Introduction And Specifications
In a broad sense, there are two types of keyboards in this world—those that use mechanical key switches and those that don't. If that sounds like something a keyboard snob would say, so be it, this editor stands guilty as charged, and happily so. We can accept that not everyone will find just cause to spend a premium on a mechanical plank, but one thing we'll never concede is that even the best membrane keyboards are on equal footing as those with mechanical key switches. Stick bamboo under our fingernails (not really) or subject us to a marathon of Matthew McConaughey movies (dear God no!), such blasphemy will never leave our lips.
Ah, but you probably know this already, hence why you're here eager to see how the contenders in our second roundup of mechanical keyboards stack up to one another. We're fortunate to be at a point where there are many options to choose from, and if you haven't done so already, check out our first roundup featuring planks from Cooler Master, Corsair, Razor, Rycos, and Thermaltake. We also have independent evaluations of the Cougar 600K and Das Keyboard 4 Pro available for your perusal.
This time around we've assembled a collection of keyboards from four more manufacturers. They include the AORUS Thunder K7, ASUS Strix Tactic Pro, G.Skill Ripjaws KM780 RGB, and Logitech G910 Orion Spark.
These are all gaming keyboards and as such they each share a few similar traits of interest to gamers, like LED backlighting and dedicated macro keys. They're also each uniquely designed, both in form and function, with different comparative strengths and weaknesses. We'll get to them all in just a moment, but first a quick rundown of each one's specs and feature highlights.
|Keyboards||ASUS Strix Tactic Pro
||G.Skill Ripjaws KM780 RGB||AORUS (Gigabyte) Thunder K7
||Logitech G910 Orion Spark
|Form Factor||Full size||Full size||Full Size + Tenkeyless (detachable numpad)
||Cherry MX Blue
||Cherry MX Brown
||Cherry MX Red||Romer-G|
|Backlight||Individually backlit keys
||Per key backlighting||Individually backlit keys
||Per key backlighting
|Dedicated Macro Keys
||13 + 8 switchable macro/function (F1-F8)
|Disable Windows Key
||None||1x in; 1x out||None||None|
||None||2x USB 2.0||None||None|
||20.3x7.03x1.30 inches||20.39x6.77x1.89 inches||17.8x10.1.5x1.8 inches||19.9x9.6x1.4 inches|
||3 pounds||3.3 pounds||3.3 pounds|
|Warranty||2 years||2 years||2 years||2 years|
Key switches are a personal thing with some people preferring the audible and tactile click action of a Cherry MX Blue while others gravitate towards quieter, linear switches like the Cherry MX Red. Of the four keyboards above, only one offers a choice between all four major Cherry MX key switches, that being the ASUS Strix Tactic Pro. Here's a look at the options for each one:
- ASUS Strix Tactic Pro: Cherry MX Blue, Cherry MX Red, Cherry MX Brown, Cherry MX Black
- G.Skill Ripjaws KM780 RGB: Cherry MX Blue, Cherry MX Red, Cherry MX Brown
- AORUS Thunder K7: Cherry MX Red
- Logitech G910 Orion Spark: G-Romer
Enough with the introduction, let's take a closer look at these keyboards and see how things shake out!