Genius enters the gaming peripherals market with their first gaming specific keyboard that heads the company in the right direction with features and software that gamers want.
Ease of Use, Performance: 4/5
Look & Feel: 4/5
How much I enjoy 4/5
Total: 4/5 Stars
Genius has been known for their computer peripherals and has started into the gamers market with a whole line of gaming keyboards, mice, speakers and headsets. While their first offering of a gaming keyboard may not be a top of the line gamers dream it does start the company in the right direction and gives enough features in both design and function to get a few things right.
The Genius Imperator is a standard keyboard with a full QWERTY key setup, multimedia and gaming specific buttons along with the larger enter button many keyboard sport. The multimedia keys are along the top allow for use with movies and music while the side buttons that are labeled G1 through G6 allow for multiple functions from macro use in gaming, launching programs and other functions.
The keyboard comes with a driver disc and a small but thick operating manual due to the numerous languages it comes in for a worldwide guide of the features. The keyboard has a slight gothic font which is unusual for a keyboard but not from a company that deals a lot with worldwide sales.
The keyboard has a simple feature as well with being able to switch individual keys which is quite handy for special circumstances or preferences like not wanting the Caps lock key to be used. While writing I do not use Caps Lock and prefer to have it deactivated or assigned to the shift function and the swap key features work well for this type of preference.
The keyboard has three profiles which are selectable from the top middle three buttons labeled M1 through M3 and profiles are handy for various uses to have keys set by program or computer function. You can assign the programmable side buttons for various programs, general computing and games but switch them out quickly using the top three profile buttons.
The macros allow you to use combinations of keys with or without timing to allow specific functions in games and the programmable buttons are especially nice for massive multiplayer and role playing games. You can also set specific functions like Photoshop editing or general web surfing to these keys for a wider function than many common keyboards allow.
The software that comes with the keyboard is also available as a download and allows you to set the profiles, button assignments for the side programmable buttons and the saving or loading of profiles. You can create then save a profile for later loading in case of accidental computer problems or to use the keyboard on another computer.
One function is an onboard memory so even if you do switch the keyboard to a new computer settings saved in the keyboard will still be there. Using the save function again when you move the keyboard to a new computer allows you to save the profile on the new computer for changes or loading later.
The Imperator keyboard does not have any backlighting but does include a ghosting feature to help with multiple key presses and a gaming function to skip the Windows button while in a profile. You need to use the profile setup to use the Windows Button lock feature which just means you set any of the profiles to not use the button and it will deactivate the Windows key when in that profile.
The general layout and feel of the Genius Imperator is a good keyboard that has the medium height keys that are a plastic membrane type with good travel which makes for nice tactile typing. The keys have a good feel and typing is excellent for fast work like writing which is a good feature for both work and play in gaming.
Using the side macro keys in gaming does take some getting used to but you can get used to using them quickly for game specific quick moves or things like spell casting or base events in strategy games. I don’t use macros in my favorite first person shooter gaming but do use the buttons like this for things like base building or especially selecting multiple units.
I find it easiest to have units I select assigned to a programmable key instead of the usual number buttons as the side buttons are easier to hit in a hurry than the number keys close to the rest of the keyboard keys. Other nice features of the Imperator include the media keys and handy sloping front area for resting your hands on when typing.
The Imperator keyboard costs about $45 at online stores and comes in at a good price for a gaming peripheral with enough features to warrant the price tag. While this is the first gaming keyboard Genius has introduced the company is off to a good start and the Imperator is a good keyboard that I do recommend at a great price.
Imperator @ Genius
Imperator GX Gaming Website