Ideazon Merc Stealth Keyboard

Written by Joe Martin

March 2, 2008 | 08:02

Tags: #evaluation #input #keyboard #merc #peripheral #professional #review #stealth #wolfking

Companies: #test

Admittedly, we did have a few problems. The key issue for us was that the Merc Stealth has many keys on the game pad and that these keys are sometimes a little too small and occasionally aren’t in familiar positions. The 1-10 keys in particular were a bit confusing though the WASD and Space keys were excellently placed.

We played on the keyboard for a good long while—actually, probably a little longer than we do with most other keyboards—but we simply couldn’t master some key presses. There would always comes a time when the need arose to switch weapons quickly or whip out a hoverboard and in those times the complexity of the array and the uneven spacing between some keys meant we’d lose it.

Of course, we didn’t take UT3 as being representative of all computer games and we used the Merc Stealth for other genres than FPS. Universe at War: Earth Assault gave us a chance to stretch our RTS legs, while typing up reviews let us get a chance at some usual office tasks.

Ideazon Merc Stealth Keyboard Conclusions Ideazon Merc Stealth Keyboard Conclusions
Click to enlarge

In these areas, the Merc Stealth was a better performer and it was fine to type on and use for day to day stuff. It wasn’t great at it, but then it isn’t really optimised for it. In RTS games too we found that as long, as we could go a little slower, the keyboard held up OK – though moving the arrow keys into the numpad irritated us a little.

Conclusions

I suppose it’s a little ironic that a keyboard that has been crafted to target a market so specifically should succeed at everything except the genre to which it should be most suited – but that’s the reality of it.

On paper, the Merc Stealth is an excellent gaming keyboard and, with time and practice, I don’t doubt that gamers could learn to use it fluidly and masterfully. The downside though is that it takes time and practice at all – other keyboards we’ve looked at use a much more sensible layout of keys that manages to be both familiar and enhanced. Why can’t the Merc Stealth?

Ideazon Merc Stealth Keyboard Conclusions
Click to enlarge

It’s a shame. The Merc Stealth is as great a looking keyboard as it would probably be possible to get if one were shopping for gaming inputs and the ergonomics of the design are at times fantastic. The angle and slopping of the gaming section is definitely not painful to use as some keyboards are. The media keys, connections and all-round feel of the Merc Stealth is in order too, and we like that the board can be raised in steps to accommodate different hands.

Unfortunately, the one area where we’d have wanted the Merc Stealth to really shine turned out to be a bit of a letdown and despite us spending longer than usual getting to know the board, we still couldn’t get practiced enough for it to rival a WASD set-up – for that reason, though the keyboard is decent enough despite the extra gaming keys, we can't really recommend spending the whopping £60 on it compared to any other keyboard on the market.

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