iOne Xarmor U9BL

Manufacturer: iOne
Model: Xarmor U9 BL
MSRP: $199.99
Check Lowest Price (Amazon)

The iOne U9BL is a back-lit version of the U9 Plus. Thankfully it keeps all the good features of the U9 Plus, and adds a great looking blue illumination with 4 levels of brightness.

The U9BL has Cherry MX Blue key-switches, for some great tactile clicky typing. It keeps the 2-port USB 2.0 hub, headphone jack, and microphone jack, and a detachable wrist pad. The top, sides, and the wrist pad are all covered in a rubberized matte material. The keys are rated for 50 million keystrokes and feel great.

The package includes a PS/2-to-USB adapter, a keycap puller, and additional orange key-caps for the WASD gaming cluster, so you’re hands will never forget their placement. Those looking to squeeze out the best performance with full n-key rollover, will want to skip the PS/2-to-USB adapter and just stick with PS/2.

If you don’t understand why, please read What is the Difference Between PS/2 and USB Keyboards?

Since this is a backlit mechanical keyboard that is capable of gaming, and has Cherry MX Blue switches, we can’t help but let our minds wander to the Razer BlackWidow Ultimate. Right now Razer’s keyboard is less expensive than the U9BL, but it lacks a PS/2 connector.

On the other hand the U9BL doesn’t have the suite of programmable macro features the BlackWidow Ultimate has. So ultimately the choice is up to you. If you simply must have blistering low latency full n-key rollover via PS/2, then the U9BL is the one to go with.

Though, if you would rather compromise the PS/2 connector for a whole mess of gaming related features, the BlackWidow Ultimate is the one to pick.