👤by Tony Le Bourne Comments 📅24-02-17
Performance Testing

Setup, Design & Observations
There is no software needed for the Armato, so all you need to get going is a spare USB port and away you go. On plugging it in we were greeted with a dramatic ripple effect as it awaits recognition from Windows.

Speaking of lighting, the Fn brightness controls provide 0-25-50-100% lighting levels, while the lighting effects actually throw up various speeds of said effect on multiple presses. For example, the breathing mode can be toggled between fast/slow. To make a custom lighting layout, you press Fn + F11, followed by the keys you wish to turn on, to end, you again press Fn + F11.

To record a macro, you press the 'REC' key (the NCSW indicators will then flash). You then press one of the 5x dedicated macro keys you wish to bind the recording to, followed by the input string you wish to record (up to 31 keystrokes) then finish by pressing the 'REC' key once more. As the Armato is driverless, the macro functionality is a little limited. It doesn't record mouse buttons, nor is there any way to adjust the timings which defaults to a short delay rather than real time recording. Though this is not likely to be a problem for those that wish to frequent their use.

The overall construction of the Armato is great, though there are a few places where it is let down. Firstly, the top plate of aluminium can flex and potentially bend upwards on lifting/catching the keyboard on its side, so be cautious as to where you grab it when lifting. The key-caps seem good, maybe not the highest quality around but far from the worst too. Though the dedicated media keys seem a little sub-par to the rest of the keyboard as they are visably PLASTIC and have very firm, clicky press to them.

The Armato is well built as it felt solid with no noticeable bounce or flex while typing. After a long period of use, I found it very comfortable to type on with and without the wrist rest (preferred with anyway). The wrist rest could come detached if you make adjustments in the keyboards position, though because it is magnetic this is never a problem as you can just push it back into place. The fact that the wrist rest doesn't sit flush didn't appear to have any detrimental or note worthy effect, and so our overall experience with the Armato was highly pleasurable. Some may note the lack in options of switch types, but as a fan of Cherry MX Brown, I can't complain and would recommend them to everyone, unless you like an audible click.

We tested the Armato out with Aqua's Key-Test, and found that we could press more keys than we could accurately gauge by mashing as may keys as we could by using our arms, face, and the cat, so it is safe to say that each keystroke will surely be registered. We also found that due to the comfort and positioning, high-speed touch typing is fairly easy to do, hitting around my personal best of 82 words per minute. I did have to take some time to get used to the additional row of macro keys, though it wasn't anywhere near as much of a problem as it is with something like the Razer BlackWidow where the Macro keys are very close to the main block.

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