Element Gaming are a brand only recently discovered and they impressed not too long ago with their Xenon 700 gaming headset. This time round they’re tackling the humble keyboard via the Element Gaming Beryllium Mechanical RED Switch Gaming Keyboard.
The Beryllium keyboard itself comes in two parts, the main keyboard unit and an optional wrist rest. It has a really nice, clean design, with the keys slightly raised above the board. As the name suggests this has been designed with gamers in mind but it’s also fine for those looking to replace the bog standard basic keyboard with something a little more premium.
This is a UK layout keyboard that features a blue back light. It only has the blue colour, but features some interesting lighting options not seen before in other keyboards reviewed. As well as having all keys backlit there are options to just have the main gaming keys backlit (WASD with arrow keys and 8,4,6,2 keys), the main gaming keys plus some extras (numeric keys, enter, shift, ctrl, caps and alt) or have only the keys you press light up for a couple of seconds.
This final option doesn’t offer any real practical benefit, but it’s really cool in action, especially if you’re a quick typer!
Overall the back lighting does a good job, although there is a noticeable dimness in the numeric keys and in the function key symbols, it’s not clear if this is by design or an issue with they back light being split between two images.
The Beryllium keyboard features the usual media control function keys along the top, a Windows key lock ability and unlike typing keyboards this can register way more than the usual two or three simultaneous key presses, offering either a 6 key or n-key option. This is essential for gaming, for example when recently playing Wolfenstein: The New Order an early level has you run jumping out of an aircraft. This requires you to press W+Shift+Space to jump and on a non gaming keyboard this turned out to be impossible, they keyboard couldn’t register all the keys at once and the character ended up jumping short. Very frustrating and the cause of an entire Steam thread!
This sort of issue wouldn’t happen with a keyboard that can register many keys individually.
The Beryllium keyboard also comes with 6 replacement/alternative keys for the arrow keys and WASD keys. Instead of the traditional black these are blue in colour, also backlit, and they really stand out in a sea of black keys.
Do be aware that this sort of keyboard can be a little noisy compared to other keyboards, but that clunky nature also gives you a really tactile feeling when playing a game such as Elite Dangerous as this feels and sounds like the type of keyboard you’d have on a spacecraft.