We have reviewed a few items from Venom at Darkworld Gaming, the vibration headset and licensed controller immediately spring to mind, we are always impressed at the amount of features for the extremely competitive pricing. Venom were founded in 1999 and have built up a good reputation with their range of console accessories including charging stations, controllers, arcade sticks and many more. As of 2015 Venom started to make moves into the PC market with its PC Pro line. We are reviewing the Venom PC Pro Warrior Keyboard, and putting it through its paces.
The packaging is what we expect of a good gaming keyboard. A mixture of glossy and Matt materials give the packaging a somewhat ‘premium’ appearance. It uses Venoms branding lightly and its standard red & black colours. The packaging feature some nifty hexagons in the bottom left corner that list the features the keyboard has including Mechanical switches, Colour matched gaming keys, water resistance, Macro keys and backlighting. On the rear of the packaging it goes into a bit more detail on the features in various languages (Including English, French, German, Italian, Spanish & Dutch)
Opening the box, reveals the keyboard, an instruction manual and a wrist rest, the wrist rest is worth a special mention as with the gaming surface we reviewed, ergonomically speaking this is a well thought out addition although you will find that it’s more like a palm rest due to the narrow width, this is a common issue across many keyboards, it does however leave your wrists in a good position when typing and that is all you should want and need from the rest.
The Venom PC Pro Warrior Keyboard:
The best way to start is to address the elephant in the room and discuss the switches, there is very little information on the switch type used for this Keyboard, experienced PC gamers tend to spend hours researching before purchasing there keyboards, for example the Corsair K70 & K95 range feature an astonishing range of information, sadly not so much for this one. If we look at Venoms description it states:
“Mechanical shaft keys with liquid silicon generating mechanical resilience with a lubricated key stroke feel”
It’s difficult to explain the type of key it compares to, some other reviewers have mentioned Kalih Blue, to me it’s a halfway house between Cherry Red and Cherry Brown switches but with slightly less noise, the truth being, without any switch data from Venom, it is a case of personal opinion. Venom have stated they anticipate around 58,000,000 key presses before failure, which if correct is impressive.
Moving on from that the keyboard has a standard QWERTY layout, with number pad and additional macro keys down the left hand side. Venom continue the red and black theme with a lower section in red plastic and a black metallic surround that gives the device some sturdiness and weight, I assume the metal to do be steel rather than the brushed aluminium on some high end Corsair or Logitech boards.
There are 4 macro keys and 1 record key on the left, the macro keys are capable of storing up to 20 keystrokes over a 30 second period. Recording a macro is simply a case of pushing the ‘REC’ key followed by the macro key of your choice, when finished push ‘REC’ again to end. There is a handy indicator LED under the volume control that will light when you’re recording.
Remaining on the subject of keys, all F keys serve additional purposes ranging from the usual Skip, rewind, play/pause to opening web browser and calculator. FN+F11 will lock the keyboard which is unusual, but a welcome additional to those with cats or toddlers that always want to touch the keyboard while you’re working or gaming (Or tricking a friend maybe??).
For volume control there are 2 options, it’s included in the F Keys but you also have a volume wheel in the top right hand corner, this doesn’t spin round but instead will move very slightly to left and right and return to centre when you have finished, it does its job well, even if a little crude in its haptic feedback.
LED lighting is present with the choice of 3 different colours and varying brightness. Colour variations are Red, Blue and Purple, this can be set with LED key so you have continuous display of just one colour or have it fade in and out of a combination of the 3. Brightness has 4 varying settings which are controlled by FN+PG UP or PG DN respectively. One downside to all these fancy lighting effects though is that the key caps are solid, pad printed plastic, in layman’s terms don’t expect to see the keys at night (The W,A,S,D, Cursor and Macro keys will be recognised as the key cap is a different colour). If you can touch type like me then this will have no impact at all. Apologies for the image quality but you can see the difference in lighting below:
One quick point that is worth mentioning though; is the key caps are removable and Cherry caps do appear to fit with a small amount of persuasion. It probably won’t solve the issue around keys lighting up though as the LEDs appear to be balanced rather than per key, but if you want to change it around a bit, that option is available to you.
The USB cable is braided in Red and Black as we have noticed before on other Venom products, there is a gold plated USB for connection to the PC, there is no USB pass through however that is justifiable due to it’s price point.
The keyboard would be an ideal entry level product for new and younger gamers that would want to try a mechanical keyboard before spending out large amounts of cash. For its price point it has features that you would expect to see on high end devices, the Macro keys are a good example of this, The lack of information regarding the switches is going to deter the more experienced gamers out there from looking at this I suspect. The attention to detail is good, the volume rocker, braided cable and gold USB connection and the various lighting effects are all testament to the efforts of Venom. It’s just a tad on the heavy side, with the weight undoubtedly coming from that metal surround, but at least you know it won’t be going anywhere once it’s set up on your desk. For the money you can’t really go wrong with this, it is a good product with an attractive price.