The Vortex Poker II is a true 60% layout mechanical keyboard with real-time macro programming. Vortex removed all the non-essential keys and shifted their functionality to another layer within the keyboard. The result is a compact, aesthetically pleasing, and highly functional keyboard. Vortex only has 40 Cherry Red units and 20 Cherry Black units so join while you can! We'll have to close the buy once everything's sold out.
The Vortex Poker II uses mechanical key switches made by a German company called Cherry Corp. Cherry makes a variety of switches and each of them produces a unique and enjoyable typing experience. You'll be able to choose between Cherry Red, and Black switches at checkout.
Cherry MX-Black switches are linear (non-tactile) switches, these are considered one of the best switch types for gaming. When gaming, having a tactile bump does absolutely nothing because you're going to be bottoming out anyway. So these give you a very smooth feel. The actuation and release points are at the exact same position as well. So games that require a lot of double tapping become easier than on any other keyswitch. However, most people don't enjoy typing on them that much do in part, to their linear nature.
If you're a person who tends to hit a wrong key every so often while gaming, these will be beneficial in that the high actuation force will help prevent many of those accidental presses.
Cherry MX-Red's are another switch that can be considered a "gaming" switch. It's essentially a lighter version of the MX Black, requiring less force to actuate. Some people do not find this switch that good for typing or gaming because it is so light, but others rave for this fact. Light or Stiff is always a matter of preference. This switch was hard to find; and was reported as EOL, but it is still in limited production with a higher than average MOQ leading to higher cost to board makers. Marketed with high demand, boards with this switch are becoming more common, but are generally more expensive as well.
The Vortex Poker II is 40% smaller than a normal keyboard without sacrificing any functionality. All the extra keys like Page Up, and the function row are accessible on a secondary function layer. Hold down the FN key and "9" becomes "F9", "I" becomes "Insert", etc.
This keyboard is fully programmable via hardware so there's no software to install, just plug it in and start building macros. Since all of the programming happens on the keyboard, you can plug it into any computer and take your custom layouts wherever you go.
Here's a quick example. Say you want a button that duplicates a selected row of text. You could map the left ALT key to do Ctrl + C, .1 second delay, Ctrl + V. You'd do that by holding down the Fn key, pressing Rt Ctrl (this drops you into programming mode), then pressing ALT followed by Ctrl + C, Fn + G, Right Arrow, Space, Ctrl + V, the Pn key to finish it. Now, you can press Fn + Right Shift to put yourself into the programmed layer and every time you hit Alt, you'll copy and paste whatever material you've got selected.
In addition to all the programming, there are four DIP switches on the back. The first one swaps Caps lock for Fn, the second swaps Right Control with Tilde, the third switch is a placeholder, and the fourth switch locks the programmable laye
All orders will be shipped by Massdrop.
Estimated ship date is Dec 13, 2013 PT.
After the drop ends, payment will be collected. To deliver the best value to the group the request will then be submitted to the vendor up front, making all sales final. Be sure to check the discussion page for updates.