The AUKEY KM-G3 Mechanical Keyboard is one of the best-selling gaming keyboards on Amazon at the time of writing. Even before getting my hands on the keyboard, this didn’t surprise me: what I knew of it seemed to indicate a product of great potential based on its list of features alone. Today, we’re going to take a closer look at the AUKEY KM-G3 and tell you what’s good, what’s not, and why you should consider it for your next upgrade.
Unboxing the keyboard, I was immediately impressed. In person, the aesthetic cleanliness of the KM-G3 is immediately apparent, and the keyboard has a solid, reassuring and hefty feel that lets you know you’re working with quality. As I went through the process of hooking up the keyboard and pouring through its instruction manual, though, I did start to see signs of the compromises that had to be made for a keyboard like this to work at its price point. Before we dive into those, let’s go over the positives.
First and foremost, the price. Even non-backlit mechanical keyboards used to run over $70 minimum, and this one, being backlit retails for less at $65.99. Seeing gaming keyboards advance so quickly while also plummeting in price has been a joy to watch, and I’m truly happy that the benefits of mechanical keyboards are now far more easily-accessible from a pricing standpoint. Fortunately, the benefits don’t stop there.
Fully mechanical, with great switches
Typing this review with the KM-G3 feels amazing. The Outemu Blue switches (derivative of Cherry MX Blue Switches) feel and sound great while typing or gaming. The key benefit of a mechanical keyboard over something like a membrane keyboard is in the tactile feedback. The switches within this keyboard and the satisfying clicks with every key-press ensure that it meets this key benefit, but if you’re a fan of other, quieter switch types, this may not be for you.
The RGB backlighting is also great, but at this point, I feel like it needs to be said that it isn’t full RGB backlighting. To enthusiasts, myself included, RGB implies access to a full-color spectrum of customizations, from the darkest blacks to the brightest whites and everything in between. This isn’t the case with the AUKEY – what you get instead is six-color backlighting. You can cycle through these colors or use them all at once, depending on your lighting effect preset, but you aren’t afforded full, precise control over your colors. This is mostly a nitpick, though, and the fact that a mechanical keyboard at this price range has an in-depth backlighting solution at all is a blessing.
With six colors and nine backlighting effects to choose from, the AUKEY is no slouch in terms of customization options, especially not at this price range. For that reason, it deserves a solid recommendation in this area. There are also game-specific presets you can activate by holding down the FN key and pressing the one through five numerical keys, ranging from a generic FPS title to a dedicated League of Legends preset.
Overall build quality
The overall build quality of this keyboard is excellent. It feels hefty and solid while also managing to look slick as hell doing it. To see so much effort put into aesthetics and build quality at this price range sincerely impresses, and that alone makes me look forward to whatever offerings AUKEY may come out with in the future. Unfortunately, I can’t sing its praises for this entire review … let’s talk about the downsides.
No wrist rest for comfort
This is the biggest one for me. The keyboard does not come packaged with a wrist rest, which means you’ll either need to buy one for yourself separately or make do with a folded towel or something. As a gamer and writer (pretty much the target demographic for a mechanical keyboard), I spend a lot of my time typing at my PC, and the lack of comfort options is actually a fairly major downside for me. I understand that this was probably a compromise for the price range, but surely AUKEY could at least include an option to purchase a version of this keyboard with an attachable wrist rest.
No software for configuring lighting effects
If there is software for configuring the AUKEY KM-G6’s backlighting and lighting effects, I have not been able to find it. Instead, all of your tweaks to your keyboard’s lighting must be done by holding down the FN key and hitting various keys to cycle through different colors and lighting effects. This feels clumsy and cumbersome, and considering that another of AUKEY’s RGB mechanical keyboards feature configuration software, its omission here is somewhat baffling. This makes the manual required reading for making the most of your keyboard, unfortunately.
No media or macro keys
While the AUKEY KM-G3 does support media functions by holding down the FN key, this is not a true substitute for media keys in my eyes. This is perhaps the most nitpicky of my points against the keyboard; however, while I love the convenience that media keys offer, the fact is that they aren’t totally necessary to a solid gaming or typing experience. They’re just a sweet little extra convenience feature, and it’s okay to cut away a few of those when targeting such a low price point.
My overall opinion of the AUKEY KM-G3 is that, despite its shortcomings, it’s an amazing keyboard.
Value plays the biggest part in this argument: what you pay for what you get almost feels like a steal, and even if it doesn’t have luxury features like the Corsair K70’s insane CUE lighting engine, the KM-G3 still has plenty to offer in its own right.
When it comes to the actual typing experience – what matters most – you’ll get something in line with what you can expect from the best manufacturers on the market, like Corsair or Razer. That alone makes it more than worth the money.
If you’re on a tight budget, or just aren’t ready to spend $100 or more on one of the best-of-the-best mechanical keyboards out there, the AUKEY KM-G3 is for you.