We recently had the opportunity to connect with some folks over at OMEN. They graciously agreed to send us some products to review, and one of the first products that they had sent over was the OMEN Encoder Mechanical Gaming Keyboard. Most of my time is spent on a computer of some kind during the day – whether I’m at my normal job, writing a review or playing a video game to pass the time, so a quality keyboard is important. I’ve had my trusty mechanical keyboard for almost a year now, and didn’t initially expect to swap it out when this one arrived, but I was still impressed with how much work and effort went into this device.
To start, OMEN let me in on some key nuggets of research that they had done in making this keyboard.
Something that stood out when reviewing the product info is that they didn’t ask experts on design or engineers what would make their keyboard great, they asked the actual people that would be using them – interesting concept, no? In several polls they picked the highest picked options and built a keyboard around what the majority of gamers wanted.
I also got a good breakdown on how mechanical keyboards have different switches built in them; namely cherry and blue. For the record, the one I used before now used blue switches, while the Encoder uses cherry switches. There are two kinds of Cherry switches: Cherry red and Cherry brown. The cherry red have quick responses and good feedback from pressing the button, perfect for games that require fast response like RTS and MOBA games. The brown switches are quiet with high accuracy that make it ideal for more general gaming, but both are great for any time of gaming you might be doing.
It’s also got anti-ghosting meaning that the keyboard will sense each and every key that you hit in rapid succession, something that your normal keyboard just can’t keep up with.
In what is by FAR the best part for those of us with roommates or a shared computer space, the keys are incredibly quiet compared to other mechanical keyboards. In case you think this is a boast, below is the sound from my own mechanical keyboard as I’m typing out another review:
And here is the sound of the OMEN Encoder as I wrote a section of this review:
The keyboard does light up, with the WASD key having a distinct white light while the rest of the keys are a deep red color. You can add some programming to the lights through the OMEN Command Center, which they make really easy to customize what lights are light for certain games as well as changing the lighting pattern, which I actually thought was pretty neat.
I could honestly go on for several pages with all the various customization that you can do with your keyboard with just the lighting options alone, and you can base it entirely on what game you might be playing at the time. As well as this, along the function key row you can actually program macros whether it’s just a button push to spam out a certain taunt or a Braum sticker—you all know who you are—or a specific combination of button pushes you can add in keystrokes with delays and the command center really makes it easy for even the most computer illiterate among us to do.
Finally, a little less flashy than the rest is the power cord and the keys. The power cord is made of a flexible nylon instead of the usual thick rubber cable that most of us are familiar with. For the keys, I actually only found out when I was opening up my package and griped one of the keys oddly and it came off with little resistance and snapped back on just as easily. While that doesn’t seem like something you’d want is for your keys to be easily removable, I like this hidden feature since it makes it so much easier to clean it of snack crumbs, dust and the other random bits that get lodged underneath the keys.
While I do like my keyboard for the simple fact that it has more LED options which is more appealing to me and matches the theme that I’ve got going at my computer station, this is still a really good piece of equipment. It’s simple but it has a high level of customization and really good key response interaction. It is on the more expensive end of keyboards, but given that each key can take 50 million keystrokes, it’s a keyboard that you won’t have to replace often if you know how to maintain it correctly. You can pick it up now using our Amazon link below and elevate your game with this awesome new keyboard!