Regular readers of my blog know that I've got a somewhat unhealthy obsession with input devices; more specifically keyboards. I've spent the better part of the last few months experimenting with some of the most expensive mechanical key-switch keyboards currently in production. So, when Gigabyte offered up an affordable multimedia keyboard--the GK-K6800--based on membrane switches, I approached the product with some trepidation. Taking its affordable nature and less desirable switch mechanism into consideration, however, in turns out the Gigabyte GK-K6800 is a decent product.
Gigabyte GK-K6800 Multimedia Keyboard
The GK-K6800 has firm feeling keys, which make the keyboard feel more expensive than it actually is. The keycaps are also textured and laser-engraved for long-term durability. There are 14 multimedia buttons, which control media player, launch common applications, etc., situated around the perimeter of the keyboard's glossy black edges, and a brushed volume wheel rests at the upper-right corner. Blue indicator LEDs on the GK-K6800 are nice and bright, but light from LEDs does bleed over into adjacent indicators. When caps-lock is enabled, for example, blue light floods though the scroll-lock indicator.
While testing, I found the GK-K6800 to offer 4- or 5-key rollover depending on the key combination over its USB connection, and it didn't suffer from any scan rate key transposition issues. The L-shaped enter and smaller backspace keys may take some getting used to, however, if you're already accustomed to typical 104-key keyboards with an ANSI layout. For around $20 though, it's really not a bad board if you can live with the layout.
Gigabyte GM-M8000 7-Button Gaming Mouse
In addition to the GK-K6800 keyboard, Gigabyte also sent over one of their GM-M8000 7-button gaming mice. While the GM-M8000 is relatively affordable at about $50, this mouse is anything but budget. It offers a 4000 DPI resolution, with on the fly switching, courtesy of a High-performance AVAGO 6090 Laser sensor. The mouse also sports an 8KB buffer to support its "GHOST Engine", a scroll wheel with 24 individual click positions, 5 programmable buttons, "Ultra-Durable" Teflon feet, a braided USB cable, and a weight system with up to 38 grams of metal weights.
Gaming with the GM-M8000 proved to be an absolute pleasure. Sensitivity, reaction time, and accuracy are very good. The mouse just worked on every surface I tried. And it fit my large hand very well. About the only complain I have with the GM-M8000 is that its finish wears rather easily and the mouse buttons get that shiny-plastic look. For under fifty bucks though, this is one heck of a gaming mouse.