Gigabyte may be best known for its award winning motherboards and graphics cards, but the brand is home to a host of power products from computer cases to entire computers, which includes tablets and laptops. Peripherals are also on Gigabyte's lengthy list of wares, with its Aivia series perhaps being the most noteworthy and one I've had the pleasure of testing.
As solid as the Aivia Osmium mechanical keyboard and Aivia Uranium wireless mouse may have been when we used them, Gigabyte wanted to develop even more extreme models and to do so the company created a new brand, forming a subsidiary company called "Aorus" -- a name that already represents an elite keyboard, mouse and mouse pad as well as a few gaming laptops.
For review we have the Aorus Thunder K7 backlit mechanical gaming keyboard with a detachable macro/numpad, the 16-button Thunder M7 MMO gaming mouse, and the meter-long P3X gaming mouse pad. With everything unboxed and plugged in, we're ready to find out what nearly $300 of Aorus gear is worth when Zerglings come knocking.
Aorus Thunder K7 Detachable Mechanical Gaming Keyboard
The Thunder K7 is an expensive keyboard, though by mechanical standards it's relatively affordable at $150, particularly if you consider that it's meant to be the best of the best. To put that price into perspective, the CM Storm NovaTouch costs $200, the Corsair K95 Cherry MX at $190, the Das Keyboard 4 Ultimate at $180 and at $170 you will find the Roccat Ryos MK Pro as well as Razer BlackWidow Chroma.
Despite being more affordable than other upper-end mechanical boards, the Thunder K7 presents itself as a no expenses spared kind of product with full anti-ghosting functionality, wheel-based volume and backlighting controls and a detachable number pad with macro keys.
The detachable pad can be used as either a number pad or a macro keyboard. The 20 keys are fully customizable and allow for on-the-fly programming. Using the Aorus macro engine software gamers can setup five individual profiles for the 20 keys on the detachable pad. Each profile can be color-coded so you know which profile is active.
What is cool about the detachable pad is that it can either be connected to the right side of the keyboard or the left side, making it perfect for both lefties and righties. Additionally, using a magnetic cable, the detachable pad can be used by itself.
Obviously the key (forgive the pun) to any mechanical keyboard is its mechanical keys, which vary between boards and can impact feedback response and actuation pressure. There are three main types of mechanical keys: linear, or those that simply move vertically without any feedback or clicking noise such as Cherry MX Blacks; tactile, which provide physical feedback when a key is actuated, such as Cherry MX Browns; and tactile with an audible click accompanying the physical bump, as offered by Cherry MX Blues.
Gigabyte has fitted the Thunder K7 with Cherry MX Red switches, which are linear like Cherry's MX Black switches, meaning there is no click or sound associated with pressing them, except Reds require 45g to actuate versus 60g. The switches are rated for 50 million clicks while the key caps have been coated in a non-slip wear-resistant UV rubber-Teflon which feels nice and should help avoid any accidental slip-ups.