Sandberg IronStorm Keyboard – Hardware Review
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Developer: Sandberg
Publisher: Sandberg
Platform: PC

Sandberg IronStorm Keyboard – Hardware Review

Good: Design, Price, Elevated keys
Bad: Useless handle/name plate on the frame, No keyboard legs
User Score
9.4
(5 votes)
Click to vote
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Rating: 9.4/10 (5 votes cast)

It has already been a while since we last took a look at Sandberg’s gaming apparel, and it seems that the company is still developing many new items for gamers. In 2016 we had the chance to try out the ThunderStorm, which proved to be an affordable membrane keyboard, which offered gamers a good-looking device, but sadly not mechanical keys. Several months later, the Hailstorm passed the revue, and we loved that Sandberg also started developing mechanical keyboards to suit the needs of their more professional or hardcore gamers. This time however we switch back to a membrane keyboard with the IronStorm, which seemed to combine the classy looks of their mechanical keyboard line, but the functionality and price range of a membrane keyboard. While we always dread switching back from a high-end keyboard to something more casual, we enjoyed our time with the IronStorm.

Design

Unlike the ThunderStorm, which looked a bit cheaper in design, due to its plastic frame and somewhat over-the-top design (which we loved), the IronStorm seems to be aiming for something more classy. You’ll notice that the frame is not too big and doesn’t have that many whistles and bells, but it is made out of metal, which gives the device a very sturdy look. The jagged edges give the keyboard a certain appeal and it shows that the design was also important when creating this device. Only the top part of the keyboard is a bit weird, as it looks like the design team added a handle to the device, but the metal is so thin, it wouldn’t actually be pleasant to use it as an actual handle. It also looks as if they wanted to make a nameplate for the brand name, but forgot to add the brand logo or name to it. So the handle/name plate portion may be a bit weird, but it still contributes to the design of the whole piece.

Something we have noticed over the years is that companies are somewhat choosing to have elevated keys in their design. This not only makes the keyboard easy to clean, it also stands out when looking at the overall design. This also allows the colored LEDs to have a bigger influence than when the keys are not raised in such a fashion.

Comfort

The keyboard’s design may look a bit classy, but the comfort features seem to be held on a lowkey level as well. While the keyboard is very flat, making it comfortable, there is no palm rest that you can attach, which often makes things a bit more comfortable during longer gaming sessions. We have to be honest that many top tier devices often lack such a palm rest as well, so it’s not an uncommon practice.

There’s one oddity that we noticed on this particular design, namely the IronStorm does not have keyboard legs, which normally allow you to raise/tilt your keyboard if you so desire. This means that the keyboard’s only position is flat, which isn’t the ideal setting for everyone.

Specs

  • USB interface
  • Cable length: 1.8 m
  • 104 standard keys
  • 10 multimedia keys
  • 9 switchable backlight colors
  • Weight: 1100 g
  • Dimensions: 46.7 x 20.4 x 3.1 cm

Overview

The IronStorm is a simple plug and play device which doesn’t need any extra downloadable apps in order to reach its full potential. All of the keyboard’s extra functionalities are unlocked by using the Fn key, which is very reminiscent of that on a laptop. You can alter the backlight colors, you can also alter their brightness settings and so on. Other than that, there are basic functions such as media player functionalities, the ability to lock your Windows key and so on. Overall, all the basic needs and wants for a gamer are present in the current design.

In terms of responsiveness there isn’t that much to say when you start comparing this device to mechanical keyboards. Nonetheless, the response rate is pretty decent, as there is a low threshold to properly press the keys. You can feel a slight click when you reach the key’s trigger points without facing too much resistance. With the fact that the keys are elevated, it also makes it seem as if the reaction, or trigger, is a bit more sensitive than it normally would be.

Conclusion

Sandberg’s IronStorm keyboard is a very pleasant device to work with, even if it lacks certain comfort features such as keyboard legs and a proper palm rest. For a membrane keyboard it might not be the cheapest one on the market, but the added functions and its design will add a lot of value for gamers who either prefer playing with a membrane keyboard or who can’t afford a mechanical keyboard (just yet). If you’re looking for an affordable replacement of your gaming keyboard, but the budget is rather tight, this one might be interesting looking into.

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Rating: 9.4/10 (5 votes cast)
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Sandberg IronStorm Keyboard - Hardware Review, 9.4 out of 10 based on 5 ratings
Ibuki
Ibuki


Aspiring ninja.

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