OCZ's primary goal they say is to ensure that "every customer is 110% satisfied." Often times we do end up being completely satisfied with the OCZ products we are looking at, but in the case of the Elixir Keyboard in the OCZ Alchemy series, it fell a bit short.
The first problem we had run into with the left Ctrl and Alt keys. Their events were inverted and we had immediately begun looking at the keyboard mapping, but it really ended up just being the two keys were incorrectly installed. While this should be a rare occurrence, we have seen at least one other report online where another reviewer had received a keyboard with two keys incorrectly installed. OCZ didn't manufacturer the keyboard themselves, but they had used Monterey International Corp and it looks like their quality assurance had fallen short.
OCZ Technology doesn't advertise this keyboard as being Linux supportive, but it had in fact worked for the core functionality. All of the normal keys had functioned as expected, the macro keys (L1-L5 and R1-R5) had mapped out to being F1 to F10, but the multimedia/Internet keys had not worked. These keys were not mapped as an X event and when using KeyTouch the input wasn't recognized either. However, this isn't a unique problem, but can be common among less-popular USB keyboards on Linux. Personally though we don't mind these hot-keys not working as to us they're seldom used.
The construction of this keyboard is quite reliable. The casing is made of plastic but when it comes to the keys they all have a rubberized coating and use membrane tactile switches. Our only complaints about the keyboard were the LED lock indicators were not very bright at all and if they were blue it would fit better with the keyboard's appearance. Some might also not like the layout of the End, Page Up, Page Down, Home, and Delete keys, but we have no problem with the layout.
What had surprised us most about this keyboard, however, is its price. Had this been a keyboard selling for more than $60 USD, we would have more concerns but we were surprised to learn this keyboard sells for a mere $30 USD. This OCZ keyboard isn't perfect, but at $30 it's quite cheap and much more affordable than other gaming keyboards. If the lack of keyboard profile support and hot-keys on Linux don't bother you, we have no problems recommending the OCZ Alchemy Elixir Keyboard. After looking at this product, it will be very interesting to see what other gaming products OCZ Technology brings to the Alchemy series.
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Phoronix Product Rating: 8 / 10