Here we go then with a quick rundown on the Steelseries Merc Stealth gaming keyboard.
The Merc Stealth is of solid build quality and is really an out and out gamers keyboard, and many people have picked up on this, if you intend to do a lot of normal Pc work in addition to gaming then this model is probably not for you as they key layout does perform well for this mode of operation.
The layout and key placings will also take some getting used to, so your game performance may dip slightly whist you are learning this, but that is only to be expected, and once mastered it is likely your play will improve, according to various other reports it is particularly suitable for WoW.
This unit has non-mechanical keys but a heavy duty membrane which according to the makers should be good for about ten million key depressions, give superb tactility, and there are thirty four dedicated gaming ‘terrain’ keys on this unit making in-game character movement easier, these keys have an eleven degree tilt and these have been ergonomically positioned for optimum gaming results, and making it comfortable to use over extended periods.
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Such is their design and operation there is no need to worry about ghosting with multiple key presses, a maximum of seven simultaneous presses are allowed which should be adequate for most situations.
The Merc uses Z engine industry standard software, which allows for easy drag and drop macro edits and there are 125 pre-determined profile layouts. All keys can be individually programmed.
This keyboard has excellent back lighting to the keys with three different colors red, blue and purple, and four brightness levels which can be set to suit the light conditions.
Twin USB 2.0 ports are provided along with twin sockets for your microphone and headset, the makers have gone for gold-plating to ensure signal quality.
The Merc also comes with single touch multimedia controls as standard.
There have been quite a few negative comments passed about this keyboard, but a lot of these concerned damage and loose keys on delivery of the item and so objectively these have been disregarded here as it does not relate to the products direct operation, others have commented on the customer support received, sadly this is widespread in every industry, answering these emails costs money and a lot of companies only seem to do it grudgingly, I personally feel this is very bad practice and a very short-sighted policy, in a cut-throat business where a few bad reviews can go viral in hours and ruin your reputation and harm future sales.
Sorry I’ve gone off on a tangent again…..a good majority of gamers gave this keyboard top marks but were quick to point out it really is for gamers and not of much use in the office because of awkward key layout.
Merc Stealth User Ratings
- Build Quality: 4 star rating
- Performance: 4 star rating
- Key Operation: 4 star rating
- Features: 3 star rating
- Docs/Support: 3 star rating
- Low Light Score: 5 star rating
- Price: 4 star rating
- Overall Score: 4 star rating
Main Features of the Merc Stealth
- Non mechanical HD keys
- 34 dedicated game op keys
- 125 preset software profiles
- Drag and drop software macro editing
- Backlit keys with color/intensity options
- Twin USB 2.0
- Twin Microphone/headphone sockets
- Single touch multimedia controls
- Compatible with all current MMO game
- Pre-configured keys labeled for movement, communication, and emote
- Easy, intuitive drag-and-drop macro management and recording for every key
- Voice key for instant push-to-talk
- 8 keys on the right side of the keyset for custom mappings; available in 3 layers
Windows Operating Systems recommended, It may work with your Mac, but there seems to be little support, don’t risk it.
Here are some of the views of other gamers that have bought this product:
I give it full marks for Wow.
I only play Wow on my Merc and I can only say in my experience it’s the best I have ever used Steep learning curve for key layout, it will take you a while to master everything, but once you have got it down this keyboards rocks. Works straight out the box, no add-ons required as it just remaps the standard keys. Nice backlight colors or can turn off. This is the best Wow board I have ever used. Key layout means you will not need as many “ALT” binds.
The Merc Stealth exceeds its predecessor by by the addition of backlighting. Basically, it’s like stacking the keys on top of each other,you’re taking the numbers 7 to “-” and putting them on top of 1-6, It also makes the keys like r, f, g, b, t and their modifiers Alt, Ctrl, Shift easier to reach due to the layout, this makes for an awesome quantity of binds. In MMO’s such as WoW, this really can give you a big advantage.. This keyboard is also really good with FPS’s and RTS’s. This key layout does take some time to learn though, you may struggle a little to begin with but as you get the hang of it you can do some killer gameplay. using this keyboard has certainly improved my gaming. Personally I give this one a five.
I can certainly recommend this keyboard to any gamer, its built to a high standard, and is heavy with it. Comes with a 2 meter cable, also has plugs for your a sound card socket, and has its own on board jacks for headphones and There are also 2 USB ports. The game pad on the left hand side is quite intuitive in its feel, and with the Z-Engine capability, very versatile. I use my board for both MMORPG’s and FPS’ and it works great for both. The layout takes a bit of practice to get used to but once mastered your play will improve, I can tell you mine definitely has. If you’re looking for an a keyboard specifically for game I suggest you give this one a try, but if you want to use it for office work as well I would give it a miss, but for gaming I give it a 5.
So that’s the views of some of the buyers, in case you are still undecided there are a few more models you want to take a look at in this price bracket.
Within a few dollars either way you have the “Steelseries Shift, which was their latest model to be launched, and it takes it’s name from being able to change the keysets for particular games like WoW or COD etc there are quite a few different sets available.
Then there is the excellent Logitech G510 the follow up to the legendary G15, and of course you get the mono LCD screen with the G510, so you get a bigger bang for your buck.
At this price you are in the realms of mechanical keyboards too so if you want to have a look at a couple of those then there is Themaltake MEKA G1 or the iOne XArmor, no link yet for this.