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Home / Tips and Tricks / A Good Starter Mechanical Board on a Budget – Review Geek

A Good Starter Mechanical Board on a Budget – Review Geek


  • 1 – Absolute hot garbage
  • 2 – Sorta lukewarm garbage
  • 3 – Heavily defective design
  • 4 – Some advantages, many disadvantages
  • 5 – Acceptable Imperfect
  • 6 – Good enough to buy on sale
  • 7 – Great, but not first class
  • 8 – Fantastic, with some footnotes
  • 9 – Shut up and take my money [19659004] 10 – Absolute Design Nirvana

Price: $ 65

  aukey, keyboard, mechanical keyboard

Here's what we like

  • Great value
  • Full RGB lighting
  • Aluminum key plate [19659004] Compact size for the layout

And what we do do not do

  • No driver programming
  • Fixed USB cable
  • No option for red switch

Mechanical keyboards range from about $ 40 to over $ 200. If you are looking for something economical, but have enough extra features to make it a pleasant upgrade, the Aukey KM-G3 keyboard is worth considering.

Aukey recently sent me her improved keyboard for testing. I'm not a stranger to mechanical keyboards, both super-premium and budget, but what intrigued me about this model was a complete and partially customizable array of RGB LEDs. To the uninitiated, this means that every button on the board has access to a rainbow of colors, as do the fancy Razer and Corsair models.

It's one step higher between this and the higher-quality aluminum plate under the keys. The base model from Aukey (completely made of plastic and without user-specific lighting) costs just $ 25 more. With $ 65 for a full-fledged 104-key board with purely mechanical switches, it's a compelling value proposition.

Full size layout, genuine mechanical keys

  Keyboard, keyboard, mechanical keyboard, km-g3, rgb, aluminum

Aukey's mechanical keys are sourced from the cost-effective Chinese supplier Outemu, a popular choice for budget boards. They are clones of the Cherry MX Blue design and provide light to medium pressure with an audible "click" to activation.

Oddly enough, for a keyboard supposedly aimed at gamblers, there are no red clones (lighter feathers) without bump or click), but actually I prefer the feel of blue switches when playing. If you are not a fan of loud switches or your work or playing environment simply does not do it justice, you have to look elsewhere. As clones, the Outemu switches are pretty good and only offer a bit more "chatter" on activation than the real thing. For a keyboard that is so cheap, they are more than acceptable.

 aukey, keyboard, mechanical keyboard, km-g3, rgb, aluminum

The KM-G3 offers a completely normal layout for full-sized ANSI cards: integer field right, no strangely large bottom row. Keycaps are a standard profile with cheaper ABS plastic and translucent lighting. They are nothing special, but they show the lights and are easy enough to read. Thanks to the standardized layout, you can replace it with any ANSI-compatible keycap set and be sure that everything fits and looks good.

Big and Small at the Same Time

The case of the keyboard is made of matte black plastic, but the plate that holds the switches is an attractive brushed aluminum with exposed screws that make this model a bit more presentable than the usual budget boards , Yet, it's otherwise unremarkable, a welcome look in a sea of ​​"gamer" keyboards that are adorned with eye-catching logos and graphics.

The bodywork is also surprisingly compact for a standard sized board, with just a few millimeters between the outer switches and the edge of the case. It's the first full-fledged board I could comfortably use without having to move my mouse pad farther to the right than its "buttonless" position. This is a great board that will travel well. Even with the compact body, plastic feet can be folded out to give the board a more angular writing position.

 Keyboard, Keyboard, Mechanical Keyboard, km-g3, rgb, Aluminum

Blue LED Indicators Indicate when Caps, Scroll or Num Lock is enabled or the Windows key is locked , One thing I would have liked is a detachable USB cable (see the popular Magicforce board for a budget implementation of this idea) to simplify precise routing. And that's it in terms of physical design: simple, compact, flexible, effective.

There is no management software and no programming, it is completely plug and play. The compromises made to achieve the low price appear perfectly acceptable to a budget-minded or typist who wants a full-fledged blue-switch board.

Lots of Lights but Less Options

The highlight of the feature set (no pun intended) is the RGB lighting of the board. And at first glance, the KM-G3 actually has some nice lights: in its primary modes, it can easily reproduce the Rainbow Rave look of more expensive keyboards. But there is a big drawback to the lack of Windows software – you do not get access to simple programming for the buttons or the lights.

The colors can be adjusted manually, but if you're hoping for access to some of the crazy effects offered by sophisticated exposure APIs, you're in luck.

 aukey, keyboard, mechanical keyboard, km-g3, rgb, aluminum

This deficiency is not overly debilitating. While lack of software means no macro buttons, customizable controls are available in virtually every PC game, and you can manually reprogram buttons in Windows yourself if you need something more permanent. The FN + Windows key locks the Start Menu button, a handy plus for players who do not want to accidentally lose the game window's focus.

Even the lack of complete lighting adjustments is not a total problem There are several modes built into the PCB of the keyboard itself. They have standard all-in-one color options, many seizure-inducing rainbows, both standard and key-reactive, and controls to change the brightness and speed of the animation.

 aukey, keyboard, mechanical keyboard, km -g3, rgb, aluminum

The keyboard is even preprogrammed with some easy-to-use light presets tied to buttons 1-5, the players of standard FPS Games will be familiar. These can be further customized by pressing the FN + Home command: You can toggle any key on the keyboard through nine colors (including no illumination), allowing a wide range of basic color layouts without animation effects. Actually, I'd like to create a color-coded layout that suits the most played games, it's feasible if not as fast or as easy as it would be with a full driver program. Users can reset the light effects of the keyboard to factory defaults with FN + Escape. The only downside to this on-the-fly programming is that sometimes keystrokes are sent to your computer even when the light programming mode is on.

A solid upgrade pick

 mechanical keyboard, km-g3, rgb, aluminum

Is the Aukey KM-G3 worth the price? For general typists who want a little extra bling on their budget board, I would say yes. The design is solid and functional, without unnecessary complications.

Players could be eliminated by the lack of a macros driver program and full light programming … or they could enjoy it, depending on how much dislike they have for the notoriously annoying management programs of Razer, Logitech, and others. I appreciate the metal circuit board and the very compact case, but I wish there was a detachable USB cable and a linear switch option for those who needed smoother or quieter keyboards. But, my little design issues aside, it's a solid little board. For $ 65, it's an excellent value for money and a good starting point if you want to get into the mechanical keyboard craze.

Here's what we like

  • Great Value
  • Full RGB lighting
  • Aluminum key plate
  • Compact size for layout

And what we do not

  • No driver programming
  • Fixed USB cable
  • No Red switch option

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