You either love having a number pad on your keyboard or you don't. If you never use your number pad, though, why bother taking up space on your desk?
That's where the TKL keyboard comes in, and in this case, we're looking at an 88-key effort from Aukey with mechanical keys. It ticks all the right boxes, and better yet, it only costs $30. If you want a budget, compact mechanical keyboard, you should get one of these. Now.
|Key switch type||Outemu Blue|
|Number of keys||87|
|Key switch type||Outemu Blue|
|Actuation force||50cN ±10cN|
|Input||DC 5V 200mA|
|Backlighting color||Six-color preset|
|Keyboard materials||Steel, ABS|
|Cable length||1.5 m / 4.92 feet|
|Dimensions||353 mm x 135 mm x 37 mm / 13.9 in x 5.31 in x 1.46 in|
|Weight||945 g / 2.08 lbs|
At this price you're not getting Cherry MX switches, rather Outemu Blue switches. And they're loud. You'll either love that or hate it. But if you're a fan of a nice, loud, satisfying clack as you type, the Aukey KM-G7 will delight.
They're tested for 50-million keystrokes and are very responsive. Not the absolute fastest you'll find, but in both typing and gaming, there is nothing to complain about. Feedback is very good, and with such a loud clack, you'll always know you hit the key.
Our writer Jerry Hildenbrand described the switches best when reviewing Aukey's larger KM-G3 mechanical keyboard:
They are noisier. They are slightly more stiff than Cherry MX switches with a more defined 'bump' ... Just know that they are stiffer and louder than Cherry Blues.
For the most part, the KM-G7 is just a smaller version of the KM-G3. The styling is a little different, but that's about it.
A well-built keyboard
The KM-G7 is plastic all over but with a good amount of heft, coming in at just over two pounds. It's solid and durable, and it's also water resistant. As someone who frequently spills drinks all over my desk, this feature alone is enough to pique my interest. The keycaps are double-shot-molded ABS, and Aukey throws in a keycap puller to get you started on swapping them out for something a little fancier if you wish.
The KM-G7 also has full LED lighting with six colors and nine presets. There is no companion app, so changing between them happens entirely on the keyboard. I don't like that myself, but that's my preference. Just don't throw the manual away. The stock pattern is a different color on each row and that actually looks really good.
What's also very pleasing on the KM-G7 is that despite its slimmed down size, you're not missing any functionality. The function keys across the top house full media controls. My European version has the all important Euro symbols, and you can lock the Windows key to prevent accidental presses during a hot fragging session.
The USB cable doesn't detach, which I would have preferred, but it's plenty long enough at 1.5 meters. It isn't braided, but for $30 that's OK, and it's still a fairly solid cable. It doesn't suffer any unnecessary curling.
Bottom line on Aukey's KM-G7 keyboard
Just like the KM-G3, the Aukey KM-G7 is very much a winner. At a fantastic price of just $30, you're getting an excellent mechanical keyboard. There aren't many frills, it's backlit, has a Windows key lock feature, and the Outemu Blue switches are superb. Loud, but superb.
There's nothing really to fault. You even get water resistance on a $30 mechanical keyboard. It doesn't have the logo of some of the top gaming brands, but is that logo worth the inflated price?
Should you buy one? Absolutely. It's cheap enough that it's in impulse-buy territory. And you'll probably find yourself very surprised. I sure did.
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