View Full Version : My Saitek Eclipse Keyboard [Review]

Pages : [1] 2 3 4

04-14-05, 03:07 PM
Not to be confused with the popular Saitek Gamers Keyboard with the extra keypad, the Saitek Eclipse keyboard is a newer offering that sports actual translucent keys without the extra keypad. What is nice about this is that it requires no additional software to install (and then always have to run in the background). Just plug and play.

Gamers Keyboard w/ Pad:

Eclipse Keyboard:

The Eclipse is a bit harder to find but searching the net I was able to find various vendors selling it from $42-$60 + applicable tax/shipping. Some of the vendors carrying it were lesser know to me so I opted to order from Circuit City online. Total was $64.

Any of the images below can be clicked for a larger view.

Eclipse Keyboard boxshot:
http://www.mudcrutchfarm.com/graphics/saitek/t1.jpg (http://www.mudcrutchfarm.com/graphics/saitek/1.jpg)

Box open:
http://www.mudcrutchfarm.com/graphics/saitek/t2.jpg (http://www.mudcrutchfarm.com/graphics/saitek/2.jpg)


- Wired Keyboard (USB only)
- Warranty: Parts and Labor 12 months
- Extended Keyboard with volume controls and light control. (dim/bright/off)
- Backlit keyboard with translucent keys.
- Adjustable wristpad
- Zero slope design

They keyboard is slightly larger then a standard keyboard. This is a slight consideration if you are cramped for keyboard space. For instance, if you have a slide-out keyboard shelf and share it with a mouse, etc.

http://www.mudcrutchfarm.com/graphics/saitek/t3.jpg (http://www.mudcrutchfarm.com/graphics/saitek/3.jpg)

The keyboard has a sleek feel to it and the keys are quiter than the average keyboard. But why get a backlit keyboard? It really comes down to personal preference. Some like playing games in the dark and need to see the board often without hunting around. Personally, my girlfriend stays over often and she goes to bed before I do. My computer is in my room so I needed a way to keep the lights off and still be able to hotkey commands in various games on the fly. Even though I can type without looking, those custom hotkeys can be tricky in the dark.


Setup was easy. Just snap in the wristpad and plug into your computer. Windows XP recognizes it and installs it without a hitch. You are then ready to go. The sound buttons work right away and the light button adjusts the keyboards brightness: Bright, dim, or off.

Using the keyboard is pretty cool. It provides less strain on your hands/wrists and is easy to look at:

http://www.mudcrutchfarm.com/graphics/saitek/t4.jpg (http://www.mudcrutchfarm.com/graphics/saitek/4.jpg)

http://www.mudcrutchfarm.com/graphics/saitek/t5.jpg (http://www.mudcrutchfarm.com/graphics/saitek/5.jpg)


- Easy setup
- Comfortable design
- Translucent keys


- Slightly larger size than necessary
- At a normal viewing angle the top F keys can still be hard to read. The board is brightest looking directly down on it.
- Price
- No ps/2 capability
- Could be brighter

04-14-05, 11:07 PM
Hmm, that looks interesting.

04-14-05, 11:17 PM
Nice review! I spotted one at the local Fry's recently. I was glad to see that it is the same as their previous offering (which I love) but the translucent keys seem to be a nice improvement. Silver keys on the black is a cool touch as well.

04-14-05, 11:33 PM
how is the responce when playing games? and i never did no what zero slope is?

04-15-05, 12:07 AM
Hey, nice review! Really looks good with the lighted keys. :)

Glad they did not change the keyboard as I really like mine.

04-15-05, 02:27 AM
thanks for the comments...

to answer this question:

how is the responce when playing games? and i never did no what zero slope is?

response time is good. i played some rts games and counter-strike and it was fine. it doesnt read your mind or anything though.. :)

and zero slope -- from what i can tell some keyboards have a gentle slope like a ski jump. this board is pretty flat although you can "tilt" it by using rear flip pegs.

04-15-05, 08:25 AM
Thanks for the review, my local Circuit City has them in stock and have been eying one for some time now. Just wondered why you listed the pice as a con as it seems to me that the MSRP at 59.99 is about "right". Agreed I would love to pay less..but thats because I am a cheap.... :)

04-15-05, 09:06 AM
Good review mate :thumbsup:

04-15-05, 10:44 AM
Thanks for the review, my local Circuit City has them in stock and have been eying one for some time now. Just wondered why you listed the pice as a con as it seems to me that the MSRP at 59.99 is about "right". Agreed I would love to pay less..but thats because I am a cheap.... :)

Price is subjective to your bank account I guess... :) I am in college so anything that costs over $1 is a con.. lol...

But honestly I will tell you why the price is a "con." And that is that you get a decent backlit keyboard but thats it. They don't throw in any icing on the cake. Theres no bundled software (hell, throw in an old copy of mavis beacon teaches typing or even Mario teaches typing. remember that one? haha.)

Throw in a clear protective covering for it because this is NOT the keyboard you want to spill your Mountain Dew in... or make the case out of aluminum. SOMEthing to justify the higher price point.

Anyway... maybe I'm being EXTREMELY picky but I rarely get something hot from the manufacturer so I threw up a review for people considering a board like this...

overall I am very pleased with the keyboard -- 8.8/10 I would say.

04-15-05, 11:40 AM
how is the responce when playing games? and i never did no what zero slope is?
I've used a ton of keyboards and the Saitek I have (the model just like this but without the translucent key chars) is my favorite by far. The zero slope is all the rage now, supposedly more ergodynamic (remember all the split keyboards a few years back with the whacky concave/convex arches...I wonder what happened to that theory). At any rate, this is a very responsive and comfortable keyboard. It is a bit on the larger side as keyboards go but that's about the only negative IMO.

04-15-05, 11:44 AM
Nice review. Looks like Saitek addressed the concerns about the actual keys/letters not being backlit, and they made it look cooler in the process. It doesn't look like they reduced the size at all. Plus, for me, I don't like the sort of "half-size" function keys. I have fat fingers and anything less than a standard, full-size F-key will cause problems when I need to quick save/load games.

04-15-05, 11:49 AM
@saturnotaku: Did you get a bigger desk? I thought the Saitek was too big for your desk...or...maybe that was Sazar. Don't make an old fart joke, I'm not 30 just yet. :D

04-15-05, 07:18 PM
I would totally go for a Saitek keyboard but only problem for me would be that there is no volume dial control on the top like Logitech elite keyboards. I use that lotz lotz for my surround sound setup in my room :D. Otherwise, I would be all over this keyboard, looks awesome!. BTW, thanks for the review Mud...

04-15-05, 08:22 PM
if its anything like the saitek gamer, which it sounds like it is the exact same minus the extra keypad and the lettering is tran****ent vs paint on..

then its an excellent keyboard.. i love my saitek gamer.. great key response..

the shape of the keyboard actually provides a perfect fit onto my KellyRest keyboard stand that locks it into position without the need for clamping it..

04-16-05, 05:42 PM
I picked one up today. So far very very nice.

04-16-05, 09:40 PM
I too picked up a Saitek Eclipse keyboard today. Yes, the lighted keys are just what I was looking for along with an excellent keystroke.

04-16-05, 10:44 PM
Ditto. Got mine @ BB.

04-17-05, 05:28 PM
Mine came in Friday from Amazon (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/B0007TJ7TE/qid=1113776129/sr=8-16/ref=sr_8_xs_ap_i4_xgl23/002-7010392-8980014?v=glance&s=electronics&n=507846) it was $39.99.

For some reason when I press F8 to go into safe mode, I can't use the arrows to scroll through any of the options. Like, safe mode, last known good config, or start windows normally. I have to use a keyboard with a PS/2 connector. I have USB keyboard enabled in the BIOS, but still no luck. :confused:

04-23-05, 07:00 PM
Related thread about the gamer keyboard variant.

11-28-04, post 28
For the "cool factor" I would like to see a keyboard like this with translucent characters though. :cool:

11-28-04, post 29
i guess this is where the ultra-uber-kewl mod-squad would purchase the keyboard only to be able to mod it to display the keys in the manner you suggest...

12-03-04 - same thread, post 38
Surgical precision and a low speed dremel tool could carve out the letter on each key to let the light shine through.

Of course that would also let dirt and oils IN and this would only be effective if the entire pallete under the keys is lit and not just a thin-line between the keys like some old school EL-wire mods.

Well I guess the entire pallete is illuminated.

Now, enter the modder with some deep pockets who will buy both keyboards and put all the eclipse keys on the gamer keyboard so you get the see-through keys and the gamer pad :D

Or the shady modder who will do that, but return the cannibalised keyboard to the store and say it has a manufacturing defect :angel:

http://moddershq.net/reviews.asp?reviewid=96 Has a side...well over/under shot of the two keyboards. So the rich/shady idea is feasible.... :cool:

04-23-05, 11:17 PM
I purchased one of these keyboards a while ago and have been enjoying it ever since. The one thing I found is that the letters on the keys are not the standard font used on most keyboards. Saitek used sort of a comic sans style font. If you are the type of person that looks at the keyboard when you type then you might find it a bit difficult to figure some of the key out. Other then that this is a very nice product. I recommend it. :thumbsup:

04-23-05, 11:23 PM
Good read!

04-23-05, 11:42 PM

are these keyboards QUIET? I have had a Logi, and MS and both suck for noise level when typing. My current MS Internet Pro makes a god aweful noise when pressing the space bar.

I used a gateway keyboard once, and it was whisper quiet, never been able to find that keyboard since! I want/NEED a quiet keyboard (this one is so loud, I can wake people up that is close to me)

04-24-05, 01:06 AM
Nice one. I went into the local Fry's last week looking for one and they only had the older one.

I am still holding out hope they will come out with a wireless Eclipse style board but if not soon, I might just use my current logitech for my laptop and get an Eclipse for my gaming needs :)

04-24-05, 08:57 AM
Looks like a good keyboard. I've been using my IBM "Stealth" or whatever they called it for along time, and I think its time I purchased a new one.

Here is a link to a review with some great pictures : ModdersHQ (http://moddershq.net/reviews.asp?reviewid=96&pagenumber=3)

The best price I've seen for it is just under 40 bucks. They go as high as 60 (not sure why, but I guess people will pay what they will think something is worth)

-- jolt

04-24-05, 09:41 AM
i just ordered one from thenerds.net last night for $39. i'll post how it works out when i get it.