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SteelSeries Shift Gaming Keyboard Review

There are literally thousands of different keyboards on the market today, from the basic QWERTY entry system with absolutely no bells and whistles to the ergonomically designed, RSI-preventing luxury models. There are keyboards designed to take a lot of punishment and there are keyboards that look and feel like those you might be more used to on a laptop. And then there are SteelSeries keyboards. If you are looking for a keyboard packed full of features, and completely custom designed to make your life as a gamer easier, then the SteelSeries Shift is the model for you.

The Shift comes complete with handy media keys easily accessible on the left hand side of the board, along with eight macro keys running along the top. With three layer keys in place for these macro buttons, you can actually program in up to 24 instant actions using these simple keys at the top of your new keyboard. The rear of the board also features two separate USB ports and headphone and microphone jacks to save scrambling around at the back of your PC when you want to hook up additional gaming peripherals.

And that’s not all. Adjustable tilt provides three different height settings to allow you to customise your keyboard to be comfortable in your own gaming environment. Research has even been conducted by the developers into how often you press certain keys in certain situations. For example, when playing a game you may use the W, A, S and D keys more prevalently than many others; in these games your keyboard will recognise this usage and will require less pressure on those specific keys, saving your fingers from unnecessary strain. Even the rubber domes that your keyboard rests upon have been specially formulated to enhance the life of the keyboard, upping the number of keystrokes from the usual 1 to 5 million that custom boards can provide, to a whopping 15 million.

And that’s still not all! We haven’t even touched on the primary advantage of the SteelSeries Shift keyboard; its removable keysets. Basically this functionality allows you to simply pull off and fold away the keys of your keyboard, ready to replace them with one specifically designed for your game of choice. If you are a big MMO player, for example, you can quickly and easily install a custom keyboard for MMO games, without having to purchase the whole keyboard unit, just a new (and much cheaper) keyset.

If you happen to be an expert on all things keyboard, you may have noticed that this ability in the Shift keyboard sounds decidedly similar to that of the Zboards, also from SteelSeries. And you would be right! The concept of the Zboard and the Shift is essentially the same; however the new Shift keyboard is a complete overhaul of the Zboard, with improved performance in almost every area. If you are already the owner of a SteelSeries Zboard you may be concerned about upgrading to this latest model, particularly if you have already forked out significant amounts of cash for individual keysets. There is absolutely no need to worry about that though, as any Zboard keysets can fit just as perfectly in place on the Shift, so all you need is the new base unit.

As a PC gamer a SteelSeries Shift keyboard can really help to enhance your gaming performance, and simply make it easier to enjoy a range of different games with the ability to instantly click one of the macro buttons to access a menu item, or perform a task that would generally take several keystrokes. With easy to program software you could even find yourself creating macros for all of your other favourite programs on the computer. You really need not look any further for a decent gaming keyboard than the SteelSeries Shift; it contains everything that you could possibly need.

9 / 10

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