Roccat Isku FX gaming keyboard
A solid, no-nonsense keyboard aimed at gamers
- Solid and functional industrial design and build
- Easy to program macros
- Robust software
- No mechanical keys
- Inconsistent button design and lighting
The Isku FX is solid keyboard that stands out through its practical design and macro functionality. However, lack of mechanical keys and design quirks stop it from being a must have.
Price$ 95.00 (AUD)
German peripheral manufacturer Roccat has made a name for itself in gaming circles for its robust keyboards and mice, and the Isku FX is the latest addition to its keyboard portfolio. At a glance, the Isku FX features multicolour backlit keys, Easy Shift [+] functionality with 36 macro keys, eight media keys and on-the-fly macro recording. The bundled software allows for an endless amount of macro combinations and adjustment of the keyboard’s features, such as the colour of the backlight.
Sharp and angular
Mechanical keyboards are the popular choice for serious gamers due to the comfortable feel and response of the keys. Roccat has chosen to make the Isku FX membrane-based, and this fact alone may decide whether a gamer will want to have a look at it or not. Fortunately, the keys are of a high quality and do a good job of simulating a typical keyboard experience. No keys stuck, popped off or malfunctioned during testing, whether it was with a game or when typing. It will be interesting to see if Roccat incorporates mechanical keys in a future iteration of the keyboard, as that would definitely make it a more compelling choice over the competition.
The Isku FX has a two-tone black finish and features an angular design reminiscent of a Lamborghini car. The outer rim of the keyboard has a matte finish while the interior uses glossy plastic. The two-tone finish gives the keyboard a stylish look, though there is a tendency for fingerprints and scratches to be left on the glossy section. In an interesting move, Roccat has designed the Isku FX with a permanent wrist rest. Several gaming keyboards take the same route, though people who aren't accustomed to using a wrist rest will have to get used to it.
Below the space bar there are three “Thumbster” buttons which are shortcut buttons that can be programmed. The buttons are well placed and easy to activate on-the-fly with the left hand thumb. There is a macro recording button at the top-left of the keyboard, and a backlight brightness button on the right. Eight media keys are located between them. On the left side of the keyboard there is a row of five programmable keys, though their placement meant I initially would confuse the bottom key whenever I wanted to press the left Ctrl key.
The lights are on but...
The keyboard does not have a Caps Lock key and instead features an Easy Shift [+] key. This unique feature allows keys within three zones on the keyboard to be used with another preset function when activated. It's an interesting feature that increases the programmability and functionality of the keyboard, though gamers used to dedicated macro keys on other keyboards will need to train themselves to make use of this feature.Read more: Roccat Kone Pure gaming mouse
The keys are all backlit with RGB LEDs and the colour can be customised to one of 16.8 million colours. The LEDs imbue the keyboard with a nice glow in dim lighting conditions; the colouring is not as visible in a well lit room, even on the highest brightness setting. The keyboard has six levels of illumination for the keys, including the ability to turn off illumination completely, and the brightness levels can be cycled with the dedicated key that's located at the top-right of the board. Neither the media keys, nor the macro recording and brightness buttons are illuminated in the same way, which detracts somewhat from the overall consistency of the keyboard.
Next to the macro recording button, there is a row of blue LEDs that indicate which memory bank is being used. The colour of these LEDs can not be changed and the brightness is much higher than those of the QWERTY keys, which also impacts the consistency of the keyboard’s look. The Num/Scroll lock indicator, as well as the Thumbster buttons, use this same blue LED, which gives the keyboard an unbalanced look as far as colour and brightness are concerned. It would be nice if a future iteration of this keyboard addressed this.
Put to the test
The Isku FX was tested with the recently-released StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm. RTS games such as this are a perfect candidate for multiple macros, and programming the keyboard with the shortcuts was a breeze thanks to Roccat’s bundled software. Drop down menus were used to easily create my own macros, but there are also preset macros that can be used. I also tested with Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon, and it performed responsively with the game. The Isku FX has a raised bump on the W key, just like the F and J keys do, which makes it really handy during gameplay. It is particularly useful in switching between typing and putting your fingers in the WASD key position for FPS games.
All up, a solid keyboard that shines when it comes to programming macros backlighting, but the lack of mechanical keys and some inconsistencies with the design are drawbacks.
Join the PC World newsletter!
Samsung portable 1TB T3 drive
Everki ContemPRO Roll Top Laptop Backpack
Smart LED Bulb LB130
Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop
Epson EcoTank Expression ET-2500
Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive
UE Boom 2 Bluetooth speaker
Linksys AC5400 MU-MIMO Gigabit router
Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive
Huawei Mate 9
Logitech G403 Prodigy mouse
Lexar® Portable SSD
Epson WorkForce DS-360W
Google Daydream VR headset
Belkin MIXIT Metallic Lightning to USB Cable
3SIXT Ultra HD Sports Action Camera
Acer Swift 7
Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones
Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards
HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450
Dell XPS 13 laptop
Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive
HP Pavilion x360 13”
Surface Pro 4
Blade 28 backpack by Arc’teryx
Garmin Fenix Chronos smartwatch
Dell Inspiron 5000 series 2-in-1
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Huawei Mate 9 full in-depth smartphone review
- 2 ZTE Axon 7 review: Is ZTE dumping old stock on Australia?
- 3 Oppo R9s smartphone full review
- 4 Huawei Nova Plus smartphone review
- 5 Google Pixel XL full, in-depth smartphone review: Phones just got smarter
Latest News Articles
- Intel Coffee Lake 8th-gen Core processors release date rumours
- Intel's mobile future is in blazing modems as it buries Atom failure
- PC prices will continue to go up due to shortage of components
- Radeon Vega vs. GeForce GTX 1080 Ti? AMD, Nvidia announce dueling events at GDC 2017
- Toshiba's in chaos, but not quitting PCs -- yet
PCW Evaluation Team
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
- How to quit Pokemon Go (or to start enjoying it again)
- Huawei Mate 9 full in-depth smartphone review
- Time to ditch Foxtel and the iQ3: How to replace Foxtel packages with cheaper alternatives
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
- TPBusiness Analyst AO7QLD
- FTSolution Architect l MS Exchange, O365NSW
- TPAgile CoachNSW
- TPBusiness Intelligence Program ManagerVIC
- CCSolution Architect - Financial applicationsVIC
- FTWeb Developer/ReportsNSW
- TPAgile Business AnalystQLD
- FTMicrosoft ProgrammerSA
- CCBPM Technical AnalystVIC
- FTSenior Software Engineer x 2 - Positive Vetting, NV2 or NV1 required!!!!SA
- TPUI/UX ConsultantWA
- FTPre- Sales Solution ArchitectVIC
- CCData Engineer (Java/ Data/ Big Data Developer)VIC
- CCDevops Consultant - 12 month contractVIC
- TPProject Coordinator/Junior Project ManagerVIC
- CCSolution DesignerVIC
- FTMid-Level Software Engineer x 2 - Adelaide Based (PV, NV2 or NV1 required)VIC
- TPSenior Service Desk AnalystNSW
- FTMonitoring Tools Support l NimSoft , SMARTS, ehealth, TivoliNSW
- CCSAP Consultant - SAP Native HANA to DesignWA
- CCFront End DeveloperNSW
- CCSystem EngineerSA
- CCDesktop Engineer l WollongongNSW
- CCSenior Storage System Engineer -NetApp & TSMNSW
- FTSenior C# DeveloperNSW