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Old 04-05-2012, 02:18 AM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Default Max Keyboard Nighthawk X9

Max Keyboard Nighthawk X9 Review
Be forewarned: These were not taken with a high quality camera...



First Impressions:

Coming from a Saitek III Eclipse, the keys on the Nighthawk X9 feel much, much better. The spacebar presses evenly when pressed from the side. The keys give a much more satisfying spring back after being pressed.

The keyboard comes with a memory foam wrist rest, which is a definite plus.



The keys are made out of a semi-soft rubber. Not quite a plastic feeling. It makes the keys easy to "grip" so to speak.

Design:
To some, the lack of dedicated hotkeys detracts from a keyboard at this pricepoint. For others like myself, this is "design". It has a very minimalistic look to it. It is simply a keyboard and performs that job very well. It might bother a few people so it's worth mentioning: The Windows key isn't a Windows key. It's some sort of weird snake looking key:



The keys are evenly backlit. There is a slight glow around the keys. To change the backlight level, the user must press the Fn key to the right of the spacebar and hit either 8 or 5 to increase or decrease backlighting, respectively. There are four backlighting levels: Off, Low, Meduim, High, and Pulse. The pulse slowly dims and brightens the lights. It looks nice.



As a comparison for those of you who have Saitek keyboards: The backlighting is a little brighter than a Saitek. For those of you with G510's.. This backlight blows it out of the water. I've never used a G110, but I assume it's very similar.

This keyboard has some heft to it. It isn't as heavy as some other mechanical keboards out there, but is definitely heavier than my Saitek III, which isn't a bad thing.

Typing / Gaming:
Something that has me surprised: I have found this keyboard to be quieter when gaming than my old Saitek III. When typing, they are at about the same noise level. The keys do not have to be pressed fully to be detected, which is more of a plus than a minus. It keeps the board quiet as well as having a faster reaction time than a traditional membrane keyboard. However, I have found myself inadvertently pressing a key because the keys detect being pressed with so little pressure.

Regarding N-key rollover: I've seen the company say two things about it: The keyboard has full N-key rollover on USB and (on the box), the keyboard has 6-key rollover on USB. I used this software to test:

Microsoft Applied Sciences Group

The keyboard does in fact have full N-key rollover on USB. For those of you who do not know what N-key rollover means, it simply refers to the number of keys being pressed down simultaneously. If a keyboard has 6-key rollover, no more than 6 keys can be pressed at a time. Some keyboards segment these out, meaning only a certain area of the keyboard has N-key rollover while others have 6-key rollover.

Software:
The software can be downloaded from Max Keyboards website here, along with a manual and a brochure.
Support :: Download - Max keyboard Nighthawk X8 and X9 Backlit Programmable Mechanical Keyboard

The software is very basic and makes it almost effortless to set your macros.

First, you click M1 - M7 at the bottom. Then, select which key (any key you want.. It could be your space bar for all it cares) you want to bind it to. Then, you select what you want it to do from the list, as seen in the screen shot:



Verdict:
Those of you looking for a mechanical keyboard, take a serious look at either the Nighthawk X8 (blue) or the X9 (red). Where it doesn't have dedicated macro keys, it makes up for it in design and overall quality. It's the best keyboard I've purchased hands down.

This is my first review.. Hope you like it
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Old 05-24-2012, 09:42 PM   #2 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Max Keyboard Nighthawk X9

UPDATE MAY 24 2012:

The backlight went out

HOWEVER.

I have been talking with a representative from the company and here's what he had to say!

Quote:
Thank you for your detailed information.
Basically everything works but not the backlight.
We will replace it for you and take the keyboard back from you to diagnose the causes for all the backlight LED to failed all at once.

Here is what we will do:
1) We will send a replacement keyboard (Nighthawk X9 keyboard only)
2) UPS return label will be included for you to ship the old keyboard back to us.
3) Simply swap out the new keyboard when you receive it and use the included UPS label to send the keyboard back to us.
4) On your new keyboard, you can customize up to 12 custom LEDs as a gift from us. Customize Keyboard :: Max Keyboard Nighthawk X9 Semi Custom Backlit Mechanical Keyboard - Max keyboard Nighthawk X8 and X9 Backlit Programmable Mechanical Keyboard
5) Please let us know your mailing address.

Thank you and please let me know if I could assist you further.

Regards,
Jerry
Max Keyboard
Fantastic customer support.
This entire email exchange took no more than half an hour.

UPDATE 2:
Quote:
Thank you very much ! I've got a chance to speak with our marketing manager regarding your issue and he has agreed to include a custom keycap set + key cap puller and our signature cable strap together with your replacement keyboard.

Thank you again

Regards,
Jerry
Max Keyboard


excellent customer support
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Old 07-26-2012, 11:53 AM   #3 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Max Keyboard Nighthawk X9

UPDATE: Second keyboard went out today..... I have contacted customer support again, and will update when I can.

UPDATE 2:

They are shipping me a new one, sweet.
Now.. I'm assuming this is a problem on my end. I'm going to go through my settings and see if anything is a bit off.
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Old 08-31-2012, 10:03 PM   #4 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Max Keyboard Nighthawk X9

An update to my updates I haven't posted:
Apparently it's my computer causing it to go out.
When the keyboard is running on the third (highest) brightness, it's pulling the max power rating from USB 2 ports.. What they say caused it was my computer "overpowering" it.

Ever since I got the new replacement I've kept it on the second brightness level.. No problems yet. Will update if something occurs.
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Old 11-10-2012, 03:42 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Max Keyboard Nighthawk X9

Nice review and it's nice to see you're keeping up with the thread. I'll definitely remember to put it on the second level of brightness if I ever decide to snag one up.
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Old 02-01-2013, 01:41 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Max Keyboard Nighthawk X9

How would you compare these to the Ducky keyboards?
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Old 02-06-2013, 12:28 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Max Keyboard Nighthawk X9

I would have that set so that when you press the windows key it opens up a dreamcast emulator
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Old 02-06-2013, 10:42 AM   #8 (permalink)
 
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by TTGSteve View Post
Nice review and it's nice to see you're keeping up with the thread. I'll definitely remember to put it on the second level of brightness if I ever decide to snag one up.
After using it on the second level for so long I don't think I can use the third.. It's so bright. It's still working on that second level though, so I'm 100% happy with it

Quote:
Originally Posted by SirMarcavisSinclair View Post
How would you compare these to the Ducky keyboards?
Sadly I've never owned nor used a Ducky keyboard so I can't comment

Quote:
Originally Posted by Frosty is a Snowman View Post
I would have that set so that when you press the windows key it opens up a dreamcast emulator
I never thought of that
They have key caps for the ESC key.. Which sadly don't (properly) fit on the Windows key. Otherwise the Windows key would probably be the key cap they sell that has flames on it
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Old 04-20-2013, 08:00 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Max Keyboard Nighthawk X9

Nice review, but yeah, you're right, that's not the best camera Dat noise.
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Old 04-20-2013, 10:12 PM   #10 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Max Keyboard Nighthawk X9

If I recall correctly it was taken with my old Motorola Atrix.. Not my best phone
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