OCZ Sabre OLED Gaming Keyboard Review

ocz-sabre

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When you see something new and innovative like an OLED (Organic Light Emitting Diode) keyboard, one can’t help but compare it to the expensive Optimus Maximus keyboard. The one feature that such a keyboard desprately needs is a drool-guard, as every technophile would hover over its beauty.  Unfortunately most of us don’t have over $1000 to lay down on a computer peripheral but still need the flexibility of such a device.

Do you remember that complicated programs used to come with “keyboard overlays”.  I remember the old WordPerfect function key overlays, which were really more of a reference-sheet than a quick guide.  Complex games with lots of functions (like MMOs) had keyboard overlays, and some keyboards like the Z-board had custom skins for popular games.  If you could change the key to be an icon then there would be no need to memorize which command corresponded to which key.


Inside this unassuming cardboard box is your destiny

Entering the customizble keyboard scene is OCZ with their OLED Gaming keyboard.  While it can’t change hard-coded letter keys, it does combine the best of both worlds by combining a standard gaming keyboard with a customizable OLED keypad.  Using such a keypad allows you to dynamically update the key label on-the-fly depending on the application or game you’re running.


Drool-guard not provided

Here’s the Marketing Fluff straight from the Fluffers…

The World’s Most Intelligent Gaming Keyboard
The Sabre’s unique combination of user-friendly functions, durability, and personalization features is the answer for serious gamers and professionals seeking improved productivity and competitiveness.

The nine dynamic OLED (Organic Light Emitting Diode) user-programmable hotkeys help manage time and efficiency while surfing the web, gaming, emailing, and CAD applications or any avenue the user sees fit. The unique OLED keys can convert any digital image or text into distinctive icons, reminding the user of the personalized shortcut. Additionally, the Sabre features blue side lighting, perfect for users that prefer darkened rooms or gamers frequenting LAN parties.


Mmmm… glowy

Exclusive Software, Unlimited Customization
The Sabre’s exclusive software turns conventional computing or gaming into an engaging, state-of-the-art experience. The software allows the user to map sets of simple or complex command tiers to each OLED and holds the power to store limitless layers of shortcuts and macros.


Each “home” command of the key can then activate a sub-grid of your favorite alt/ctrl and menu shortcuts individual to each program or application. Add additional tiers of commands and macros to each sub-layer creating infinite possibilities and increasing speed and productivity at work or during game play.

Outlast the Competition
Designed for ultra-competitive gamers, CAD professionals, and enthusiasts, the OCZ Sabre keyboard embodies a collection of their high-end needs by uniting style and comfort with the features and personalization demanded from a high-end peripheral. The Sabre features an ergonomic and high-quality design and construction with keys lasting over 5 million cycles and will remain comfortable even through prolonged usage with its clean layout, tilted design, and rubber coated keys to provide the best tactile feedback.

Specifications

Dimensions 522 (L) x 182 (W) x 31 (H) mm
Weight 2.7 pounds
Compatibility Windows XP/Vista/7 (32-bit, 64-bit)
Onboard Storage 128MB Flash Memory
Connection USB 2.0
Other Features 103 Keys
Integrated Palm Rest
One Year Warranty
5 to 10 degree tilt
Blue LED sidelighting effect
Super tactile, low-noise key feedback
Plug and Play, no drivers needed
OLED features Amber OLED key lighting
9 Dynamic User-Programmable OLED keys
Convert any digital image into OLED key icon
Organize series of complex commands with proprietary tier system
Limitless command and macro configurations
Keys change on-the-fly as you alternate between applications

On the next page we open the box and look at this beauty…