As I’ve said before in our HyperX Alloy Origins review, I’m just beginning to learn the benefits of a good keyboard. There is so much more to them than, “It works”. A good keyboard can make or break both your gaming and typing, and I’m definitely happy to have found several mechanical ones that make the job easier. The only thing a mechanical keyboard isn’t easier on is my wallet, and getting a good one will generally cost you at least a Benjamin. To my delight, I’ve found a keyboard in the Aukey KM-G12 Mechanical that doesn’t break the bank or skimp on quality, and acquired a pretty cool XL RGB mouse pad as well!
Upon opening the shipping box, it’s apparent the idea isn’t flashiness in the presentation, with just a simple logo on the black cardboard box containing the products. But that in the end doesn’t matter, a pretty box will just go into the trash, it’s the contents that count. The KM-G12 keyboard isn’t stunning out of the box, but it has a quality feel to it. The keyboard measures 17in x 5in, and while it’s the complete package with 104 keys, still manages to feel compact at the same time. The USB-A cable that connects to your computer is hardwired in, but this was never an issue during my time with it. My only wish would be to see a braided and more flexible cable in the future, as this one is a bit stiff.
I love the design of the keyboard when it comes to how it’s built. The top two thirds is made of an aluminum alloy panel, and it feels sturdy like many mechanical keyboards that cost much more than this one. While the bottom third is constructed of plastic, it isn’t too bothersome, and the weight is distributed well. I will say I worry about the possibility of it breaking it, as it feels like the weak point, but it’s location is optimal for the change in construction. The keys are a double-shot-molded ABS, and while I would prefer the keys also made of aluminum it’s another sacrifice that doesn’t impact the product in a negative way. The KM-G12 I was sent also features the awesome blue switches, and the clicky feel registers wonderfully as I type or play a game. The product page also advertises anti-ghosting as a part of it’s 104-key rollover, and the promise of not missing a single key-press or your “S” button accidentally dropping a D seems to work as indicated.
When it comes to the feel of the keyboard, I truly couldn’t tell you the difference between my more expensive Alloy Origins keyboard and the KM-G12. Playing Call Of Duty Black Ops Cold War on it felt very natural, and I didn’t feel compromised in any way with a less expensive piece of equipment. Typing on it also feels great, and as I do a lot of that I can definitely tell someone when to throw a keyboard out the window. The KM-G12 handles everything I throw at it without a single issue, and in the end as long as it works the way it’s supposed to, myself or any user is going to be happy.
While it’s not necessarily a need with any keyboard, RGB lighting has been a staple of the gaming and streaming world for quite some time now, and the Aukey KM-G12 keyboard delivers well more than expected in this area. I’m a big sucker for RGB lighting, and from the second I connected it to my PC I was absolutely enthralled with it. Every bit of the board has it, and there’s even a slick strip of pulsing RGB connecting the aluminum part of the board to the plastic part. It isn’t customizable, but the entire top of the keyboard is, and to great effect. There are 7 different color presets, and 12 different lighting configurations to play with. These are easily set up, just with the press of your function button along with a corresponding button, but the easiest way to change it all is the G-aim Control Center. Similar to most keyboards, this software allows you to pick colors, effects, and the like, as well as customize a macro or sync lighting with other G-aim devices.
Speaking of G-aim, I had a really tough time finding said software. I would challenge Aukey to feature that on the keyboard’s page, or include the download link on the material inside the box, because it’s truly a selling point for the KM-G12. I ended up finding the download on reddit, but if you go to the website it’s really hard to locate the download page, and then find the link which is there in a list with every other manual or software provided. It shouldn’t be hard to find, especially when it enhances your product and is advertised on both Amazon and Aukey product pages.
Moving onto our next item, the KM-P7 RGB Mouse Pad is a nice extra for the money. You’ll spend almost as much on a single big brand mechanical keyboard as you will for the KM-G12 keyboard and the KM-P7 Mouse Pad combined. The mouse pad measures out to 35.4 inches by 15.75 inches, and is 0.15 inches thick. It’s a good size, although on my desk it’s just big enough that my monitor feet get in the way. While it won’t fit well on every desk, the construction of the pad is fantastic, with a surface that’s comfortable to rest your wrists on for long periods of time, and water resistant to combat any spills that may occur. It, like the KM-G12 before, is also quite sturdy, with the rubber base providing plenty of grip and not moving around at all during intense playing sessions. The RGB is also a cool feature, but it’s a bit light compared to the keyboard with a strip around the base and no G-aim control. There are a good amount of effects to click through however, so it amounts to a nice bonus.
KM-G12 Mechanical Keyboard
Whether apart or together, the KM-G12 Mechanical Keyboard and KM-P7 RGB Mouse Pad are perfect for the budget minded gamer. The KM-G12 keyboard is especially surprising, with both sturdy frame, clicky switches, and plethora of RGB lighting and effects consistently astonishing me along the way. The KM-P7 Mouse Pad is another great addition, and although the value is lesser compared to the keyboard it is still an appreciable bonus. Rather than spend a lot of money on one item, Aukey’s approach can net you two for the price of one, without a major drop in quality.
- Impressive RGB
- Nice sturdy aluminum frame
- Ridiculously low price
- G-aim software is hard to find
- Plastic bottom for keyboard