Aula aims at FPS gaming with specialized keyboards

When you're serious about a hobby, you pick up the right tools. A power drill, a mixer, a premium paintbrush. Pretty much anyone who uses a desktop computer has a keyboard attached to it, but there's a subset of us who spend a huge chunk of our time at our computers staring down the barrel of a digital gun. Chinese gaming peripheral maker Aula is joining the ranks of Razer and Logitech and hoping gamers will look at its new specialized keyboard designed specifically for FPS gaming.

Photo: TechPowerUp

TechPowerUp offers up a photo of the as-of-yet-unnamed beast. We can see a core of common FPS keys surrounded by an arch of function keys, eight shortcut keys, and ten macro keys. Interestingly enough, both enter and backspace keys are present in the main block.

Aula also showed off an ultra-condensed keyboard that features a more standard layout, but lacks a dedicated tenkey keypad, functions keys, and navigation key set. TechPowerUp says those missing keys will be handled by secondary functions activated with an Fn key. If the layout looks familiar, you're probably thinking of the Happy Hacking keyboard.

Photo: TechPowerUp

TechPowerUp also reports that the two keyboards will be bundled together, though Aula hasn't offered up a release date or price yet.

Comments closed
    • Ninjitsu
    • 3 years ago

    not enough keys for Arma

    • caconym
    • 3 years ago

    The first one looks like it’s a peripheral for the Atari Jaguar.

    • eofpi
    • 3 years ago

    Any chance at all of a right-hand version for us southpaws?

      • kurazarrh
      • 3 years ago

      Let me ask my Magic 8 Ball…

      … It’s laughing at me. What does that mean?

      🙁 I share your pain, though.

      • Generic
      • 3 years ago

      That’s got to be a tough sell in any peripheral’s planning stage.

      There may be as much as 20% lefties in a given group, but I imagine that too many of us learned to mouse right handed to take that percentage seriously.

      It makes no sense to mass produce them, but an online option with a nominal fee would be better than nothing (like hunting rifles really).

      • Dazrin
      • 3 years ago

      If you don’t need programmable keys there are a couple options. There are a bunch of similar ones (look like re-brands of these) in the “other customers look at …” area too.
      [url<][/url<] [url<][/url<] You might be able to find one of these ambidextrous models, but they are several years old (probably 10+): [url<][/url<] Also, the main part of the Logitech G13 can be used either way if you don't need/use the thumb stick, I don't use mine but I do use one of the buttons next to it. I tried the Nostromo and an older Belkin version before I got my G13 and definitely like the G13 best.

    • thedosbox
    • 3 years ago

    I’m a long time user of the Belkin Nostromo and Razer Tartarus (horrible software though), so I see the utility afforded by these things. but that thing has waaaay too many keys to be usable IRL. You need to be able to identify specific keys without looking at the keyboard, and that arch of 16 keys is not going to be practical. The same applies to that array of 8 tiny buttons.

      • Chrispy_
      • 3 years ago

      Agreed. The Tartarus would be nice if it wasn’t hampered by Razer’s software.

      This Aula thing isn’t even a particularly good example of the “extended WASD cluster” gaming peripheral. If I were making it from scratch I’d look at what your average left hand can reach without moving position from the WASD or ESDF cluster. Taking WASD as a starting point, the following keys aren’t practically reachable without moving your wrist: ~, 6, Y, H, N, and any of the F-key row at all. There’s also a world of unused space underneath that opposable thumb wasted by the “[i<]SPECIAL GAMING KEYBOARD[/i<] decal and the number pad, arc of buttons around the top edge and all of the little buttons above H and J are completely unusable without compromising WASD, [i<]which is the sole point of these peripherals[/i<]. IMO, an idiotic device designed by incompetent people.

      • Fieryphoenix
      • 3 years ago

      *sigh* This thing reminds me of my Thrustmaster Tacticalboard, though without the obsolescence.

    • BillyBuerger
    • 3 years ago

    The small keyboard looks like a standard 60% keyboard. HHKB is similar but has it’s own take on some things. Ctrl and Caps lock swapped. Backspace and |\ + ~` swapped. Plus a different bottom row.

    • Chrispy_
    • 3 years ago

    But most games have chat functions and require (or at least, they’re much better) with a full layout. TKL, sure – but not having a full alphabet is a real problem.

    This type of product is not new: It has been launched before (at much lower price points for essentially the same thing) and it has always been both a massive sales failure and a disappointing piece of kit to actually use.

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