Trust has rolled out a new entry level keyboard that is worth checking out for those on a budget.
Hitting store shelves last year, the Trust GXT 856 Torac Metal Gaming Keyboard is another entry level keyboard within Trust's portfolio. This model shares a lot in common with the manufacturer's other similarly priced products, but it sets itself apart as it is encased in a robust metallic shell. The keyboard retails for £34.99 and it can be used alongside consoles such as the PS4 and Xbox One, as well as PCs and laptops.
Just like the Trust GXT 830-RW that we had the opportunity to review last year, the GXT 856 has a rainbow of different colours illuminating the gaps between its keys. It's a pretty eye-catching design, but sadly, there isn't the ability to alter the different colours to your liking. Instead, there's three different levels of brightness and a 'Breathe Mode,' which sees the lighting slowly illuminate and then fade away. Besides the lighting and a brand logo positioned above the directional keys, there's nothing that really leaps out about the design. The keyboard is only available in black, and its simple design doesn't do much to really distinguish itself from the pack. Whether this is a good or a bad thing is pretty subjective.
One of our biggest complaints with the GXT 830-RW was its build quality, as its outer plastic shell felt like it could snap with very little force. The GXT 856 doesn't suffer from this issue, however, as it has a sturdy metallic frame surrounding its membrane keys. The keyboard feels robust, and I never felt like it would break if I was to accidentally drop it or crush it with another object (sounds pretty unlikely, but I am clumsy!). The only downside I noticed to this design is that the metal on the keyboard could get awfully cold. This was especially apparent as I had the model to review during the harsh months of December and January.
Something that I should stress is that whilst the keyboard has a metal shell, it does have membrane keys. I found the keys to be responsive to inputs, but they did feel awfully stiff at first until I had been using the peripheral for a number of days. As well as using it for gaming, I ended up using the keyboard within my standard working day, where I spend around eight hours daily creating news stories and articles for the site. When I'm working I'm, of course, typing away a lot, and I found that the keyboard didn't create any kind of discomfort for me even when using it over longer periods.
The GXT 856 has a 180cm cable, which was ample enough to plug into the back of my PC when it was placed on the ground. The cable does share the same issue as the GXT 830-RW though, as it cannot be replaced and feels like it can be easily damaged due to its outer plastic coating. In terms of dimensions, the keyboard is 468mm wide and 188mm tall, which is a fairly modest size and means that you have plenty of desk space left over. There's two clips on the back to hold it upright, but I never used these, as when the keyboard was positioned this way I found it tough to rest my wrists on the metal underneath the keys.
In terms of features, the keyboard has 12 different programmable media keys and these can be used for music playback, accessing applications such as the calculation and mail apps, and opening your web browser. There's also a handy 'Game Mode' switch which prevents the Windows key from being functional when triggered, and there's also anti-ghosting support. The anti-ghosting support can register up to eight different keyboard inputs at the same time. This is perfect for first person shooters or MOBAs where you'll need to trigger lots of different commands simultaneously.
It may not have a flashy design or too many bells and whistles, but the GXT 856 is still a competent keyboard that represents great value for its modest price tag. It's metallic frame feels sturdy and robust, and it has several useful features like its 'Game Mode' switch and its anti-ghosting support. What I did dislike about the keyboard, however, was that its lighting cannot be adjusted and its USB cable feels like it could be damaged pretty easily.
7 / 10
Its metallic frame feels sturdy and robust, its keys feel responsive, I found it comfortable to use over longer periods.
The USB cable cannot be replaced, the lighting cannot be customised, it felt uncomfortable to use when raised.