SteelSeries Shift Gaming Keyboard is, well, Shifty

You're not still using a $10 plank from Walmart for your frag fests, are you? With the torrent of gaming keyboards on the market to accommodate any budget, there's no reason to saddle yourself with an ordinary board. The latest gaming keyboard to enter the fray (and compete for your gaming dollar) is SteelSeries Shift. SteelSeries didn't just pull the name out of a hat, but chose it because of the Shift's ability to alter its appearance and functionality through interchangeable keysets.

"With the introduction of the SteelSeries Shift, we’re able to bring another unique and powerful gaming tool to consumers," said SteelSeries CEO, Bruce Hawver. "The Shift greatly expands the functionality and concept of the original Zboard, which joined our product line in 2008 as a result of our acquisition of Ideazon, with new SteelSeries features that will provide gamers with a keyboard experience that can be customized for all types of games. As we bring the SteelSeries Shift to market, we are continuing to work with the best developers and publishers in the games industry to offer player’s unique layouts and functionalities that will enhance their entire gaming experience."

Don't mistake that to mean this is a rebadged Zboard. According to SteelSeries, the interchangeable keysets is the only trait these two planks have in common. The Shift was designed from the ground up and features "premium plastic" (for those of you who care about such a thing), three height levels, extra wide feet, gold plated audio ports, two USB 2.0 ports (one of them is powered), LED indicators, three layers of on-the-fly macros, and additional layers of mapping on the F and NUM Pad keys.

If you're a current Zboard owner looking to upgrade, SteelSeries says that Shift and Shift keysets are forward and backward compatible with Zboard and Zboard keysets, so you don't have to toss that WoW unit in the garbage bin.

The SteelSeries Shift is available now for $90 with separate keysets going for $25 a pop.