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Roccat's frameless Suora keyboard looks good and plays great

Roccat's frameless Suora keyboard looks good and plays great

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My Dota 2 record since switching to the Roccat Suora keyboard is 11-2. It's not that those hard-earned victories were caused by the keyboard (any more than Michael Jordan's superhuman airtime was caused by his sneakers), but it didn't get in the way either. Any good user interface, whether physical or digital, is at its best when it becomes unnoticeable, and I think that's where this Suora keyboard shines. It just works, in that classic Apple way we've sort of forgotten about lately.

Mechanical gaming keyboards are now pretty much the norm, with every peripherals manufacturer offering a variety of models featuring a range of different key switches. But another regular feature of gaming gear is the encumbrance of superfluous design elements and unnecessary additional buttons and toggles. This is why the Suora piqued my interest, with its promise of a minimalist "frameless" design, which is basically the keyboard equivalent of a bezel-less smartphone. Every border is trimmed down to the bare minimum, making this as compact as a keyboard with a number pad can be.

Roccat pitches the Suora as its keyboard for gaming purists, emphasizing "raw performance" over fancy extras. That's amusing, on the one hand, because it casts shade on the rest of the German company's portfolio, but also happens to be true. The Suora has quickly taken over as my favorite gaming keyboard because it gets all the basics right. It has a 1ms response time, so there's no input lag, and it has n-key rollover, which ensures that each key press is registered independently, no matter how frenetic my button mashing becomes. I also appreciate the extra attention paid to the space bar, which doesn't have a "sweet spot" and can be activated with the same amount of force across its full width. Most of all, though, I find the tactile feel of this keyboard just right.

roccat suora gaming keyboard

A new keyboard usually requires some acclimatization time, but the Suora was unusual in its accessibility. I was typing at close to my usual speed within a couple of minutes, owing to its well judged key travel and actuation force. My most recent keyboards have been the (also very good) Logitech G810 and the Razer Black Widow Ultimate. The G810 is roughly the same width as the Suora, but is substantially taller, and I don't enjoy typing on it as much as I do on the Suora. Razer's alternative is also of high quality, but its narrower keys have led me to press the wrong button on occasion, which can make all the difference between triumph and tragedy in games.

At $99 / €99 / £79, the Suora is cheaper than both of its more reputed rivals while being, in my judgment, the superior keyboard. It does lose out on the more sophisticated RGB backlight options — the only choice is between varying intensities of cyan — and dedicated volume wheel of the G810, as well as the USB passthrough of the Black Widow. The Suora also doesn't have custom-designed switches like Logitech and Razer's keyboards, though the TTC Brown ones that it uses (with slightly higher actuation force than Cherry MX Browns) feel spot on. I shrug my shoulders at the Suora's omissions because they're things I can live without. My Dota record with this keyboard is great, my mistaken button presses are nonexistent, and my recommendation is therefore enthusiastic. The Roccat Suora goes on sale next month.