Don’t expect as much features on this keyboard as with regular gaming keyboards; to reduce the size of keyboard, many functions and features had to be sacrificed. However, this is still a gaming keyboard, and gaming features are present.
The keyboard includes five Macro keys; three thumbster keys and two numpad keys. The thumbster keys are particularly ingenious, as they are right below the spacebar and accessible with the thumbs without having to leave the WASD area, which can be especially helpful in FPS games. The other two macro keys can only be enable during “Gaming Mode”, i.e. when the arrow keys, not the numpad, are enabled. The other interesting featuring is the ability to enable disble keys such as the windows keys, Caps Lock keys and Tab Keys.
Once you’ve assigned Macros and settings that are needed for playing, say, an MMORPG, you can switch profiles and assign different Macros for an RTS, and then a different profile for Media Player Functions.
Using the keyboard took a while for me to get used to. The biggest problem was they keys are smaller in size and closer to each other than regular keyboards. This created problems in finding the right key without looking for it, and led sometimes to pressing two keys at the same time. While one can get used to this, you can’t help but feel that the keys are maybe too compacted, and you would’ve been more comfortable with a larger keyboard.
Other than that, there aren’t any drawbacks. The keys are all comfortable medium height, and lovely to type on, and while at first I hated the idea of having only the numpad or the arrow keys active at one point, the situations where you would be needing both at the same time are very minimal, and thus it hardly counts as a problem.
The Arvo is a great keyboard. However it is still a compact keyboard, and it does not replace a proper full size gaming keyboard. However, for those looking for smaller sized and/or compact keyboards, the Arvo is as good as they come, with a slick design, great usability, and a features that aren’t normally available in other compact keyboards.