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