Turtle Beach is no stranger to manufacturing products for gamers, but its selection of PC accessories has been limited over the years when compared to its console and mobile lines. That all changes this year as the company is offering a number of keyboards and mice geared towards gamers, and today, we’re taking a look at its premium mechanical keyboard, the Impact 700. The Impact 700 features a number of impressive bells and whistles that includes Cherry MX Brown Switches, backlight illumination, and two USB 2.0 ports all within a steel-reinforced chassis with gunmetal keycap plates. So without further ado, let’s take a look at the Impact 700.
The Turtle Beach Impact 700’s keys are comfortable to type on as I can feel the Cherry MX Brown switches activate when I push down on each key. The switch offers an overall clicky feeling and sound, although it isn’t as loud as a Cherry MX Blue switch. In fact, the Impact 700 only gets as loud as I want it to. I can type on it and allow it to make very little sound, or I can go balls to the wall and let everyone in my apartment know I’m writing an angry e-mail by pounding on each key. There’s a nice bit of feedback when pressing down on each key that allows me to know that the key press has been registered by the keyboard.
The Impact 700 features a full QWERTY keyboard, directional pad, and keypad and feels to be the optimal size for my desk. The keyboard fits right within the peripheral view of my monitor without feeling like I have to type with my hands over to one side. The gunmetal keycap plates also feel real nice on my fingertips as they’re a mixture of smooth and slight textures from the laser engraving of each letter, number, and character on each key.
For a backlit illuminated keyboard, the Impact 700 offers quite a bit in terms of options as you can control how it illuminates each key as well as its strength. All of which can be done directly from the keyboard itself without having to install any additional software on your computer. There are four light options that can either illuminate the entire keyboard, the WASD & directional pad, WASD and 1 through 6 keys, and completely off. As for lighting options, you can have the backlight be dim, standard, bright, slow pulse, or pulse quickly. I personally prefer to have the Impact 700 set at its dim lighting with all of the keys illuminated since I spend most of my time writing stories than gaming.
RGB It Is Not
Jumping from the Logitech G910 Orion Spark to the Turtle Beach Impact 700 was probably a bad idea since the latter is simply a backlight illuminated keyboard and not and RGB keyboard. The only real color option that’s available on this keyboard is red, which looks nice when combined with other peripherals that offer a similar color. But if you’re looking for an RGB keyboard, you won’t be getting it here.
I like how Logitech allowed the backlight to be controlled directly from the keyboard itself as I find myself installing a ton of unnecessary apps in order to use it, although in the case of the G910 Orion Spark, the software gives me a ton of options to allow me to make the keyboard look exactly how I’d like it to. There really isn’t a lot here in terms of customization options, although I know there’s a market out there for keyboards that are just downright comfortable, and the Impact 700 is one of those keyboards.
Too Rich For My Blood
One thing I feel holding back the Impact 700 is its price. The G910 Orion Spark retails for $179.99 while the Impact 700 sells for $199.95. I have an inkling its two USB 2.0 ports and pass-through 3.5mm mic and audio jacks are the catalyst behind it being priced so high, although I’m sure many of you already have enough USB ports on your computers and may not even use your mic and audio jacks, depending on what kind of speakers or headphones you use. But if those bells and whistles are what you’re looking for in a keyboard, then the Impact 700 should be considered a great addition to the mechanical keyboard market. It’s comfortable, sturdy, and looks sleek when its backlight is activated.
[After publishing our review, Turtle Beach clarified part of the reason for the high price point of the Impact 700 is due to its steel-reinforced chasis, which makes the keyboard rage-quit proof. So if you have a tendency of beating up your keyboards, know the Impact 700 will take all of your abuse.]
This review is based on a sample unit provided by Turtle Beach. The Turtle Beach Impact 700 is available in retail stores for $199.95.