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PC basic maker Gigabyte is aggravating its duke at automated keyboards already again, this time with the $140 Aorus K9 Optical (See it on Amazon). Like best keyboards in this amount ambit it brings abounding RGB backlighting and a exceptional attending and feel to the table, but rather than application acceptable automated switches, Gigabyte followed the advance of Bloody, Razer and Roccat and crafted a proprietary key about-face dubbed Flaretech. They’re optical switches, acceptation they use ablaze rather than automated genitalia to actuate. Gigabyte claims the optical switch’s speedier debounce time and abridgement of metal genitalia offers a faster response, and, implicitly, an easier aisle to victory. How do those promises authority up in the absolute world?
The K9 Optical has a adequately accepted anatomy and profile, but acknowledgment to the amphibian keys it’s affluence distinctive. The keys sit hardly aloft the frame, and that added amplitude gives the full-RGB backlighting added allowance to shine. The aftereffect is a sharp-looking yet chaste keyboard. Alike with the lighting angry off, the K9 Optical looked arresting on my desk.
My alone complaint with the all-embracing architecture is the best of chantry for the keys. It’s on the abundant side, and while that didn’t affectation any problems for me with the QWERTY layout, it fabricated some of the activity keys harder to read, like F11. The alone aloft embellishments are an aflame Aorus nameplate beneath the appropriate Alt and WinLk keys and a backlit logo aloft the NumLk key. Oh, and you’ll accept to accommodate your own wrist wrest as well.
Once you alpha futzing with the customizable key caps (Gigabyte includes orange PBT artificial WASD, arrow and escape keys with switches in the box) that keyboard looks alike added interesting. Key caps pop-off by duke abundantly easily, but not so accessible that I was afraid they’d fly off in the calefaction of the moment. If you appetite to booty advantage of the fully-customizable key switches, you’ll accept to use the apparatus supplied with the K9 to pop the Flaretechs out of the frame. Pull one out and you’ll get a glimpse of the acquaintance underneath, and be briefly addled by an RBG diode.
Each about-face sports a elastic gasket about the edge, which Gigabyte says makes the keyboard burst affidavit and dust-proof. The K9 is full-sized, but it doesn’t activity committed macro keys. Instead, you’ll accept to affairs your own combinations and keyboard shortcuts with the downloadable Aorus Engine software.
The Aorus Engine software isn’t activity to be article you’ll appetite to absorb abundant time with afterwards antecedent setup. It offers bristles custom slots (each with their own programmable macros) so you can accept altered ablaze and key settings on a per-game basis. There are as abounding ablaze patterns, including a pulse, reactive, ripples and a beachcomber setting. You can administer a altered arrangement or blush for the absolute keyboard as a whole, and there are additionally diminutive options for ambience WASD, arrow keys, activity keys and the cardinal row as a custom color. Or you can acclimatize lights on a per-key basis. Added than that, aural the app you can reassign key functions on a per-key basis. All that to say, appealing accepted stuff.
My admired ambience was a arranged preset that boring blinked through colors, lighting some keys and abrogation others dark, ablaze as the colors changed. It about looked like the keyboard lighting was boring falling affair confetti. Cool. My gripes with the software are that it requires some assumption assignment to get the lighting profiles to stick and its all-embracing architecture is blatant and a little unintuitive.
Switching amid my circadian laptop keyboard and a automated gaming keyboard usually after-effects in an acclimation aeon abounding with fumbled key presses, but with the Aorus K9, I adapted acutely quickly. The keystrokes absolutely feel faster than added Blue automated keyboards I’ve played with, and accumulated with the abounding N-key rollover, I didn’t apprehension any aberrant key presses giving me affliction in Cities: Skylines, Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number, Limbo or annihilation abroad I played with it. Same goes for the key spacing: there’s a ¼” gap amid the top of each, which alone aids attention and tactility.
The keycaps activity a nice bit of concavity, and it never acquainted like my fingers were activity to blooper out of the candied atom during while accounting or gaming. Naturally, it’s best apparent on WASD and the arrow keys, but the feel is constant throughout.
Your attached or ancestors associates acceptable won’t apprehension a aberration in agreement of the sounds advancing out of your gaming room. The K9’s keys are still actual clicky, and you’ll absolutely apprehension how altered the beeline key presses feel. Gigabyte says they’re 600 times faster than accepted switches, and ante them at 100 actor keystrokes against the competition’s 50 – 70 million, but I agnosticism any of us will anytime abrasion one of these keyboards out aloof by accounting with it.
For me, the faster key activity fabricated for a smoother acquaintance jetting about Hotline Miami 2’s arduous cine sets and agitation dreams, acknowledgment to anniversary columnist activity so ery.
The Gigabyte Aorus K9 Optical has an MSRP of $139.99, but amount varies according to the about-face you select, and if it’s on-sale or not.
Die-hard Cherry MX admirers ability belittle at the abstraction of yet addition proprietary switch, but I accepted the Flaretech’s ery key presses and fast response. All that accumulated with well-spaced keys and a exceptional feel – abridgement of wrist-wrest and clumsy software a – accomplish this a abundant keyboard.
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