The Trust GXT 856 Torac Metal Gaming Keyboard is a good-priced, and sturdy, unit that’s great for not just gaming, but also everyday use.
Its design is simple with a robust metallic top plate with no flex. It has rainbow LED backlighting, and is only available in black.
The GXT 856 is priced at $48.00 (£34.99 AU$62.00). It’s wired, comes with a two-year warranty, 12 programmable media keys, and anti-ghosting.
The USB 2.0 cable is 180cm long, which is a good length, and long enough to comfortably plug in to your PC.
The keyboard is full-size, with dimensions of 468mm wide and 188mm tall. There are two stands at the back to raise it to a more comfortable angle. The unit weighs a hefty 913g, and coupled with the metal top plate, feels like it can probably withstand a few minor bashes here and there (though we still think you should be kind to your keyboard).
It has 12 programmable media keys, and quick launch applications (calculator, email, browser home page) triggered by the function key.
There is a Game mode switch which allows you to lock your windows key with just one tap. It has Anti-ghosting and registers up to eight different keyboard inputs at the same time, which can be particularly useful for MOBAs and FPS gaming.
Since it is plug-and-play, it’s compatible with Windows, from 7 to 10, Linux and Mac and Chrome OS. It’s also compatible with the Xbox One and PS4 consoles.
It’s not got an ergonomic design, but it’s comfortable to use for long periods of time, but if you’re disabled and require some kind of wrist support or would benefit from an ergonomic unit, then this would not be the best option for you.
Its membrane keys are initially stiff, but feel more comfortable after several hours to a day of use. As it’s a membrane keyboard it isn’t noisy, unless you enjoy bashing your keys for some particular reason.
The rainbow LED backlighting is nice, and has three settings, but it’s not customizable, which is a shame. You can, however, adjust the brightness, and switch between fixed or an illuminating pattern via a button on the unusually tilted bottom row of the keyboard used alongside the ‘FN’ function key.
There is no per key lighting, which would have been great, but is really down to personal preference and may not be an issue or important to some.
Setup is simple and straight forward, but there is a quick two-page installation guide available via the Trust website.
The non-ergonomic design, lack of key illumination and customizable backlighting might lose some points for you, but the metal top plating and sturdiness of it is definitely a plus.
A reasonably-priced mechanical keyboard might be a better option for you if you’re not too fussed about the design of your keyboard, but prefer better keys, macros and generally better functionality. It isn’t wireless, but the length of the wire is appealing. As a budget keyboard, it does the job well enough, but without really excelling.
Buy it if…
You want a simple but sturdy keyboard design
The metallic plating makes it firm and provides a good weight and presence to the unit, allowing it to stay firmly in place on your desk, which is important for gaming.
You want a keyboard for consoles
The GXT 856 is a multi-use plug-and-play keyboard which can work with the Xbox One and PS4 consoles.
You’re on a budget
The GXT 856 comes with anti-ghosting tech that registers up to eight concurrent keypresses, and is often found on more expensive keyboard. The rainbow LED lighting offers a nice-looking setup on a budget.
Don’t buy if…
You prefer a wireless keyboard
If you’ve given up on wired peripherals, you’ll likely pay a little extra for a wireless-capable keyboard. Wireless devices can be preferable as they are less restrictive, which is very important for some people.
You want lighting that you can fully control and customize
You won’t find color cycling or other lighting effects here, just a breathing pattern. It has only three different settings: fixed, illuminate and brightness, which makes little impact.
You want different color options
The GXT 856 is only available in black. With more options for PC customization this might be a turnoff for someone looking for a well-priced keyboard to match their setup.
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