 price tag. The Eclipse was one of the first keyboards to sport effective backlit keys and they're here again with the V5, with two intensities of red illumination from which to choose, or three if you just want to turn off the lights.
In the dark, the backlight shines through the letter symbols just enough to make it easy to find your bearings, although there's some spillage around the keys. It looks pretty cool, though, especially against the matt black exterior; unlike the Razer Lycosa
, the V5's keys are clear in daylight too, with glossy black keys providing plenty of contrast against the white lettering. The volume controls are also easy to use, although they aren't backlit.
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The keys are a joy to use. They aren't particularly responsive, but they compensate for that with a rare smoothness that means you don't feel like your joints are being hammered. The smoothness can feel a little weird at first, but once you're used to it, you'll find the Cyborg V5 very comfortable to use. The primary key area hasn't been reduced either, so the V5 feels less cramped than other keyboards we've looked at and you don't need wait for your brain and fingers to synchronise themselves to a new key layout.
Using Cyborg's profile editor, you can assign macros to the function keys for added flexibility in games. If there's such a thing as a perfect keyboard then the Cyborg V5 is as close to it as any keyboard we've seen. The list of features isn't long, but that's reflected in the low price. If you're looking for a gaming keyboard for less than £50, you can't go wrong with the Cyborg V5.