SteelSeries 7G Gaming Keyboard Review

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henrybutt
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SteelSeries 7G Gaming Keyboard Review

Postby henrybutt » 14 Feb 2010, 01:10

SteelSeries 7G Gaming Keyboard Review

by Henry Butt

SteelSeries is a Danish company founded in 2001 with the aim of developing products oriented around professional gaming across the globe. It is now a leading manufacturer of gaming peripherals and accessories including headsets, keyboards, mice, mouse mats and software.

Features

• No-click mechanical professional gaming keyboard
• 18K gold-plated connectors for extremely low latency
• Gaming grade lifetime: 50 million keystrokes
• Endorsed by the world's best eSports-players

Specifications

• Switches: Gold plated no-click
• Switch lifetime: 50,000,000 cycle
• Assembly: Face plate mounted keyset
• Dimensions: 480 x 250 mm / 18,9 x 9,8 in
• Cable length: 2 m (6,6 ft.)
• Connectivity: PS/2 + USB

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The 7G gaming keyboard sits at the top of SteelSeries' range. At around of £100, it certainly isn't the cheapest keyboard on the market either. But the 7G isn't no ordinary gaming keyboard; SteelSeries have used MX Black mechanical switches rather than the more modern 'membrane' alternative, giving it a totally different feel to a normal keyboard. When typing on the 7G, you only have to depress the keys half way down for them to register. This takes a while to get used to but seems to improve typing speed quite a lot due to the very responsive action.

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The build quality of the 7G is nothing short of fantastic. The plastic used in construction is very good quality and the keyboard has a rigid metal base that is sure to improve durability. SteelSeries have also used braided shielding around the wires which adds to the overall quality feel. All of the keys are removable so cleaning the keyboard thoroughly is very easy. It also means you can switch the keys around or remove them altogether. The mechanical switches are quoted to have a life of around 50 million keystrokes which means the 7G should last much longer than standard keyboards whose switches generally have a life of around 1 - 5 million keystrokes.

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Unlike most other gaming keyboards, the 7G doesn't have any bells and whistles; in fact it is quite limited on the feature front. It doesn't have any macro buttons, key backlighting or dedicated multimedia keys. But this isn't what the 7G is about; it is about providing the best typing and gaming experience. SteelSeries haven't sacrificed typing performance for gaming performance at all as the key action suits both very well. In fact once you're used to the superior typing experience, you'll find every other keyboard you type on disappointing. SteelSeries have opted for the somewhat outdated PS2 connector meaning you can depress every key on the board simultaneously and they will all register. In case you're computer doesn't feature a PS-2 port, a USB adapter is also included.

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While the layout of the 7G is pretty much standard, SteelSeries have made some alterations. Firstly, the backspace button is reduced to half the size and the enter button is much larger in size. This reduced backspace button takes a little while to get used as it is quite awkward to access. Also, SteelSeries have disposed of the Windows button in favour of a second function button. This allows you to use the media keys which are a second function for F1 - F6. I would personally prefer the windows button as I find second function buttons a bit of a waste of time. Around the back of the keyboard there is a built-in USB hub and two audio jacks which connect into the back of your system. These are easily accessible and are a useful addition to the product.

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To improve comfort, SteelSeries include a palm-rest with the 7g. This is very simple in design and sits around the keyboard. It doesn't actually fit to the keyboard and can easily be removed by simply lifting it up. It has a number of rubber feet so the keyboard and rest remain firmly planted on the desk.

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I have never used a keyboard before that even compares to the 7G. It may have a hefty price tag but it is definitely worth the premium if you take comfort and quality seriously. I'm not sure whether it should be described marketed as a professional gaming keyboard as it lacks some features which will be desirable for professional gamers. But otherwise, it provides a fantastic all-round experience and is sure to grace my desk for a good number of years.
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Roadshow
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Re: SteelSeries 7G Gaming Keyboard Review

Postby Roadshow » 14 Feb 2010, 01:50

Good review Henry but the keyboard is hideous (reminiscent of a prop from a low budget 70's TV sci-fi series) and the surround much too big for most desks. It is also very expensive indeed for a non-gamer keyboard. I am sat typing on a Logitech Illuminated Keyboard which costs half the price and which has proper microswitched key action, all be it that the keys are flatter, laptop-style.
It is not quite as silly as the Logitech keyboard my son bought which has the stupid little lcd screen at the top (purpose - to make tech hungry idiots buy it), but it is not far off.
I guess it is one of those marmite things.
henrybutt
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Re: SteelSeries 7G Gaming Keyboard Review

Postby henrybutt » 14 Feb 2010, 02:10

I actually don't mind the look of the keyboard - sure the Logitech G110 I have is prettier but the 7G is far better built and much nicer to use.

The 7G does look a lot better without the palm rest in my oppinion... just makes it look like a standard (albeit old) keyboard
Intel Core i7 920 @ 2.67GHz | Asus P6T Mobo | 6GB DDR3 Corsair Dominator RAM | 1TB Samsung HDD (7200rpm) | Zotac GTX 275 | Aerocool Touch V12 Fan controller | Corsair H50 Cooler | Lian Li PC60FW Case | Sony Blu-Ray Reader
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Re: SteelSeries 7G Gaming Keyboard Review

Postby Advocate » 14 Feb 2010, 02:24

I like a clicky keyboard... it reminds me of when I learned to type on the old typewriter my mum had and the Commadore 64.....
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Re: SteelSeries 7G Gaming Keyboard Review

Postby robbo » 14 Feb 2010, 15:48

Clicky keyboards remind me of going to the doctors...

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