Electroluminescent (EL) lighting is nothing new to modders. Not only is it a standard tool for case modifications, there are also many online guides for adding EL wire to your keyboard. Unfortunately, that mod has many drawbacks. For example, the EL wire does not light the entire key, only the space around the keys, the lighting is often uneven, and it often requires an external power source. With these disadvantages, why would you go through this trouble, when Auravision has created with a solution for this in a nice package? Today at TwistedMods, we will be reviewing the Eluminx Illuminated Keyboard.
The box we received is very well designed and looks ready for a retail shelf. There is minor shipping damage to one corner, but the keyboard inside is undamaged. The back side of the box displays features, a short description, and two pictures of the keyboard - one in normal light, the other with the keyboard glowing in the dark. Inside the box, the keyboard is covered with bubble wrap, and protected by two cardboard braces. Box contents include the keyboard itself and a small user manual. The keyboard being reviewed is black with a sapphire EL glow. Other colors available include bone and silver keyboards, as well as aquamarine illumination.
Here are several shots of the keyboard taken in normal light while not turned on. The keys look and feel just like a laptop keyboard. If you are used to a laptop keyboard, then you will quickly adjust to this keyboard. The printing on the keys is black, and appears to be very durable.
The keyboard would be much more functional if the layout was the same as most standard keyboards, but there are some differences. The Home, End, Delete, Insert, Page Up/Down, and arrow keys have all been shifted to the left of the standard position and added to the main section of the keyboard. Most of the oversized keys have also been shrunk to reduce the amount of space used. The Backspace and Home keys are right next to each other on this keyboard. One thing that I found annoying is that when I tried to press the Backspace key, I would accidentally hit the Home button, instead. It is awkward at first to have these keys so close and in different positions, but after three days of use, I adjusted, and it is no longer a problem. The keyboard is very slim and low to the desktop, making typing easier on the user's hands, wrists, and arms. I am also glad that they kept the numeric keypad without decreasing its size. Some competing lighted keyboards do not even offer a keypad, which is to me a very important part of the keyboard.
There are no adjustable feet on the underside of this keyboard. The absence of adjustable feet is surprising. Instead, there are two small plastic feet at the back, and two small rubber pads at the front to prevent it from sliding. There are eight visible screws holding the top and bottom portions of the keyboard casing together. Also on the underside are two stickers. One is the standard warning label about injuries, and the second sticker has information about the keyboard printed on it.
Under normal light, the keyboard appears to have a purplish color, but in the darkness it shines dark blue. The keyboard has a feature that turns off the lighting after fifteen minutes of no activity, thus saving power and prolonging its life. But when the keyboard is about to turn itself off, there is a lot of noticeable flickering in the light before it fully turns off, which is somewhat annoying. The usual three green LEDs in the top right are present, but blue LEDs would match the theme of the keyboard so much better. In the second picture, you can see the entire keyboard plugged in the light. Even though the keys are nearly transparent, there is a dark spot in the center of each key where the button mechanism is, and the light does not shine as brightly through those places. So the lighting is not completely even across the entire keyboard, but it is still a giant leap above the EL wire mods floating around. As for the many keyboards imitating the Auravision Eluminx design, I have not yet seen any that match the quality of this keyboard.
Overall, the keyboard performs very well. I have been using one for several months now, and it has served me well through many gaming sessions, constant typing, and everything in-between. Some may find gaming with the keyboard a bit difficult due to its cramped layout, but it still seems to be a very solid product. After using the keyboard for around six months, a bit of my D key has worn off due to typing, but other than this, I have not had any problems with the keyboard. It does take a few days to fully adjust to the new layout and size, but if you are accustomed to typing on laptops, the switch should be rather easy.
The Auravision Eluminx keyboard is ideal for low-light conditions or even the modder that just wants something different. I would recommend this keyboard, as long as you can afford the price tag.