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Bloody B188 Light Strike Keyboard Review

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B188 Light Strike Keyboard Overview

Unlike the Bloody B720, the B188 Benchmark Reviews received uses a European layout with a large ISO-style Enter key. Since the double-shot keys use transparent legends, the key markings are hard to see without the backlighting turned on.

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The back of the keyboard is blank except for the fold-out support feet.

bloody_b188_light_strike_back

The nicely-sleeved USB cable is not detachable, and thankfully does not waste any money gold-plating the USB connector.

bloody_b188_light_strike_usb_cable

This is a “hybrid” keyboard. Most of the keys, such as the (removed) “T” key here, use standard rubber-dome switches. The eight gaming keys– Q,W,E,R and A,S,D,F– use Bloody’s Light Strike infrared optical switches for the best feel and response when gaming. This dual-switch design has other consequences: first, the feel of the 8 Light Strike gaming keys is dramatically different from that of the remaining rubber-dome keys, which can be a little jarring when typing. Second, the gaming keys use standard Cherry MX-mount key caps, while the other keys do not, meaning that you can’t easily replace all the key caps. Since the Light Strike keys use a top-mounted LED, the letters on those keys are above the letters on the rest of the keys: compare the “F” and “G” keys in the image belo.w

bloody_b188_light_strike_switch_compare

Also, the key backlighting is different: the gaming keys have individual blue LEDs, while the other keys rely on an electroluminescent lighting that can vary between blue, teal, and green.

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Overall, the EL backlighting is smooth, even, and much brighter than the backlighting of the B720.

bloody_b188_iso_enter

Since, like the B720, the B188 eschews a standard top plate bezel around the keys, the white plastic support structure is clearly visible and looks a little jarring with the backlighting off.

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Like many other keyboards (but unlike the much more expensive B720), the B188 provides basic media playback and volume control via Fn-shifted function keys.

bloody_b188_light_strike_media

Let’s check out the keyboard utility software in the next section…


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