Thermaltake is at it again with yet another addition to its mechanical gaming keyboard lineup. The Meka series from Thermaltake is the lineup of gaming themed keyboards. Most have illuminated keys, macros, or other gaming related functions. The G-Unit model comes in three different flavors: black, green, and white. In this review we will be looking closely at the black edition.
At a glance, the Meka G-Unit appears to come with almost every feature a gamer would want. First, this keyboard makes use of Cherry MX Black switches which are considered to be the best switch type for gaming. It is also fully illuminated, equipped with twelve customizable macro keys, and includes a built in palm rest to keep you hand relaxed while gaming.
There are many advantages of mechanical keyboards over typical membrane style keyboards. The biggest advantage is the durability of the switches. Mechanical keyboards will long outlast the typical style. There are also several switch styles which can be tailored to each users’ individual needs. We will be going over these types of switches later on in the review. Mechanical keys also do not need to be bottomed out in order for the keystroke to engage. This increases accuracy in typing and response time during gaming.
With that being said, lets see how well the Thermaltake Meka G-Unit keeps up with the pack!
Features and Specifications
Like we mentioned earlier, there are a lot of features packed into the Thermaltake Meka G-Unit keyboard. Obviously with the macros and the Cherry MX black switches, this keyboard should appeal greatly to the gaming crowd. With that in mind, lets take a look at some of the features and specs this keyboard offers. The following information was pulled from the thermaltake Tt-esports website.
104 keys including up to 60 programmable storage macro keys allow you to never miss the action.
The MEKA G-Unit’s Instant-Switch-System (I.S.S.) allows for seamless transitions between gaming profiles for macro key adjustments.
Cherry MX Black Switches
Built for comfort and durability, the Cherry Black switches on the MEKA G-Unit are set to last for 50 million keystrokes.
Easily-accessible media keys for your music use are located on the top right of the keyboard.
|MEMBRANE, MECHANICAL, PLUNGER||MECHANICAL|
|ON-BOARD FAN DEVICE||X|
|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||O|
|SMART CABLE MANAGEMENT||O|
|USB CABLE DETACHABLE||O|
|ON-BOARD USB PORT||2|
|KEYSTROKE LIFECYCLE||50 MILLION|
|CABLE LENGTH||1.8M BRAIDED|
|DIMENSION (LXWXH)||553 X 271 X 70MM|
It should also be noted that the black Meka G-Unit mechanical keyboard comes with either black or red switches. Both black and red switches are better suited to gaming over the brown and blues. For more information on mechanical keyboard switch types, head over here for a detailed overview.
A Closer Look
We’ll start off with the packaging. Overall, the packaging of the G-Unit was done very well. While unboxing, you are greeted with a nice visual presentation which was put together nicely. The presentation provided tons of information as far as function and installation. Not only did it look nice, the keyboard was also securely packaged which should keep it from getting damaged in shipping.
The overall layout of the keyboard is great. There are twelve customizable macros on the left side of the keybaord with profile and media buttons on top. Each key is individually back-lit and the brightness can be controlled by either the keyboard’s software, or the light button on the top right of the keyboard. The palm rest can be easily attached by snapping it into place which in my opinion, using is a must.
As we mentioned before, this particular model we are reviewing is equipped with Cherry MX black switches which are believed to be the best all around switch for gaming. This is due to the zero tactile feedback upon keypress. This keyboard also comes with red switches which will not be covered in the scope of this review. Below is a shot of the switch behind the key.
On the top left side of the keyboard there are four buttons that let you change profiles as well as toggle between gaming and normal mode. Gaming mode disables the windows key. It also puts the keyboard into NKRO mode which allows almost every key on the keyboard to be pressed simultaneously as opposed to 6KRO mode which is standard to most other keyboards. Normal mode supports 6KRO will only allow 6 keys to be pressed at once.
The top right side of the keyboard has all of your media buttons.
The Meka G-Unit features a detachable USB chord which connects into the top of the keyboard. The chord is a high quality braided cable. The top side of the keyboard also has two additional USB 2.0 plugs as well as headphone jacks.
Lastly, lets take a look at the software for the Meka G-Unit. Overall it is pretty standard and easy to use. Below is a shot of the main screen which greets you upon first launch. Across the top left there are the profile selection tabs and just below that is the toggle for normal and gaming mode. Below that is a map of the keyboard which lets you configure key and macro assignments. And moving to the very left, there is the macro mapping window and the light options window.
Macro Creation Window
Light Option Window
Testing and Conclusion
Testing a keyboard is not a set and stone result as we would find with most other computer components. This is mostly because there would be more opinion-based rather than fact producing. That being said, I did test this keyboard with several games, as well as word processing. For gaming this keyboard was great. The MX black switches were amazing for games which required fast and precise key presses. The macros were also extremely useful once they were all setup. All in all, if gaming is your motivation for buying this keyboard, you won’t be disappointed. Word processing, however was not this keyboard’s strong point. Yes, it lived up to the task, but typing on these black switches was not as comfortable as it is on other keyboards.
One aspect of the Meka G-Unit which should be easy to test is the “game mode” which effectively enables NKRO mode. To test this I’ll be using a site our reviewer Jester used for testing this function in another review. This site shows a graphical representation of which key is being pressed. You can find it here.
In “Normal Mode” we see that only six keys were registered as being pressed at once. Pretty typical.
Once we enabled gaming mode, we re-ran the test and the results of the test were much different. I mashed down as many keys as I could while using my face to hit the print screen button.
Overall, the Thermaltake Meka G-Unit was an all around solid keyboard. During long gaming sessions this keyboard did not fail to deliver and was very comfortable throughout all of our tests. It’s construction is solid and the fact that it is mechanical means that it will likely last for years and years of intense gaming. The included software was intuitive and simple to use, and once all set up, your gaming experience will be all the more better.
The only drawback is the unnatural feel this keyboard has while long sessions of word processing. This review was written using this keyboard mostly as a test to see how it performed. My hands started to become tired faster than they normally would using MX Blue or Brown switches. Other that, there really isn’t too much to complain about.
- Appearance: The design aspect of this keyboard is purely opinion based so I’m going to leave it out of the score. Personally, to me the design is fine, but not my favorite. The major strong point in this category were the backlit keys. I also like that there is no glossy plastic anywhere on this keyboard. To me glossy plastic will always look dirty and requires constant cleaning. 18/20
- Construction: The Meka G-Unit’s construction feels sturdy, and incorporate mechanical keys, the overall feel of this keyboard is great. It is also heavier than most other keyboards making it feel even sturdier. The USB cable is braided thus increasing the quality factor even more. 20/20
- Performance: For gaming, this keyboard is fantastic. The MX Black switches coupled with twelve macros makes this a definate buy if you are looking for a solid gaming keyboard. For word processing, however, it is not as comfortable as some others. If you lifestyle evolves around both word processing and gaming, you may want to consider the Meka G-Unit with Cherry MX Red keys. 17/20
- Functionality: The Meka G-Unit does what it is meant to do and does it well: gaming. The “Game Mode” on the keyboard was probably my favorite feature. It disables the pesky Windows button while enabling NKRO to let you mash down as many keys as you so desire. 20/20
- Value: The current MSRP for the Meka G-Unit is $99.99. As far as full size mechanical keyboards stand, this price is pretty typical for a mid to high end gaming keyboard. Considering the features this keyboard has, I’d say that the overall value is quite good. 18/20