We've seen a whole array of keyboards come across our desks. Most of the ones that we see are of the old-school style that have a beautiful tactile feel when pressing the key.
However we know that many people, ourselves included, have spent so much time typing on either laptops, or laptop style keyboards that the flatter, quieter, scissor keyboards have an enormous following.
With this in mind we take a look today at the Acrylux keyboard from Enermax. A winner of a design award and in piano black it's guaranteed to be a looker, but how does it perform?
Whilst keyboards don't have the lengthy specifications that we normally see at this point in our reviews, nonetheless it's nice to see the Acrylux at least has some specs, which is more than many we see.
|Material||Reinforced acryl & plastic|
|USB Hub ||2 x ports USB 2.0|
|Key Stroke||Patented „Scissors“ technology|
|Key Zones||3 (full-size layout)|
|Available Keyboard Layouts ||US, UK & DE|
|Power Source||USB power (+5V)|
|Dimensions||L 460 x D 160 x H 9.2 mm|
The box that the Acrylux comes in gives you a taster of what is to come by being sleek and minimalist. Enermax deservedly show the award that the keyboard received for design, and as we'll see on the next page it was one well deserved.
So what's in the box? Read on.
If there is one thing that the Acrylux is, it's shiny. Piano Black has never been more ably demonstrated, so forgive any appearances of arms and things in the shots, because it's like attempting to take a photo of a mirror.
Straight away you can see that the Acrylux is a keyboard pure and simple. No screens, swathes of macro keys or scroll wheels here.
Whilst it isn't lacking any keys like some of the scissor-type keyboards, it is a little compressed around the cursor area. Thankfully we have full-size enter and backspace keys so there isn't an undue level of adjustment for those who touch-type.
Below the keys is a deep orange backing that makes a lovely change from the more universal black we see.
The design really is a great bit of thinking. Rather than bolting some USB ports on wherever possible, Enermax have integrated them into the 'stand' at the back of the keyboard, Very sleek indeed.
One of the most surprising things when plugging the Acrylux is that the only thing that lights, besides the standard 'lock' keys, is the Enermax logo in the top left. We were very much expecting the orange back-plane behind the keys to light too and we're disappointed it didn't.
Despite the obvious problems in photographing something that is this phenomenally shiny, the Acrylux is a visual stunner.
Testing and Conclusion
Starting with the obvious, the Enermax Acrylux is absolutely deserving of the design plaudits it's received.
Everything about it is exquisite. The outstanding piano black finish is deep and lustrous. It's not surprising that Enermax include a polishing cloth as piano black is a notorious magnet for dust and fingerprints. However despite it being an outwardly curious choice for something designed to be used by fingers, it doesn't end up being half as bad as one would expect.
The attention to detail is further enhanced by the placement of the USB ports into the bar that supports and raises the rear of the keyboard slightly off the desk. Of course a perfectly flat keyboard isn't the best for ergonomics and Enermax have perfectly judged the amount of angle to impart.
Speaking of ergonomics, the key layout is equally meticulous. So often we've seen so-called laptop-style keyboards that reduce the size of certain keys or eliminate them altogether. Not so with the Acrylux as it's a full keyboard and all the important keys (backspace, return, right shift) are full-sized.
The keys themselves require very little pressure to depress, and every key has the same actuation weight. This makes for a very smooth typing experience. Even the space-bar, nearly always the achilles heel of scissor keyboards both in smoothness and noise, is exceptional. It takes the same amount of pressure, and delivers the same near-silent sound, as the rest of the keys.
In short, everything about the Acrylux is a joy to use. It is a treat for the eyes and a balm for the fingers. Despite being made of acrylic it's by no means flimsy, nor do the top and bottom sections squeak. It's rock solid.
We've thought long and hard and can only find two slight niggles about it. The first is that for a keyboard with no obvious frills besides the design, it's perhaps £5 too expensive at £45. The second is that the orange behind the keys is just begging to be lit up. The Enermax logo lighting shows the internals have the space to take lighting, so it's disappointing it's just a plain colour.
However those are both minuscule niggles in an otherwise exceptional product. If you want something that types like lightning with little pressure needed to activate each key, or need a quieter typing experience, or even just want a product that wouldn't look out of place in a Soho art gallery, the Enermax Acrylux is the one for you.
Thanks to Enermax for providing the Acrylux for review. Discuss in our forums.