Gaming keyboards are not created equally. I feel like there’s the potential for two different classes in the product realm: those with flashy LCD screens and a million color combinations; and those with extremely high craftsmanship and simple functionality. While the choice between said types of gaming keyboards is based strictly on preference, I tend to like the idea of the latter product: one that feels exceptional when I use it. The 7G mechanical gaming keyboard from SteelSeries is one that also fits in that latter category. I’ve been using it for the last few weeks during my gaming endeavors.
How did it fare? Read on to find out.
I’ll just say it: the 7G doesn’t exactly look like a traditional gaming keyboard. In fact, if you didn’t know that SteelSeries is the manufacturer of gaming peripherals, it’d be easy to mistake the keyboard for a “normal” membrane keyboard. I think that’s awesome. Remember when I mentioned simple functionality earlier? This is the epitome of that idea. The 7G looks, well, normal.
But that’s not to say the 7G isn’t pretty, because it is. There’s something to be said about a product’s ability to take the seemingly “easy way out” when it comes to gaming accessories, with no flashy colors or LCD screens and still be considered aesthetically pleasing. SteelSeries has gone with the absolute neccessity in their design, which is a good thing.
The 7G is a mechanical keyboard, meaning that the keys have an actual physical mechanism when they’re pressed. Mechanical keyboards last far longer than their traditional counterparts; each key is rated for 50 million keystrokes. Compare that with the traditional 15 million keystrokes of membrane keyboards and you’ll realize that the 7G is built to withstand the sometimes-thousands presses of a single key each day with 18K gold-plated switches. What’s more is that the keys are laser-engraved, meaning that the lettering/numbering won’t wear off after extensive use.
The 7G also features both an audio and USB hub right on the keyboard to provide easy accessibility for any other accessories you may use, such as a headset.
In case you haven’t gotten the idea that the 7G is high-quality, I’ll mention that the USB/PS/2 cord is braided and extremely durable. Seriously, the cord is huge. Normally, this would be an issue, but gaming keyboards live often semi-permanent existences on gamers’ desks. Having a thick cord isn’t much of a big deal, especially one of this quality. At the end of said cord is a PS/2 plug, which enables anti-ghosting at its finest. In case you’re not familiar with what anti-ghosting means, I’ll explain. Ghosting on a (usually USB) keyboard happens when you press multiple keys at once, but not all register. For example, if I were to type “asdfghj”, but only “asdf” registered, that’s ghosting. With the PS/2 port, you can press as many keys as there are on the keyboard and experience no ghosting at all. Keep in mind that you have to have a PS/2 port on your computer for this to even matter; most customers will be subject to USB-use.
SteelSeries calls the 7G their heavyweight gaming keyboard, and they mean it literally. The keys are mounted onto a metal plate inside of the keyboard to ensure durability. Even the plastic components of the keyboard are made with a metal alloy to ensure that, you know, if you happen to get angry after a close loss in League of Legends, you won’t destroy your keyboard if you hit it. However, SteelSeries is quick to say that you shouldn’t hit your stuff, not because it can’t stand the punishment, but because it’s not nice.
Using the 7G is heaven. At first, mechanical keyboards are a little difficult to get used to. They seem clumsy if you’re coming from a traditional chiclet-style keyboard found on many of the laptops in the market today. However, after you’ve played with one for a couple weeks, you’ll understand that you’ve been missing out. The feel and response rate of mechanical keyboards are second to none, and the 7G is no different. While playing League of Legends, I’ve noticed an improvement in my navigation of the keyboard without looking at it. No, having a mechanical gaming keyboard won’t make you a far better player, but I wholeheartedly believe that a mechanical gaming keyboard is a good step in becoming a more efficient gamer. With the high-quality craftsmanship, the simple features, and the fact that it’s mechanical, the SteelSeries 7G is an excellent choice for gamers, both professional or novice. You can check out the 7G on SteelSeries’ website for $149.99.
Pros: Durable, elegant design, fantastic feel