It's always a bit of a surprise when a company that we know primarily for a certain line of products release an entirely different one.
I'm sure I'm not the only person who looks at the brand Enermax and automatically thinks of power supplies. Showing what a dangerous thing this can be, when we reviewed the Acrylux keyboard we found it to be an exceptionally good keyboard for those no-frills people. So much so that we gave it the runner-up spot in our favourite keyboards of 2011.
Today we're looking at new model based upon that already successful design, but with a few tweaks to perhaps iron out the few little issues we had.
Without further ado, let us crack onwards and take a look at the Aurora.
As you can see there isn't a huge amount about the Aurora that instantly springs up at you to grab your attention. There is no software, it has no programmable buttons and doesn't have any frippery. It's all about being a good keyboard.
|Material||Brushed aluminium & plastic|
|USB Hub ||2 x USB 2.0|
|Key Stroke||Patented "Scissors“ Technology|
|Key Zones||3 (Full-size layout)|
|Available Keyboard Layouts ||US, UK & DE|
|Power Source||USB (+5V)|
|Dimensions||L 460 x W 160 x H 9.2 mm|
Click the next page and we'll take a look at it up close.
The packaging is fairly simple, just showing the keyboard off which is as much as can be done.
Whereas the Acrylux was a piano black affair, the Aurora has the same basic design but with a very classy brushed aluminium finish. This certainly looks like it should cost much more than the £30 asking price.
As well as getting the keyboard the only accessory in the package is the biggest cleaning cloth we've ever seen. It's so large it can double as a dust guard for the keyboard. A nice touch that doesn't raise the price.
At either end of the very low-profile design we have a USB 2.0 port which is always handy. The Aurora only uses a single USB to draw power, so you probably couldn't run anything mental off of it, but for just sticking a USB stick in it's more than enough.
The Aurora is a very attractive looking keyboard. We have the fairly standard short left-shift key, but otherwise the left hand side of the Aurora is exactly what you'd expect.
Something that varies wildly between different designs is the right-shift/Return/backspace sizing. Thankfully the Aurora has what we'd consider to be the "norm" for UK layouts, so it's easy to get right up to speed with it.
Testing and Conclusion
Prospective keyboard buyers fall in to the usual camps of preferring either mechanical keyboards with their tactile feedback and longevity, despite the noise or the silent, short-actuation of a scissor-style laptop keyboard despite the squidginess. Of course there are the third group who don't care either way.
The Aurora firmly sits in the second camp. Typing on such low-profile keys that have very light actuation pressure and silence is a joy, especially if you type fairly consistently throughout your day. The Aurora isn't height adjustable but thankfully Enermax have designed it to be at just the right height. You can use it on your desk or lap, and even with an all-important wrist rest it's still at a very usable height and doesn't induce the unwanted fatigue.
When we reviewed the Acrylux back in May we absolutely adored its combination of beautiful design and gorgeous typing feel. In fact the only thing we weren't 100% keen on was the price which was a tiny bit high for a no frills keyboard, and with piano black being a fingerprint magnet, a keyboard is the least sensible place to have it.
Those two niggles have been eliminated with the Aurora. Firstly it's a tenner cheaper than the Acrylux, and secondly that 'endlessly needing polishing' finish has been replaced by a brushed aluminium number that doesn't show fingerprints and, dare we say, looks even better. Certainly it looks like something that should cost a fair bit more than it does.
So if you looked at the Acrylux and loved the thought of a simple keyboard that's easy to type on and looks the business but didn't fancy polishing it every time you'd used it, this ticks all the boxes.
Bad things. We can't think of any. Sure it hasn't got any fancy lights, or screens, or macro capability so if you prefer bells and whistles then look elsewhere because the Aurora is a pure keyboard built just for typing.
As an upgrade to the kind of cheap rubbish that gets shipped with most systems it's outstanding. Indeed because it hasn't got all the frippery on similarly priced keyboards it's focussed entirely on great built quality and a lovely typing experience. In its price bracket it's nearly unrivalled and we're happy to award it our Gold Award.
Thanks to Enermax for supplying the Aurora for review. Discuss in our forums.