In today’s gaming industry, the focus has shifted to mechanical gaming keyboards but those come with a very high price tag, compared to the normal membrane design. This is where Sandberg, with its Thunderstorm entry level gaming keyboard comes into play. You get all the bling, design and some features from the top tier one but with a more manageable price. It is aimed at casual gamers that also want to enjoy the experience of a well built and easy to use peripheral. When you register on wildcardcity, you will earn big bonuses and play many games.

This is the second product from thier line of “EsportsEquipment”, along with the Sandberg Blast Mouse, which we also reviewed here.


Sandberg states that their brand stands for quality and user-friendliness.

Their ideology “IT is for everybody” is part of everything we do. A Danish firm that since its inception in 1985, private consumers, institutions and companies have benefited from this simple philosophy. Distributors and dealers appreciate the availability, range, simple procedures and the exceptionally low failure rate. Every year over half a million Sandberg products find their way to users in more than 65 countries.

Choosing Sandberg means choosing a safe and conscientious product that meets all applicable regulatory requirements. A product manufactured by subcontractors who are committed to following Sandberg’s Code of Conduct to ensure decent working conditions and reduce the environmental impact of the production and waste disposal.


Price when reviewed

Sandberg : £ 60.34Via



Presentation and Specifications


A nice 3d rendering courtesy of their website.

– USB interface
– Cable length: 1.8 m
– 104 standard keys
– 10 multimedia keys
– Backlight color: Blue, red, purple (switchable)
– Weight: 1100 g
– Dimensions: 46.7 x 20.4 x 3.1 cm
– Compatibility: MacOS, Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8, 10


Visual inspection


The Sandberg Thunderstorm gaming keyboard comes inside a large box that has a product image on a black background along with several thunderbolts around it, evoking the name and the theme of lightnings bolts.


Flip it, we have a quick presentation about it in 24 languages.


Open the cover, the keyboard is displayed behind a plastic cover. On the flap, we learn that you can choose from 3 different backlight LED colors – Read, Blue and Purple.


And here she is. No included manual or drivers or anything. More is less i suppose. The blue nylon braided cable is ~ 1.8 meters long.
The logo and brand name is centered above the function keys. We have 104 standard keys and 10 multimedia keys which we will also present later.


The back of the keyboard has sections filled with armor looking patterns. Two rubber feet on the bottom and two kickstands.


These are two kickstands. They will give about 15 mm of extra clearance off the desk.


Then the 180 cm long blue and black nylon braided gold plated USB plug.



Zooming in, we see the lighting bolts patterns which are transparent to let the light pass through when activating the LED lights.
We also notice the LED on/off and selector for the 3 available LED lights – between the right ALT and FN keys.


Here are 5 of the 10 macro keys. You can control the system volume up and down, open a new browser tab, the home page or close/cancel tasks.


Then the other 5 from the right side. You can mute the system, 3 for music control (pause/pay, forwards and backwards) and to open the Windows music library. Also the page up and down keys can be used to control the brightness levels of the LEDs.


We removed the WASD keys and here is the all familiar standard membrane design.





Mainly we will use it for gaming sessions (3 different type game genres) then some typing tests.
Also we will test the noise from the keystrokes, using used our Pyle PSPL01 placed 30 cm away from the keyboard.

Hardware used.

– CPU: Intel i7 4790k @ stock 4.0 Ghz w/ 4.4 Turbo Boost – 88 W TDP
– CPU Cooler: Cryorig C7
– SSD: Samsung M.2 950 Pro 512 GB MLC NVMe
– Memory Modules: 16 GB (2x 8 GB) DDR3 Crucial Ballistix Tactical Tracers 1600 Mhz CL8 LED
– Video card: MSI GTX 980Ti 6G Twin Frozr V Gaming
– Case: Thermaltake V1 Core mITX
– Fans: 1x Thermaltake 200 mm
– PSU: Corsair SF600 SFX 600W
– Monitor/TV: Samsung UE32F5000 LED 32″ 1080p
– Monitor/TV stand: G-VO 32”-55” Universal Tabletop
– Mouse: Sandberg Blast mouse
– Desk: Piranha PC7bg Barbel Compact Toughened Black Glass

Software used.

– Windows 10 Pro x64 Build 1511.10586
– Witcher 3 v1.21 – 15 minute gaming session
– Crysis 3 – 15 minute gaming session
– Diablo III – 15 minutes gaming session

So let’s test the lights. Press the flashlight key which is located between the right ALT and FN buttons. Cycle throw it to give you all the 3 available LED colors. Plus the option to turn then off.




As you can see on the max brightness level, even with our illumination gear, the keyboards LEDs are quite bright.
Speaking of brightness here is how it looks and how to operate them – via the Page Up/Down buttons.

Now let’s turn off our surrounding lighting. Also notice that the number lock LED is always blue, the same for the caps lock light, despite what color you are on. We are not bothered by this, so it depends on you if this small detail should have been also color coordinated.




One more trick up its sleeves, is that you can activate a “fade” effect that cycles through each color. Very Nice. You activate it by pressing simultaneously the FN key + the LED Light key, like so:

And if you pair the Sandberg Thunderstom with the Sandberg Blast Mouse and some RGB LED strips on your monitor/TV and/or desk, you can create quite the atmosphere.





Results and impressions



In terms of gaming, the layout is really good and easy to find. For example on UK spec keyboard layouts (versus a Nordic US one), usually the left Shift key is shorter because they moved the left slash ( \ ) in between the shift key and the Z key. Thus you can easily mistake the slash for the shift. Not on the Thunderstorm, all is good.


We did/wrote the whole review for the Sandberg Thunderstorm meaning all the writing part for it, on it. Compared to our standard office one, it is miles away in terms of feedback, keystrokes, usability and easy of writing. Thus soft keys to press but this depends on preferences. Being a membrane design not much to complain or to expect really.

Key strokes sound

Our office standard membrane keyboard – 45 dB/a
Sandberg Thunderstorm membrane keyboard – 49 dB/a

Lower is better but the differences are not that noticeable really and generally anything under 50-55 dB/a is considered on the quite-ish side in an ambient normal/office space/room. But this depends again on preferences and needs. Some may find it potentially noisy than others. But these are numbers to give you a general idea.




A good option to consider for an entry level gaming keyboard with some bling and features.

The Good:

+ High overall and build quality
+ 10 Dedicated Macro Keys
+ Braided long cable with gold plated USB plug
+ 3 LED colors to choose from (Red, Blue, Purple)
+ Adjustable brightness
+ Bold design (subjective matter)
+ Great keystroke feedback despite being only a membrane design
+ Plug and play
+ 5 years warranty

The bad:

– Might have went all the way for full RGB lighting and effects given the price
– Let’s see a mechanical variant as well.


Glob3trotters “Editor’s Choice” Award – 4.5 out of 5



A lot of thanks to Sandberg for supplying us with this test sample !


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