Welcome to Gadgio’s AUKEY KM-G3 Mechanical Gaming Keyboard review. This is a medium budget, blue switch mechanical gaming keyboard. It’s a full 104 key keyboard, with multimedia capabilities and dynamic back-lighting. This review is a first for Gadgio; the product being reviewed is being used to write this article!
AUKEY claim that each key is good for up for 50 million key presses, which is realistically far more than you’d expect to put into a keyboard during it’s lifespan.
Let’s take a look at this device in some greater detail.
The AUKEY KM-G3 does indeed have a very ‘mechanical’ feel, well beyond it’s switches. The face of the keyboard is covered in a tidy looking brushed aluminium. It feels incredibly sturdy, even more so than a more premium competitor. The Razer Black Widow Ultimate has a little give in the plastic, this doesn’t. There are four prominent screws on the front of the keyboard to add to the robotic, mechanical feel. I’m not sure if I like those as a design feature, but I can certainly see how some people may.
Multi-function keys have both their primary and secondary functions printed on them, with the latter being in a smaller, white font. The most unappealing feature about the design of this keyboard would have to be the font of the primary functions and letters. AUKEY have used a futuristic, robotic font on their KM-G3 keyboard. This seems to be an attempt to replicate the Razer style. Unfortunately for them, the font doesn’t really work. Some characters are hard to read and there doesn’t really seem to be much consistency in the font.
One of my biggest gripes with the design of this keyboard is the fact that even in the UK, the keyboard is sold with the US design. One of the most significant differences here is that the ‘Enter’ key is a thin strip. This is in contrast to chunky ‘J’ shape, with a backslash key occupying the space above. To accommodate this, I’ve had to switch my keyboard type in the Operating System to the US keyboard design whilst working on this keyboard review. For those familiar with Apple Macs, this shouldn’t pose too much of an problem. Apple use the US design too. In reality, it’s not much of an issue, it just might take some getting used to for those who’ve always worked with British English keyboards.
On to functionality… can the AUKEY KM-G3 redeem itself?
Simply put, yes it can. The AUKEY KM-G3 more than compensates for it’s design flaws in its functionality.
Cherry MX switches are the industry standard for use in mechanical gaming keyboards. They’re very reliable, and the Blue switches produce a lovely audible click when the key is pressed. The KM-G3 steps away from the norm here, perhaps in an attempt to save money on manufacturing. This keyboard uses Outemu Blue Switches. Fortunately, I had a device from a keyboard review that uses Cherry MX Blue Switches lying around, so I’ve been able to compare the sound and feel from both keyboards. The first and most noticeable difference is the sound that they make. The Outemu switches in the AUKEY KM-G3 are higher pitched, louder and more ‘clicky’. The Cherry switches aren’t so loud, and have a little more ‘thump’ in their noise than the keys by Outemu. I actually prefer the sound produced by the Outemu switches on the AUKEY board, but this does come at a cost. The Cherry switches require a substantial amount less pressure in order to actuate the keys. This is certainly noticeable from just typing using both keyboards. Finger fatigue begins to set in much earlier on keyboards that require a higher actuation force.
Perhaps one of the largest selling points of this keyboard is it’s high level of customization within its lighting. As can be seen from the review photographs above, there is a huge array of patterns, speeds and colours that this keyboard can produce. There are a few pre-programmed, game specific lighting configurations, which I feel could be incredibly useful for placing your fingers in fast-paced games. Some of the other effects the keys can be configured to perform are waves, ripples, progressive lighting and fading, all through a wide array of different colours, at any speed. Whilst these functions are primarily for fun and display, they do serve some purpose and are definitely a nice feature to have.
All in all, I’d say that the AUKEY KM-G3 is a great buy for anyone looking for a mechanical, backlit gaming keyboard on a budget. Sure it doesn’t come from a popular manufacturer, but you pay a lot for that privilege. The switches are nice, the layout is okay, and it does the job well. Once you’ve taken the time to adapt to the alternative layout and design of the keyboard, you wouldn’t think twice about it.
My only consideration here would be if you find yourself to be someone who suffers from finger fatigue when typing, perhaps this keyboard with it’s slightly higher actuation force might not be for you.
You can find this product on Amazon here.