Mechanical keyboards have been all over the place lately. Gamers have re-discovered the tactile experience that these keyboards can provide, and companies have been more than happy to deliver. Today I’m looking at the Aukey KM-G3 mechanical keyboard with Outemu Blue switches to see how it performs. Keep reading this full review to find out.
The Aukey KM-G3 mechanical keyboard includes the following features and specifications:
- RGB backlit 104-key anti-ghosting mechanical gaming keyboard for a more immersive, colorful typing and gaming experience
- Outemu blue switches deliver satisfying travel with an audible “click” sound
- Individual switches mean accurate, responsive key commands in any use case scenario
- 10 preset LED lighting effects, 7 colors, 5 customizable gaming lighting effects
- Adjustable brightness and LED effect speed
What’s in the Box
- Aukey KM-G3 mechanical gaming keyboard
- User manual
- Warranty information
The Aukey KM-G3 mechanical keyboard has a pretty standard 104 key compact layout. The compact design doesn’t leave a ton of room for ornamentation, but in the spaces around the keys you’ll see a nice brushed aluminum plate with some exposed screws holding the plate to the plastic base. The Aukey logo and name mark are located in the upper right corner just above the numeric keypad.
Immediately to the left of the logo are four rectangular blue-lit lights for the standard Num Lock, Scroll Lock, Caps Lock, and the increasingly common Game Lock indicators. These are noted with a small icon underneath each light, though in order to see them you have to look up and over the top of the numeric keypad keys because they are obscured by those keys. That’s hardly a big deal, but if you find yourself flipping between the various locked states frequently it just might take you a few looks to realize which lock or locks are indicated by the different lights.
The rest of the layout is a pretty standard compact keyboard design. It does include the FN and alternate right-click context menu button as have become popular on keyboards these days. The font on the keys is a bit futuristic without being too “out there,” though if you just showed me the Caps Lock button completely out of context I’m not sure I would have been able to tell you what it was. In context on the keyboard it works without issue though, so it shouldn’t cause any confusion. The bottom includes two flip out feet to help prop up the back of the keyboard, as you’d probably already guessed.
The 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 keys as well as the Insert, Home, and Delete keys have alternate functions listed underneath the primary (and in the case of the number keys, secondary) functions. You’ll see labels on the number keys for: FPS, FC, COD, LOL, and RACE, while Insert, Home, and Delete are labeled with M1, MR, and M2 respectively. These alternate functions relate to the various available lighting effects, which allow you to change the look of your keyboard to fit your mood. I’ll talk more about these effects in the sections below.
Ease of Use
Getting started is as easy as plugging the USB plug into an available USB port on your computer. The drivers should handle themselves, and there’s no other software to install. Typing will take a bit of getting used to if you aren’t accustomed to mechanical keyboards, and may even take a small bit of practice if you are. The Outemo Blue switches have the audible “click” that some people like (they’re pretty loud, just as a warning for those that don’t know), and there’s some definite key travel that is a bit beyond what non-mechanical keyboards have. It’s easy enough to get used to, though if you aren’t a fan of the especially loud clicking, you’ll probably want to look at other switch options.
Typing performance will, as mentioned above, take just a bit of getting used to if you aren’t accustomed to mechanical keyboards, or specifically blue switch mechanical keyboards. Your speed, accuracy, etc. will depend largely on how comfortable you are with this variety of keyboard.
This keyboard includes multiple alternate functions, as briefly mentioned in the design section above. Each of the Function keys (F1 – F12) include an alternate function that can be accessed using the FN key. The 1 – 5 keys also include game-specific lighting controls, or really genre-specific in most cases. FN + 1 works for FPS mode, which lights the typical WASD keys as well as the arrow keys. FN+ 2 enters CF mode, which by default lights 12345, QWER, ASD, G, B, Left Ctrl, Left Shift, Left Alt, and Tab. FN + 3 enters COD mode, which lights 1 – 7, QWERT, ASDFG, CV, and Left Shift/Ctrl. FN + 4 is the LOL/MOBA setup, where 1 – 7 as well as QWER and ASDF are lit. FN + 5 is RACE mode, where WASD, R, Left Shift/Ctrl/Alt, and the arrow keys are lit.
Each of these alternate modes can be tweaked to your liking using FN + HM. In any of the game-specific layouts, pressing FN + HM will allow you to toggle any keys that you’d like to see lit in that preset. Pressing a key multiple times will toggle through multiple color options. Once you’ve gotten all of the keys set to the color that you’d like, simply hit FN + HM again to save your changes and exit the editor. Then hitting FN + whatever preset you’ve adjusted will take you back to those changes.
You can also change the entire keyboard color by using FN + INS and FN + DEL. It takes some time to mess around and see all of the options that are available. FN + INS will toggle through the 10 available lighting effects including off, solid on, breathing, game presets, color cycle breathing, keypress activation, left/right solid color wave, rainbow cycle, Rainbow wave explosion, rainbow localized explosion, and rainbow left to right wave. On the non-rainbow lighting modes, FN + DEL will cycle through seven available color options. With just a little practice and a little patience, you can get the Aukey KM-G3 mechanical keyboard to light up nearly however you want.
Gaming on the keyboard is pretty similar to its normal typing experience, the keys have a nice tactile response, and keystrokes are quick and accurate. It may take just a little getting used to if you’re more accustomed to a non-mechanical gaming experience. Combined with the lighting effects, you can set up the keyboard to match the keys that you’ll need for gaming.
You can pick up the Aukey KM-G3 mechanical keyboard on Amazon for $64.99, which is $15 off of the listed $79.99 price tag. The current $64.99 price is a pretty good deal for what you’re getting. As long as you don’t mind the louder clicking of the Outemo blue switches, you’re getting a pretty solid customizable compact keyboard for a pretty good price. The key action has the tactile experience that many are looking for, and the lighting customization definitely adds value for some as well.
If you’re in the market for a new mechanical gaming keyboard, there are definitely options available that don’t break the bank. The Aukey KM-G3 mechanical keyboard has a nice compact design, a good tactile experience, and robust lighting customization at a good price.
*We were sent a review sample of the Aukey KM-G3 mechanical keyboard for the purposes of this review.
Aukey KM-G3 Mechanical Keyboard$64.99 USD
- Nice compact design
- Good tactile experience
- multiple lighting options
- Custom programmable lighting presets
- VERY clicky (this is a pro for some)
- No software to install
- Font is mostly pretty cool, but a few keys just look odd
- Getting used to the lighting controls isn't exactly intuitive at first
- VERY clicky (this is a con for some)