Adding to their already popular MEKA gaming keyboard line, Tt eSPORTS (Thermaltake) has a new member of the family we’ll be reviewing today. The MEKA G-Unit Cherry MX Red Switch Edition Mechanical Gaming Keyboard is the full name attached to this monster, and that’s certainly a mouthful! The MEKA G-Unit line of mechanical gaming keyboards comes in other options as well – the Illuminated Edition, Combat Edition, and one called simply, G-Unit. Let’s save the other MEKA G-Unit keyboards for another day and dive into today’s sample for a closer look at this latest mechanical gaming keyboard offering from Tt eSPORTS.
Specifications and Features
Here are the specifications as provided by the Tt eSPORTS website.
|Tt eSPORTS MEKA G-Unit Cherry MX Red Switch Edition Mechanical Gaming Keyboard Specifications|
|Membrane, Mechanical, Plunger||Mechanical|
|On-Board Fan Device||No|
|Anti-Ghosting Keys||104 (PS2)|
|On-Board Memory Size||64 KB|
|No. of Game Profile||3|
|No. of Macro Key||60|
|Polling Rate||1000 Hz|
|Back-Light||Yes, White LED back-light in 3 individual Sections|
|Wrist Rest||Yes, detachable|
|On-Board Audio Jacks||YES|
|Smart Cable Management||YES|
|USB Cable Detachable||YES|
|On-Board USB Port||2|
|Keystroke Lifecycle||50 million|
|Cable Length||1.8m braided|
|Dimension (LxWxH)||553 x 271 x 70mm|
Features are plentiful when it comes to this mechanical gaming keyboard, there is no doubt about that. If you are a gamer, you’ll be glad to know all these features are geared towards giving you that competitive edge. Some of the highlights include anti-ghosting, up to 1000 Hz polling rate, removable gold plated USB cable, seven multimedia hot-keys, and 64 Kb onboard memory supporting up to 60 macro keys. All images courtesy Tt eSPORTS.
The mechanical keys with Cherry MX Red Switches promise a low 45~50 grams of pressing force. Every key on this thing is mechanical, unlike others out there that are only mechanical in some areas.
After setting up your macro keys, 12 of them can be accessed by using the T1 through T12 keys found strategically located along the left side of the keyboard. The other eight per profile can be assigned to any key you wish. There is also a row of media keys at the upper right area and headphone and mic jacks at the back that give you control over multimedia functions. For added connectivity, two USB ports are built into the back of the keyboard.
The keyboard also features some lighting effects that I’ll show you later, but Tt eSPORTS claims this is the first keyboard to feature both illumination and onboard memory. The Instant Shift System (ISS) allows the user to access all 60 macro keys from within any one of the three available profiles. As mentioned before, each of the three profiles can store up to 20 macro keys, 12 via the “T” keys plus 8 from any key you choose to assign one to. A must have for the serious gamer is the ability to deactivate the Windows key, and this keyboard indeed has that feature as well.
Packaging and Accessories
The box art is decked out with a large picture of the keyboard and what appears to be flames behind it. Lots of branding and logos grace the box top, while on the bottom there is a more detailed explanation of high level features. The left and right side are identical, as is the front and back sides. Informative, but not overdone would be a good way to describe the box graphics.
Once the box top is opened, you’ll find more graphics explaining the GUI setup and the sleeve that houses the software CD. Lifting that sheet of cardboard out of the way, you come to the keyboard itself wrapped in a plastic bag. Secured in the cardboard space, just behind the keyboard, the remainder of accessories are tucked away.
The accessory pack is pretty extensive for a keyboard, here is the list:
- USB Connector Cable and Pouch
- Removable Wrist Rest
- Software CD
- User Manual/Warranty Pamphlet
- 2x Stickers
- Nylon Travel Bag
Meet the MEKA G-Unit Red Switch Edition Mechanical Keyboard
When I first took this keyboard out of the box, the first thing that struck me was how heavy this thing is. The keyboard weighs in at 5.5 Lbs and is built like a tank. It’s quite a bit wider than a normal keyboard with the added “T” keys found on the left side. The reminder of the keyboard is your typical 104 key layout with the number pad area at the far right side. Across the very upper edge there is a red “Tt” logo in the center, which is flanked to the right by media hot keys and to the left by the Instant Profile Switch keys. The back edge of the keyboard features two USB 2.0 ports and headphone/mic jacks. On the bottom of the keyboard, you’ll find six rubber pads that do an excellent job of holding the keyboard tight to the surface. If needed for comfort, you’ll also find two pop-out risers at the bottom for tilting purposes, along with the option to install the wrist rest bracket.
In order to fully utilize all the features this keyboard offers, you’ll need to install the included software. There is no real trick to getting it installed, except for checking the Tt eSPORTS website for the latest version. While you’re at it, grab the latest firmware too! Once the software is installed, you will find everything you need to setup all three profiles and the abundance of macro keys. There is also a tab you can press that will give you control of the lighting effects. The four lighting options let you choose which lights come on and how bright they illuminate. You can also accomplish lighting adjustments by using the lighting key on the keyboard, which is just below the media keys.
In a nutshell, the software is intuitive and very easy to use and understand. Best of all, everything works as intended!
If you’ve been thinking about getting a mechanical keyboard, a little research on your part can help you determine which Cherry Mechanical Switch might be the best for you. Popular choices include black, brown, clear, blue, and red. All of them offer a different feel and noise level. The red switches used in today’s review sample are considered to be a popular gaming switch. They have a lighter force required to activate then say the black switch, which is also considered a popular gaming switch. The linear red switches have a non-tactile, undetectable switching point that provides a smooth feel as you work with the keys. I found each key stroke to be precise and present a satisfying feeling as you’re typing or gaming. While the keyboard will be louder than a standard non-mechanical type, the use of red switches keep it from being annoyingly so. The anti-ghosting feature works remarkably well too, and never once did I encounter any ghosting issues – try as I might! I enjoyed the fact that only the most used gaming keys are illuminated, especially in a darker environment where they become easily identifiable.
For productivity tasks, you could use one of the profiles to setup hot keys for launching programs or files that you work with often. So, you’ll find the keyboard not only to the gamers liking, but its versatility carries over to other computer uses as well.
Certainly, not everyone is going to like the same feel that a particular mechanical keyboard offers, especially where gaming is concerned. However, after researching the different switch types, if you find that red switches most accurately match the feel you’re after, then you’ll be pleased with the feel of this keyboard.
As is the case with most gaming mechanical keyboards, you can expect to pay upwards of $100 or more. Such is the case with the Tt eSPORTS G-Unit Red Switch Edition as well. This keyboard retails for $129.99, but can be had for $99.99 at TigerDirect. At that price point, it’s right in line with other upper-end mechanical gaming keyboards. The MEKA G-Unit Red Switch Edition Mechanical Keyboard is a well rounded offering from Tt eSPORTS that is versatile enough for hardcore gamers or general day-to-day use. The software is easy enough to use and has everything you need to get the most from this keyboard. In the end, we have a well priced mechanical keyboard that offers the features and accompanying software that’s expected of a higher-end gaming keyboard.