Review: Sharkoon Skiller Pro
It's no secret that most gaming peripherals like keyboards, headsets, and mice cost more than their so-called "office" counterparts. While an average mouse or a keyboard will set you back between $10 to $20, gaming equipment typically costs ten times as much, with some higher-end gear costing as much as $300.
There's a reason why gaming equipment is so expensive: Gamers expect their equipment to endure hundreds, if not thousands of hours gaming, and they need their equipment to maintain the same level of precision as when they first opened the box.
When I found out that the Sharkoon Skiller Pro, a gaming keyboard with backlighting, dedicated media and macro buttons would sell for just $30, I was naturally intrigued. There are many instances where budget earbuds perform just as well, or even better than their expensive counterparts, so why can't this also be true for gaming keyboards?
Let's take a look at how well the Sharkoon Skiller Pro works as gaming keyboard.
While you won't get as many features on the Sharkoon Skiller Pro as you would on other higher-end keyboards, you'll be pleased to find that the Sharkoon Skiller Pro does have the most essential aspects you'd expect to find on a gaming keyboard.
The Sharkoon Skiller Pro is lit with an electric blue backlight that covers the entirety of the keyboard, including the dedicated media keys and additional profile buttons on the top left and right sides of the keyboard. Although the Sharkoon Skiller Pro features only a single color, you are able to adjust the brightness as well as set it to have a 'breathing' effect.
The keyboard itself is a full-sized membrane keyboard with a numpad and six macro keys. The Sharkoon Skiller Pro also comes with keyboard customization software that allows you to take advantage of applications like Photoshop. The Sharkoon Skiller Pro also comes with a fivr-foot braided cable, do you shouldn't have a problem connecting it to your PC.
Perhaps the best feature of the Sharkoon Skiller Pro, and the most important for gamers, is its multi-key rollover support, which allows the keyboard to register simultaneous keystrokes just like it's mechanical keyboard brethren.
The Sharkoon Skiller Pro features a fairly muted design in spite of its aggressive name. The keyboard has a matte black finish on both the keys and and the palm rest while the Skiller Pro logo features a glossy black finish. The keyboard has round edges with rectangular cut-ins, which give it a slightly futuristic look.
Overall, the design of the Sharkoon Skiller Pro should feel home with most gamers, and it isn't aggressive enough to stick out like a sore thumb in office environments.
As a fairly large keyboard, I feel that the Sharkoon Skiller Pro could have taken advantage of the spacing and made the keys slightly larger or conversely increased the pitch between keys. While you'll eventually get used to the keys, I think the key concaves could have used more depth as well.
The keys on the Sharkoon Skiller Pro have a decent amount of travel, and the actuation force required to press them is high enough that you'll seldom press a key unintentionally. In terms of noise, the Sharkoon Skiller Pro is louder than you what you would expect from a membrane keyboard, however I found the noise to be just as pleasant as the noise you would expect from a mechanical keyboard.
Unfortunately, I found the macro buttons to be a little too close to the ctrl and shift keys, which resulted in a couple of mistakes before readjusting my resting position on the keyboard. For those with smaller hands (mine are quite large) you shouldn't notice this problem.
The most notable thing you'll find missing on the Sharkoon Skiller Pro is the absence of a palm rest, which you're guaranteed to find on other full-sized keyboards. This in and of itself isn't a dealbreaker (and it shouldn't be considering the affordability of the Sharkoon Skiller Pro), but you may want to invest in a palm rest down the line if you're going to be using this keyboard hours at a time. After about two hours of straight use I noticed slight numbness in my palms, and you may be able to remedy this by adjusting the height of the keyboard with the collapsible feet.
Personally I almost exclusively use mechanical keyboards, which makes me somewhat biased against membrane keyboards.That being said, it didn't take me too long to get comfortable with the Sharkoon Skiller Pro, and I expect other mechanical keyboard aficionados to feel the same way after spending a couple hours with this keyboard.
In addition to using the Sharkoon Skiller Pro to type up this review, I also played several games of StarCraft II, letting me get a realistic gauge of how the keyboard would perform when used for gaming. The Sharkoon Skiller Pro performed admirably in terms of typing, navigating the Internet, and performing other office-related tasks.
For game performance, the Sharkoon Skiller Pro also performed surprisingly well. During the course of three StarCraft II games, I was able to achieve my regular 170 actions per minute, and the positioning of my hotkeys on the keyboard didn't interfere with the keyboard layout of the Sharkoon Skiller Pro. While I didn't test the Sharkoon Skiller Pro with any first-person shooters, the keyboard should perform with similar precision.
While the Sharkoon Skiller Pro allowed me to reach a similar level of performance I get with mechanical keyboards, I did find my hands a little more strained than usual, which I attribute to both the actuation force and ruggedized keycaps. I'm not sure if this is something I could get used to over time or if this is a persisting issue, but it's definitely worth mentioning for those whose games require over 100 actions per minute.
Overall, I found the Sharkoon Skiller Pro to be an acceptable gaming keyboard, especially for those gaming on a budget.
The Sharkoon Skiller Pro includes everything you expect from a gaming keyboard, including backlighting, macro buttons, and media keys. The absence of mechanical keys, RGB lighting and a palm rest--acceptable--given its low price point, are noticeable.
The Sharkoon Skiller Pro won't raise any eyebrows if you bring it into the office and should mesh well in any given desktop setting.
While the absence of a palm rest is something that can easily be remedied by simply buying one, I found the pitch and concave of the keys less-than-satisfactory. While using the Sharkoon Skiller Pro wasn't a painful experience, I feel that it would have been much comfortable with slight tweaks to the layout and the keys themselves.
Surprisingly enough, the Sharkoon Skiller Pro performed admirably for a $30 keyboard. I was able to achieve my usual APM (or, actions per minute) in StarCraft II, and at no point did I feel that my accuracy was compromised.
The Sharkoon Skiller Pro is an acceptable gaming keyboard for those looking to game on a budget.
GameCrate reviews represent the opinions of the GameCrate writer who wrote them, and not necessarily those of Newegg. In most cases, GameCrate reviews are performed using products or samples provided by the manufacturer/producer of the product.