What does make the Flare Board a winner is the layout of the keys. After a short time of learning, the Flare Board was nearly second nature. The two rows of number keys and the big direction keys made long gaming sessions a breeze on the hands. Ive got paddle-like hands, but hitting the right key at the right time was accomplished perfectly on the Flare Board.
But the, big, heavy keys combined with a somewhat thin membrane make the tactile feel of the Flare Board just a little too mushy for my tastes. While it didnt interfere with gaming too much, I did worry that the squishy keys were going to get in the way. They didnt, but just felt like they would. It is a bit better than a standard Z-Board, which is fairly hard to type on, but not quite as good as the key feel of a standard keyboard.
Since most FPS games dont stray from the WASD keyboard layout, the Flare Board does just fine in all the games I used it with. The only problem I can see is that since the space key is decidedly on the right, so Flare Board is a tough sell for lefties or those who habitually remap their keys.
You may or may not appreciate that the little blue side lights are not particularly bright. Blue LEDs are usually painfully bright, but these are not. However, I do wish the keypad itself lit up, too. It could just add up to more modding potential, though, say with some bright red-orange LEDs perhaps.
Overall, the Flare Board is well designed, well thought-out, and best of all, comfortable and easy to use. In the end, I felt the Flare Board could use just a little more flare.
Stuff that is Always at the End.
Special thanks to Xoxide for providing the review sample. You can pick up this prodyuct for $29.99 USD. Many thanks to Hilbert, as always, for everything he does for this site.
Thermaltake Flare Board Thermaltake's take on a gaming keybpad results in the Flare Board, a 44-Key, USB plug & play, keypad with a comfortable layout tailored for games. It's easy to use, but it feels a little mushy and we wish the LED's lit more of the keypad and less of the desk.
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