Aorus Thunder K3

Roughly a year ago we reviewed the Aorus Thunder K7 mechanical gaming keyboard and really enjoyed using it, giving a solid 85 out of 100. The highlights for us included how comfortable the Thunder K7 was to use along with its overall high build quality, quick adjust LED backlighting and detachable macro/numpad.

The only disadvantages were the relatively high price tag and lack of USB passthrough. Today the Thunder K7 is selling for $140, which we feel is a bargain for such a well equipped and unique gaming keyboard.

However, if that is too much perhaps the Thunder K3 at $85 is more suitable.

The interesting thing about the Thunder K3 is that it's actually the Thunder K7, or at least a good chunk of it. The Thunder K7 was a modular keyboard that came in three parts that all stuck together using high powered magnets. The bulk of the keyboard was a tenkeyless board which could support the included numpad (macro pad) on either the left of right side depending on the user's preference.

Much to my delight, the K7 had a huge wrist rest that snapped onto the keyboard and macro pad. It was all rather elegant.

With the Thunder K3 you get the tenkeyless board, which is surprising because it means at $85 users need to spend over 60% more just to acquire the macro pad and wrist rest. Sadly, those items cannot be sold separately.

This puts the Thunder K3 in a bit of an awkward spot, as it is designed to be part of that set. Sadly while the magnets are still in the Thunder K3 there isn’t anything for them to attach to, we wish Aorus sold the parts separately. They have created the unique ability for the potential to relate a heap of different add-ons that could be snapped onto the Thunder K3.

Likewise we would really like to see Aorus release a magnetic wrist pad that is designed to be used with the tenkeyless board, basically a smaller version of what comes with the Thunder K7.

Looking at the Thunder K3 itself we have an all-black keyboard with an affinity for straight edges. The board is obviously styled for gamers who prefer more of an aggressive appearance and frankly I would be happy seeing it every day.

In the top left corner of the keyboard are two scroll wheels which allow for quick adjustments of the system volume and keyboard backlighting. We think the wheels are neat to begin with, but Gigabyte went the extra mile to make them clickable so you can mute your audio or disable the backlighting altogether.

Flipping over the Thunder K3 doesn't reveal much other than a few fold out feet. There isn't any option here for cable management, though since the Thunder K3 doesn't feature any kind of connectivity hub, which isn't too surprising. The lack of USB and audio connectivity will be missed by some potential buyers but this is likely an area where Aorus skimped to keep its pricing in check.

Although the Thunder K3 is an impressive looking keyboard without the macro pad and detachable wrist rest it is a bit lackluster in terms of features. For example there are no macro keys, dedicated or otherwise, the keyboard isn't fully programmable, no dedicated multimedia keys other than the volume control, no USB or audio passthrough and no wrist rest, while the keyboard is backed by a limited one-year warranty.

Other than the aggressive design that sets is apart from the more boring looking Tt eSports Poseidon Z, Tesoro Excalibur Spectrum and CM Storm QuickFire TK for example, the Thunder K3's highlights include Cherry MX switches, blue LED backlighting and the volume/brightness control wheels.