Competitive gamers prefer a keyboard and mouse over a game controller for a number of reasons including greater accuracy and more control. That is why if you watch championship matches of video games, the e-sport athletes have one hand on a mouse and the other gliding expertly across a high quality keyboard. Whirlwind FX has designed a new gaming keyboard that helps immerse players into their games through the use of RGB lights which react to what is taking place in the game.
What is the Element Keyboard?
Element is a content-reactive mechanical keyboard designed and produced by Whirlwind FX. As you play your favorite video games, the lights on the keyboard react to the action on the screen. The Element keyboard comes with your choice of either red linear, brown tactile, or blue clicky keys. These keyboards can be purchased directly from Whirlwind FX and sell for around $120 each. The updated V2 model will be available in early December and is currently available for pre-order.
The Whirlwind FX Element Keyboard features the following:
- aircraft-grade, anodized brushed aluminum frame
- 1.8 m braided cable
- Kaihl mechanical switches
- 2.0 mm actuation distance
- 50 g actuation force
- 4.0 mm total travel distance
- +1000 Hz polling rate
- 6.8 million color RGB LEDs for each key
How to Use the Element Keyboard
What really makes the Whirlwind FX Element keyboard unique is its unique peripheral lighting software called the Whirlwind Engine. It can be downloaded here. Once installed, the engine lets you control the lighting on the keyboard in a number of new ways. The engine automatically detects the Element keyboard and offers a number of different downloadable configurations. These control the lighting while in idle mode or while media is playing. Media includes videos as well as games. Idle mode is any other time. The default idle mode is a scrolling rainbow; however, there are many more effects that can be downloaded including some seasonal varieties to help celebrate holidays. The default for media mode is natural which basically takes the colors from a selected part of the screen and imitates them on the keyboard. You can even select which part of the screen you want to use for this mode.
The Element Keyboard really shines when playing games. Currently there are 25 integrations for popular games including League of Legends, Minecraft, Apex Legends, PUBG, Overwatch, Dota 2, Rocket League, Fortnite, Destiny 2, Rainbow Six Siege, and many more. Check out this page for the complete list of integrations as well as videos showing what is happing on the screen as well as the keyboard. To use these integrations, just download them from within the engine and then select the integration for a specific game to use it for that game. These integrations really add to the immersion while playing games and are what set apart the Element keyboard from other gaming keyboards. The engine is easy to install and use and new integrations are being added on a regular basis.
Why You Should Get the Element Keyboard
As an author as well as a gamer, I am very particular about my keyboards. I like a solid, sturdy keyboard that does not flex or give. The Whirlwind FX Element keyboard is well-built. The aluminum frame gives it some weight and stability. This keyboard does not move around while using it. I also like the ability to choose the type of switches when ordering this keyboard. Unlike the cheaper and more common membrane keyboards, mechanical keyboards, such a the Element, have individual switches for each key. The keyboard I used for this review has the red linear switches. Both red linear and brown tactile switches are favored by gamers so it really is a personal preference.
When I first received the Whirlwind FX Element keyboard, one of my sons who plays a lot of PC video games immediately took it and began using it. While he liked it, I needed to try it out for myself. As I took it from him, I may have mentioned he could have it back when I was done with my review. Unfortunately, that will not be the case. I am keeping it as my own keyboard. In fact, I am typing this review using the Element keyboard. Not only do I like the feel of using this keyboard, I also like that every switch or key has its own RGB LED light. Furthermore, the Engine software provides great customization for how users want their keyboard to look while they are using it or while it is sitting idle. One of Whirlwind FX’s key selling points for their products is immersion in gaming. The Element keyboard with the Engine software hits this mark with a bullseye. The integrations for each game really add to the experience. For example, in some games, as you take damage, the keys turn red. Healing? They may turn blue or another color.
I spend a lot of time using a keyboard whether I am typing or gaming. The right keyboard can really make a difference. If you are used to the typical membrane keyboards that come with most computer systems, I suggest switching to a mechanical keyboard. They are better all around. If you also play video games using a keyboard, I highly recommend the Whirlwind FX Element keyboard. It increases the immersion level for your games and is a lot of fun to use in addition to giving you an edge with quick and accurate key actuation. Even watching a movie on your computer becomes more entertaining as the keyboard reacts to what is on the screen. Since the Element’s keys are a bit higher than smaller keyboards, I also suggest getting the wrist rest which reduces wrist fatigue whether typing or playing. It comes in two different thicknesses and your wrists will feel like they are floating on a cloud. Take your gaming to the next level of immersion with the Whirlwind FX Element mechanical keyboard. You will not be disappointed.
Disclosure: GeekDad received a sample of this item for review purposes.