When it comes to advertising and marketing, what’s in a name?
Quite a lot, as it turns out. Because, depending upon where your mind is, Battle Ram is either a Masters of the Universe vehicle, or a device you’d get from the ‘heavy duty’ section of an adult store.
But the Sades Battle Ram is neither. In fact, it’s a snazzy but solidly built keyboard and mouse set, loaded with LEDs but still able to take a hammering. It’s not that I’d recommend you make a habit of demolishing your keyboard, even though each key on the Sades is supposedly good for 10 million keypresses. The Battle Ram is also supposedly waterproof but I’m still going to take care drinking near it.
My initial impression was that the Battle Ram keyboard was partly made out of metal, but instead the top is really tough plastic. It fooled me at first glance and the whole device certainly looks a treat. I’m not sure if the little “rivets” really do anything, but they look great. The LEDs can be set to cycle, to one specific colour, or to “breathe”, which sounds hugely sinister. I appreciated the second option since it let me set the keyboard LED to the same colour as my gaming PC’s front light.
Another feature you’ll appreciate, for entirely different reasons, is the way you can turn off the Windows button on the keyboard. I’ve accidentally hit the key more than a few times, yanking me out of whatever game I was playing, so I was glad to put paid to that. The keys have enough travel and there’s a small click with each keypress but it’s not infuriatingly clicky.
Being a gaming keyboard, it’s a little chunky; the wrist rest can’t be removed, so it does take up more space than your average model. The mousepad which comes with the set, however, was a little too big for my taste. If you’re using a compact desk versus an office-size desk, you’re better off switching it out for a smaller mouse pad. As for the mouse itself? It’s a very nice piece of kit – even with the LEDs, it’s not quite as visually striking as the keyboard itself, but when it comes to mice you don’t want something particularly chunky.
Is it a problem that it’s wired? No. This set is built for gaming and the last thing you want is your device cutting out mid-game. Feature wise, however, it’s hard to fault. It has a mouse wheel, which is a given, but you can tweak the optical DPI – basically, the sensitivity – and the colour of the middle light reminds you what DPI it is (provided the manual page is within reach). I ended up dialling up and down the sensitivity until I hit the sweet spot, at which point it was a piece of cake to use.
However, that’s only part of the story – there’s actually a button that drops down the DPI, essentially putting the game into sniper-mode. By holding that button, you can aim with precision before getting up and charging around whatever map you’re on. It smells of gimmickry but, in practice, it works really well. In fact, the aforementioned big mousepad is probably my biggest complaint about this set.
The Sades Battle Ram is a great budget-priced piece of kit. Currently £39.99 via Amazon, it’s a steal for both a gaming keyboard and mouse. It’s comfortable, easy to use and, with the sniper button, has the potential to give you an edge. At this price, you’d hard-pressed to go wrong.