October 27, 2015

AVF Gaming Freak AKB-GK2 Gaming Keyboard Review

Peripherals (like keyboards, mouse) are often one of the most niche topics when it comes to the whole gaming rig setup. Most of us (I believe) dumped a whole lot of cash into the machine (or rig) itself, leaving out others like mouse, keyboard, or even speakers to a limited budget.

The GK2 is here in the market to tackle this issue. At a pretty low price tag of RM99, acceptable for a membrane technology based gaming keyboard, will this keyboard be the most sought-after part of the hardware that will make your rig complete?

First off, the front side of the box is pretty informative. We're presented with the keyboard's core feature of the GK2, from being water resistant to having a lifespan of a million keystrokes (per key).

The other side of the box shows other features of this board in detail; Gold plated USB head, braided USB cable (which is non detachable by the way), function keys and lots more.

Upon the unboxing of the keyboard, there's this huge (but simple enough) card with manual instructions and features of the board at a glance. You can call this a cheat sheet for the function keys to this keyboard.

The keyboard
The surface of the keyboard has this very eerily cool looking 'cracked skin' design, which definitely adds the the freakiness of this Gaming Freak keyboard (get it?)

Not only that, the addition of the Gaming Freak alien logo to the Escape button is pretty cool as well!

Fonts that is used in this keyboard is pretty big and clear too. There is some keys with has some 'box' shape around the fonts, these are the anti ghosting keys (in which we'll explain more in a bit)

The right Windows key and the menu key is replaced by the FN (function) key and the LED color changing key respectively.

F1 till F12 have a secondary function in which it can be activated with the FN key. You would have to press on the FN key and then the respective Function key to activate the function of the key. The secondary function of the Page Up and Page Down key is to increase and decrease the LED's brightness respectively.

We've tabulated the functions to their respective keys so that you can have a rough idea on what functions are available.

F1 Launch Music Player
F2 Volume Down
F3 Volume Up
F4 Mute
F5 Stop
F6 Previous
F7 Play / Pause
F8 Next
F9 Email
F10 Home page (Web page)
F11 My Computer
F12 Calculator
Page Up Brightness Up
Page Down Brightness Down

Now onto the exterior of the keyboard, the design is pretty nice as it has the futuristic look to it. Do note that this can be very subjective as beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder. Not to mention, the palm resting area does its job well at keeping away only one of my palm (the right hand palm to be exact) from excessive pain and fatigue.

This keyboard comes attached with a gold plated USB head and braided cables as well. Very neat! However, the braided cable is pretty thin and might succumb to wear and tear if you're a frequent traveler with your keyboard.

The keyboard also comes with rubber pads and adjustable feets at the bottom, in which you can set it to suit your typing angle.

Anti-Ghosting keys and more features
With all the nice features that this keyboard has, there is definitely one thing that caught my attention; the anti-ghosting keys.

Unfortunately, with this keyboard not all of the 104 keys has the feature. However, you can press all of the most used keys for gaming (FPS, MOBA, RPG) at once.

The keys that falls into this category are:
Q, W, E, A, S, D, Z, X, C, B, Space, Tab, Left Shift, Control, Alt and also Up, Down, Left, Right keys, total up to a 19 number of keys where you can press simultaneously.

So what does this mean? This means that FPS gamers, MOBA / RPG gamers do not have to worry on having another key input (ghosting) which is unintended.

There are 3 LED colors where you can choose, namely Red, Blue and also Purple (with a slight bluish hue) and 2 lighting modes, Static and Breathing. However, the LED breathing is only available in only one style, in which you'll get a better picture after viewing the video below.

And oh, did I mention that this is water resistant as well? This means that water spills shouldn't be able to take this board down. While I've personally haven't tested this, some people have actually submerged the whole board underwater, left it to dry for a week and the board works as normal!

Typing test
When it comes to membrane keyboards, I'm pretty skeptical as I don't really have a good experience with them. All the bias aside, the GK2 is a pretty nice board to begin with.

The tactility is crisp and the sound of every key press is not that noisy as well. It feels like a lighter (mechanical) blue switch keyboard without the excessive noise which is pretty nice and well crafted for a membrane keyboard.

I've tested this keyboard at both office and my house (for almost 2 months actually), simulating both long typing sessions and also gaming sessions. While the typing experience is pretty positive, my abnormally big hands begs to differ. The palm rest area (only after long usage) starts to feel uncomfortable for me because I'll always end up placing my left hand palm very near the border of the palm rest. This might be an issue to people with huge hands (or palms?) and it doesn't seem to concern people with normal sized ones.

For a keyboard, which has pretty neat features and design, and most importantly, nice typing feel, that retails at RM99, it's a pretty good buy! There are some cons to it but I believe that this doesn't bother most people right here. What are the chances people would have huge hands?

What I've liked about this board?
  • Good typing feel for something that's membrane
  • Design, futuristic look
  • Features
  • Pretty solid build

What I've disliked about this board?
  • Short palm rest for guys with huge hands or palms like me
  • Limited selection of LED lighting modes