Turtle Beach has been providing gamers with fantastic headsets for years and now they are looking to break into other aspects of the accessory market as they have just launched a few keyboards and mice specifically targeted towards gamers. I got my hands on their new IMPACT 700 mechanical gaming keyboard a few weeks ago and have been using it non-stop. With mechanical keyboards making a huge comeback over the last few years, especially with gamers, there is a ton on the market to choose from. So the real question is how does the IMPACT 700 stack up with its competitors?
The IMPACT 700 has a wide variety of features available. For starters the full-sized keyboard consists of 104 keys, each of which have laser-engraved letters giving it a very sleek design. The vast majority of mechanical keyboards use Cherry MX switches these days and the IMPACT 700 follows suit utilizing Cherry MX Brown Switches. With the MX brown switches when a key is depressed you get a nice bump known as a tactile response and is personally my preference with mechanical keyboards over the blue, red, or black switches. The IMPACT 700 has features Six-key rollover with full anti-ghosting so pretty much no matter how fast you type or how much you chimp out on your keyboard, your key presses are going to be recognized.
One incredibly nice feature is that there are two USB ports built into the keyboard itself along with green and pink audio/mic ports as pass-throughs. This allows you to connect all of your gaming peripherals to the keyboard for easy and quick setup. The IMPACT 700 connects to the PC with a nice long braided USB cable with a Velcro zip tie which makes cable management under a desk very easy and is something simple but is a very nice touch.
Unfortunately there aren’t a whole lot of customization features with this keyboard. As mentioned previously the IMPACT 700 comes equipped with Cherry MX brown switches, but you do not have the option of choosing a keyboard with blue, red, or black switches. While Cherry MX brown switches are my switch of choice, if you don’t like a tactile response and prefer a red or black switch, you are immediately out of luck with this keyboard. Additionally the keyboard has red LED back-lighting which can be toggled on and off, vary in brightness, gradually fade in and out, or even just light up the ‘WASD’ or ‘12345’ keys. Given that this is a high-end keyboard it would have been nice if the LED color could be changed and customized.
Similarly it would be been a really nice touch if they had some software to accompany the keyboard to customize which keys you want to light up or provide a custom layout with the LEDs. The Turtle Beach gaming mice that were just released have this type of software to customize the various buttons on them, change colors, and even set macros. So why not the keyboard?
Build quality is one aspect of the IMPACT 700 that really shines. This thing is clearly designed to take punishment and still fully function. The keyboard is set in a steel reinforced chassis and has a good amount of weight to it. Considering the fact that my keyboard usually just stays put at my desk, the extra weight keeps it from sliding around and gave me a sense of confidence that no matter how much I rage, my fingers are more likely to break before the keyboard does. In fact if you were to pull a ‘keyboard moment’ from the movie Wanted, I’m fairly certain that you and Aaron Hernandez will be sharing a cell together in the not too distant future.
OK let’s talk bottom line. The $199.95 MSRP price point is a little steep. Mechanical keyboards are expensive and there is no denying that. But there is a good amount of competition out there that provides more customization for 20-30% cheaper. That being said, it is still a quality keyboard that will most likely outlive you. If you look at it like an investment in your gaming future, this will most likely be the only keyboard you will ever have to buy.
I am fairly impressed by the Turtle Beach IMPACT 700 mechanical gaming keyboard. Do I wish it had some more customization options? Yes. Would it be even better if it was $40 cheaper? Yes, of course. But is it good and worth the money? Stone Cold would definitely give it a ‘Hell Yeah’ and so do I. It is a durable, quality mechanical keyboard, which is sure to meet the needs of any gamer out there.
- Solid Build Quality
- Great Tactile Feedback
- Onboard USB & Audio Passthrough
- Lack of Customization
- Steep Price