RGB Lighting, Usage Impressions, and Conclusion

The RGB lighting effects with the AUKEY keyboard don't require any software, so a combination of keys (FN + INS or DEL) is all you need to cycle between colors and patterns, with separate controls for backlight intensity.

A wave of color effect in motion on the keyboard

I prefer a solid (single color) backlight myself – and one can certainly be chosen – but there are some interesting RGB effects available if you're interested, though choosing one would be easier with software, rather than cycling through the options one by one.

In addition to the various cosmetic color effects, the keyboard has a few preset game modes such as FPS, where only the relevant keys are backlit. This is a nice idea, and I was a little surprised it was implemented given (once again) the lack of software control. The modes available can be selected with a combination of FN + the 1 – 5 number keys, and include a League of Legends and Call of Duty preset, among others.

Usage Impressions

I'll start by saying I'm not the biggest fan of blue switches on keyboards, but if you like them this is a good implementation. There is a light feel with a very clicky (and somewhat thin) sound as the keys actuate. If you tend to bottom out the keys as you type (as I do) this click will be punctuated by a "clack", making the overall noise output quite loud. If that extra clicky, tactile feel suits you, these (presumably generic) blue switches provide the experience, though when compared to name-brand Cherry MX Blue switches they felt just a little lighter. The keycaps are slightly concave, and though the letter keys felt a little lighter the wider keys (shift, tab, etc) all had a solid feel and required a little more force – and made me wish the entire keyboard felt like that. Still, if you like a clicky keyboard with a very light actuation force, this is it.

As to construction, I was surprised by how solidly build this $59 keyboard was, as even grasping it from both ends and twisting didn't produce any creaking sounds. It's pretty light overall, but the metal plate beneath the keys really seems to help with rigidity with an otherwise plastic design. The flip-out feet on the bottom are also pretty sturdy, and with these extended the keyboard felt solid on my desktop. Curiously, there are only the two front rubber feet on the bottom of the keyboard without those back feet popped out, so for stability you pretty much have to use the keyboard with a tilt – something I don't usually do. I would have liked to see four rubber pads under the keyboard, leaving the tilt as an optional thing – though it didn't actually slide too much without them.

Strengths

  • Low price
  • Good build quality
  • RGB lighting works as expected (though a little hard to use without software)

Weaknesses

  • Only two rubber pads on the bottom without the optional tilt legs flipped out

Overall, I found myself very impressed with what AUKEY is offering for a hair under $60: an actual mechanical keyboard with RGB lighting effects, and good build quality. If you like blue key switches and are looking to get into mechanical keyboards on a budget, I recommend it.

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