Quite a market has developed for high end mechanical gaming keyboards. Gamers, both professional and otherwise, have begun to migrate towards the tactile feedback each individual keystroke or double tap provides. With this growing market, the usual names have thrown their hats into the ring with offerings that both impress and amaze. Today I take a look at Thermaltake’s top of the pyramid offering, the Meka G-Unit Illumination Edition and see if this monster of a keyboard can tangle with its competitors.

Product Name: Meka G-Unit Illumination

Review Sample Provided By: Thermaltake

Review By: Debo

Pictures By: Debo

Specifications

Model

KB-MGU006USB

Key Switch

Cherry MX Black

Backlighting

3 individual sections; 4 levels + pause-break

Polling Rate

1000Hz/1Sec

Key Rollover

46 key anti-ghosting

Interface

USB 2.0

Macro Keys

12 fixed + 8 un-fixed with three unique profiles

Expansion Ports

2x USB 2.0, HD Audio ports

Dimensions

20.35 x 6.56 x 1.44in.

Warranty

2 Years


 

Packaging

The MEKA G-Unit’s packaging bears the red, white and black color scheme befitting any Tt Esports release along with the familiar red dragon logo. On the front face we find a glossy picture of the assembled unit to go along with a few of the flashier features the board possesses such as the 1000Hz polling rate common in most high end gaming mechanicals and the eye catching 60 macro keys. The back of the box is even more informative, offering a detailed layout of the boards features.

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Cracking open the box, we see the actual keyboard is wrapped in plastic but noticeably smaller than the overall monster of a box it comes in. Why so? The MEKA G-Unit comes filled to the brim with inclusions and accessories.

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The first things we find are the usual documentation, the Quick Install guide and the Warranty Policy along with a driver CD for the macro profiles and lighting options. As we dig deeper we come across a felt bag housing the gold-plated, braided wire USB connector and then finally at the bottom of the box we find the included travel bag capable of carrying all the pieces in one sleek package.

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Pictures and Features

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As we take a look at the Meka G-Unit on the whole there are a few things that stand out right off the bat on the left side of the board, the first being the 12 labeled macro keys. These keys are all completely programmable with the included software and all the switches are fully mechanical and controlled by the second edition that sits just above the function keys. The first button controls the keyboard’s mode setting between “Normal” and “Game”. While in “Game” mode the Windows keys will be disabled. The other three keys determine your active macro profile of which the board will store three of at any given point for a total of 36 readily accessible macros for anything and everything you may need.

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The additions on the board above the number pad are also handy. Included here are the basic media keys along with individual volume increase and decrease buttons and a mute key. The final key allows you to change between lighting profiles on the board if you want to be fancier.

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The only change I have to shake my head at is the location of the pipe (\|) key. On the Meka G-Unit it sits below the enter key between the Shift and backslash keys. This seems like an od change as while it does sever to make the Enter much larger the right-hand Shift is shrunk to the same size as the control key.

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Thermaltake has chosen to go with CherryMX Black switches as opposed to the seemingly standard Red switches found in most high end gaming mechanicals. The stiffer switch offers a more deliberate press and less of a click while still maintaining a nice response time for each single and double press.

Backlighting options abound, as you would expect, in a model given the Illumination moniker. The Meka G has several zones available to individually light through the included software. The Illumination edition also comes with four levels of backlighting brightness along with a pulse setting.

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The top of the keyboard itself boasts a bevy of connections with a pair of USB connectors as well as HD Audio ports and the keyboards own connector. Being a travel minded e-sport accessory this is quite the boon for a quick setup and teardown.

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On the bottom you find rubber grip pads meant to hold the board in place and keep it stable. Even the foldable feet have rubber in both their flat and inclined orientation which looks to be a nice touch.

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Performance

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The things that come together in the Meka G-Unit blend very well. I personally enjoy the different feel of the CherryMX Black keys even though, at first, I was skeptical. Red switches always seemed so light and quickly pressable but I have found that while using the Meka that you’re are forced to make an ever so slightly more deliberate press of a key which has resulted in far less unintentional mistaken key presses during gaming. The Black switches also make a noticeably lighter sound per press which is great while typing during Skype conversations as opposed to the usual chorus of clicking.

The backlighting is so versatile and the macros are very easy to program and use. With the board having so much memory, these profiles are stored with it and not with your PC meaning macros and lighting can come with you anywhere which is perfect for the mobile e-sport pro or even the weekend lan warrior. Which a simple press of the Alt or Ctrl keys you can instantly switch between macro profiles leaving all 36 macros readily available.

The few things that don’t work in the Meka are also easily found and can be quite annoying. As a typist you grow accustomed to a single layout and any deviations often lead to having to relearn a specific keyboard. The pipe (\|) key change is mind boggling at first and takes some getting used to before you get the feel for it.

The actual keyboard connector has also become a problem for me. While the rubber feet do keep the board on consistently stable footing I find that if I adjust the board too much the connector will loosen itself out of connection. This is doubly bad in the particular board as when the keyboard, itself becomes disconnected you also lose anything plugged into the USB ports and HD Audio jacks (typically your mouse and headphones) as well and when this happen during a game it can be infuriating.


Overall and Final Verdict

The Meka G-Unit is a nice keyboard with a few little things that differentiate it from the competitors. At first glance it may seem like the 12 macro keys are a bit short in comparison with other high end gaming keyboards but you quickly realize the Instant Switch System allows you to have up to 36 macros whenever and wherever you want them. With features for FPS, RTS, MOBA and even MMO gamers the keyboards has a nice appeal but where it really shines is mobility. The amount of connections on top of the board is very useful and keeps you front fishing wires out of the back of your PC over and over again. With the sheer amount of onboard memory all your macro and lighting profiles come with you as well, even if you aren’t at your PC.

The disconnection issue can be a hassle when it happens during a high tension moment and the modified layout takes a slight amount of getting used to but these are just the quirks that are present in an overall impressive package. The inclusion of Black switches is a nice touch and one I hope more companies choose to make in the future but as for the Meka G-Unit Illumination its stands out among the completion in any room and most certainly once the lights go out.

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Author Bio
William
Author: William
Review and Event Staff
William is the newest addition to both the Review and Event staff. Being in charge of power, hopefully you have to see very little of him during our lans. Outside of lans he can be found engaging in his unhealthy obsession with all things gaming in between writing the odd review and bothering Wes at all hours of the day. An avid gamer nearly all his life, it is common for the latest MMO release to cause him to drop off the face of the Earth for a week or two.

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Deb0's Avatar
Deb0 replied the topic: #32999 30 Sep 2013 16:45
Taking a look at Tt eSPORTS top end gaming keyboard.

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