G.Skill RIPJAWS KM780 Keyboard Review - Is it Worth it?
Before I dive into this G.Skill RIPJAWS KM780 gaming keyboard review, let me start out by saying that I've never used a gaming keyboard before. I've always used a regular wireless keyboard that cost me something like $20.
Part of the reason is I just never felt it was necessary to get something else. Why would it be? I was always perfectly happy with what I had.
That said -- I've seen the light (inside the keyboard,) and it is good...
Unboxing and Specs
When you first open up the box, you see that there isn't really much to this thing. You essentially have 3 separate pieces:
- The keyboard and wires
- The wrist rest (which feels weird to say)
- Another small piece that holds extra keyboard pieces
The extra pieces are kind of neat, as they are basically textured pieces used to replace the standard keys that are most commonly used in games. A, W, S and D are four such pieces -- and the A, W and D have raised sides to help you find them better. Since so many games use these keys for movement, it makes sense they provide something to help you find them easier.
The others are Q, E, R, C, F, and G. I'm guessing Q, E and R are because of games like League of Legends where you just those top-left buttons, but to be honest I'm not as sure why F and G are there.
Speaking of keys, you get 6 extra ones on the left side of the keyboard, 4 on the top (that can record macros,) and 3 special hotkeys. Those on the left are (I guess) for whatever you want, whereas the 4 macro buttons are primarily for recording your favorite macros in-game. The three hotkeys are to lock Windows keys, adjust keyboard lighting brightness and activate a timer (which you customize in the software.)
My favorite feature of the RIPJAWS KM780 keyboard by far is the lighting.
I love to play games (and work) in the dark, but that's more difficult if you can't see the freaking keyboard. Having lights between the keys and lighting up the letters/numbers themselves is incredibly helpful.
I honestly don't think I could ever go back to a regular keyboard, if nothing else because of these lights.
One thing I was (unpleasantly) surprised about was the fact this bad boy takes two USB slots. If you have a decent-sized tower this probably isn't a big deal, but anyone with a smaller rig (and thus fewer slots) should be aware of that.
I admit that I should've tested this with more games, but so far I've only tested it three ways:
- Heroes of the Storm
- Typing (I'm writing this with the KM780)
I tested this with HoTS and RIFT to get two different perspectives. I figured playing a MOBA would give me an idea of how the keyboard did with just a few keys. Playing an MMORPG let me use the macros a bit and test the textured keys.
To allow customization of the keyboard, G.Skills created a companion software you need to download.
...well, you don't need it. But if you want to get the most out of the keyboard, you'll go get it.
Here are a few things it lets you do:
- Change the lighting schemes (although I think this is kinda confusing)
- Set macros to G1 - G6
- Set up different profiles (so your World of Warcraft profile will have different macros than RIFT, for example.)
- Adjust advanced settings like the Repeat Delay and Polling Rate
So there's a lot you can do, but I have to admit that it's kind of confusing to me. Maybe if I had more experience with gaming hardware I'd be able to navigate the software better, but as it is I don't know what I'm doing with it, so I'm primarily leaving it alone.
As I mentioned earlier, I love that the keyboard is lit up. You can adjust the lighting scheme to all kinds of things, from a wave of different colors going across the keyboard to a solid, single color.
You have a wide range of colors to choose from since it's an LED. Personally I like the built-in effects (like the wave effect) that use multiple colors, as it just gives the keyboard a lot more character than if everything was the same.
Again, the best thing is that I can freaking see what I'm doing! No more getting into the middle of a fight in Heroes of the Storm and struggling to find the right key because I'm playing in the dark.
This keyboard does what it's supposed to do. When I push down on a key, the computer registers it. So you know -- that's good.
I don't exactly see how this would make me a more competitive gamer, though. Having access to a few extra keys for macros probably doesn't hurt, but a gaming mouse can do the same thing and is a little easier to reach.
My biggest gripe about this keyboard is that the keys are a little smaller than the keyboard I use most of the time. This has caused me to mistype several times, so (to me) it's not ideal for work.
But since this is a gaming keyboard, it probably isn't a big deal most of the time. Especially if you're playing a game that only uses a few keys.
I like this keyboard.
Granted -- the (slightly) smaller keys aren't my favorite and the software isn't the easiest thing in the world to understand. But I like just about everything else about this thing.
The volume control wheel is cool. The extra hotkeys are nice. The keys are very responsive. AND THE THING LIGHTS UP! (Since I've never used a well-lit keyboard, I just can't get over that.)
If you play games that utilize macros or even just like to play in the dark (as I do,) the G.Skills RIPJAWS KM780 gaming keyboard is a great buy. Right now it retails on Amazon.com for anywhere from $119 to $158, depending on the color key switch you get.
But if you're a very casual gamer and don't care about that stuff, save your money. It just doesn't make sense to invest in hardware like this unless all of its features will get a lot of use.