Whirlwind FX Element
Maximum PC|July 2020
Elementary, my dear Watson
CHRISTIAN GUYTON

A FULL-SIZE MECHANICAL gaming keyboard with addressable RGB lighting on a per-key basis, for just a hundred bucks? We were immediately intrigued by the Element, with its promise of high-quality construction and performance, as well as super-immersive lighting that could react dynamically to what happens on screen. It’s an enticing prospect, but we’ve been burned before, so we approached it with a grain of salt in hand.

Since this is the first Whirlwind FX product we’ve reviewed in Maximum PC, let’s take a brief look at the company that brought us the Element. Whirlwind FX is an American company dedicated to improving PC gaming immersion, first releasing the Vortx, a strange little box that produces wind and heat in response to pre-coded actions in any game. The Element keyboard is a more conventional approach to PC hardware for the brand, but that dedication to immersion is definitely still present.

The RGB lighting under each of the Element’s durable plastic keycaps is impressively bright and colorful, with a number of preset idle animations downloadable via the Whirlwind Engine software. The clarity and rainbow color gradient that this keyboard can achieve in lighting easily matches that of far more expensive keyboards from Razer and Steelseries. The interesting part, though, is how the Element’s lighting can react in real-time to games and other media.

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