Keys To Success: Mechanical Keyboard Round-Up With ASUS, G.Skill, Aorus, Logitech

AORUS Thunder K7 Performance

You don't have a choice of key switches when buying the Thunder K7, it's Cherry MX Red or bust. Since AORUS opted for as single flavor of Cherry MX, it's probably wise the company went with Reds, arguably the most popular among gamers.

Key Switches

AORUS Thunder K7 Cherry MX Red

If you're not familiar with the different flavors of Cherry MX key switches, you might be confused by how AORUS describes the Cherry MX Red switches on the Thunder K7's product page.'

"Cherry Red key provides superior tactile feedback and an optimized actuation force of 45g," AORUS explains. "Reduced key actuation distance of 2mm improves keyboard response time while remaining whisper silent during operation."

AORUS gets the actuation force and distance measurements correct, but mistakenly suggests that Cherry MX Red switches offer tactile feedback of any kind, let alone "superior tactile feedback." They're actually linear switches, and because of their low actuation force, they provide a smooth top-to-bottom motion without any tactile feedback at all.

Calling them "whisper silent" also necessitates explanation. The key switches themselves are super quiet, and there's certainly a big disparity in noise between Cherry MX Red and Cherry MX Blue keyboards, but it's not a completely silent experience. Anyone within ear shot can still hear the clunk of the plastic keycaps as they crash down on the keyboard housing with each stroke, and the stronger you type, the louder it is.


AORUS Thunder K7 Software

AORUS did a bang up job with its accompanying software for the Thunder K7. It's pretty easy to create macros, including advanced ones with precise timing between keystrokes, mouse clicks, or whatever actions you've mashed together. And once created, you can edit and fine tune the actions rather than having to delete it and start over.

The documentation does a good job of explaining the software, and had we read it first, we would have discovered beforehand that the first of six profiles can't be edited. Attempts to do so caused us to scratch our heads and waste a bit of time troubleshooting an issue that didn't exist. While not stated, we assume that making changes to the first profile is off limits so that you always have quick access to the number pad's standard configuration.

While the macro editing capabilities are robust, you're limited to just the number pad. That still gives you 20 keys to configure, though it would have been nice to have the option of remapping any of the keys on the keyboard, not just the number pad.

If you explore the software, you'll also find a few LED lighting settings, like turning on and off the breathing effect.


Whether or not the Thunder K7 is suitable as a daily typer will depend entirely on how you feel about Cherry MX Red key switches. Their lightweight design and smooth strokes are intended for gamers in the heat of battle, but there are typists who like the feel for general purpose typing, too. If you're one of them, the Thunder K7 is as good as any other keyboard out there with a few notable amenities, such the nifty brightness and volume rollers, and the detachable number pad (if you don't need to do any data entry, it's nice to have the option of converting to a more compact tenkeyless plank).

As a gaming keyboard, the Thunder K7 is the most flexible and adaptable keyboard of the bunch. The detachable number pad gives you three different configurations to play with—attached to the left, attached to the right, or standalone. It's modular nature means you can fit the keyboard to the type of game you're playing rather than a one-size-fits-all model, as-is the case with the other keyboards in this roundup.

The downside to this modular approach is that the magnets holding the number pad in place to the main keyboard are pretty weak. It's not so much an issue when sitting idly on your desk, but if picking up the keyboard, it's going to detach and come crashing down if you don't hold it place.

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