OCZ Elixir II Gaming Keyboard Page: 1
Introduction

Keyboards are an item which a lot people will probably replaced fairly often. Not only do they wear out after a while, but they also come free with any new computer. So, like me, you probably have an abundance of them stashed away in a cupboard for that occasion when yours simply refuses to work.

Today we will be looking at OCZ's latest offering- The Elixir II. This gaming keyboard is designed with compactness in mind, aimed at those gamers with limited desktop space. Here are the full specifications taken from OCZ's site:

Slim Design
Lightweight 1.35 lbs.
Connection: USB 2.0
Rubberized Coating SoftTouch Keys
Internet and Email Hotkeys
System Power-down button
Lifespan: 5 million cycles
Instantly Plug-and-Play, no drivers needed!
One-year warranty

Another piece of info that is omitted from the specification is how thin the keyboard is: around 15mm. This makes it sit very low to the desk, how that will effect comfort though, we're not sure. Other than omission the specifications look quite impressive; It doesn't weigh much and has the usual selection of hotkeys and USB 2.0.

The Keyboard

OCZ Elixir II Packaging OCZ Elixir II Packaging

The keyboard arrived in a corregated cardboard box. This not only encloses the keyboard but also gives it a bit a padding. On the front of the box is a picture of the keyboard, company name and a bit about the keyboard. Round the back we have a few diagrams of the keyboard as well as multi-lingual information.

OCZ Elixir II out of packaging OCZ Elixir II Un-wrapped

Unfortunately the box contains nothing more than the keyboard, but at least this means no unnecessary additions to the cost. The keyboard and cable come wrapped in a clear plastic wrap, stopping them from getting marked or damaged during transit.
 
OCZ Elixir II keys OCZ Elixir II Keys

The keys of the Elixir II are rubberised around the rim (grey area) whilst the keys themselves are plastic. It follows a fairly standard QWERTY layout, and has a numpad over on the right hand side. Above the numpad are the lights for Num Lock/ Scroll lock/ Caps Lock. So far so good.
 
OCZ Elixir II Keys

The only noticable difference from the standard layout is the #~ key. OCZ have chosen to put this above the enter key, and make the enter key smaller. This seems a little odd, and will probably annoy experienced touch typists.
 
OCZ Elixir II feet OCZ Elixir II feet

On the bottom of the keyboard we have the two feet. These are fairly wide, providing plenty of stability and holding the keyboard nice and securely to the desk. They fold flat to the keyboard when not in use.




OCZ Elixir II Gaming Keyboard Page: 2
Testing

For testing we used the keyboard for day to day office tasks, including the writing of this review. Unfortunately it didn't fare to well. First off the funny enter key was rather annoying, with an uninvited # appearing at the end of all our paragraphs. Then there was the poor key response. You have to press the keys a relatively long way down before they respond, making fast touch typing a bit of a pain. Both those coupled together lead to a rather frustrating typing experience; we didn't just have to adjust to a new keyboard but the layout also took time to adjust to.

Gaming was reasonable, the keyboard worked much better here than it did with office tasks. The relatively slow change between keys wasn't so much of an issue and the enter key was rarely used. It wasn't the most comfortable keyboard we have ever used, but it wasn't bad, especially for something of its size.

Conclusion


We have mixed feelings towards the Elixir II. The typing experience was poor and frustrating, but its small proportions, weight and reasonable gaming experience means it could appeal to gamers with limited space. It could also appeal to gamers on the move, looking for something small and lightweight they can carry around all day. However, having a num pad on the keyboard does mean it is longer than other contenders in the market, which means it is not ideally suited.

To sum it up, we're not overly impressed with the Elixir II. Unfortunately avaliability in the UK isn't great, with Aria the only retailer we could find with any in stock. Priced at £12.59, it could appeal to a small range of dedicated gamers on small desks, but to anyone else its not really worth it.

Pros

+ Relatively Small
+ Lightweight

The Mediocre
* Reasonable gaming performance

The Poor
- Odd enter Key and Long key travel make it poor for typing.






Overclock3d would like to thank OCZ for supplying todays review sample. Discuss in the forums here.