The Vortex Poker III (POK3R) vs. the Poker II: What we know so far

Let's finally check out the RGB lighting! Perhaps the biggest feature of the POK3R is the programming ability. Performance For testing the Vortex Pok3r RGB I spent a few weeks using it as my main keyboard and then for a few weeks I actually have been using it on our testbench due to the limited space on my desk. Alexa Actionable Analytics for the Web. These keycaps are thicker than most doubleshot ABS, but they are still not quite as satisfying to type on as the PBT keycaps. In the interest of fairness I'll still knock it down a point - especially for the inconsistency of the paint - but those two places are the only areas where I can fault it. For testing the Vortex Pok3r RGB I spent a few weeks using it as my main keyboard and then for a few weeks I actually have been using it on our testbench due to the limited space on my desk.


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Full programmability with 3 layers: The Poker II has only two programmable layers with a fixed Pn key. Vortex says the Poker III will have three programmable layers with the Fn and Pn keys being programmable themselves—in other words, full programmability similar to keyboards with custom controllers. More on this below. LED Backlighting with programmability: The Poker II comes in backlit and non-backlit varieties. The same will possibly be true of the POK3R, since some teaser shots show it with backlit-compatible keycaps and some show it with solid keycaps.

Authentic Cherry MX switches: There was some previous speculation that it would be PCB-mounted i. Of course, this is only the default configuration—with 3 programmable layers, you can arrange your function layer any way you want.

Good, because no one enjoyed that on the Poker II. Will be available in ISO: Good news for our European friends. I think there are two main takeaways here. It's also worth mentioning that the keyboard appears to all be in ANSI. I personally went for Cherry MX Browns 45cN as I find them to be the most comfortable to type on, but this is a personal preference thing. The larger keys have Cherry MX stabilizers as well rather than the Costar stabilizers which I personally find great when it comes to removing and reapplying keys, but other people may dislike since they feel a bit less stable than the Costar ones.

Either way I find the Cherry MX stabilizers to be my preference, so this worked out quite well for me. The third switch allows you to turn your Caps Lock key into an FN key something I found extremely handy - makes typing significantly easier.

The fourth and final switch allows you to move the FN and PN key to wherever you like on the keyboard, barring one or two locations after a round of Googling I figured out the one location you can't switch it to is the right CTRL key. The rule of thumb is that the smaller the keyboard, the more ergonomic and comfortable it is.

And this holds true for a number of different reasons, with the most prolific being the distance your hand needs to travel around the keyboard to get to the key you want to press. By extension, this also impacts the distance your hand has to travel to the mouse if you're right handed.

With the POK3R, the distance is as little as 12 to 13cm, whereas on a full-sized key keyboard that distance extends to as much as 30 or even 40cm. As such, the POK3R has been one of the most comfortable keyboards I've used, and even after 13 or 14 hour coding sessions, my wrists feel comfortable and rested especially compared to using a key keyboard. I covered this in the design section but it's worth iterating it again: Starting with the aluminum case and moving on towards the PBT keycaps, you end up with a very high quality keyboard that will be resistant to breakage, flexing, or even having the keys become shiny.

It's probably the most sturdy keyboard out-of-the-box I've ever used. It's worth mentioning that the keyboard also comes in an RGB backlit edition , and if that's what you're into then you're in luck. But the backlit version likely has clear ABS keycaps that are painted and laser etched, so you won't get anywhere near the quality of the thick PBT keycaps I received on mine.

Perhaps the biggest feature of the POK3R is the programming ability. There are now four independent programming layers found that you can toggle through the keyboard, and all of the custom keys are saved directly on the keyboard's hardware rather than requiring companion software to program it.

LEDs under the spacebar will specify which layer you're using after switching into it. The POK3R has been great to use so far and has been extremely reliable. It worked without issue with OS X and I've been using it for a couple months purely for developing and have had a lot of success with it. The native Colemak support, the native four programmable layers Perhaps one area I didn't like is the way the aluminum case was painted: Because of the quality of all of the materials it's also significantly heavier than your average mechanical keyboard, which would make it somewhat difficult to travel with.

But both of these are just nitpicking at this point: