This is so very strange

Corsair Strafe

I recently built a new PC, and decided I wanted some flash to go along with it. I put in a motherboard and fans that have some LED elements, and kept the inside to a generally red theme. The nice thing is, the fans are RGB so I can switch them to any color I want, or even have them cycle through colors. No functional application, but nifty to look at.

I’ll be doing a video walkthrough of it soon, but here’s a picture to hold you over until then. And yes, that’s a reference GeForce 1080. It’s by Zotac, a brand I’ve never dealt with before, but it seems to be doing fine so far. Of course, it’s only an office machine.

The new PC

The new PC

It’s mainly Corsair on top of an ASUS motherboard, but I’ll go over all that in the video.

Anyway, the other thing I decided to do was get a nice gaming keyboard, mainly because they have the mechanical Cherry MX switches that I really like. You may not think a keyboard switch is a big deal, but I assure you that it is. They have really nice feedback and actually make your typing faster; you can just bounce from one key to the next like you’ve just taken off a pair of ankle weights.

I ended up deciding on the Corsair Strafe RGB, which has a lot of nifty lighting effects and is the only one offered with silent switches. Since I am using the keyboard in the office, the other switch versions (Red, Brown and Blue) would be far too loud. Even the quiet ones are pretty noisy. But it types beautifully and I really like it. Except for one very important thing.

Here’s an image I took of it. Notice anything? Look carefully. I left it at full size, 5500 pixels, so you could get a close look.



That’s right! All the keys with two symbols on them are printed upside down! Well, not upside down, but with their symbols inverted. So the numbers are on the tops of the keys, while the symbols are on the bottom. So hitting the [Shift] key gives you the symbol on the bottom of the key instead of the symbol on the top. But that isn’t how it’s supposed to work and that’s not how any other keyboard does it. There’s a reason Shift is often indicated as an up arrow.

That’s true for the other two-symbol keys as well. The period and comma are on the top. The semicolon and square brackets are on the top. The equals sign and dash are on the top. One key has a double-violation; the single and double quotes are not only inverted, they key is actually printed upside down!

The really, truly weird thing about this is I have discovered that (almost) all gaming keyboards do this. I have no idea why, and no one I have asked seems to know either.

Wait, wait, it turns out someone does. While I was typing this (on the Strafe, of course), I heard back from a representative at Corsair, and he stated that since the LEDs in the keyboard light up only the top part of the key, they put the numbers on top and their associated symbols on the bottom, then said “I guess we can’t please everyone.”

That explanation makes perfect sense, and those keys don’t bother me too much, however I then asked why did they invert all the *other* symbol keys as  well, and why did they print the quotation mark key completely upside-down, and he never got back to me.  I’ll update if he does.

Going Up