Ideazon Merc Stealth Illuminated USB Gaming Keyboard - Testing and Final Conclusion

Article Index
Ideazon Merc Stealth Illuminated USB Gaming Keyboard
Merc Stealth Specifications
Testing and Final Conclusion

Ideazon Merc Stealth Software:

The Merc Stealth features the same software that the original Merc came with, so I'm not going to go too in depth about the software because I covered that in the original Merc review I did.

But I will say this, the Z Engine software that comes with these keyboards is a great program, and it makes programming your keys simple, and also features a ton of pre-setup configurations that you can use, and as new games come out, they continue to be updated. Also they have a forum where users can post their own custom setups, so you will have a hard time not finding something that will work for you.

Also the Z-Engine software is Vista and 64-bit compatible.

For more information on this software, you can jump directly to that section in my original Merc review, or you can head over to Ideazon for a full overview of this software.

 

Ideazon Merc Stealth Testing:

Like I had mentioned in the original Merc keyboard review, the only way to test a keyboard is to really use it on a daily basis, so I did. The original Merc took me a little while to get used to thanks to its different layout of the num pad, as well as the gamepad section took me a few hours to get a hang of. Fortunately for me I have been using the Merc on my test rig for a couple months now, and have grown quite used to it, so when I hooked up the Merc Stealth, it felt very nice and familiar. The feel of the keyboards are pretty much identical to each other and I didn't notice any big change going between the original Merc and the Merc Stealth.

At first I was a little unsure of the backlit keyboard, sure it's kind of neat and its nice and flashy to have sitting on your desktop to impress people, but honestly, is it really necessary? The Merc Stealth isn't the first keyboard to make a backlit keyboard, but backlit keyboards are becoming more and more popular. I was kinda skeptical whether it was really something I'd find useful, that was until I used it a couple times in low light situations. Now, I'm a good enough with my typing skills that I normally don't look down at the keyboard much, but I sure found it handy with the illuminated keys when I was fumbling around looking for the print screen or page up buttons, and quickly realized that the illuminated keys were not just a gimmick, but actually very handy to have if you use your computer in low light situations.

In the pictures below you can see the LED illumination in action, you can easily choose between blue, red, or purple with the click of a button. Also all 3 colors feature 3 levels of illumination, or can be turned off completely very easily.

bluedark.jpg
Merc Stealth - Blue LED
purpledark.jpg
Merc Stealth - Purple LED

reddark.jpg
Merc Stealth - Red LED

 

redkeys.jpg
Merc Stealth - Gamepad
rednum.jpg
Merc Stealth - Num Pad

 

I noticed a couple other changes on the Merc stealth. First of all the main keys on the gamepad (Up, Down, Left, Right, Run, Crouch, and Jump) all have a bit of a grip on the keys now. I never noticed my fingers slipping off the original Merc, but the extra grip on the keys that you use most is definitely a welcome addition. I also noticed that the bottom of the keyboard has a bit more grip to it also, which prevents it from slipping around on your desk. Once again I never noticed the original Merc slipping around on my desk, but I sure did notice that this keyboard grips a lot better when you try and slide it around. Both of these features are minor, but both are a great improvement also.

 

Once again I will repeat what I had said about the Merc in our original review, the biggest problem you are going to have when you first get this keyboard is that you have to unlearn the setup from your old keyboard/gamepad, at first you are going to feel a little awkward using it just because it's different. But after a few hours of use, you will notice that it feels pretty good and that it's a very functional keyboard. While this keyboard might not be for everyone, I believe it's a very good choice if you're looking for a high-end gaming keyboard that can also function in everyday tasks.

 

Ideazon Merc Stealth Final Conclusion:

At the end of the day this is a pretty nice keyboard, sure its a little bit longer than the average keyboard thanks to the attached gamepad, but that attached gamepad sure makes things nice when you want to jump into a game quickly. The illuminated keyboard and extra USB ports and headphone jacks make the already good Merc to the next level.

The biggest problem majority of people are going to have with this keyboard is the price, it rings in at a hefty ~$89.99 USD. Luckily if you like the setup of the keyboard and aren't so interested in the new features, you can go with the original Merc for ~$39.99 USD, so at the end of the day you can decide if the extra USB ports and Headphone jacks and illuminated keyboard is worth the extra $50 or so bucks you'll have to spend to upgrade to the Merc Stealth. Now ~$90.00 USD may seem steep for a keyboard, but you only have to do a quick search in your favorite web store to realize that if you want a high-quality brand name illuminated keyboard, you're going to have to spend a few dollars, the cheapest illuminated keyboard on the market currently is going to set you back at least ~$60 USD, so the Merc Stealth at ~$89.99 USD with a built-in gamepad isn't that unrealistic. Still a lot of people will laugh at spending that kind of money on something like a keyboard, and those are the people that probably still have their original Packard Bell PC keyboard that they bought 15 years ago, so I guess it's all about your personal preferences.



At the end of the day I have no problems recommending the Merc Stealth, just like I did the original Merc, I think they took an already good product and added a few new features to make it even better. The price tag on this keyboard isn't exactly cheap, but you are getting a nice flashy, functional keyboard with built-in gamepad, so the price tag doesn't bother me as much as I originally thought it would. This keyboard is just as well-suited for a marathon session of BF2142 as it is for writing a term paper, it's got a nice feeling to it and doesn't feel like other cheap keyboards on the market. I have no problems giving this product our "Top Pick" award.

 

Pros:

  • High Quality Keyboard
  • Space-Saving All-in-One Design
  • Great Software that continues to be Updated with New Games

 

Cons:

  • Price (~$89.99 CDN)

 

BCCRating

 

TopPick

I'd like to thank Ideazon for allowing us to review the Merc Stealth. If you have any questions, comments, or general feedback, please leave it at the "Comments" link below.