Gaming Keyboards  Tagged Articles RSS Feed | GameSkinny.com Gaming Keyboards  RSS Feed on GameSkinny.com https://www.gameskinny.com/ en Launch Media Network SteelSeries Sets Sights on "Boring Office Peripherals" With New Mouse, Keyboards https://www.gameskinny.com/6r1a5/steelseries-sets-sights-on-boring-office-peripherals-with-new-mouse-keyboards https://www.gameskinny.com/6r1a5/steelseries-sets-sights-on-boring-office-peripherals-with-new-mouse-keyboards Wed, 22 Jan 2020 14:41:01 -0500 GS_Staff

Considering the crushing burden of student debt, not everyone can afford a $150 gaming mouse or a $250 gaming keyboard. Or, appraising the deliciousness of well-prepared restaurant-style Ramen, one might prefer to spend their money elsewhere. Luckily, SteelSeries has released three new gaming peripherals set on providing gamers with quality on the cheap. 

Enter the Rival 3 gaming mouse and the Apex 3 and Apex 5 gaming keyboards. The goal with each peripheral is to replace "boring office peripherals" that many gamers use on a day to day basis. Ehtisham Rabbani, SteelSeries CEO, said of the new peripheral line: 

There are so many gamers out there that are stuck using boring, traditional office peripherals for gaming. With these new products, we set office products in our sights and sought to retool our cutting-edge technologies and put them into products that are accessible for every gamer. No one should have to be stuck using run-of-the-mill office products for gaming.

The Rival 3 retails for $29.99 and employs SteelSeries' TrueMove Core optical sensor. The sensor, made in collaboration with PixArt, is capable of reaching 8,500 CPI. Though that value isn't as meteoric as the Rival 600's 12,000 CPI, it's also $50 cheaper than the Rival 600. The Rival 3 is also 77g and has switches rated for 60 million clicks. 

Retailing for $49.99, the Apex 3 is a full gaming keyboard, complete with num-pad. It features proprietary SteelSeries switches said to surpasses 20 million keypresses. The keyboard is also IP32 water-resistant, similar to the Corsair K68. The Apex 3 also features nifty cable re-routing underneath the chassis, magnetic wrist rest, dedicated media keys, customizable lighting, and "gaming-grade" anti-ghosting. 

At $99.99, the Apex 5 gaming keyboard is the most "expensive" product in the new SteelSeries line. However, it has a few tricks up its sleeves, such as featuring switches that bridge the gap between membrane and mechanical. According to SteelSeries, the Apex 5 also has a magnetic wrist rest, dedicated media controls, and customizable lighting. It also has an OLED Smart Display for viewing information from Discord, TIDAL, and more. 

Of course, we haven't tried any of these products ourselves, so we can't specifically speak to their quality. But SteelSeries has been steadily upping its quality over the past several years, as seen in its other products, such as the Arctis Pro+ gaming headset, Stratus Duo controller, and Sensei Ten ambidextrous gaming mouse. 

All three peripherals are available now globally. You can learn more about them by visiting the SteelSeries website. Be sure to stay tuned for more on these products as we're able to go hands-on with them in the coming weeks. 

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HyperX Alloy Origins Review: One of 2019's Best Keyboards https://www.gameskinny.com/i3xsy/hyperx-alloy-origins-review-one-of-2019s-best-keyboards https://www.gameskinny.com/i3xsy/hyperx-alloy-origins-review-one-of-2019s-best-keyboards Tue, 03 Dec 2019 14:25:04 -0500 Kenneth Seward Jr.

When I reviewed the HyperX Cloud Alpha S, I mentioned how there was nothing like owning a solid gaming headset. I stand by that statement. To be able to compete, though, gamers need more than a good pair of cans. They also need a great keyboard.

By great, I mean one that fits your particular needs. Anyone can grab the latest and greatest mechanical keyboard. And for their money, they'll likely get a pleasant experience. Maybe even improve their game a bit. But finding one that suits your playstyle is key.

Insert the HyperX Alloy Origins  a full-sized gaming keyboard with all the trimmings. We’re talking custom switches, backlit keys, multiple modes of play, and more. It has what any gamer could want at an affordable price.

HyperX Alloy Origins Design

The HyperX Alloy Origins is stylish. Its mechanical keys, composed of HyperX Red switches, sit up on the board as if they’re daring you to type. Their linear design offers less feedback than other switch types. That said, their travel path is clear of any “bumps,” allowing for repeated presses in quick succession.

RBG lighting is designated for each key. This provides a nice under glow and characters (numbers, letters, etc.) that pop. With five different brightness levels, Origins offers illumination options for any setting.

Origins is also designed to be compact. Even though it has a full set of keys and a number pad, it won’t take up a ton of real estate, freeing up space for other peripherals. Being a writer/illustrator, I typically adorn my desk with a keyboard, mouse, Wacom tablet, and whatever else I’ll need throughout the day. Having more room is always a plus.

Beyond stylish, this keyboard is also durable. Its lightweight, aluminum body features an aircraft-grade brushed finish. This makes it sturdy, which is something I can attest to. I accidentally dropped it once while transporting it to different rooms in my house, and it held up in the process.

Origins is made to be portable. It comes with a detachable USB (Type-C to Type-A) cable for quick hookup. It also has three adjustable angles via the tabs on the back, making it suitable for various tabletops and surfaces. Need to take it to a friend’s house? Having a LAN party? Want to use it with a console? Origins has you covered.

HyperX Alloy Origins Comfort

I typically stay away from mechanical keyboards with raised keys. They usually sit at an angle that isn’t conducive to gaming for long periods. That’s even when using adjustable tabs.

That isn’t the case with the HyperX Alloy Origins keyboard, though. Messing around with the tabs on the back, I was able to find an angle that works for me.

Take that with a grain of salt, of course. While I’d champion the board for providing a certain level of comfort thanks to it’s three different tab settings I’m the variable here. Still, it would be remiss of me not to share that bit of info. Assuming I’m not the only one who has experienced this sort of thing before.

Carpal tunnel inducing stress aside, the HyperX Red switches feel great to push. The up and down movements are always smooth. There’s no click or bump (for feedback purposes). This results in rapid button presses that feel responsive by design. I swear, my typing speed has gone up since using the Origins.

HyperX Alloy Origins Customization

The thing that makes Origins stand out is the ability to customize the experience. This is done using NGENUITY a software that allows you to adjust the keyboard's more advanced features. Once it’s downloaded to your PC (via the HyperX website), you’ll be able to change everything from the way the keys light up to tailoring custom profiles.

NGENUITY is easy to use. A few keypresses and I was able to create custom macros, for instance. Making custom profiles was easier than some other programs as well. Origin’s on-board memory allows for three different profiles, complete with their macros, key bindings, etc. You can even save unique backlighting effects like having various colored lights “waving” through the keyboard  to each profile.

Keeping track of each profile is simple, thanks to the LED indicator housed above the number pad. The same goes for the toggled modes. The indicator light will let you know if you’ve put the keyboard in Game Mode, disabling certain keys (like Alt+Tab) to keep interruptions at a minimum.

Origins also features 100% anti-ghosting and full N-key rollover, which means it’s possible to press multiple keys at once and still have them all register. The coolest feature, though, has to be the ability to link unique macros and customizations to specific games. Meaning, as soon as you load a game, the keyboard will change the functionality of its keys, go into Game Mode, etc.

The Key to Gaming

The HyperX Alloy Origins is a great keyboard. It doesn’t have all of the bells and whistles that some other higher-priced models might the switches aren’t interchangeable, for instance. Still, it sports a ton of customization features, resulting in a suitable board for just about anybody. That’s what makes it better than some of the more expensive keyboards out there.

Its portability is also nice. The lightweight frame and detachable USB cord screams plug and play. This is especially great when it comes to the Xbox One and PS4; I was able to use it seamlessly with both consoles, right out of the box.

Pros:
  • The HyperX Red switches are responsive, feel great to push
  • Lightweight, yet sturdy frame
  • Plug and play USB connection (works with Xbox One/PS4 out of box)
  • On-board memory housing three custom profiles
  • Easy to use customization software
  • Affordable price
  • Compact design
  • RGB Lighting with over 16 million colors
Cons:
  • Can’t change switches – swap out HyperX Red for HyperX Aqua and vice versa

The HyperX Alloy Origins is one of the best keyboards I’ve ever had the pleasure to use. It has some great customization features, is easily portable, and has solid key switches.

At a $109.99 price point, it’s super affordable, especially when you consider that some of the higher-priced keyboards don’t have some of these features.

HyperX Alloy Origins Specs:
Switch Type HyperX Red
Keyboard Type Mechanical keyboard
Backlight RGB (16,777,216 colors)
Light Effects Per key RGB lighting and 5 brightness levels
On-board Memory 3 profiles
Connection Type USB Type-C to USB Type-A
Anti-Ghosting 100%
Key Rollover N-Key
LED Indicator Yes
Media Control Yes
Game Mode Yes
Cable Type Detachable, braided
Cable Length 1.8m
Dimensions Width: 442.5mm
Depth: 132.5mm
Height: 36.39mm
Weight (Keyboard+Cable) 1,075g

 

[Note: A HyperX Alloy Origins review unit was provided by HyperX for the purpose of this review.]

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Logitech G915 Review: Everything's Aces ... Except the Price https://www.gameskinny.com/io8l8/logitech-g915-review-everythings-aces-except-the-price https://www.gameskinny.com/io8l8/logitech-g915-review-everythings-aces-except-the-price Wed, 30 Oct 2019 17:47:13 -0400 Jonathan Moore

I review a lot of keyboards, and with so many releasing each year, even the good ones tend to run together. Every once in a while, though, one really sticks out. 

For the past two months or so, I've been using Logitech's new G915. For me, it's tantamount to a mid-cycle reinvention of the mechanical gaming keyboard. It works expertly for office work and gaming alike. Though, the clicks on some of its switches may be a tad bothersome to certain users. 

At $249.99, it puts itself above many other boards in price, but some of the bells it provides will make some whistle straight to the bank. I find it hard that too many will spend so much on a new board in a market flush full of them, but I can see a subset of users flocking to the G915. 

After spending dozens of hours with the board, I dare say this is Logitech's new standard-bearer. It's well-rounded for almost any use case, whether that be typing up news articles or blasting the competition away in Modern Warfare

G915 Design

The first thing you'll notice about the G915 is how surprisingly thin it is. Measuring in at 18.7in x 5.9in x 0.9in, this board is about as thick as a membrane board or something made by Apple. It's certainly the thinnest board I've ever used. While some others, such as the HyperX Alloy Origins, also feature low-profile chassis, the G915 has that plus extremely low-profile keys, making the board incredibly lean. 

Something else I like about this board is that the charcoal chassis is durable. Like Logitech's G513, such a robust design makes carting this board around a breeze; I don't have to worry about it being resilient or not, and I don't have to worry about accidentally dinging it against a door frame.  

Along the top of the chassis, you'll find three memory buttons, allowing you to quickly switch between three on-board, editable profiles. Next to those, you'll find an MR button, which allows you to quickly record macros. 

Further right are the Wireless and Bluetooth buttons, the Game Mode button, and the brightness toggle button. At the far-right edge of the board, you'll find the media buttons for skipping backward, play/pause, skipping forward, and mute. Above those is a corrugated easy-scroll volume wheel that glides effortlessly when rolled. 

On the far left side of the board are five "G" keys. All are easy to reach, though I did find myself hitting the bottom-most G-key, "G5," quite a bit when I instead wanted to hit "CTRL." On the far right is a full Numpad that comes in handy for office work. 

Along the top edge of the board, you'll find the on/off switch on the left side and a micro-USB charging port toward the right. A variation of this board, the G815, features a USB passthrough along the back as well, though the unit I reviewed, the G915, does not. 

Flip the board over and you'll find the customary two feet on either side. Interestingly  and something I've not seen anywhere else — the feet feature two tiers. You can either flip out the larger foot or the smaller foot inside it, giving you multiple height options for various surfaces and/or preferences. 

G915 Features

A lot of what we've come to expect from gaming keyboards is present here, such as RGB lighting, dedicated gaming keys, and on-board profiles. The RGB here is as vibrant as its ever been on a Logitech board; the game keys are placed elegantly and don't cramp the board too much; and the three on-board profiles are probably more than most casual users will need. 

The features that really shine through are arguably more esoteric than completely necessary. Being able to effortlessly switch between wireless and Bluetooth modes isn't a new feature to Logitech boards, but it's an appreciated one. I prefer the placement of the wireless and Bluetooth buttons to the placement of the same buttons on the G613 wireless, for instance. 

Lightsync RGB is fun, letting you connect all of your Logitech devices via the company's G Hub software. If you like one color pattern and effect, and you want it across your mouse, keyboard, and speakers, Lightsync is the ticket.

The board comes with 10 lighting effect presets, six cycle presets, five animation presets, and four animation cycle presets. You can also make your own animations with Freestyle in G Hub. Here, you can choose everything from specific transitions to default speed, and even specific frames within animations. It's by far the most granular RGB tool I've seen in a keyboard, and it's one that I can see a lot of users having fun with. 

As usual, creating profiles and setting macros is a cinch. There's not much to say here other than Logitech has this down to a science. From specific commands for Discord, OBS, and Overwolf to system strokes, key macros, and other commands, users can set just about anything they'd like. The only disappointing thing here is that you can't reprogram every key on the board, which is somewhat of an oversight for something of such pedigree. 

However "upsetting" that may be, the G915 makes up for it in other areas, such as its ridiculously robust battery life. Logitech boasts 30+ hours of wireless battery life with RGB turned to max. In my time with the G915, I found that to be accurate. Turn RGB off, and you'll allegedly get 1,200 hours of battery life. Of course, I didn't use the board for 50 straight days, and I didn't leave the RGB turned off very much, but the point is that this board shouldn't unexpectedly die on you. 

That's made more certain by the fact that the G915 also works while plugged in. Yep, you can charge the G915 and use it at the same time. It seems obvious, but many wireless boards don't provide such functionality, and it's one that moves the G915 above many of its cohorts in my estimation. 

G915 Gaming Performance 

While I love the GL Clicky switches in my review unit, I can understand that some won't love their sharp tone. Luckily, the G915 comes in two other variants — GL Tactile and GL Linear. Though, I can't speak to those as I did not test them. 

Each set might provide different "clicky" styles and tones, but all have identical profiles. Total travel distance is 2.7mm. Actuation distance is 1.5mm. And average actuation force is 50g. 

Combine that with extremely linear keycaps, and you have a typing machine that can't stop, won't stop. I'll never be able to go back to my other boards after using the G915. However, we're not here to talk about office work. So how does it perform in-game?

In a word: wonderfully.  

Such low actuation distances mean I can pull off ults and movements in a fraction of the time. Although the actuation force of 50g is a little more than other boards, I didn't feel like I was pressing any harder than normal. In fact, I preferred it considering lower values might lead to mis-keyed strokes or accidental presses. 

I also prefer the low-profile keycaps because I can shift from key to key much faster than I can on other mechanicals. Finger motions feel much more fluid here. Whereas other keycaps are often concave, requiring users to pick their fingers up to move, the G915's keys are mostly flat, allowing one's fingers to glide from key to key. 

I'm still not sold on the "clicky" nature of the keys while playing games as it can be distracting, but I'm certainly sold on their speed, feel, and accuracy. Other keycaps just feel clunky and brutish by comparison.  

---

Pros:
  • Razor-thin chassis with low-profile keys
  • "G" keys and dedicated media keys
  • Easily switch between wireless and Bluetooth
  • Three different switch variations
  • Fluid, easy-to-find volume wheel
  • Insane battery life with and without RGB
  • Use while charging
Cons: 
  • $249 price tag is just a tad high
  • No USB passthrough on G915
  • No wrist rest

In essence, the G915 has so many options and extras that it's essentially the only board you'll ever need. It does so many things right that it's almost impossible not to recommend to those with deep pockets. I can only groan about this flagship not having a USB passthrough and a wristrest, both of which really ought to come with the board at such a price point, since you can exclusively use this board in wired mode. 

Those caveats, though, pale in comparison to the $249.99 price tag. Some of these features are already on the $149.99 G613, even if you get the awesome combo of Lightspeed and Lightsync here. Being able to use the board while charging is a nice plus, and the linear, low-profile keys are enough to drool over. But are they drooly enough to get over the price tag? Maybe, maybe not. 

I've told several of my friends about this board over the past few weeks, and they've been wholly invested until I told them the price point. If more people could try the board before buying, they might have a different opinion, but I fear a cool $249 is just too scary for many.

[Note: A G915 review unit was provided by Logitech for the purposes of this review.]

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Save $37 on Corsair's Fantastic K95 Platinum Gaming Keyboard on Amazon https://www.gameskinny.com/qo1xl/save-37-on-corsairs-fantastic-k95-platinum-gaming-keyboard-on-amazon https://www.gameskinny.com/qo1xl/save-37-on-corsairs-fantastic-k95-platinum-gaming-keyboard-on-amazon Tue, 13 Aug 2019 16:36:19 -0400 GS_Staff

If you have the pockets, Corsairs K95 RGB Platinum gaming keyboard is one of the best mechanical keyboards currently on the market. 

While the keyboard is more than two years old at this point, it still stands as a fantastic option for hardcore gamers, as well as MMO and MOBA players. All of its 110 keys are graded for 50 million keystrokes and are fully re-programmable. Its six "G" keys are perfect for in-game macros and shortcuts. 

In our official review of the keyboard, we said:  

... when you dig down into the near-limitless possibilities the keyboard offers, the durability it provides, and the nigh unbeatable aesthetic lighting features, it’s worth your pretty penny.

Whether you’re looking to up your game by being able to issue keystrokes at Flash-like speeds or a keyboard that’s ergonomic, highly configurable, and comfortable, then at least checking out the K95 is something you’re going to want to do. 

Although the K95 typically retails for $199.99, Amazon currently has the Cherry MX Speed variant on sale for $162.98. That's $37 off the retail price. 

If you prefer Cherry MX Browns, you'll save a few more dollars as the Brown version is currently on sale for $159.99.

It's certainly not the lowest we've seen the K95 drop since it released, but it's still a decent discount for anyone currently in the market for a long-lasting mechanical. 

Here are the keyboard's full specs. 

Weight 2.91lbs
Backlighting RGB
Macro Keys 6
Total keys 110
Report Rate 1,000Hz
Switches Cherry MX Speed
Cherry MX Brown
USB Pass-Through USB 2.0 Type-A
Dimensions 18in x 6.7in x 1.4in
Connectivity Wired
Mic Type Condenser
Adjustable Height Yes
Media Controls Yes
Rollover Full N-key w/ 100% antighost

 

You can find it on Amazon here

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GameSir GK300 Keyboard Review: Solid Choice That's Missing a Few Parts https://www.gameskinny.com/l6m7e/gamesir-gk300-keyboard-review-solid-choice-thats-missing-a-few-parts https://www.gameskinny.com/l6m7e/gamesir-gk300-keyboard-review-solid-choice-thats-missing-a-few-parts Fri, 31 May 2019 12:52:38 -0400 Jonathan Moore

Before writing this review for the GameSir GK300 gaming keyboard, I didn't know much about the peripherals company headquartered in Guangzhou, China. However, after testing the GK300 for a few weeks, I can say it's a company I won't forget. 

While this board might not have all of the bells and whistles found in other mechanicals, it's well-built, reliable, and effective. The GK300 is well-worth your attention and your money. 

At $69.99, it's as solid as my every-day Logitech G513 Carbon, even if it doesn't have features like USB passthrough and RGB lighting. As far as gaming keyboards go, it's rather understated and minimalistic. Having both wireless and Bluetooth functionality is as crazy as it gets. 

Design

The GK300 comes in two color variants: all-white and space grey, the latter of which is simply grey with a smattering of black. 

I tested the all-white version, and while I enjoy it as a change of pace from the all-black boards I usually review, I can't help but notice that it has already started to get a tad dirty around the edges. Additionally, the white exacerbates the natural shadows on the right edge of many of the board's 104 keys. This can make the board look a bit dirtier from certain angles or in certain light. 

Minor aesthetic gripes aside, the chassis is made of anodized aluminum featuring an alloy cover. The aluminum's silver is an elegant backdrop for the white keycaps, and it provides a sturdy base capable of withstanding bangs against desk edges and door jams. 

On the front, right-hand side of the chassis, you'll find the GameSir logo and the switch for turning the GK300 on and off; this switch also activates its wireless and Bluetooth functionalities. A Micro-USB charging port is on the left side of the chassis, which can make charging cumbersome if your tower is on the right side of your desk. 

Flip the board over, and you'll find a holder for the USB dongle tucked into the top-right foot. Interestingly, the feet aren't adjustable; the board naturally sits at an unchangeable 7.5 degrees. In an era of customizability, it's an odd choice but not one that bothered me in my time with it. 

Finally, the included white (or black) plastic wrist rest is functional, but hard. It doesn't attach to the board; instead, the board's feet fit inside small grooves cut into the wrist rest itself. 

Functionality and Performance

As stated earlier, the GK300 doesn't have many bells or whistles. You won't find any software here, there aren't any dedicated "G" keys, you can't reassign keys or make new macros, and it doesn't have RGB. 

However, it does have a few nifty things that make it interesting. 

While there's no RGB, that doesn't mean there isn't light. The GK300 features a beautiful white light underneath all of the keys. It comes with three different presets, too: wave and ripple, steady, and breathing. You can cycle through them or turn the lights completely off using the board's arrow keys. 

However, what's more useful is the board's use of Bluetooth. Switching between wireless and Bluetooth modes is literally as easy as flipping the switch in the top-right corner of the GK300. It's a functionality I didn't know I wanted until I had it, and very few boards have it

It's nice being able to seamlessly switch between writing an article and answering a text message without having to pick up the phone or take my hands off of the keyboard. 

Moving to the keys themselves, The GK300 features TTC mechanical Red or Blue switches. These are a bit stiffer than Cherry switches of the same color, although they're listed as having the same actuation force, 45g and 50g respectively. Both TTC Reds and TTC Blues are rated for 50 million keystrokes as well.  

I tested the TTC Reds on this board, which have a higher-pitched clack than the keys found on something like the Logitech G513. That board has a similar body design but uses Romer-G switches. The TTCs also provide a bit more bump than Cherry Reds, which are found in boards like the Corsair K68

Lastly, the board features 10-key rollover and 100% anti-ghosting. While it isn't N-key rollover, I imagine most gamers will get by with 10-key just fine.  

Pros: 
  • Solid anodized aluminum frame
  • Plug-and-play Bluetooth functionality
  • Wireless dongle holder
  • Responsive, low-latency keys
  • 30-hour battery life with backlighting
    • (GameSir claims 300 hours w/o backlighting, but that remains untested)
Cons: 
  • No software
  • No dedicated gaming keys
  • Can't reassign keys
  • Can't assign macros
  • Can't adjust lean angle
  • Charging port on left side
  • Short charging cable

While in-game actions are surprisingly fast and typing is a breeze, I didn't notice a considerable difference between the GK300 and the boards offered by the market's biggest brands. Latency is minimal here, even if it's hard to fully test GameSir's "1ms ultra-low latency" claims. 

What I will say is this: despite what it lacks, the GK300 is a great gaming keyboard. It's even better as a multipurpose typing tool. However, it's not for everyone.

For those that need multiple "G" keys and the ability to remap keys and assign macros, it's best to look elsewhere. There are other keyboards that can mimic the speeds and actuation forces here that also provide those functionalities. 

If you're on a mid-range budget, it's hard to say no to the $69.99 GK300. My wife wants one for work simply because of its Bluetooth capabilities. I think I'll buy her one. 

Here are the board's specs: 

 Connection Type(s)   Wireless/Bluetooth
Platforms   PC/macOS/Android/iOS
Keys Layout 104 mechanical keys
Switch Type(s)  TTC Reds/TTC Blues
Polling Rate 2.4GHz wireless 1,000Hz (1ms)
Polling Rate Bluetooth  125Hz (8ms)
Key Lifespan 50 million clicks
Actuation Force Red: 45g±15gf
Blue: 50g±20gf
Actuation Distance Red: 2.0±0.6mm
Blue: 2.2±0.6mm
Backlight Color White, 5-level adjustable
Battery Capacity  3600mAh rechargeable Lithium 
Charging Voltage 3.7V~5V
Charging Time 2.5~3 hours
Working Time 30 hours
Charging Connectivity Micro-USB
Charging Cable Length 3.28ft
Wrist Rest Size 17.32in x 3.07in
Keyboard Size 17.24in x 5.08in x 1.65in
Weight 3.09lbs

 

[Note: A GK300 review unit was provided by GameSir for the purpose of this review.]

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7 Xbox One Games That Need Mouse and Keyboard Support — But Don't https://www.gameskinny.com/8xvso/7-xbox-one-games-that-need-mouse-and-keyboard-support-but-dont https://www.gameskinny.com/8xvso/7-xbox-one-games-that-need-mouse-and-keyboard-support-but-dont Wed, 09 Jan 2019 17:30:41 -0500 Ty Arthur

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While these are the seven games we'd like to see get mouse and keyboard support on the Xbox One, there are easily dozens more that would work well with more input options.

\n

Of course, personal preference plays a large role here; most players tend to agree that Superhot actually works better with a controller than a mouse, for instance.

\n

What games do you want to see make it to the list? Let us know in the comments section below!

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/a/r/k/ark-survival-evolved-851337-3d03c.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/a/r/k/ark-survival-evolved-851337-3d03c.jpg","type":"slide","id":"193268","description":"

Ark: Survival Evolved

\n

You had to know this one was coming, right? Ark may have been on consoles for quite a while now, but a big portion of the playerbase first jumped in on the early access PC version and is much more used to those controls.

\n

When you have such a sprawling, complicated crafting and breeding system like with Ark, it becomes unwieldy when you cram it all into a handful of buttons.

\n

Keyboard and mouse input opens up Ark's options considerably, although it's worth noting the console version isn't terrible by any means. The devs even somehow managed to make Ark work fairly well with even fewer buttons on the iOS version.

\n

Who knows what's going on with that sorcery. 

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/c/i/t/cities-bacf7.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/c/i/t/cities-bacf7.jpg","type":"slide","id":"193267","description":"

Cities: Skylines

\n

It almost feels like we didn't need to list this one because it's such an obvious contender.

\n

Any overhead city management sim is always going to have a smoother experience when mouse and keyboard are involved; easily scrolling with a mouse instead of relying on a control stick is always better.

\n

The ability to quickly click options in the in-game list instead of having to scroll through them with a controller just makes the gameplay much more satisfying. That's not to mention the accuracy a mouse brings to the table; building roads can be tricky in the PC version of the game, but it's a nightmare on console. 

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/b/a/s/bastion-eef8b.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/b/a/s/bastion-eef8b.jpg","type":"slide","id":"193264","description":"

Bastion

\n

This may be an older title, but it's still beloved by many and is a hallowed classic that put Supergiant Games on the map.

\n

If you've played both versions of the game, you probably prefer the PC version over its console counterpart. That's because the weapon control scheme just works better with a mouse and keyboard.

\n

Fingers crossed this one gets keyboard support soon so we can replay this groundbreaking title on our living room TVs. 

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/d/i/v/divinity-ed18c.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/d/i/v/divinity-ed18c.jpg","type":"slide","id":"193265","description":"

Divinity: Original Sin II

\n

By and large, RPG fans absolutely adored this take on turn-based fantasy shenanigans; they even had a great time with it on consoles last year.

\n

However, there was one nagging issue that kept me from deeming it a console classic, even if it was on PC. 

\n

Of course, that was the lack of keyboard and mouse support.

\n

It's beyond clear this style of game is meant to be played with a mouse and keyboard, much like a classic cRPG. The experience just changes too radically when you try to force this type gameplay onto a limited-input controller.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/w/a/s/wasteland2-be641.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/w/a/s/wasteland2-be641.jpg","type":"slide","id":"193261","description":"

Wasteland 2 

\n

All of those killer old-school, Renaissance-style cRPGs that have arrived thanks to crowdfunding have been making their way to consoles lately. There's no question that they are far better experiences when you ditch the controller.

\n

For a tactical RPG like Wasteland 2, the ability to roll over and click on-screen elements, or to quickly tap keyboard shortcuts, is a huge part of the game's overall feel and style. There's just something lost when playing with a controller. 

\n

Follow-up Wasteland 3 (set in the snowy post-apocalyptic Colorado landscape) will drop later this year, and if history is any indication, we can expect console versions to follow at some point. And all of those should support mouse and keyboard, especially in 2019.

\n

There's really no excuse for them not to. 

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/b/l/a/black-ops-1069648-05df3.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/b/l/a/black-ops-1069648-05df3.jpg","type":"slide","id":"193266","description":"

Call Of Duty: Black Ops 4

\n

This one is a matter of personal preference, but there's a colossal crop of players who prefer playing FPS games with mouse and keyboard, primarily for increased control and accuracy. With the addition of a battle royale mode, mouse support for the Xbox One version of Black Ops 4 has become even more of a necessity.

\n

It's obvious why Fortnite was one of the first games to receive mouse and keyboard support. If you've played both the PC and console version of the battle royale king, you know it's easier to throw up walls or use items quickly by using side mouse buttons or specific key bindings that you've set yourself instead of relying on the game's vanilla bindings.

\n

Blackout may not have the same building aspects as Fortnite, but there are still plenty of other battle royale elements that would make this a much smoother experience with a keyboard and high-end gaming mouse.

\n

That's not even mentioning the boon this would be for traditional multiplayer matches. 

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/h/a/l/halo-wars-featured-dc9e0.png","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/h/a/l/halo-wars-featured-dc9e0.png","type":"slide","id":"193263","description":"

Halo Wars 2

\n

This one is beyond obvious. RTS games were always meant to be played with mice and keyboards in mind; console controllers were ostensibly tacked on later to varying degrees of success (anybody remember Starcraft 64?).

\n

Players have been begging for mouse control for Halo Wars 2 since it first landed, and this seems like a title that must be in the next crop of K+M-compatible announcements.

\n

It's worth noting that players have actually been hacking together unsupported third-party solutions for this problem since the game released, but they usually get banned when playing online, so official mouse and keyboard support would be a godsend to the player base.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/f/r/o/frontcov-7dabe.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/f/r/o/frontcov-7dabe.jpg","type":"slide","id":"193259","description":"

The crossover event we've all been waiting for has arrived: USB mouse and keyboard support for Xbox One is finally here.

\n

Of course, there are some caveats, unfortunately.

\n

While you can plug any USB mouse and keyboard into the console and hope for the best, the only officially licensed device right now is the Razer Turret -- a wireless keyboard/mouse combo that runs at a whopping $249 and was low-key released during CES 2019.

\n

That's a hefty price tag, but it definitely ticks a lot of the right boxes for those looking for a more PC-centric experience on console. Not only does it have the right green/black aesthetic to go with your Xbox One, it also brings the satisfying chunk chunk chunk sounds of a mechanical keyboard to your living room. Plus, it's got a ton of RGB backlighting options to go along with it.

\n

The Xbox One games that support K+M controls are quite limited at the moment, with these games ready to go right out of the gate:

\n
    \n
  • Fortnite
  • \n
  • Minecraft
  • \n
  • Warframe
  • \n
  • Bomber Crew
  • \n
  • Deep Rock Galactic
  • \n
  • Strange Brigade
  • \n
  • Warhammer: Vermintide 2
  • \n
  • War Thunder
  • \n
  • X-Morph Defense
  • \n
\n

Quite a few more titles are set to receive support in the coming months, and it seems obvious that some games are more suited for this input method than others. In particular, there are a host of games that were ported from PC and were obviously made with the keyboard and mouse control schemes in mind.

\n

Here, we've rounded up our top 7 Xbox One games that need keyboard support, from RPGs to RTSes and beyond.

"}]]]>
Bloody B975 Keyboard Review: On the Knife's Edge of Killer https://www.gameskinny.com/c5g94/bloody-b975-keyboard-review-on-the-knifes-edge-of-killer https://www.gameskinny.com/c5g94/bloody-b975-keyboard-review-on-the-knifes-edge-of-killer Wed, 26 Dec 2018 10:01:37 -0500 Jonathan Moore

When I first started reviewing Bloody's B975 mechanical keyboard, I absolutely hated it. Within minutes of taking it out of the finely made rigid book box it came in, I found every reason under the sun to banish it to the scrap heap. 

Its keys were too clacky. Its screw-in wrist rest design made zero logical sense. Its keycaps were etched in a smudgy, retro-futuristic font that best resembled a hastily-drawn alien dialect.  

My hangups seemed endless, so I sat down and wrote an 800-word review slamming the keyboard as inept and utterly flawed. Almost a month later, the B975 is still on my desk, having taken over as my primary board for both work and play. 

Why? Because it's reliable and speedy. That doesn't mean I've completely gotten over its perplexing foibles, but it does mean that I'm willing to recognize when performance outweighs other unfortunate factors. 

Design

The B975 is made of tough anodized aluminum. While it's true the chassis can take a beating and it won't show a single fingerprint or smudge, Bloody's claim that the aluminum design makes the board more "lightweight" isn't exactly 100% accurate.

Weighing in at 3.1 pounds, the B975 is about the same weight as many of the keyboards we've ever reviewed at GameSkinny. What's more, it's about 10 ounces heavier than the Corsair K95 RGB Platinum and almost a full pound heavier than the aluminum-composite Logitech G513

Since this is a relatively average-sized board (it doesn't have extra "G" keys, dedicated keys, or volume wheels) that measures in at 444mm x 132mm x 37mm, that weight is also interesting when positioned in that framework, even if the whole chassis, including the back, is made of aluminum.  

Aside from droning on about the board's weight-to-size ratio and how it's presented in Bloody's marketing materials, the B975 sports the same matte black chassis you've seen in most other gaming keyboards made in the past year or so. It's accented by shiny silver lines that break up the major sections of the board (numpad and nav keys from typing keys, and typing keys from function keys). 

Above the arrow keys you'll find the Bloody logo, and above the "insert", "home", and "page up" keys you'll find the indicator lights for num lock, caps lock, screen lock, and the board's Game function underneath an elegant clear plastic coating. 

Flip the board over, and you'll find the B975's feet, which flip out to the right and left of the board instead of toward the top. Their wide, angled design keeps the board propped at a nice angle, while keeping it stable on every slick surface I was able to test it on. 

Finally, the x-foot long braided cable comes with a nice Velcro strap that lets you easily bundle it when traveling. While this is increasingly common for most wired keyboards, it's a nice quality of life feature that's worth mentioning.  

Performance

The B975 comes equipped with Light Strike optical switches, where you can either opt for the Orange tactile variety or the Brown linear variety. My review unit was equipped with Oranges, which are loud and clacky, something I don't typically prefer. 

However, once I sat down to write my original 800-word review, and then after I played a few rounds of Killing Floor 2 and Paladins, I found the clack didn't really matter anymore. 

While the overall efficacy of Light Strike switches has been debated, the Orange Light Strike tactiles of the B975 felt less bumpy than other tactile switches, such as those found in the Logitech G513. And while I didn't find the G513's keys to be considerably bumpy, the way Light Strikes are constructed has a lot to do with why they feel extremely smooth. 

Since Light Strike switches don't have metal contacts and instead use light to process commands, they intrinsically remove a friction point from the equation. When testing the Romer-G tacticles in the G513 alongside the LK Light Strike tactiles in the B975 side by side, the LK Light Strikes didn't feel as sticky as the Romer-Gs. 



Would you notice the difference without physically testing each switch side by side? That's debatable. However, coupled with a low 1.5mm actuation point, this specific construction means that the B975's keys are effortless and, in theory, cut down on fatigue. Not once during my time with the board did my fingers get tired; neither did I feel as if the keys resisted my presses, causing me to have an overall lighter keystroke style. 

With full N-key rollover and 100% anti-ghosting (both things we've come to expect out of mechanicals as of late), the B975 effortlessly registered all of my keystrokes in game. I was easily able to strafe while also moving forward, and I was also able to easily switch between weapons on the move. 

While rollover and anti-ghosting can be problematic on some keyboards because of how the keycaps are spaced on the board, I didn't find that to be the case here. Except for some inaccurate typing on my part, I didn't find myself accidentally hitting unintended keys. 

Lastly, the B975 is water resistant. Like the Corsair K68, it repels water well, but instead of using channels like the K68, it uses a "water resistant noncoating" to keep water from infiltrating key areas. I tested if this was the case by dumping a whole 8 oz. glass of water on the board, and it worked perfectly even after letting the water sit for 10 minutes. 

Functionality

Whereas the B975 performs well, it does present a few functionality concerns. The most glaring of these is the Netscape-era Key Dominator software. 

Here, you can change RGB lighting and presets along the full color spectrum, re-program keys, and set macros. While it has everything you'd expect in a fully-functional software companion, it's all presented in an outdated and unappealing way. 

For starters, you can't expand the window after opening it. This is especially frustrating when using the software on higher resolution monitors because it makes the already needlessly stylized fonts that much harder to read.

The baffling aesthetic choices continue with grey font on black, strangely watermarked backgrounds; about half a dozen different (and illogically placed) font types ranging from weirdly embossed gothic to laughably off-brand comic sans; icons that don't have any discernible function; and a scroll bar that don't function because there's not enough text for it actually to need to scroll. 

Aside from the copious issues I have the Key Dominator's presentation, it's equally as difficult to recommend the software from a functional perspective as well. If you have another Bloody product, such as the MP-60R mousepad or the SP80 mouse, you'll have to manually sync RGB schemes and illumination patterns as there is separate software for the keyboard and the mouse and mousepad.  

While you can change the function of any key, as well as assign macros such as emulate mouse button or open program "X", navigating and working within each of the program's sub-windows is overly complicated even if you've used software like this before. I feel for anyone whose first experience with keyboard software is this convoluted quagmire. 

Another qualm is that the software opens leaves a small, moveable overlay on the screen even when the main window is closed out. Logically, you would be able to click this overlay to bring the primary window back up, but from what I can tell, the overlay serves zero purpose. On top of that, you can't remove the overlay without fully closing out of the software entirely; it icon even stays visible while playing games in the Steam client (you can see what I'm talking about in the screenshot below). 

Despite it's problems, I will admit that the options available for both lighting and macros are rather extensive. In essence, you can do whatever you want with the B975, all the way down to programming your own macros from complete scratch. While it may be overwhelming for some, others will find that the Key Dominator provides a breadth of customization well worth the overall hassle of using the software. 

Pros:
  • Durable chassis construction and waterproof
  • Switches are responsive and rated for 100 million clicks
  • Fully progammable with N-key rollover and 100% anti-ghosting
Cons: 
  • Wrist rest is uncomfortable, and screwing it into the chassis to attach it makes little sense. 
  • Lack of dedicated game and media keys
  • Obtuse and poorly designed Key Dominator software

Throughout writing this review, I went back and forth on the score. Finally, I settled on a 7 because although I think there are keyboards with much better presentation and software on the market, the B975's performance puts it on the knife's edge of killer. If you're looking for a high-performance board with low latency and comfortable switches, you'll want to consider the B975.

However, at $150, you should consider wisely as there are equally as good, if not better, keyboards available that have more polished presentation and better accompanying software. At the end of the day, it's just hard to overlook the quality of the competition in the price bracket. 

You can pick up Bloody's B975 mechanical keyboard for $149.99 on Amazon

[Note: Bloody provided the B975 used for this review.]

]]>
From Mechanical to Membrane: Best Gaming Keyboards for 2018 https://www.gameskinny.com/1xter/from-mechanical-to-membrane-best-gaming-keyboards-for-2018 https://www.gameskinny.com/1xter/from-mechanical-to-membrane-best-gaming-keyboards-for-2018 Wed, 14 Nov 2018 10:28:08 -0500 ElConquistadork

[{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/p/e/x/pexels-photo-735911-979cd.jpeg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/p/e/x/pexels-photo-735911-979cd.jpeg","type":"slide","id":"190858","description":"

It's easy to get excited about all the brilliant gaming keyboards we're seeing coming in week after week: so excited in fact, that certain pieces might get missed! 

\n

What do you think: what's your keyboard of choice? Did we miss it? 

\n

Are you a devotee to the affordability of the ROCCAT, or will nothing less than the staggering power of Razer's Huntsman Elite do it for you? We want to know!

\n

And for that matter: what else is on your shopping list that we should make a list for? Do you need a new gaming headset? Or is your mouse on the fritz? Let us have it in the comments!

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/r/a/z/razer-huntsman-elite-09317.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/r/a/z/razer-huntsman-elite-09317.jpg","type":"slide","id":"190843","description":"

Razer Huntsman Elite

\n

Price: $199.99
Buy it on: Amazon

\n

Equipped with Razer's new optomechanical switches, a key stabilizer bar, hybrid on-board memory and cloud storage, and a multi-function digital dial, the Huntsman Elite is a beast.

\n

It is, however, a beast that requires two USB ports for power, and a price tag that would make any of us flinch. However, if you've got the $200 to spend, there's no question that the unreal speed and performance you get from this keyboard would be worth the small dent in your wallet.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/c/o/r/corsair-k70-low-profile-740x428-c422c.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/c/o/r/corsair-k70-low-profile-740x428-c422c.jpg","type":"slide","id":"190857","description":"

Corsair K70 RGB MK.2 Low Profile

\n

Price: $169.99
Buy it on: Amazon

\n

As we've mentioned recently, Corsair's K70 Mk.2 Low Profile design is something brilliant. The original keyboard was already impressive enough with its speedy handling and Cherry MX keyswitches. But add in the new low profile key design, along with some of the quietest keystrokes you can get in a mechanical gaming keyboard, and you've just added a huge cherry to the top of an already-spectacular sundae.

\n

With 8MBs on on-board memory, brilliant lighting options, and some seriously user-friendly software to boot, the Corsair K70 RGB Mk.2 Low Profile stands out as the best keyboard on the market right now.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/l/o/g/logitech-g513-rgb-3847c.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/l/o/g/logitech-g513-rgb-3847c.jpg","type":"slide","id":"190844","description":"

Logitech G513 RGB

\n

Price: $129.99
Buy it on: Amazon

\n

When it comes to gaming keyboards that function equally well for writing papers or fighting across the virtual battlefield, Logitech knows what it's doing. The G513's Romer-G Linear mechanical switches make for a smooth, responsive feel, and the feature of plugging in your mouse or phone directly into its USB 2.0 passthrough port is a lovely bit of convenience that, frankly, I'm surprised to see so infrequently on some of these other high-end keyboards. 

\n

Individual keys can be switched on and off with ease, and the inclusion of gaming-specific keycaps is a terrific touch. You can read our full review of the keyboard here.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/s/t/e/steelseries-apex-m750-rgb-f2438.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/s/t/e/steelseries-apex-m750-rgb-f2438.jpg","type":"slide","id":"190850","description":"

SteelSeries Apex M750 RGB

\n

Price: $109.99
Buy it on: Amazon

\n

When it comes to pure durability and user-friendly lighting effects, it's difficult not to recommend the SteelSeries Apex M750. Its QX2 key switches are not only responsive, but they're also surprisingly quiet for a mechanical keyboard, which can appeal to those of us who want to get in a late-night gaming session that won't wake up the neighbors.

\n

As far as first gaming keyboards are concerned, the Apex M750 is ideal, as its software is complex and beautiful without requiring an in-depth knowledge of hardware programming. And that lighting effect is as reactive as it is pretty, with different options to make the colors respond to in-game interaction, such as a health damage or timers.

\n

Read our full review

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/h/y/p/hyperx-alloy-fps-rgb-keyboard-8d1f5.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/h/y/p/hyperx-alloy-fps-rgb-keyboard-8d1f5.jpg","type":"slide","id":"190841","description":"

HyperX Alloy FPS RGB Keyboard 

\n

Price: $109.99
Buy it on: Amazon

\n

With a compact frame that belies some serious durability, the HyperX Alloy FPS RGB Keyboard definitely got some love from those of us at GameSkinny who got to witness it firsthand.

\n

Equipped with Kailh Silver Speed switches and an impressive RGB light display, the FPS not only looks good to play with, it feels good as well. And its durability, size, and removable braided cable input make it the ideal keyboard to take with you anytime you're on the go.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/r/o/c/roccat-horde-aimo-e1143.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/r/o/c/roccat-horde-aimo-e1143.jpg","type":"slide","id":"190856","description":"

ROCCAT Horde AIMO

\n

Price: $79.99
Buy it on: Amazon

\n

On the outside, the ROCCAT Horde AIMO doesn't initially look too special, particularly compared to some of the flashier RGB-lit keyboards on this list. But what the Horde AIMO lacks in flash, it more than makes up for in reliability.

\n

Prominently featured are its membranical keys: a style that lives somewhere between membrane and mechanical functionality, providing real speed and precision. The Horde AIMO also features advanced anti-ghosting technology and a series of useful low profile macro keys. That, and it's another impressive keyboard that's easy on the bank account.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/c/o/r/corsair-k63-wireless-74353.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/c/o/r/corsair-k63-wireless-74353.jpg","type":"slide","id":"190845","description":"

Corsair K63 Wireless

\n

Price: $89.99
Buy it on: Amazon

\n

Wireless keyboards have no business being this fast, responsive, and affordable. Coming out swinging in January, the Corsair K63 Wireless left an impression that just wouldn't go away.

\n

Featuring 1ms 2.4GHz wireless for incredible speed, and the same Cherry MX keyswitches featured in some of Corsair's wired gaming keyboards, this compact keyboard features up to 15 hours of battery life and is ready for living rooms all over the world.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/r/a/z/razer-cynoas-chroma-82b0a.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/r/a/z/razer-cynoas-chroma-82b0a.jpg","type":"slide","id":"190854","description":"

Razer Cynosa Chroma

\n

Price: $56.99
Buy it on: Amazon

\n

Leave it to Razer to create both the most over-the-top and expensive keyboard on this list -- as well as the most impressive, bang-for-your-buck entry. At under $60, the Cynosa Chroma is far too solid a gaming keyboard for anyone to ignore. 

\n

With macro options, key re-bindings, and anti-ghosting technology, this mechanical easily holds its own with the big boys. Add in truly brilliant lighting customization and you've got something really special for those of us who are into gaming on a budget. Oh, and it's spill-resistant, meaning less stress if your marathon gaming sessions require the occasional caffeinated beverage.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/p/e/x/pexels-photo-841228-ddf63.jpeg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/p/e/x/pexels-photo-841228-ddf63.jpeg","type":"slide","id":"190947","description":"

2018 has been a great year for games, and an amazing year for gaming peripherals. Teams like SteelSeries, Razer, Logitech, and Corsair have been expanding their catalogs with amazing additions in their gaming headset, mice, and, of course, gaming keyboard lines.

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It doesn't matter if your gaming PC is top of the line and tricked out with the most awe-inspiring video cards in the world: if your keyboard doesn't stack up, you're in for a world of hurt when PvP kicks in. 

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Heck, even PvE can be a pain if your keyboard doesn't fit your style. 

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With Black Friday on its way, we know that plenty of you are looking for just the right tech for yourself and the gamers you love, so here are some of our favorite gaming keyboards of 2018.

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Everything from mechanical keyboards to membranical keyboards to RGB to dark and mysterious makes an appearance here: so get started!

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Disclaimer: this guide contains affiliate links. If you click on the links provided and buy any of the products listed here, GameSkinny will receive a small commission on the products sold. These microtransactions do not affect you in any way.

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Review: Corsair K70 RGB MK.2 Low Profile Mechanical Keyboard https://www.gameskinny.com/1600k/review-corsair-k70-rgb-mk2-low-profile-mechanical-keyboard https://www.gameskinny.com/1600k/review-corsair-k70-rgb-mk2-low-profile-mechanical-keyboard Mon, 05 Nov 2018 09:44:56 -0500 ElConquistadork

Apparently it doesn't take long for Corsair to improve on an already good thing.

This summer, we covered the original Corsair K70 RGB Mk.2 keyboard. It was sturdy, customizable, and a perfect enough combination of form and function that we gave it a 9/10.

Now, almost half a year later, we're investigating its newer, quieter, and yet almost identical twin brother, the Corsair K70 Mk.2 Low Profile. So what exactly is the difference, and is it worth the upgrade?

To be honest, I wasn't entirely sold on the hardware when I first unpacked it. At first glance, it seemed identical to the original K70 Mk.2 in almost every way. It wasn't until I actually sat the two next to each other that I got a full handle on the main design difference: this new keyboard is lean. Lean as in 29mm tall.

With a lower frame and keys, the Low Profile edition lives up to its name. Factor into that whisper soft typing, and you've got exactly the sort of keyboard you want when you're looking for mechanical reaction time coupled with something that doesn't sound like an old typewriter. 

It's possible that it's just in my head, but this sleek layout even made me feel like my reactions were quicker, whether I was gaming or just typing.

Of course, this keyboard is fully equipped with everything that made the original K70 my favorite keyboard of the year (until now), including Cherry MX Keyswitches, full key rollover, and an onboard memory system to keep your personal customization options at hand no matter where you plug into.

The fully programmable lighting system is still brilliant, and iCUE remains one of the most reliable pieces of software out there for keyboards, with incredible options for RGB lighting, macros, and synchronization with any of Corsair's other compatible peripherals.

The differences might seem skin deep to some, but it remains that Corsair has heavily improved on an already brilliant keyboard for gamers of every stripe. For a mere extra $10, this is an upgrade worth getting.

The Corsair K70 RGB Mk.2 Low Profile Mechanical Keyboard is available on Amazon for $169.99.

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GameSir Reveals VX AimSwitch Brings Keyboard and Mouse to Consoles https://www.gameskinny.com/1pluh/gamesir-reveals-vx-aimswitch-brings-keyboard-and-mouse-to-consoles https://www.gameskinny.com/1pluh/gamesir-reveals-vx-aimswitch-brings-keyboard-and-mouse-to-consoles Wed, 17 Oct 2018 14:22:22 -0400 QuintLyn

Players of competitive console games now have a new option when it comes to character control.

Depending on who you ask, there's a belief that when it comes to cross-play shooters, MOBAs, and Battle Royales, PC gamers have an advantage over their console counterparts because they're able to use keyboard and mouse.

While you can technically hook up a keyboard and mouse to consoles, there can also be compatibility issues. Plus, who really wants to use a full-sized keyboard when playing games on a console?

This is where the new GameSir: VX AimSwitch comes in. Inspired by the increasing popularity of cross-play, the keypad and mouse set brings the fine control associated with PC gaming to PS4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch in a compact and completely compatible package. 

The package can be purchased on the GameSir site for $99.99 and includes a gamepad featuring all the standard left-side of the keyboard keys, including F1-F5, WASD, Shift, Alt, Tab, and even a mini-spacebar. There are also four G-keys for customization. Combine that with the GameSir GM190 gaming mouse and you have everything you need to play competitive games on a console.

The set uses the GameSir Agility X 2.4 GHz wireless receiver with a rather wide range of 32.8 feet. It also features 38 TTC red key switches and utilizes the GameSir G-Crux app for key configuration.

Oh, yes, for those wondering: The VX AimSwitch is compatible with the PC too.

 

 

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HyperX Alloy FPS RGB Keyboard Review: Dazzling Tech and Effects https://www.gameskinny.com/1j44g/hyperx-alloy-fps-rgb-keyboard-review-dazzling-tech-and-effects https://www.gameskinny.com/1j44g/hyperx-alloy-fps-rgb-keyboard-review-dazzling-tech-and-effects Wed, 26 Sep 2018 12:04:41 -0400 ElConquistadork

The HyperX Alloy FPS RGB keyboard is deceiving in how straightforward it appears. Equipped with some incredible tech and dazzling lighting effects, this mechanical keyboard is ideal for gamers.

On first glance, HyperX's FPS RGB isn't much to sniff at. Its compact frame and standard design doesn't display a ton of the bells and whistles that you'll see on more high-end mechanicals. But that simplicity is just a mask for this wolf dressed as a poodle.

Immediately upon unboxing this beast, I was struck by the weight of it. The durability of HyperX's frames has impressed me in the past, and this one was no different.

The steel structure of the FPS RGB offers some serious durability, and the smaller frame size allows for more desk room (which is important for those of us who haven't got a ton of space for a massive gaming set up.) Even during more aggressive games, this keyboard wasn't moving anywhere: it's that solid.

That frame houses Kailh Silver Speed switches, which just felt good to tap into. The smooth push-click of each key was just lovely, too: there's no other word that better encapsulates it than satisfying. Plus, the switches are rated for 70 million key presses, so you know it's going to keep feeling that good long into the future.

The RGB lighting on this mechanical is pretty impressive as well. As always, HyperX offers a great series of options when it comes to customizing the lighting effects of your keyboard, whether it's for livestreams or just to make yourself happy and giddy with all the lights.

You can adjust the effects from home with HyperX's NGenuity software, or take advantage of three profiles that can be loaded directly into the keyboard. The lights themselves are bright; in fact, they're brighter than a lot of gaming keyboards I've seen in the past. But before that drives you away (because I know some of us don't like getting blinded), they're also adjustable, making for another added piece of nice RGB customization.

The N-Key rollover features on the keyboard are second to none, with inputs following you no matter how fast you hit the keys. This is really important for games like SMITE or Black Ops 4 where reflexes are a factor. I had absolutely no lag time or lost keystrokes while playing, which is a lot more than I can say about other keyboards I've tested in the past.

There's a USB port on the keyboard, which is very handy, though I was disappointed to find that it only served as a charge port and not a passthrough. It would have been great to be able to use the port for a wireless mouse or any other unobtrusive device, but that's a small gripe that's relatively easy to get over. 

The braided cable included felt good, and it's definitely convenient for travel, but I'm always a little nervous when it comes to detachable cables. The wear and tear of removable parts like that make me worry about the longevity of the device. That, however, is pure speculation on my part to this point: I had no issues with the cable during my time with it.

 

Along with the keyboard itself, we picked up the HyperX Detached Wrist Rest. As far as wrist rests go, it served its purpose very well. The cooling gel and memory foam inside kept my wrists comfortable and dry, and I quite liked the design of it. It's simple, but the stitching is a handsome detail that sets it apart in a small way.

AS far as wrist rests go, it's a nice addition to the keyboard and functions as you'd expect. 

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Overall, HyperX has created a terrific keyboard for gaming. The size and on-the-go customization make it perfect for gamers who travel a lot, and the response and satisfaction I got from the keys themselves was just too solid. Great aesthetics and great hardware combined? I'm sold.

Couple that with the wrist rest, and you've got a great combination for on-the-go gaming. 

The HyperX Alloy FPS RGB is available on Amazon for $109.99. You can grab the wrist rest on the HyperX website for $19.99.  

[Note: HyperX provided the FPS RGB keyboard used in this review.]

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Review: Corsair K70 RGB Mk2 Mechanical Keyboard https://www.gameskinny.com/tx1ci/review-corsair-k70-rgb-mk2-mechanical-keyboard https://www.gameskinny.com/tx1ci/review-corsair-k70-rgb-mk2-mechanical-keyboard Mon, 25 Jun 2018 16:51:44 -0400 ElConquistadork

Corsair has been in the business of making amazing PC gaming peripherals for years now, and this month they released their latest in keyboard goodness with the K70 RGB Mk2 Mechanical Keyboard.

The first thing I noticed right out of the box is that this keyboard is solid. And that's not only referring to the full-sized, aluminum-based mounting of this thing (although, let's face it: that is a definite factor). There's a weight to this keyboard that let's you know just how much craftsmanship went into it.

Like many RGB peripherals before it, the K70 Mk2 boasts a fully programmable lighting system that can be tailored to your preferences and gaming rig (see GameSkinny's review of the HyperX Pulsefire Surge for another example of just how cool this can be).

Outside of the lighting features, the K70 Mk2 doesn't resemble many other popular gaming keyboards, and I saw that as a good thing. There's a certain gaudiness that you can see on display with other popular gaming devices (even ones that are otherwise well-crafted peripherals), and that absence of esports-inspired bombast is a welcome, if minute, detail in a gaming keyboards for those of us past the age of saying "GG" out loud to another human being.

Corsair's K70 RGB Mk2 is loaded with some outstanding tech, as well. The first thing I noticed were the were the Cherry MX Keyswitches, which make for some of the quietest keystrokes I've ever seen (or heard, as the case may be) in a mechanical keyboard. The keyboard is also equipped for full key rollover, which means that your actions are registered by the keys correctly, no matter how much lag you hit.

Corsair's iCUE software remains outstanding and user-friendly. Through it you'll be able to program your lighting system, macros, and save up to three profiles in an 8MB on-board memory system that keeps your choices within the hardware, wherever you happen to take it. It's that sort of "pick up and go" versatility that's going to make the K70 Mk2 very popular with the travelling gamer community.

There were tons of little details that went into how much I loved my time with the Corsair K70 RGB Mk2 Keyboard. Additions like an actual dial for volume control, a built-in USB port for mouse or headset connectivity, and the general comfort of the brushed keys themselves. There's a level of form and function that Corsair put into this keyboard that impressed me more for every hour I used it.

Overall, I'd say that Corsair has developed my new favorite gaming keyboard. And with a list price of $159.99 on Amazon, it's affordable for casual gamers and enthusiasts alike.

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Logitech G513 Mechanical Keyboard Review https://www.gameskinny.com/68df8/logitech-g513-mechanical-keyboard-review https://www.gameskinny.com/68df8/logitech-g513-mechanical-keyboard-review Thu, 31 May 2018 17:22:36 -0400 Jonathan Moore

It's a real possibility Logitech has found the secret formula to repeatedly crafting fantastic peripherals. From the G613 Wireless to the G Pro and beyond, both fans and critics alike seem to agree that when it comes to keyboards, Logitech can do very little wrong. 

Most gamers -- and writers like myself -- keep coming back to Logitech for three reasons: quality, consistency, and useability. Bringing those three pillars together under one roof means there are a lot of Logitech boards on a lot of desks around the world. 

Add the sleek G513 to the list. 

Sporting two great RomerG options, a futuristic, gunmetal design, a comfortable wrist rest, and LightSync compatibility, the G513 is relatively light on frills but heavy on fancy. Since receiving it, the keyboard hasn't left my desk -- a testament to its design considering I have plenty of other options for both home and work. 

It's not perfect at $150, but it's an excellent piece of equipment worthy of your attention and consideration.  

Design

From its size to the Logitech logo in the upper right-hand corner of the board, the G513 takes almost all of its cues from the Logitech G413.

Its sturdy gunmetal body, which comes in equally sleek black carbon and silver colors, measures 17.5 x 5.3 inches and has the same 104-key layout as the G413.

Furthermore, the board also uses similar USB pass-through technology to allow for device charging and data transfer. It's located in the upper right-hand corner of the board and works as advertised. 

However, there are a few key design differences that set the G513 apart from other boards. The most obvious is that this keyboard doesn't have dedicated media keys (mute, volume up/down, play, stop, fast-forward, and rewind) like many other mechanicals currently on the market. It's something I've grown accustomed to in offerings from Corsair, HyperX, and even Logitech, so it's a bit strange not having them here. I wouldn't say it's something that detracts from the useability of this board, but it's something to keep in mind for the price tag. 

The other differences are a bit more positive. 

Sticking with keys, the Logitech G513 moves away from the if not boring, then bland single-color backlighting of the G413. Here, you'll get per-key RGB backlighting across the entire color spectrum. Using Logitech's consistently cogent gaming software, you can easily set profiles, presets, effects, and much more. The addition of Lightsync to the Logitech suite of products also means you can have the same profiles, presets, and effects across multiple devices, too, such as mice and speakers. It's a nice touch that makes your desktop look that much more uniform and elegant.  

It's also welcome to see the G513 has a plush wrist rest that's more comfortable than you might first expect. When originally unboxing the board, I thought it was odd that the memory foam palm rest didn't connect directly to the board but instead floated separately from it. But the more I used it, the more I came to believe that this is how wrist rests are meant to be.

 

Romer-Gs FTW 

I'll admit it: I'm not a super fan of the traditional Romer-Gs. It's not because they aren't fantastic keys, and it's not because they aren't quieter and faster than more conventional mechanical keys. It's really because I'm not a huge fan of Cherry MX Browns -- and traditional Romers are very similar in make and function. 

However, the big draw here is the G513's key options: tactile and linear. 

I've personally come to appreciate the linear versions presented here because they provide a fluid and smooth keystroke when typing and playing games. They have the same 45g actuation force, 1.55mm actuation distance, and 3.2mm travel distance as the tactile switches, but there's no discernible bump between press and actuation as there is with the tactiles. 

Since I spend almost all of my working and free time in front of the computer, having a key that works well and feels "right" in each situation is a boon. In fact, the small familiarity curve I often have with new keyboards wasn't present when first using the G513, which is a huge deal for both gamers and professionals making the switch to Logitech -- or between primary and secondary boards. 

Based on what I've read, I'm not the only one who feels this way. 

I tested the keys against my typical workload, which sees me typing thousands of words a week on average, as well as a variety of games ranging from Paladins and Warhammer: Vermintide 2 to Cities: Skylines and Tyranny. Each set of keys -- both traditional and linear -- performed as advertised.

In my time reviewing the G513, there weren't any major variances in quality between the two sets of keys, and all are rated for 70 million clicks. 

An Almost Full Feature Set

Aside from the aforementioned USB pass-through and full RGB backlighting, the G513 has a few more features that are worth noting.

Via Logitech's Gaming Software, you'll be able to program macros and keystrokes to the G513, as well as enable Game Mode to disable the Windows key when playing games. However, you won't be able to reprogram each and every key as you can on some other boards. You also won't find dedicated macro keys or G keys on this variant, either. 

Like most keyboards, you'll also find the G513 provides anti-ghosting features, as well as key rollover. The anti-ghosting works well and assures you have reliable control when gaming, but you'll only get 26-key rollover here. It could be argued that having full N-key rollover is often overkill, but at $150, it would be nice to have the feature here, especially since several less expensive boards offer it.  

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Overall, the G513 is an excellent keyboard. If you're looking for complete RGB or linear keys, this is the upgrade you're looking for. If you don't care about either one of those things, the 413 is a board you'll want to check out -- or stick with if you've already got it. 

At $150, the G513 is a relatively tougher sell considering it's more an upgrade than a true full-step iteration. That doesn't mean you should pass it up at all; it just means you'll need to consider your options before taking the plunge. 

You can buy the Logitech G513 mechanical from Amazon for $150. 

[Note: Logitech provided the G513 used in this review.]

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HyperX Alloy Elite RGB Review: Matching Color With Excellent Design https://www.gameskinny.com/1jong/hyperx-alloy-elite-rgb-review-matching-color-with-excellent-design https://www.gameskinny.com/1jong/hyperx-alloy-elite-rgb-review-matching-color-with-excellent-design Wed, 28 Feb 2018 11:47:57 -0500 Jonathan Moore

Having control feels good. With the right tools at your disposal -- such as a well-crafted mechanical gaming keyboard -- having control means you're an unstoppable force wrecking through thousands of moveable objects. And as with any tool, a keyboard's quality exponentially increases the chances of utterly destroying your opponents. 

Because of that, we loved the HyperX Alloy Elite gaming keyboard when we reviewed it back in October. And that's why we love its new RGB counterpart. 

At its core, the HyperX Alloy Elite RGB is the same fantastic keyboard that's been on the market for the past six months -- but it's one that's added a few interesting tweaks worthy of exploration. When compared to its contemporaries, the Elite RGB is a tool that stands toe to toe with products from Corsair, Logitech, and SteelSeries. 

Despite its lofty price, it's also one we highly recommend. Let's talk about why. 

Overall Design

On the outside, the Alloy Elite RGB sports the same sleek look of the Alloy Elite. A solid black aluminum body houses a full 104 keys sitting on Cherry MX switches (Red, Blue, or Brown depending on your preference). Unlike the HyperX FPS Pro, the Alloy Elite RGB has a 10-key numpad, as well as dedicated switches for media keys, key-lighting brightness, profile recall, and game-mode key locking. To increase or decrease volume, you'll find a nifty -- and easy to use -- volume wheel in the board's top right-hand quadrant. 

The board also comes with a textured wrist-rest that easily attaches to the front of the board. I preferred to not use the rest because my specific setup makes for an uncomfortable situation with it attached. However, on a desk with more room, the wrist rest is comfortable, if simple. 

To finish things off, the Alloy Elite RGB comes with sturdy plastic feet that don't easily slide across your desktop, as well as a durable braided cord that won't get easily tangled. The board features pass-through functionality that comes in handy for gamers needing an extra USB port closer to their playing surface. 

Ngenuity RGB Customization Screen

Ingenius Ngenuity

HyperX has historically held true to a minimalist aesthetic; almost all of their products have eschewed customizable features and RGB lighting for plug-n'-play mechanics and brand-standard red backlighting. Some gamers liked it, some gamers didn't. And at the end of the day, the choice didn't affect the quality of HyperX's products. 

However, with the Alloy Elite RGB, HyperX has embraced the customizability craze and combined their aptitude for quality with a more tailor-made approach. They do this through their Ngenuity software. 

When you first download Ngenuity from the HyperX website and launch it on your computer, the software looks a tad dated and unremarkable. It would've been nice had it been a bit more energetic on the visual front, but that doesn't particularly matter when it's easy as hell to use. 

Each menu and submenu item is accurately labeled to avoid any confusion -- "Macros" will open the Macro menu, while "Lighting" will open the Lighting menu. It seems obvious, but it's a nice touch that can be easily overlooked. Inside those menus, choosing colors within the full RGB spectrum and lighting presets options is a cinch, taking only a few clicks to set up, while the same can be said for macros. And yes, you can fully reprogram all the keys on the board and create libraries and profiles, the latter of which you can have up to three. 

The only gripe I have in this area is that editing and saving profiles isn't as intuitive as it could be, considering the rest of Ngenuity is basically super easy to navigate and understand. Once you do it two or three times, you should have the hang of it. But it is an area that has a just a few too many steps (you shouldn't have to choose the profile twice to edit it), and the whole process could be improved upon in the future. 

Alloy Elite Desktop Picture with Steel Series Rival 600 in the background

Performance

Like its predecessor, the Alloy Elite RGB performs exceedingly well both in the office and at home. Whether I was typing up articles, tweaking designs in InDesign, or queuing up unit actions in They Are Billions, this board remained a reliable piece of my arsenal. 

Whereas I've had issues with certain keyboards holding up after testing sessions and finding that certain keys begin to squeak two or three weeks into use, I've not come across that with the Elite RGB at all, which speaks to the board's craftsmanship and engineering. I've put in around 110 hours on the board playing input-intense titles such as Overwatch, Paladins, Cities: Skylines, Subnautica, and They Are Billions without any incident -- and I'm confident the board's going to continue to hold up while still providing impeccable performance. 

On top of that, each key provides quality tactile feedback, which I especially appreciate in-game. Requiring 45-50 cN of actuation force is what you'd expect from a board of this build, keeping it in line with other mechanicals in its range, such as the Corsair K68 RGB and the SteelSeries M750 TKL. Light-handed gamers might find they have to press a little harder to get their keystrokes to register, but I don't see a majority of users having any issues with the Elite RGB's keys.

I will say I wish the F12 key weren't as easy to accidentally nudge when pressing backspace, an issue we found somewhat frustrating in the original Alloy Elite. It's also an issue when browsing the internet and constantly opening the DevTools command in Chrome.  

HyperX Alloy Elite RGB viewed from an angleVerdict

In a nutshell, the Alloy Elite RGB is the same great keyboard as its predecessor -- except it has vibrant, fully customizable RGB lighting and programmable macros. If you're looking for quality craftsmanship and reliability to go alongside those things, then this is a keyboard you'll want to check out. 

My only real concern here is the price. There's no doubt the Alloy Elite RGB is worth the $169.99 price tag. It's made very, very well. But when you look at other very, very well-made keyboards on the market that come in at $10-40 less, things get murkier. If the Alloy Elite RGB had a killer feature that you couldn't find anywhere else (or perhaps dedicated macro keys similar to Corsair's K95 RGB Platinum), I'd recommend it hands down, no caveats. But that's just not the case here. 

Providing fantastic performance, vibrant lighting, and quality engineering, you'd do well to consider the Alloy Elite RGB -- just know you're going to pay a pretty penny for it. 

You can buy the Alloy Elite RGB keyboard on Amazon for $169.99

[Note: HyperX provided the Alloy Elite RGB unit used in this review.]

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Corsair K68 RGB Review: A Colorful Dust and Water Resistant Variant https://www.gameskinny.com/4tixp/corsair-k68-rgb-review-a-colorful-dust-and-water-resistant-variant https://www.gameskinny.com/4tixp/corsair-k68-rgb-review-a-colorful-dust-and-water-resistant-variant Wed, 07 Feb 2018 11:24:13 -0500 Jonathan Moore

Following the pervading trend of colorful, RGB backlighting in modern PC gaming -- where almost every peripheral needs the functionality to stay hip -- Corsair recently released an RGB variant of their unique, and highly reliable, K68 mechanical gaming keyboard. In our review of the original K68, we gave the keyboard high marks for its innovative design, accuracy, and nearly unbeatable price point. 

Fast forward a few months and not a lot has changed for the K68 RGB -- what we liked about the original is still here, and some of the same (small) issues are still hanging around. Nonetheless, let's dive in and take a quick look at why you should consider the K68 RGB if you're in the market for a mechanical keyboard in 2018. 

Corsair K68 RGB Mechanical Keyboard angled view

(Very) Similar in Form and Fashion

For all intents and purposes, the K68 RGB looks identical to the K68 on both the outside and the inside. Sporting the same matte black finish as the original K68, the RGB's durable hard-plastic chassis looks elegant and refined -- especially with the silver Corsair logo emblazoned at the top of the board. 

Above the ten-key numpad you'll find dedicated media playback keys (stop, previous, next, play/pause) and volume keys (up, down, and mute). For the most part, these keys are tight, responsive, and easy to reach. However, just as with the original K68, I often felt that the media playback keys were a bit close to the numpad and could use a bit more room; reaching over the keycaps required a bit of a concentrated effort. To the left of those keys, you'll find the board's brightness and Windows lock keys. 

Moving on to the main part of the keyboard, you'll find it's host to the industry-standard 104 keys. All of the Cherry MX Red switches beneath each keycap employ gold crosspoint technology and are as responsive, accurate, and quiet as you'd expect them to be. Guaranteed for 50 million keypresses, these are your standard Red switches -- the ones that are going to last you a long, long time. 

Missing are the dedicated "G" keys found on Corsair's higher-end offerings (which makes sense since this isn't one of those). But overall, that's only going to (really) impact MMO and/or MOBA players that need extra keys for standard operations and complex macros. For the average player, omitting those keys from the K68 RGB most likely isn't a deal breaker. 

Close up of the K68 RGB's rubber protective coating surrounding Cherry MX Red switches

Water and Dust Resistance for the Win

Like its predecessor, the K68 RGB is also water and dust resistant. It's hard enough to come across a keyboard that's "kind of" water and dust resistant, much less one that actually is. And that's the main feature that sets this board (and its predecessor) apart from other mechanical gaming keyboards on the market.  

Implementing IP32 standards, the K68 RGB is able to protect its most vital mechanism from foreign bodies such as water and dust. That doesn't mean it's waterproof or dustproof, but it does mean that if you spill water on your keyboard or drop a crumb between the keycaps that the Cherry Red switches beneath will be (much) less prone to malfunction. 

How does the K68 do it? Specifically designing the board from the ground up with these type of resistances in mind, Corsair product engineers developed a translucent rubber cover capable of shielding the board's switches from water seepage and dust particles. On top of that, they manufactured small channels within the chassis to then transport any liquid through the board and safely through small drainage ports on the backside of the board. 

It's something that sets this mechanical apart from the competition. 

Changing the K68's lighting effects in CUE 

RGB Backlighting Adds Pizzaz 

Whereas the original K68 mechanical keyboard only offered red backlighting, the K68 RGB adds (as its name implies) ... RGB backlighting. Using Corsair's CUE software, you're able to fully customize the backlighting and lighting patterns of the K68 RGB -- down to each individual key. 

As is basically standard in the industry these days, you'll have access to the entire RGB spectrum of 16 million-plus colors so that you can program any hue you desire -- down to the exact shade if that's your thing. On top of that, Corsair provides 11 distinct lighting patterns, from spiral to rain and more. You can even select the speed at which patterns oscillate and in which directions they move about the board.

Each of these presets -- and any you come up with yourself -- can be programmed to the board and easily recalled at any computer, regardless of if CUE is installed on the device or not. 

Verdict

It's curious that full RGB backlighting wasn't a feature on the original K68 since the only real distinguishing factor between this board and its predecessor is that functionality. But I suppose we expect options these days, so here we stand.

Like its progenitor, the K68 RGB features reliable Cherry MX switches (the board currently comes in both the Red and Blue variety, but we only tested the Red variant), unique water and dust resistance, fully customizable macros, 100% anti-ghosting tech, and NKRO. It's comfortable and reliable, providing pro-level capabilities in a compact frame. 

At any rate, it's a mechanical keyboard well worth considering if you're a casual or competitive player. Just know that if you spend hours ulting noobs in the mid lane or grinding in preparation for high-rank raid, one of Corsair's more robust, higher-tier offerings may be what you're looking for. 

Coming in at $119.99, the K68 RGB isn't the most expensive board out there. In fact, I'd say that its price tag is well-deserved for what you get. However, being that the K68 provides all of the same functionality of the K68 RGB sans RGB lighting for $89.99, you have to ask yourself: Is having access to 16 million colors worth the extra $30? 

You can buy the K68 RGB on Corsair's website

[Note: Corsair provided the K68 RGB used for this review].

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Corsair Looks to Cut the Cord With New Wireless Gaming Peripherals https://www.gameskinny.com/ygz5i/corsair-looks-to-cut-the-cord-with-new-wireless-gaming-peripherals https://www.gameskinny.com/ygz5i/corsair-looks-to-cut-the-cord-with-new-wireless-gaming-peripherals Mon, 08 Jan 2018 17:13:02 -0500 Jonathan Moore

Pushing into the wireless peripherals space for the first time, Corsair announced at CES 2018 a new line of wireless devices they say will provide PC gamers "high performance ... without compromise". 

Dubbed Unplug and Play, Corsair's new wireless technology is the focal point of four new products: the K63 Wireless Mechanical Keyboard, the K63 Wireless Gaming Lapboard, the Dark Core RGB Wireless Gaming Mouse, and the MM1000 Qi Wireless Charging Mouse Pad. As of this writing, the K63 keyboard and lapboard are already available for purchase, while the Dark Core RGB and MM1000 are set to be released sometime later this month. 

A CES 2018 Innovation Award honoree, the K63 mechanical keyboard looks to bring the reliability and durability of the original K63 gaming keyboard to wireless gamers and aficionados everywhere. It sports Cherry MX Red switches, per-key LED backlighting, and programmable keys. Corsair says the K63's battery will last up to 75 hours, and that the keyboard also supports three different connection options: 1ms 2.4GHz wireless, Bluetooth wireless, and wired USB. 

On top of that, if you're a PC gamer that LANs -- or might prefer playing in your living room, for example -- the K63 Lapboard looks to provide an even gaming surface in any setting. The lapboard is billed as lightweight and comfortable, complete with a full-size mouse pad.

The K63 mechanical gaming keyboard currently retails for $109.99 without the lapboard and $159.99 with the board. 

Not to be outdone by other peripherals manufacturers, Corsair also unveiled its first wireless mouse in the Dark Core RGB. Inside its outer shell, the Dark Core houses a 16,000 DPI optical sensor and can connect to your PC via the same three connection options available to the K63 wireless keyboard: 1ms 2.4GHz wireless, Bluetooth wireless, and wired USB. According to press materials, the Dark Core's battery will provide 24 hours of use before needing a recharge and will employ CUE technology for lighting and programming options. 

For those wanting to cut the cord completely, Corsair will also release a 100% wireless option in the Dark Core SE. Although there is no word on if the SE's battery will achieve the same longevity as the Dark Cor RGB, the SE does support Qi wireless technology, which can be found in the new MM1000 hard-surface mousepad.

Corsair says the mat will not only charge the Dark Core SE, but any device that supports Qi charging. Measuring in at 260mmx350mm, the MM1000 also has ports for charging peripherals that don't allow for wireless charging by providing USB Micro-B, Type-C, and Lightning Qi ports. 

As of this writing, there was no information on price or availability for the Dark Core, the Dark Core SE, or the MM1000. 

Stay tuned to GameSkinny for more news and information on Corsair's new line of Unplug and Play gaming peripherals as it develops. 

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SteelSeries M750 TKL Review: A Solid Addition to a Line of Growing Options https://www.gameskinny.com/byhdr/steelseries-m750-tkl-review-a-solid-addition-to-a-line-of-growing-options https://www.gameskinny.com/byhdr/steelseries-m750-tkl-review-a-solid-addition-to-a-line-of-growing-options Mon, 11 Dec 2017 16:00:09 -0500 Jonathan Moore

SteelSeries is one of the few peripherals companies that affords gamers a cornucopia of options for gaming mice, headsets, and keyboards. Over the past year or so, the company has worked to diversify its growing catalog to include options for almost every type of gamer -- and every type of gaming scenario. 

Earlier this year, SteelSeries released the M750 gaming keyboard, one that's responsive, reliable, and suited for both competitive and casual gamers alike. Now, they've released the same keyboard in a tenkeyless variant.

Coming in at $199.99 ($10 cheaper than the M750 tenkey), the M750 TKL is a compact option that delivers the same reliability and functionality of its predecessor. Sporting a sleek black finish, the TKL's aircraft-grade aluminum chassis is crazy resilient, and coming in at 13.5" x 6" (and only weighing about two pounds), the keyboard is small enough to fit into your backpack without worry. 

It still sports the odd rubber feet of its predecessor, a design choice that I found interesting yet cumbersome and ineffective. For a board geared toward eSports professionals, it's odd that the board's rubber feet don't seem to stay attached when you move it around. Simply pushing the board away from me and then pulling it back toward me continually dislodged the feet, which was frustrating at best. And not amending it here seems a bit of an oversight. 

However, the M750 TKL performs where it needs to. The board's QX2 switches are responsive, swift, and comfortable. Just like the switches found in its predecessor, these switches are sensitive enough to register light keystrokes but resilient enough to not launch accidental ults in your favorite MOBA. Sure, the QX2s are bit noisier than the Cherry Reds found in most other gaming keyboards, but they get the job done and are rated for 50 million clicks -- which means they're going to last a long time. 

On the customization front, you'll get your 16 million color RGB spectrum, fully programmable key rebindings, macros, and keystroke shortcuts with the SteelSeries Engine 3 software. 

All in all, the M750 TKL is simply a more compact, slightly cheaper version of the M750. You'll get the same robust functionality and, for better or worse, the same design minus the ten-key numpad. Coming in $10 below the full-sized M750, the main question you have to ask yourself is: "Do I really need a ten-key numpad?" If the answer is no, the M750 TKL might just be what you're looking for -- especially if you're a tournament player looking for something small, reliable, and built to last. 

Check out our M750 review for a more in-depth look at all the features and functions the M750 TKL has to offer.

You can buy the M750 TKL on Amazon

[Note: SteelSeries provided the keyboard used in this review.] 

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11 Best Mechanical Gaming Keyboards for Holiday 2017 https://www.gameskinny.com/nunzh/11-best-mechanical-gaming-keyboards-for-holiday-2017 https://www.gameskinny.com/nunzh/11-best-mechanical-gaming-keyboards-for-holiday-2017 Wed, 22 Nov 2017 15:52:49 -0500 Jonathan Moore

[{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/h/h/w/hhwhof9-cad44.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/h/h/w/hhwhof9-cad44.jpg","type":"slide","id":"174365","description":"

With the holidays right around the corner, it's a safe bet that the PC gamer in your life could use a keyboard upgrade. From budget keyboards to the highest of the high-end, there's something for every gamer on this list. 

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Of course, there are tons of other great keyboards out in the wild worth checking out. If you didn't see anything that suited your fancy on this list, check out our other awesome keyboard suggestions: 

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Header image: Schwitz 18

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/t/o/p/topfre-533de.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/t/o/p/topfre-533de.jpg","type":"slide","id":"174367","description":"

Topre REALFORCE RGB AEAX01 Gaming Keyboard

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Price: $245.93
Buy it on: Amazon

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The Topre REALFORCE mechanical might not look like much at first glance, but don't let that fool you. If you're in the market for a high-end gaming keyboard, the Topre REALFORCE is one you don't want to dismiss.

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Much like other boards on this list, you'll get fully programmable RGB lighting, full N-Key rollover, anti-ghosting, and comfortable, interchangeable keycaps. But really what sets the Topre apart from those other mechanicals is the REALFORCE's exclusive switches. Similar to the hybrid mechanical/membrane switches found in Razer's Ornata Chroma and Blackwidow models, this model's Topre switches provide an innovative alternative to Cherries and Romer Gs -- with a twist. 

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Instead of the REALFORCE's switches being locked into a specific actuation distance, you're able to alter individual switch distances using the board's  Actuation Point Changer capabilities. This means you're able to choose distances from 1.5mm, 2.2 mm, and 3.0 mm on the fly. So whether you're playing an RTS and need rapid-fire presses, typing code and need standard presses, or playing an MMO and need long-fire presses, you can set the board to your specific needs with little hassle. It's something you won't find anywhere else and something that truly sets this board apart. 

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The composite nature of these switches also means that they're quieter than your typical Cherries and Romer Gs. For those gamers that care about clicky, more tactile switches, Topres might not be the best bet. But for all the functionality you get from the REALFORCE, that's a small price to pay. 

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/c/h/e/cherry-ca0b3.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/c/h/e/cherry-ca0b3.jpg","type":"slide","id":"174258","description":"

Cherry MX Board 6.0 Mechanical Keyboard

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Price: $251.65
Buy it on: Amazon

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OK. This isn't technically a gaming keyboard. It doesn't have dedicated macro keys, and its RGB lighting choices are threadbare. However, it's one of the very (very) best mechanical keyboards from 2017. Hands down. 

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Coming in at 104 keys, the Cherry MX Board 6.0 has full N-key rollover and 100% anti-ghosting technology. You've got your typical numpad here, standard playback buttons, and a Cherry key that locks your Windows keys alongside other macros such as Ctrl+alt+del. 

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But what we're really here for is this board's switches. Housing Cherry MX Reds, the Board 6.0 is insanely accurate and precise, registering your keystrokes with the slightest pressure. The keycaps aren't flimsy or cheap like in some of its gaming keyboard brethren -- and on top of that, they're registered for 50 million key presses.

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Using an analog signal path, there's no digital scanning between switch points on the board. The 6.0 is able to register your presses much faster than other keyboards (roughly a millisecond). That means that while this isn't branded as a mechanical gaming keyboard, you'll find that it works more than well in even the most intense of gaming matches. 

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At $200, this is a keyboard that's exceedingly functional at both gaming and office tasks, giving it dual-threat capability. From its resilient metal chassis to its comfortable keycaps, this keyboard excels at practical functionality. 

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Read our Cherry MX Board 6.0 review to learn more. 

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/k/9/5/k95-f38e8.png","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/k/9/5/k95-f38e8.png","type":"slide","id":"174326","description":"

Corsair K95 RGB Platinum Mechanical Gaming Keyboard

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Price: $199.99
Buy it on: Amazon

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While the HyperX Alloy Elite was one of our favorite gaming keyboards from 2017, Corsair's K95 RGB Platinum was the other. Standing leagues above its competitors in performance, reliability, and functionality, the Platinum earns its lofty price tag -- and gives gamers a hefty return on investment. 

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Flaunting an absurdly low 1.2mm actuation distance, the Platinum's Cherry MX RGB switches are some of the swiftest of any keyboard on this list. Rated for more than 50 million key presses, they're sure to last you a veritable lifetime. Throw on top of that that you're provided textured W/A/S/D and Q/E/R/F keycaps and a keycap puller, and you're sure to get a lot of life and customizability out of this board's keycaps and switches. 

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However, the feature that stands out the most about the RGB Platinum is its six dedicated macro switches. Not only can you fully program (or re-program) every key on this mechanical, but you're also able to program the board's six G keys to whatever function or keystroke you like, from special-move commands to advanced combinations and bindings. 

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Like other Corsair boards, you also get access to millions of backlighting colors and dozen of lighting profile options via the company's CUE software. Comfortable with or without a wrist rest (it comes with one), this mechanical gaming keyboard is a complete powerhouse and perfect for competitive gamers -- whether they play MOBAs, shooters, or MMOs. 

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This is one we can't recommend enough. 

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Read our K95 RGB Platinum review to learn more. 

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/b/l/a/blackwidow-3e6e3.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/b/l/a/blackwidow-3e6e3.jpg","type":"slide","id":"174366","description":"

Razer BlackWidow Chroma V2 Gaming Keyboard

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Price: $169.99 (orange switches); $129.99 (green switches)
Buy it on: Amazon

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On the surface, the Razer's BlackWidow Chroma V2 looks a lot like the Ornata Chroma: it has a similar layout and RGB backlighting profile. However, when you look under the hood, you'll see that there are some distinct differences that push it into the upper echelon of mechanical gaming keyboards. 

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Where the Ornata Chroma is a keyboard geared toward casual gamers, the BlackWidow Chroma V2 is a precise, tournament-grade peripheral. You'll get 1,000Hz ultra-polling, macro re-programming, full RGB customization, and an ergonomic wrist rest. On top of that, you'll have access to three different switch types: Razer Green, Razer Orange, and Razer Yellow.

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Each switch type provides its own pros and cons, but the Razer Yellows are by far the best of the bunch when it comes to actuation forces, actuation points, and actuation distances. Coming stock in the BlackWidow V2, these switches are most comparable to Cherry MX Silvers, providing increased resistance and quieter typing. 

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However, there are a few caveats to note about the BlackWidow. Unlike most of the other mechanicals on this list, you'll only get 10-key rollover here, which could impact some MOBA and MMO players. And the switches require about 45 to 50 grams of force to actuate (depending on which switches you choose), which can take some getting used to. 

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Overall, the BlackWidow V2 is a gamer favorite for a reason. It's one of the best mechanical gaming keyboards you can get for the price. 

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/l/o/g/logitech-wireless-55b6a.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/l/o/g/logitech-wireless-55b6a.jpg","type":"slide","id":"174290","description":"

Logitech G613 Wireless Mechanical Gaming Keyboard

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Price: $149.99
Buy it on: Amazon

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Logitech G's latest offering is a bit of a departure from the company's typical peripherals set. The only wireless keyboard on this list, the Logitech G613 gaming keyboard looks a lot like something you'd find in a cubicle -- but it's something that offers the high-performance functionality of a gamer's mechanical. 

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The board's unibody chassis is sleek and minimalist, and its underside houses spaces for the wireless dongle and two AA batteries, which are rated to provide you with about 18 months of use -- even in the most hardcore of environments. On the top, you'll find textured, plastic keycaps above Romer Gs with an actuation distance of 1.5mm. 

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Because of its egalitarian design, the G613 doesn't provide any fancy RGB backlighting or effects. Instead, you'll find the keys have the typical black-and-white lighting of a traditional keyboard. And while this board functions just as well -- if not better -- than some of its price-range contemporaries, you might want to look to SteelSeries' Apex M750 or Corsair's K95 RGB Pro if you need a little lighting pzazz in your life. 

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But if you're looking for a mechanical keyboard that performs under pressure or one that's crazy comfy and full of ergonomic panache, the G613 is well worth the price. Oh, and did we mention that it has multi-host capabilities? Using the board's Bluetooth capabilities, you can seamlessly switch between typing on your computer and your mobile device. That's a function set you won't find on any other board. 

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Read our Logitech G613 Wireless review to learn more. 

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/s/t/e/steelseries-apex-m750-15b8e.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/s/t/e/steelseries-apex-m750-15b8e.jpg","type":"slide","id":"174249","description":"

SteelSeries Apex M750 Mechanical Gaming Keyboard

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Price: $139.99
Buy it on: Amazon

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With the Apex M750 mechanical gaming keyboard, SteelSeries has set out to engineer and manufacture the ultimate eSports gaming keyboard to meet the needs of the most competitive gamers and eSports enthusiasts. It might not be the most revolutionary mechanical keyboard on this list, but it's one of the most reliable and dependable ones you'll find on the market today. Despite what some might say about SteelSeries products, this board stands toe to toe with the likes of the Ornata Chroma and the BlackWidow V2. 

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Sleek and understated out of the box, this board's design belies the strength that its aircraft-grade aluminum chassis provides. It's lightweight and compact for a ten-key construction, which helps it stand out from other keyboards in its price range. If you're a gamer on the go and need a numpad, you can't do much better than the M750 in that regard.

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And while this SteelSeries board isn't ideal for office work, it is ideal for what it was made to do: make you a better gamer. The M750's proprietary QX2 switches are responsive, swift, and comfortable. With full N-key rollover, 100% anti-ghosting, and sensitive keys, you won't have to bottom out to register ults and in-game movements. 

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Complete lighting effects make an appearance here, alongside SteelSeries PrismSync, which helps you match the M750's colors with those of other SteelSeries peripherals. The only real downsides are that there is a bit of light bleed underneath the keycaps, and you won't get dedicated macro keys on this board. 

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Read our Apex M750 review to learn more.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/l/o/g/logitech-pro-37fb0.png","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/l/o/g/logitech-pro-37fb0.png","type":"slide","id":"174288","description":"

Logitech G Pro Gaming Keyboard

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Price: $129.99
Buy it on: Amazon

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Like the SteelSeries M750 later in this list, the Logitech G Pro gaming keyboard was designed with the eSports player in mind. A tenkeyless option, this keyboard is perfect for gamers on the go and those without a ton of desk space.

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Unlike some of the other mechanical keyboards on this list, the Logitech G Pro keyboard employs Romer-G switches to do its heavy lifting. These proprietary switches can only be found in Logitech G products and use short actuation distances and low forces to make this mechanical one of the fastest on the market. Add to that Romers are guaranteed for around 70 million presses, and it'll be a long time before this board needs any maintenance. 

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As with most modern mechanicals, RGB lighting is a big draw for the G Pro, which has myriad customization options. Here, you've not only got access to all 16 million colors on the RGB spectrum, but you've also got control over what color shows underneath each key. And creating your own RGB lighting effects is a cinch. Unlike other mechanicals, you aren't locked into a catalog or presets, something that sets this board apart. 

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With a tough metal chassis, good spacing between keys, and wonderful software, it's hard to pass on the Pro -- especially at its current price point.  

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Read our Logitech G Pro Gaming review to learn more. 

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/h/y/p/hyperx-a3479.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/h/y/p/hyperx-a3479.jpg","type":"slide","id":"174289","description":"

HyperX Alloy Elite Gaming Keyboard

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Price: $109.99
Buy it on: Amazon

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We didn't name the HyperX Alloy Elite mechanical one of the best gaming keyboards of 2017 for nothing. Sporting a solid black aluminum body and a detachable wrist rest, the board houses accurate Cherry MX switches (which you can get in red, brown, or blue) and a ten-key numpad. It also comes with detachable textured W/A/S/D keycaps and a nifty (if often overlooked) keycap remover. 

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The switches are highly responsive and precise, and while they do require greater actuation pressures than other boards on this list and aren't optimal for typing, they're currently some of the most reliable for hardcore gaming and twitch play. Additionally, this mechanical boasts N-key rollover and 100% anti-ghosting. 

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The only gripes we have with this keyboard are minimal. The wrist rest isn't entirely comfortable, sometimes causing a bit of fatigue after hours of play, and the F12 key is precariously placed, which can sometimes lead to unnecessary presses during frenetic play.  

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The HyperX Alloy Elite is practically a steal at its current price point when compared to other boards in its range. However, if the high(er) price point doesn't fit in your budget -- or you're looking for something just a bit more compact -- check out its close cousin, the HyperX FPS Pro. It retails for $79.99 and gives the Corsair K63 a true run for its (and your) money. 

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Read our HyperX Alloy Elite review to learn more. 

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/k/6/8/k68-d4d59.png","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/k/6/8/k68-d4d59.png","type":"slide","id":"174274","description":"

Corsair K68 Mechanical Gaming Keyboard

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Price: $99.99
Buy it on: Amazon

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For $20 more than the Corsair K63, you can get the company's ten-key K68 model -- which comes with a wrist rest. It's a lot like the K63 across the board except for one important thing: this keyboard is water and dust resistant.

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Adhering to IP32 standards, the Corsair K68 keyboard is able to keep dust particles and debris up to 2.5mm thick, as well as vertical water spillage and dripping water, from entering the nuts and bolts of the board. Corsair's engineers accomplished this feat by bonding a translucent rubber covering around the board's plate-mounted Cherry MX switches and the K68's chassis. This rubber covering contains built-in channels than funnel water and debris past components and out of the drainage ports in the back of the keyboard. 

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If you've ever used a Corsair product, then you've seen what the K68 can offer on the lighting front before. Like the K63, the Corsair K68 provides Red RGB backlighting and pattern customizability through Corsair's CUE software. But that's about it. You'll get myriad lighting effects but not the customizability found in other boards. 

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Coming in at $100, you won't get dedicated macro keys or full customization options here, either, but you will get a keyboard that will last a long (long) time, one that provides accurate response times, and one that provides something almost no other keyboard does. 

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Read our Corsair K68 keyboard review to learn more.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/r/a/z/razer-cornata-16b0d.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/r/a/z/razer-cornata-16b0d.jpg","type":"slide","id":"174334","description":"

Razer Ornata Chroma Mechanical Gaming Keyboard

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Price: $99.99
Buy it on: Amazon

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The Razer Ornata Chroma is a unique entry in 2017's mechanical keyboard catalog. On the surface, it might look a lot like other boards on this list, but under the hood, the Chroma is an entirely different beast. And it begins with the board's switches. 

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Under the shallower-than-normal keycaps, the Ornata Chroma houses a proprietary, hybrid switch design that couples mechanical technology with membrane technology. Here, mechanical switches depress silicone domes to register keystrokes. This technology allows for faster response times -- and fewer deaths in battle. 

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Unlike other keyboards in its price range, such as Corsair's K63 and K68 models, the Chroma offers 16-million color RGB backlighting via its downloadable software, Synapse. The program also allows you to select from on-board lighting presets or design your own programmable color patterns with ease. On top of that, you can also program macros and specific keystrokes to the board, as well as view a heat map of your typing, pinpointing where you're missing strokes or presses. 

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Coming with a generously cushy wrist rest, Razer's Chroma is one of the more ergonomic choices of 2017. However, it doesn't provide any pass-through options like the Corsair K95 RGB Platinum and is devoid of media keys, leaving you to use the board's function key to perform menial media tasks. 

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But with those exceptions aside, the Razer Ornata Chroma is a fantastic budget gaming keyboard with a few bells and whistles to set it apart.  

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/k/6/3/k63-30f43.png","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/k/6/3/k63-30f43.png","type":"slide","id":"174287","description":"

Corsair K63 Mechanical Gaming Keyboard

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Price: $79.99
Buy it on: Amazon

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The first of three Corsair mechanical keyboards on this list, the Corsair K63 is a compact, tenkeyless option that stands head and shoulders above the rest of its cheap (read: budget) mechanical keyboard peers. In a nutshell, very few compact boards of this design live up to the resiliency and reliability of the K63.

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Providing huge bang for your buck, this Corsair offering uses Cherry MX Reds that provide the short actuation distances you need to be highly competitive. That distance isn't as rapid as Corsair's RGB Platinum offering, which has an absurdly low 1.2mm actuation distance, but for most players, the difference between the two is negligible. With complete N-key rollover, this board will register all of your key presses at lightning speed. 

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And although this board doesn't have dedicated macro keys, that doesn't mean it isn't highly customizable. Corsair's inimitable CUE software, which has functionality for almost all of the company's products, allows you to fully customize each of the board's keys, set timer cooldowns, and remap every single key. That's a lot of firepower for such a small board at such a low price. 

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The main caveat here is that the K63 isn't as ergonomic or as comfortable as it could be. Although you can purchase a wrist rest separately, doing so will push you over the $100 mark and closer to the Corsair K68's price point. But at $80, you expect to make a few compromises. 

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Read our Corsair K63 keyboard review to learn more.   

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Aside from your gaming mouse, your mechanical keyboard is the primary weapon in your peripherals arsenal. Switches, actuation distances, and macro bindings can seriously impact your competitiveness. On top of that, the way keycaps feel under your fingertips and the way switches sound can either keep you hyper-focused or shatter your concentration, making the difference between victory and defeat. 

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Every year, it seems like dozens of new mechanical gaming keyboards are unleashed on gamers at large. They're all vying for supremacy in the ever-escalating keyboards arms race. Some are truly innovative, bringing new tools and specialties to the strategy room and the battlefield, while others operate under the guise of innovation, only to be found lacking in both design and engineering. 

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But we're not here to talk about those imitators. Instead, we're here to talk about the mechanical gaming keyboards that get the job done -- and those you need to add to your armory. With the holidays just around the corner, here are some of the best you can get right now. 

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Be Wary of Cheap Gaming Gadgets: They Could Be Selling Your Info https://www.gameskinny.com/cyuqf/be-wary-of-cheap-gaming-gadgets-they-could-be-selling-your-info https://www.gameskinny.com/cyuqf/be-wary-of-cheap-gaming-gadgets-they-could-be-selling-your-info Tue, 07 Nov 2017 11:06:52 -0500 bazookajo94

It's been discovered that Chinese keyboard MantisTek GK2 has been sending users' information to an Alibaba server. Originally reported on a thread website similar to Reddit, an anonymous user warned other members that the keypad was sending "information about key presses statistics" to a separate website, meaning anything a user has typed--email addresses, passwords, and other such login information that has been typed--is being sent to someone using the Alibaba server. 

The appeal to the MantisTek GK2 over other mechanical keyboards is its cheap price, but such gadgets are also noted to often take user's information without consent. 

To help stop information from being sent on the MantisTek GK2, users should first make sure they stop the keyboard's Cloud Driver software from running in the background, as it is the main source sending the information. 

Following this step, users can implement the force of their firewall to help by blocking the executable file CMS.exe. 

Or, if they're desperate for a quick fix, users can download free firewall software GlassWire, which allows users to block apps from making connections on their computer. 

As a final step, exercise caution when buying similar products. Yes, the majority of products in the US are being manufactured in China, but products usually go through a local company who serves as a gateway to ensure these products are safer to use than when they come directly from China, with all their specs and "features" included, such as sending statistics to outside servers. 

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HyperX Alloy FPS Pro Review: A Bare-Bones Tenkeyless Tour de Force https://www.gameskinny.com/1evdt/hyperx-alloy-fps-pro-review-a-bare-bones-tenkeyless-tour-de-force https://www.gameskinny.com/1evdt/hyperx-alloy-fps-pro-review-a-bare-bones-tenkeyless-tour-de-force Thu, 02 Nov 2017 09:15:02 -0400 Jonathan Moore

For many gamers, HyperX is a name synonymous with quality. For a while now, the company has made some of the very best gaming headsets around, from the Cloud Stinger to the Cloud Revolver S. And around the GameSkinny office, HyperX is a big favorite.

But for all the innovation the company has brought to the headset space, HyperX has just relatively recently brought that ingenuity to the mechanical keyboard market. It shone brightly with the Alloy Elite, a gaming board we named one of the most well-rounded keyboards currently available. And it shines just as bright with the Alloy FPS Pro.

After spending some 20 hours with the board, the Alloy FPS Pro is a mechanical keyboard we can’t help but recommend. Priced at $79.99, it’s undeniably a steal if you’re in the market for a reliable and durable tenkeyless option that boasts an elegant design and fluid functionality.

Unboxing

One of the things I like most about HyperX is that they’re no-frills when it comes to their products. They don’t get caught up in RGB lighting or macro programming, and instead focus on functionality and design. And that’s reflected in what you get in the box.

Packaged in a red and black cardboard box that’s as sturdy as the keyboard itself, the FPS Pro comes with the keyboard, a detachable 6-foot braided cable, a keycap switcher, a set of textured W/A/S/D and Q/E/R/F keys, and a handy quick-start guide.

Since a lot of other keyboard manufacturers don’t seem to be including extra keycaps and switchers these days, I really appreciate that HyperX goes the extra mile to add a different type of customizability to their products -- especially since changing keycaps can be a royal pain in the keester without a switcher.

I also appreciate that there’s no fancy software to fumble with and install. And while that means you can’t reprogram the board or set a plethora of macros, it also means that you can get to gaming faster, using the keyboard in its optimal capacity right from the start. There’s nothing more frustrating than plugging in a keyboard and not being immediately sure if you like it -- that's unless you spend an hour reprogramming it only to find you still hate it. That’s a huge bummer you won’t find here.

With the FPS Pro, what you see is what you get.

Design

The Alloy FPS Pro sports a black finish on a solid steel frame (which I’ll talk more about shortly), and the 87 smooth keycaps sit on either Cherry MX red, blue, or brown switches. If you choose to swap out the Pro’s factory keycaps with the red textured keycaps that come packaged with the board, you’ll find your primary gaming keys will have a bumpier feel to them, helping you better find them in a firefight or intense melee.

Across the top of the board you’ll also find your standard media keys (skip backward, skip forward, play, and pause), volume controls (volume up, volume down, and mute), and a Game Mode key that disables the Windows key to avoid accidental disruption during gaming.

Like other HyperX products, the lighting features on the FPS Pro are pretty slim. Instead of giving you control over 16 million colors, you’ll have the choice between red, red, and more red. But like its cousin in the Alloy Elite, the backlighting is crisp and vibrant and fully controllable via the board’s arrow keys, which allow you to cycle through six backlighting modes.

However, the biggest draw for the gamer on the go is the FPS Pro’s size and durability. Weighing just 1.8 pounds, the FPS Pro is nearly half the weight of Corsair's K63, making it even easier to stuff in a backpack or carry from home to office. To make matters even simpler, the FPS Pro’s braided cable is easily detachable and doesn’t tangle easily. The only thing that could have been better here is if HyperX provided a cord routing area on the board’s underside as an extra option, much like SteelSeries provides in some of its mechanicals.

But what really impressed me the most about the Alloy FPS Pro was its strength. It's durable as hell, something I found that out when I dropped it on solid concrete while transporting it from home to the office. After falling about three feet, there wasn’t a single scratch on the steel chassis -- it looked as good as the day I took it out of the box. Two of the keys popped off, but they were beyond easy to pop back on (and I haven’t had any problem with them since).

Functionality

As you’ve probably already figured out, there isn’t a ton of secondary functionality in the FPS Pro -- but that doesn’t mean the functionality that is there isn’t worth spending a few paragraphs on.

You might remember that I mentioned there’s no software with the FPS Pro. For those that prefer a varied palette, that might be a hurdle. But for those that don’t mind so much, controlling the board’s backlighting is a sinch. You won’t have to sift through millions of color options or agonize over getting a pattern just right. Finding what you’re looking for is as simple as plugging the keyboard in and cycling through the options on the board itself. That means you won’t have to leave your SMITE match or the last round of Iron Banner to tweak your settings if room conditions change.

Unlike the Alloy Elite, there’s no sleek volume wheel for increasing or decreasing volume on the fly. Instead, you’re stuck using your headset’s volume controls or incrementally raising or lowering the volume one key-click at a time. It wasn’t a monumental issue for me while using the board, but then again, I don’t often use keyboard volume functions and instead rely on my headset volume controls to do the work they were meant to do.

Performance

The Alloy FPS Pro doesn’t skip a beat. In all my hours with it, each key and every switch responded with near lightning feedback. Of course, it’s a cardinal sin for modern mechanical keyboards if the switches and keys don’t respond or aren’t comfortable. But the FPS Pro does an exceedingly good job at what other boards do casually.

The Pro's Cherry switches perform as you’d expect them, rapidly registering each and every keystroke without losing input. But they do so underneath perfectly contoured and textured full-size keycaps. With a gradual dip, the keycaps provide the perfect resting places for your fingers -- whether you’re frantically inputting commands in games like Destiny 2  and Grim Dawn, or holding them down for hours on end in games like The Vanishing of Ethan Carter and SOMA.

In a gaming capacity, I actually preferred that the Alloy FPS doesn’t have a numpad, leaving a comfortable amount of room between the keycaps. Sure, I missed the numpad and its ease of use for everyday editorial tasks, but for the games I frequently haunt, I never once felt empty handed without it.

My only true gripe is with the placement of the board’s F12 key. Both my colleague and I had issues with the key’s proximity to both the FPS Pro’s and the Alloy Elite’s backspace keys. In-game, the problem was negligible at best, but in everyday typing situations, it was a constant hobgoblin.

Verdict

When compared to other boards in its price range, it’s hard to beat the HyperX Alloy FPS Pro tenkeyless. It’s responsive. It’s reliable. And it’s resilient.

With complete n-key rollover and 100% anti-ghosting, you’ll find that all of your inputs register exactly when you need them to and that everyday tasks are a breeze. And aside from a few very (very) minor hiccups, it’s extremely simple to use.

If you’re looking for fully programmable macros, full lighting customization, and dedicated keys, you might want to look at other boards, such as Corsair’s K63 tenkeyless. But if you’re looking for a mechanical keyboard you can count on, is highly portable, and doesn’t eschew functionality for cosmetics, then the FPS Pro is the keyboard for you.

You can purchase the Alloy FPS Pro on Amazon for $79.99. 

[Note: HyperX provided the Alloy FPS Pro used for this review.]

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