Review: Aukey mechanical keyboard brings a dance party to your desktop

Review: Aukey mechanical keyboard brings a dance party to your desktop

Some people like typing on a good old clickity-clack keyboard.

You remember those? They were, most likely, the kind you used with your first computer or maybe even in a typing class.

The keys are tall and they make a very distinctive sound when you type.

Most keyboards today - either built into laptops or sold with desktops - are thinner and quieter, with not much travel when you press the buttons.

I have to admit, I can type pretty fast on these new keyboards, but there is a certain subset of computer users who long for the good old keyboards of the 1990s. They miss the feel and the sound.

So I've noticed a resurgence of old-school mechanical keyboards - most of them fairly expensive ($100 or more). Of course, if there is enough interest and time, cheaper products will eventually come to market.

I've been testing the Aukey LED-Backlit Mechanical Keyboard KM-G6 ($49.99, amazon.com), and it has all the clicky goodness with an attractive price and some semi-obnoxious disco lighting.

DESIGN

The KM-G6 is a good-looking . It has the full complement of 104 keys, including arrow keys and a full numeric keypad. Each key has its own LED light.

The keyboard uses Outemu blue switches, which have easy travel and make a very loud and satisfying click with each strike.

Yes, a room full of these keyboards would be likely annoying.

My officemates certainly noticed when I installed the KM-G6. They came over to see what all the noise was about, and most of them wanted to try it for themselves.

There is a lot of nostalgia when it comes to typing on this style of keyboard.

Each key has a colored LED light. The lights do not change color, but there are different colors on each row.

The top row is blue, the next row is purple, the next row is green and so on. The lights illuminate the key letters and also the area under and around the keys. There is no option for white or neutral lights.

Where you can get creative is with different light modes. It's like a little disco light show built right into your keyboard.

Want the lights to flash row by row? Or from the edges toward the middle? No problem. You can even create a wave of light that spreads outward from every single key you strike.

It's an interesting demonstration to show off the keyboard's lighting but it's incredibly annoying if you're typing a document. Perhaps it's better suited for gaming.

The KM-G6 connects via USB cable, and there are no additional USB ports on the keyboard.

IN USE

The KM-G6 is just the kind of keyboard you'd want if you love to press buttons. Typing on it is satisfying in a very nerdy way.

I thought I was a fast typist on my mostly-flat Logitech keyboard but I find myself really flying on this Aukey KM-G6.

I love it as a keyboard and, while I find the lighting amusing, unless I'm showing off the different modes to a co-worker, I just leave them all on or in a mode that lights up the keys as you press them.

If you're into gaming, or a lot, but you work from home or in an office by yourself, this is the keyboard for you. If you work in a cubicle surrounded by dozens of others, they might not be amused by the noise.

—-

Pros: Easy to type on, very satisfying clicky feedback, pretty colors, inexpensive

Cons: The LED lighting is more gimmicky than functional.

Bottom line: If you're shopping for a keyboard that feels clicky, this is a good one.


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Jun 25, 2017
Mechanical keyboards are a top example of the "It makes a lot of noise, it must be working"-placebo effect.

For ergonomics and fatigue, the strain on your joints and tendons is proportional to the amount of work (energy) they need to perform, and the physics dictate that work = force x distance.

The more you have to push a button and the further it travels, the more it wears you down to type on it and the muscles up your arm get tired faster, your carpal tunnel gets inflamed faster because the tendons slide in and out a lot more, and the effect is amplified when you're typing quickly. The other fault is that mechanical keyboards are taller on the desk, which makes people bend their wrists up, which puts more pressure in the carpal tunnel. Some even flip the legs out to lift it even more.

That's why laptop style keyboards are actually superior - as long as they have proper scissor switches that keep the keys straight, instead of the cheaper plain rubber dome type.

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