Aukey. a company not too well-known for producing computer peripherals have been making noise in this area with recent attempts at producing mechanical keyboards for PC gamers. Here at Bane-Tech, we had the chance to check out one of these keyboards, the KM-G7. This model is more on the cheaper end of the spectrum. While looking past the price, the quality was not affected at all. Currently, Aukey has a few keyboards on Amazon for all under $75, ranging from the most complete G3 to the the model we reviewed the G7.
All these models feature LED-backlit designs with many different lighting preferences. The keyboards also are all mechanical, which means a physical process underneath the key. However, the differences are number of keys as some contain 87, while others have 104. Coming under the $50 mark, the KM-G7 was designed with the 87-Key outlay, also referred as tenkeyless.
While opening up this box, Aukey did an excellent job of boxing this up to protect the keyboard. Inside the box was the keyboard, keycap puller, manual and finally a 24 month warranty card. This warranty is available for registration on the Aukey warranty page. There was not much packaging found in the box and taking everything out of the box did not take long. Neither did the clean up as it was just a simple close of the box. Next, came the setup of the device.
To setup it was just a simple plug in of the USB to my PC. When plugging in the device, it had a neat startup. The keyboard began to flash and keys were lit up which was very appealing. After a few seconds of cycling lights, the keyboard was ready to use without any extra setup.
As the product is targeted towards more tight pocketed consumers, the KM-G7 features Outemu Blue Switches. These Outemu (oh-teh-mo) switches are less-known than the Cherry or Khailh found in Corsair or Logitech’s gaming keyboards. However, they are not to be overlooked as the sound and feel are not far off from the more expensive switches. The quality of the keys itself is on par with the Cherry MX blue switches. If needed, the keys can be pulled off then replaced by Cherry Keys as the Outemu is a merely a clone of this model. The keyboard has a very simplistic and sleek design. Also, looking at the keyboard it is very compact and easy to lay on a desk or stand up with two legs on the back.
As mentioned before, they keyboard has 8 preset lighting effects. This does not include the two additional slots for assignable effects. To name a few, you can set up solid lighting, pulsing of the lights or have a few keys lit while some are not. Aukey has developed this keyboard to not rely on a software to customize lighting. All this is done through using the FN(Function) key plus numbers 1-8 or Insert. To customize your own, you are able to set them to the nine or zero key.
Pros and Cons of KM-G7
Coming in at $39.99, the KM-G7 shows a lot of potential and is a very sturdy build. Aukey did their best to check off each category while keeping the product affordable. Looking on the side of what Aukey did correctly, we see the ability of registering 15 buttons without any confusion. There is also stated to be an anti-ghosting feature according to the Amazon listing. This anti-ghosting allows the keyboard to avoid any types that were not produced by an user, if they were typed by a ghost.
The design is phenomenal and the matte black on the keyboard definitely stands out. The keyboard has no useless logo either, just a simple branding in the top right. As mentioned before, the product is very small and lightweight so you are able to travel with it and use on the go. The ability of switching effects without software is also a plus as it saves time, and you can do without the need of a computer.
We viewed the pros, now let’s check out where Aukey went wrong. First, lighting underneath the keys is blocking illumination and the lights seemed dim. Also, the colors are not changeable from each row. This means each row of keys will stay the same color, regardless of effects which seemed odd to me. A lack of a volume control also displeased me, but this was add more to the keyboard’s small design. To make up for this F10 and F11 control volume.
While using this product for gaming and productivity, I feel comfortable with the keys and the travel time. The KM-G7 is the not most sought out product, but it is an excellent, inexpensive mechanical keyboard. Although, the lighting is not the best the product is still appealing for any desk. This will suit well for those who complete non-gaming tasks, and PC gamers who are on a price constraint. I also do recommend the Aukey KM-G3, which is the full sized keyboard for an extra $24 as it includes the always handy number pad.
I also did a video review on this product which can be found on my Youtube channel. In this video, I gave some more in-depth review and showed the keyboard in live time.
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