The Speedlink Parthica offers an affordable introduction for those stepping up in to the world of gaming keyboards. The Parthica offers gamers a wealth of options including macro software, anti-ghosting, 10 multimedia keys and color changing lights. The package looks impressive but how well does it perform?
- Efficient gaming keyboard with LED illumination, for professionals
- 93 configurable keys, 15 freely programmable buttons
- On/off switchable and configurable LED keyboard illumination with 3 breathtaking colours
- Extra-high raised keys for precise keystrokes
- 5 macro buttons plus 10 multimedia buttons and practical on-the-fly macro recording
Like all Speedlink products it certainly looks the part. From its 3 different light colors (purple, red and blue) to the actual shape it looks like a quality product. It looks like an upgraded version of their previous budget keyboard the RAPAX with a bigger total surface area and more funcitions available. The rubber coated Parthica is certainly a stand out keyboard and looks wise you will not be unhappy with the price you’ll pay. The layout is fairly standard with programmable macro keys on the left hand side as well as multimedia buttons near the top. Their is also a button that allows you to quickly change the colors on the keyboard, allowing a quick change dependent on your mood or the mood in-game which was a cool feature. I imagine this keyboard would work well Speedlinks Decus, considering the colors of the lighting and the similar price range. The two together look fantastic. The Parthica also comes with a red and black corded cable, which is solid and strong and fits in well with the overall look of the keyboard.
Feel and Ergonomics
The keyboard is great to the touch, the raised keys and rubber coating on the frame ensure grip and ease of use. Despite this, the unit is relatively lightweight but doesn’t slip when in use. The keys are raised a little higher than I anticipated, so whether or not you’ll take to the Parthica is a matter of personal preference. It feels well built and sturdy and keys are rigid and don’t rattle, an annoyance I know only too well from past experience. All of the buttons are clearly labelled and the additional ones do not feel out of place and are easy to work/reach in game.
The LED lighting is atmospheric and customizable. The colors work really well with overall look and feel of the keyboard too. They are situated in strips along the top and the bottom of the keys, as well as along the bottom towards the corners and there is even some at the top next to the illuminated ‘Parthica’ sign at the top. The Parthica sign is actually lit up in a different color and adds a nice contrast to the coloring on the keyboard. Overall the Parthica lighting is something that makes it stand out, this being a signature among some of Speedlinks products and the bonus to be able to choose what you want and when is handy for those who are obsessed with how pretty their set up looks. The ability to change colors is a great addition for those who already have LEDs on their rig as most common colors are catered for and I’m sure you will find a setup that looks good whilst matching it to your rig colors.
The Partica is supplied with a disc that enables you to install the software to fully take control of the keyboards functionality. This is something that Speedlink seem to do very well amongst all of their products. You can take control of the lighting effects, program a macro, adjust the USB polling rate and program the buttons. The lighting effects allow you to adjust the brightness as well as giving you the option of a ‘breathing’ look, which is my personal favorite.
Now, for those who want to get a bit more in depth and totally control the layout of the keys then this is the keyboard for you. Instead of being confined to a pre-set layout which you have to use, the Parthica allows you to change all the keys to whatever suits you. I found this particularly handy as I’m not a fan of the W,A,S,D control used in games for directional movement. I know that these can usually be updated by individual game settings but pre-configuring them saves a lot of time and effort if you switch from game to game a lot like I do. The software was incredibly easy to use and allows you to program up to 5 different sets of custom button layouts which I appreciated.
The other features such as UBS polling rate is something I tend not to tamper with but having the option to do so may please the more hardcore players out there. It is the macro function which interested me more, although I do feel like it could of benefited from on board memory for when I switch PCs as all my programming shall be lost should I put the keyboard in to another PC. Again, the macro function allows you up to five profiles and was simple to use. The simplicity of use of the software is a real bonus for those who are a first time user of a gaming keyboard that offers additional functionality. This is why the Parthica is a solid choice for those looking to upgrade from their basic keyboard but offers the features a professional user is looking for too.
In game use
The Parthica excels at every job you throw at it. You will immediately notice the build quality and how rugged the keyboard feels. It has the feel and performance of a keyboard way beyond its price tag. The programmable buttons work really well and changing profiles is quick and easy, allowing continuous gameplay whilst adjusting the settings. I personally have a different layout when playing games for each genre and the Parthica allows me to change things up and actually give me more options than what I need.
For example, whilst playing RTS games I like the conventional layout but with less complicated games such as FPS’ I switch it up and invent my own way of playing, the ability to play about to find a perfect layout can give you a real edge on the battlefield. I also change things up when playing MMOs, I dislike using abilities or accessing my inventory using the number keys so instead I change these settings to allow me to use the bottom row of character keys.
The Parthica offers great value for money, make the step up in to a gaming and choose this and you won’t be disappointed. It looks good, it feels good and it performs good.
The Parthica currently retails for £39.99 on Amazon UK and can be found here