Gaming is a complicated and expensive hobby, but the Aukey KM-G6 Keyboard is both easy to set up and easy on your wallet.
The Aukey KM-G6 is a mechanical keyboard. The blue switches under all its plastic keycaps offer much more travel than the built-in keyboard on your laptop or the stock keyboard that came with your desktop computer. On top of that, you can configure colored LEDs behind each key to glow for the games you play most often or create a ripple effect when you type. Also, a water-resistant surface keeps a small spilled drink or a lot of sweat from ruining the blue switches underneath each key.
Those are a lot of features for just the $39.99 the Aukey KM-G6 costs on Amazon. Despite its low price tag, I don’t think you will regret buying this entry-level keyboard. It does a lot of things well.
The Look of the Aukey KM-G6 Mechanical Keyboard
As far as gaming keyboards go, the Aukey KM-G6 is pretty small. Most keyboards have stylized overhangs and big logos that glow. This keyboard has an understated design.
The entire keyboard is made of durable plastic. Status lights for Caps Lock and Number Luck sit above a dedicated number pad on the right side of the device. Because anyone buying this keyboard will want the best gaming experience possible, there are dedicated buttons for functions that require shortcuts on other keyboards. You aren’t stuck pressing three different buttons to get the function keys working. They have their own row above the number row.
Only two flip-out stands for changing your typing angle adorn the back of this keyboard. Unless you have a particularly unorthodox gaming set up, you don’t need a USB extension to connect it to your desktop PC. A nearly five-foot USB cable sticks out the Aukey KM-G6’s top edge.
The abrupt cut-off below the keys creates a ledge your wrists will need to overcome. Plan on buying a wrist rest if your existing keyboard has one already.
Setting Up the Aukey KM-G6 Mechanical Keyboard
The Aukey KM-G6’s setup process is simple. You plug the keyboard in and Windows instantly recognizes it. There’s no software to always keep updated or drivers to install.
Keyboard shortcuts replace the setup software. Holding the Function key and any of the number keys switches you to one of Aukey’s pre-made lighting modes. For example, holding Function and 1 highlights just the keys you need for a first-person shooter. Pressing Function and Insert switches the keyboard into different animated lighting modes. You can speed these animated effects up or slow them down. My favorite was the ripple effects that ran across the keyboard after I hit each key.
When you are ready to create a custom mode for your favorite game, you switch the keyboard into its programming mode by holding the Function and Home key. Tapping on each key you want to turn on adds it to the custom mode and holding Function and End saves it to the keyboard.
This all seems a little complicated at first, but you become familiar with how to program the keyboard and switch its different modes quickly. There are hints on the keyboard, so you know what to press if you suddenly forget one of them.
You will quickly notice one of the trade-offs that come with this keyboard’s low price tag. On the Aukey KM-G6, a green key will always glow green. You can’t change any row’s assigned color as you can with Razer’s gaming keyboards. You can use the included pulling tool to switch entire key caps though. Pulling off a keycap doesn’t feel awkward at all and they go back on just as easily as they come off.
Gaming with the Aukey KM-G6 Keyboard
All 104 keys on the Aukey KM-G6 have plastic keycaps and blue switches underneath. It’s these switches that give the keyboard such a great tactile response to every keystroke.
These keys are really sensitive, and they each have 4 millimeters of key travel. Each keystroke feels luxurious and responsive. This is important because you need every advantage that you can get in a competitive game. Less time passes between when you press a key and when your in-game character reacts. It’s a very small amount of time, but it’s an advantage just the same.
Before you rush out and buy the Aukey KM-G6, know that this tactile feedback comes with one big downside. Every keystroke is loud. You can hear people type on this keyboard across a hallway and into another bedroom in my modestly sized home. In my office, there’s no escaping the clicking sound each key makes as it hits the accessory’s deck.
All the lights do help you quickly identify what keys you can press in your favorite games. And this does slightly speed up your response times. It also makes it easier to game in complete darkness. You don’t need to rely on your display to softly illuminate your keyboard. Again, it’s a little disappointing that you can’t change each key’s color but that’s what I expected at this price.
To be clear, typing is just as great on the Aukey KM-G6 as gaming is. All that extra key travel makes every word you type more satisfying and you don’t end up with slightly sore fingertips as you do with really thin keyboards.
Read: 5 Best Gaming Keyboards
Should You Buy the Aukey KM-G6 Mechanical Keyboard?
The Aukey KM-G6 Mechanical Keyboard is perfect for gamers just starting to build their gaming stations. It’s easy to set the device up and even easier to customize it to your favorite titles. You can’t change each keycap color, but compare the $39.99 you will spend on the Aukey KM-G6 to the $145 you can expect to pay for a Razer Black Widow Chroma.
If you’re looking for a mechanical gaming keyboard, try the Aukey KM-G6.