OCZ Sabre OLED Keyboard review

By on October 1, 2009, 2:39 AM
Art Lebedev Studio created a whirlwind of excitement when their Optimus Maximus keyboard concept surfaced in 2005. The peripheral touted a full set of OLED (Organic Light Emitting Diode) buttons that were 100% user-customizable and downright amazing-looking. I had the opportunity to see it in person at the 2008 Consumer Electronics Show as well as get some hands-on time with its little brother, the Mini Three. The hype was real and the technology very cool indeed. I wanted one, as did nearly everyone else -- that is, until the company revealed how much it would cost. Priced at over $1,400, the Optimus Maximus remains more fantasy than reality, as the closest most users will come to it are the photos and videos available online.
Fortunately for those interested in OLED keyboard technology, Art Lebedev isnít the only player around. OCZ Technology recently released their Sabre OLED Gaming Keyboard, which features a bank of nine programmable OLED keys and a significantly cheaper price tag. Read the complete review.

User Comments: 5

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Guest said:

This review is based on an older version of software. Do you have any plans to review with the latest software? The newer software allows sharing of images, tasks and layer files. Much improved.

waterytowers said:

This is a promising idea, a keyboard with a small display for every key. I hope someone brings out a colour version which allows "all" the keys to be programmed, ideal for supporting different languages, or even better would be allowing custom key settings that are based on the current application that has focus. I have seen my share of keyboard overlays used to help remember which keys do what, custom keys for the entire keyboard per application would be great.

Guest said:

About time keyboards stopped coming out with keys that are so recessed you hit the 4 next to it when you push one in. And the OLED keys would be great for RPGs such as WOW and Warcraft 3 where hotkeys are a necessity.

Guest said:

The oled keys are big... and that's a good thing. Who cares that it doesn't have another USB port. (yawn) The keyboard has a nice feel, but there are some short comings that should be addressed:

1) It would be really nice if the keyboard were illuminated.

2) The manual is woefully inadequate. I've read in some reviews: "The application software is very intuitive and easy to use." What? The application software in not intuitive. The examples are minimal. Good luck.

3) Would be nice if there were a support group on the OCZ web site where users might post their graphics and possibly macros.

4)Would be nice if there was a demo for MS Word to show how to set up macros and buttons. Maybe a video on you tube.

5) Or how about this: a demo using one of the macro keys to open up the Sabre software!

Guest said:

with current (and only) available drivers, the OLEDs have a built in 'screensaver' of 3 minutes.

so if you're wanting to use the OLEDs for say a Flight Sim and dont touch any of the OLEDs for 3 minutes, they will all go blank/off. If you press one of the OLEDs, they will all come on again, but you will invoke the associated function of the pressed OLED button in the process - which is undesirable unless you keep one of the OLEDs dedicated to waking all the OLEDs up.

This 'screensaver' only occurs AFTER installing the drivers. Of course you need to install the drivers to setup your own icons on the OLEDs.

Shonky retailers, such as Computer Alliance (Brisbane), might inform you that the OLEDs stay on all day - but they havent (and wont) installed the drivers and setup application specific profiles.

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