I mentioned earlier that I am on the quest to find the perfect keyboard. My first keyboard in this quest was the Vortex Race 3. In short: I both love it and hate it.
I’ve come to realize a few notable issues with the board, and I’m not finding any information online that would help me resolve these issues.
First, Mac Mode (Fn+M) does not swap Alt and Command. I had to resort to a layer for custom programming to swap them.
Second, the 32 keystroke limit does not work. It will only take 4 keystrokes maximum in a programmed macro. I validated it in a text file. I set Fn+C to be 10 contiguous “a”s. It only distributed 4 of them. I set Fn+\ to be Command+Spacebar, Fn+B, “safari”, Fn+B, RETURN; it would only bring up Spotlight and then “s”—the 4th keystroke.
Third, macros are erratic even when their total strokes are less than 4. For instance, I created an Automator application to a bunch of AppleScripted keystrokes to simulate copy in one application, switching to two different applications and pasting in the clipboard. I then set that Automator application to run via a Quicksilver trigger—Command+Shift+\. To simply the keystrokes to invoke the application, I programmed Fn+C to be Command (Alt in programming mode)+Shift+\. The results are sporadic and inconsistent, but usually what I get is the existing clipboard pasted into the two desired applications instead of the current selection. Every so often, it works as designed, but the overwhelming majority of the time it fails However, if I do the Command+Shift+\ shortcut, it works 100% of the time.
Not sure what to make of these issues, but it is leading me to believe that the Vortex Race 3 is an inferior product. I’d like to think that updating the firmware would resolve these issues, but additional reports online show that some firmware updates have created new issues along the way; furthermore, I don’t have Windows, so I can’t update anyway. It’s sad, because I like the keyboard.