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Speedlink Ultor Gaming Keyboard Review

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Small but perfectly formed!

by Greg Hook Sep 13, 2016

  • Gaming review

    1
    1,518

    Speedlink Ultor Gaming Keyboard Review
    SRP: £84.00

    What is the Speedlink Ultor Illuminated Mechanical Gaming Keyboard?

    For PC gamers, there are several key components that can make a huge difference to the overall gaming enjoyment and can give them that all important edge in fast-paced games such as the Battlefield and the Call of Duty Series, where being quickest is often the key to survival. A low input lag monitor, a decent headset is important as is a good quality mouse with plenty of side buttons but probably the device you will use the most and find the most benefit from paying a little extra for is the keyboard.

    Mechanical keyboards will, for those of a certain age, be remembered fondly as those loud annoyances that came with early IBM systems and found in the early computerised office but more recently they have been targeted at PC gamers. Whether a mechanical keyboard actually gives you an edge over a non-mechanical one remains to be seen, but they are now widely available from the likes of Corsair, Thermaltake and Razor offering many different key types and programmable colours. Another player in the gaming keyboard market is Speedlink and for review here is their £77 Ultor Illuminated Mechanical Gaming Keyboard. This comes with Red Kailh switches, 2 colour lighting, macro keys and an aluminium body. Read on to see how it performs...

    Design

    The first thing that grabbed our attention was how small and lightweight the keyboard was. It’s a TKL layout (tenkeyless) and frameless which gives it a very small footprint of 350 x 122mm and just 33mm thick. So if you are stuck for space on your desk or want something that is very portable it should tick those boxes and is also lightweight at just 658g. The keyboard's aluminium base is painted in a rather nice red metallic effect and despite the underside being plastic it still feels well built and doesn’t move about when in place. A 1.7m red/black braided USB cable finishes off the look.
    Speedlink Ultor Design
    The specifications claim the keyboard has customisable LED illumination and whilst that technically is correct, all you can actually do is change the brightness of the keys in 10% increments and activate one other setting which gives a weird breathing style effect. The majority of the keys have a blue LED backlighting save for the arrow keys, WASD keys and the Prt Sc key which all have a white backlighting. The backlighting colour cannot be changed. The white to the WASD keys does make them stand out and easy to find quickly.

    A Fn key is also included for various quick operations such as changing the USB polling rate, media functions, activating gaming mode and changing the lighting effects. The WASD and arrow keys are also removable if you want to swap them about which is finalised via the Fn + Windows Key if you prefer that style of layout.
    Speedlink Ultor Design
    The key caps are made of plastic but it’s underneath where all the magic happens. The key switches are red mechanical Kaihua Kailh linear types which it claims are optimised for gaming. Whilst not being as noisy as the blue and brown switches it’s definitely louder than a non-mechanical keyboard. So if you plan on doing some late night gaming with someone asleep in a room nearby you may well get some comments to quieten down. The keyboard also includes anti ghosting N-key rollover.

    Software and Features

    A customisable keyboard is no good at all if it isn’t backed up by easy to use and feature rich software and thankfully the Ultor includes all you need to configure the keyboard to suit your exact requirements. It’s not the nicest to look at and the interface could do with being much larger but it has everything you need. The main screen within the software allows you to customise almost every key excluding the F keys, Scr Lock, Prt Sc and the six M keys. So if you want the T key to actually be an S then so be it. Within this screen you also have up to 5 gaming profiles which are triggered by the loading of a program. So if you want a different layout when playing Battlefield 1 than you do for Sims 4, just add the BF1 executable to the profile and it will change as soon as you load the game up.
    Speedlink Ultor Software and Features
    Speedlink Ultor Software and Features
    The macro tab allows you to assign macros to the 6 macro keys found on the right of the keyboard. Each of these keys can be assigned a customised macro or just a standard function such as opening your email program, browser or switching to the desktop. The macros are also independent to each gaming profile, so you can have different macros setup to each profile. Finally, the advanced tab allows you to change the USB polling rate, turn the Windows key on and off, change the key response time and the backlighting intensity.
    Speedlink Ultor Software and Features

    How does it feel?

    Overall the keyboard is very comfortable to use. The smaller footprint does take a little getting used to as the lack of a wrist rest and somewhere to rest our hand to the left of the keyboard where you would usually have a frame caused us a few problems initially but we soon got over it. For general typing the keyboard performed very well with all the red Kailh switches feeling very responsive and the amount of force required to register seemed even across the board. We had no issues with missed key presses or similar.
    Speedlink Ultor How does it feel?
    It’s gamers that this keyboard is truly aimed at and on AVForums a mechanical keyboard is a common item for many now. It’s a completely personal preference as to whether you prefer the tactile blue or brown or as with the Ultor the linear red, but our preference is definitely for red. Whilst it unfortunately hasn’t released any previously hidden elite gaming skills as you can’t create any where none exist, we did find it a more enjoyable experience than our existing non-mechanical keyboard.

    Conclusion

    7
    AVForumsSCORE
    OUT OF
    10

    Pros

    • Compact TKL design
    • Good features
    • Red Kailh switches

    Cons

    • Back-lighting colour can't be changed
    • Would prefer macro keys on the left side
    You own this Total 0
    You want this Total 0
    You had this Total 0

    Speedlink Ultor Gaming Keyboard Review

    Should I buy the one?

    For £77 the Speedlink Ultor Illuminated Mechanical Gaming Keyboard ticks a lot of boxes for anyone building a PC gaming rig. It’s well designed, feels well built and looks the part. Along with being very comfortable to use and having very responsive red Kailh switches with a decent blue and white backlighting. The easy to use, yet basic, software allows for full customisation and recording of macros along with setting up of gaming profiles.

    What alternatives are available?

    The £80 price point is a fairly crowded one for mechanical keyboards with several offerings from Corsair such as their £75 Vengeance K95 which uses red switches and offers similar features but includes more macro keys and full NUM keys or Thermaltake’s eSports Poseidon Z with brown switches and also includes full RGB customisable backlighting. Given all of the above the Ultor Mechanical Gaming Keyboard is certainly one that is worthy of consideration.


    The Rundown

    Build Quality

    8

    Features

    7

    Performance

    8

    Value for Money

    7

    Verdict

    7

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