The Roccat Valo keyboard draws attention by the big number of additional keys. It comes with 41 dedicated keys just to record macros with up to 500 (!) keystrokes in a single long sequence. Furthermore, it has illuminated keys and it includes a small microphone to be plugged to the side (for the user who doesn’t want to speak through a headset). Those and other features are going to be examined in the course of this review, beginning with the physical description of the keyboard.

First, let’s review what is a macro. As we explained in other reviews, a macro is a long command sequence that can be programmed to be activated by a single keystroke. For gamers, a well-done macro is a timesaver (and sometimes a virtual lifesaver) during a match, like activating your character’s mount with a single button in World of Warcraft.

Valo keyboardFigure 1: Roccat Valo keyboard

Besides the standard keyboard layout with 105 keys, the Valo features 55 more buttons – macro keys, multimedia keys and other functions. Thus, it’s a big model, practically the size of a regular keyboard plus a wrist rest. On the upper left corner there’s a USB 1.1 port; on the opposite side you can find audio connections for a headset or the Roccat microphone.

Valo keyboardFigure 2: USB port

Valo keyboardFigure 3: Sound connections

Valo keyboardFigure 4: Microphone

On the upper right corner there’s an LCD display to show the current user profile, email alerts, date and time, RAM usage and other types of information. The plastic cable ends in two USB connectors and two 3.5 mm audio jacks (sound and microphone) to be plugged into a PC.

Valo keyboardFigure 5: LCD display

A self-assumed gadget-freak and an avid gamer, André Gordirro has written about pop culture, Internet and technology for the past ten years. He works for SET Magazine, Brazil's biggest movie magazine, and usually contributes to its technology section writing about consumer products. His body lives in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil – although his mind is said to inhabit cyberspace.