REVIEW Aorus Thunder K7 Gaming Mechanical Keyboard review thread

Discussion in 'Overclocking & Hardware' started by CXThunder, Nov 24, 2014.

  1. CXThunder

    CXThunder Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2014
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    Hi Guys and Girls,

    This is the thread for those winners/selected testers from Aorus Thunder K7 Gaming Keyboard community review competition, to post their reviews and feedback.

    Below is the list of winners/selected testers:-
    spork!
    nammkit97
    Gost
    akromatic
    FqqTBawl

    Below is the review content you were agreed to included:-
    - Test the keyboard through your general activities for at least one week (gaming, type assignments, skype your mates etc.)
    - Provide feedback in the form of a forum post, minimum of two paragraphs (We will make a thread in this forum section)
    - Provide a minimum of 4 images of the keyboard which support your review
    - Provide a list of pro's and con's of the keyboard and rate it in a score out of 1


    For those interest this keyboard, visit here to see where to buy.


    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2014
  2. OP
    OP
    CXThunder

    CXThunder Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2014
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    reserve for future use
     
  3. akromatic

    akromatic Member

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2008
    Messages:
    460
    TKL!! 100%!! Por que no los dos?

    [​IMG]

    Introducing the Aorus Thunder K7, a keyboard that tries to satisfy everyone. TLK lovers rejoice, full size lovers rejoice as now you have a keyboard that can be both and still tries to take on keyboards like the Corsair K95 with its macro cluster or keypads like the Razer Orbweaver. Even laptop lovers can rejoice as you can take the numpad with you and use it standalone for that numpad data entry and macro needs.

    [​IMG]

    Out of the box you get the main keyboard with a nice non removable braided cable, the numpad, a non-braided cable for the numpad and a magnetically attached wrist rest. No fancy extras unlike its brother, the Aivia Osmium which came with 4 additional fancy key caps and a key cap puller. I do love the use of Velcro ties on the cables though and that the USB plug is what I believe to be gold plated even on the contacts inside where it matters, no expense spared there. It makes me sad that some companies pass off gold plated connectors just by plating the outer casing and forgets about the inside contacts so kudos to Gigabyte/Aorus there.

    The keyboard itself is a mechanical keyboard with Cherry MX red switches and blue LED backlight. I believe this is the only option that this keyboard comes in or at least so far.
    The keyboard is style similarly to the Osmium while inspired by the Sidewinder X6.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Keyboard is rather simple with no additional USB or audio jacks unlike its brother but it does have two clickable dials for volume and backlit brightness adjustment, click to mute or turn off the lighting. I do wish it came with some USB ports to plug the numpad into when not attached directly to the keyboard and some means to control individual key backlight. The numpad itself has its own backlight control dial which is controlled independently from the keyboard and it is also the only source of macro commands.

    [​IMG]

    This is first time I’ve seen shortcut for google, facebook and twitter being hard coded into the keyboard. They keyboard does have media keys but they are not dedicated keys as they are shared with the F keys and the FN keys are all hard coded into the keyboard with no way of changing the binds.

    The K7 is an improvement over the Osmium with the RB LEDs under the win lock, caps and scroll keys to indicate the active mode. Still I wished that the winlock key is removed/lockable or programmable to another function. I use the application key a lot where I can arrow back and press the application key to correct typos and that is missing from the keyboard and instead I get that annoying winlock key that is so easy to accidentally trigger during general typing but hey at least this time it glows red when it does.

    [​IMG]

    The numpad itself doesn’t exactly follow the standard numpad layout for the modifier keys such as the + - * / . and Enter. So if you are used to the standard layout for data entry you are going to make a lot of typos till you adjust. Not sure why the G2 G3 and G4 keys are left blank when they could otherwise be used for the standard layout and the numpad profile is hard coded to profile 1 which means you couldn’t edit it. I was kind of forced to waste a profile (out of 6 where only 5 are usable) to remap to a more standard layout.

    [​IMG]

    Another gripe would be the piercing LEDs under the Aorus logo, same issue with the Osmium. IMO the logo needs some sort of light diffuser rather being that clear and why there isn’t a numlock indicator? On the plus side you can turn it off or have it breathing but if you turn the colours off then you lose the ability to indicate which profile you are on.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    The keyboard, numpad, wrist rest , cable for numpad are all magnetic and held by some really strong magnets and you can use it for ether left or right side. The wrist rest is hard plastic though so it is not as comfortable as some other with soft touch feel.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    The numpad is attached via these gold pins on either side though from experience such style of contact don’t usually last long if it is frequently attached and detached. So far when in contact with the keyboard the detection and connection is spot on but with the included cable the connection is a bit loose and would disconnect at times.

    [​IMG]

    The back side has a set of raiseable feet and there is only a single height setting unlike the Osmium with another set of tiny feet but the rubber grip is really good. Once it is on the table it is not going to move.

    [​IMG]

    The detachable numpad makes it a dedicated macro pad that can be placed anywhere you like however the cable only clips on the right side so it does make it awkward depending on how you use it.
    For something like DayZ I placed it behind the space bar so I can access keys like PageUp and PageDown so I can zero my gun without having to leave the WSAD cluster or mouse. For MMOs I’d leave it on the left side for macros as using the numpad simply beats using F or number keys to access hot bars.

    [​IMG]

    The detachable numpad is exceptionally handy as all memory profiles are saved on it and it works without drivers which makes its portable and usable in work environment where your system is locked down and unable to install software provided that the macros are preprogramed beforehand.
    The macro software has 6 macro profiles that you can select by pressing the Aorus logo indicated by the colour changes or click on the software and a total of 100 macro slots shared among the profiles. The software isn’t really refined as it glitches at times and the preprogramed browser back and forward is reversed in function. There is no real way to select a specific profile without cycling through all of them by pressing the Aorus logo or manually clicking them on the software and the 3x3 grid on the software is not really intuitive when assigning macros, it would be better if they made it a 4x5 grid or anything with 4 columns to suit the numpad layout.

    [​IMG]

    Over a week of usage I found the keyboard is solidly build, no real flex to the board unless its intentional flexing, software can malfunction but I put that down to windows and its detection methods and that numpad cable contact isn’t really good.

    The key caps are pretty standard laser etched caps and not the expensive ones and I’ve not used any of the expensive keycaps to find out what is the difference is but what does matter is that it has cherry switches underneath though red switches may not suit everyone. I do find the keycaps to stain easily with sweaty or oily fingers or at least more so then the other brands.
    If there is any issues that I would consider as a major issue would be the power consumption of the keyboard. As with the Osmium these keyboards are power hogs. Over a single USB cable even without the numpad attached the keyboard would occasionally dim or flicker where it would just stop receiving inputs for that brief moment and when it returns I sometimes get multiple key presses. So it does pick on the USB port used and sometimes even the powered USB hub can’t deliver enough juice. It is resolvable by finding the right USB port but I shouldn’t have to but I have to say that the Microsoft Sidewinder X6 does this as well so it might just be an isolated incident.
    On a side note especially for keyboards that heavily advertise on macro capabilities perhaps for future iterations is to have relegendable key caps or a macro overlay so it’s easier to identify what is bind to what.

    Pros:
    • It’s a keyboard made to satisfy both TKL and 100% camps as long as you don’t mind the red switches and blue backlight.
    • Detachable numpad is win, left side right side no problems there. Take it on its own no problems ether.
    • On-board memory and macro playback without needing software installation.
    • Volume wheel feels better then pressing buttons.
    • Backlight wheel lets you dial in just the right amount of lighting rather than incremental steps that is ether too dim or too bright.
    • Status LEDs on under the keycap is great.
    Cons:
    • Piercing logo LEDs.
    • No numlock status.
    • Poor contact on the numpad cable and that it only clips on one side
    • Numpad cable isn’t braided.
    • Winlock is poorly place and lack the application key.
    • Occasional drop outs possibly due to power demands.
    • Wrist rest is designed for 100% mode only, no TKL version.
    • Lacks USB and audio pass through

    Score: 7/10

    I’d give it a 9 if the numpad cable is a bit more reliable and that the keyboard wouldn’t flicker on me and if the winlock can be replaced by the application key.
    I really like the design and the versatility of this keyboard and it would be even better if it had more options for lighting and switch type options however for me personally the lack of application key does hurt my typing experience though gaming wise it’s a great keyboard.
     
  4. nammkit97

    nammkit97 Member

    Joined:
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    Messages:
    42
    Location:
    Southport 4215
    Introduction

    I was quite skeptical at first when looking at the Gigabyte Aorus Thunder K7. Having used a full size keyboard and a tenkeyless before, I thought that by having a keyboard which can change into these two layouts would not be that useful or practical. Fortunately, I was wrong. After a week of playing around with this keyboard during my daily activities; mainly video games, watching movies and the occasional essay, this keyboard became a pleasure to use. The mechanical switches made for a more satisfying typing and gaming experience and the individual backlit keycaps gave a nice subtle glow.

    [​IMG]

    Build Quality

    Though build mostly out of plastic, the Thunder K7 is still pretty solid. There is quite a nice heft to the keyboard and the rubberized feet anchor it solidly. Having Cherry MX Red switches, each key feels identical and will last ages being rated at 50 million keystrokes. Removing the keycaps, we can also see that the switches are all plate mounted and use stabilizers similar to Costar stabilisers. This gives longer buttons such as the space bar and shift keys a less mushy feeling. One of the downsides I came across with this keyboard is that the bottom row of keycaps are non-standard, so custom keycaps cannot be installed in this row. Personally, I like to switch out the stock keycaps for more of a customized look and would prefer to see Gigabyte switch to the standard sizing in future iterations.

    [​IMG]

    The main keyboard also comes with a braided USB cable while the keypad comes with its own optional rubberized USB cable. I would have liked to see the keypad’s cable also braided and the main keyboard having a detachable cable instead of an un-detachable one. The lack of cable routing under the keyboard also made it harder to hide the cable. I find that a detachable USB cable would also fit into Gigabyte’s idea of modularity and options.

    Gaming

    It is apparent from the website and feature list of this keyboard that it is designed for gaming. With the detachable macro keypad being able to be removed or be moved to a different side of the keyboard, there are options to suit your gaming style. My preferred layout would be to remove the keypad entirely as it gave me more space on my desk for my mouse to move around. It also makes a smaller footprint on my table making my desk appear less cluttered and during my casual CS: GO and Far Cry 4 sessions, it felt more natural to use compared to a full size keyboard.

    [​IMG]

    Having a separate USB cable for the keypad to be used separately also allowed me to use it with my laptop in a 20% macro gaming mode. This made it more comfortable to game on a laptop as my hands are not cramped up close to the screen if I was to use the laptop’s keyboard and the small form of the keypad made it easy to place at a natural position for my hand. The included Macro Engine software was also intuitive to use and each key can be easily remapped.

    [​IMG]

    Typing

    One of things I also look for in a keyboard is the typing experience from the keyboard. Frankly, this keyboard types no differently than any other mechanical keyboard with Cherry Red MX switches. MX Red switches are not known to be the ideal switch for typing but as I don’t have to bottom-out to actuate the switch, typing is faster and more comfortable compared to a membrane keyboard in my opinion. The backlit keycaps made it easier to see the keys and looks nice. The intensity of the backlight is also controlled by the scroll wheel present on the main keyboard and another for the keypad. I found these scroll wheels a better option than a function key as I found it easier to change on the fly.

    [​IMG]

    Conclusion

    - Pros
    - The modularity of the keyboard being able to move the keypad around or remove it entirely.
    - Uses Cherry MX Red switches
    - Good backlighting system
    - Nicely braided USB cable
    - Good use of dual coloured LED to indicate Caps Lock and Win Lock

    - Cons
    - Wished they had a shorter wrist rest to match the keyboard when the keypad is removed
    - Having a detachable USB cable instead of an un-detachable one
    - Braided keypad cable
    - A standard bottom row keycap sizes so custom keycap sets can be used
    - More backlighting options
    Overall Score – 8.5/10
     
  5. FqqTBawL

    FqqTBawL Member

    Joined:
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    Messages:
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    Location:
    Wodonga
    Aorus Thunder K7 Gaming Mechanical Keyboard review

    Aorus Thunder K7 Gaming Mechanical Keyboard review
    By FqqTBawL
    Initial Thoughts:-
    My wife picked this up from the post office for me and called me to say "The box is Huge!" and it is.
    [​IMG]
    Measuring in at 455mmx375mm of shiny black, well printed cardboard slip with enclosed well padded box,it seemed quite heavy too.
    [​IMG]
    It gives plenty of information on all of its features on the back of the slip including graphic images of the different ways the keyboard and macro pad can be used.
    Opening the box for the first time we find the Keyboard, Macro Pad and Rest all packaged seperatly in the box in a very safe manner
    [​IMG]
    Everything seemed quite heavy when getting it out and connecting it up into the standard configuration, but i guess that is the magnets that Aorus use to hold everything together. Which they do a great job of. Nothing moves when it is connected and sitting on the desk.
    [​IMG]
    But if you forget that its held together by magnets and grab one end and pull it, it may come apart. No biggie, just something to remember. Also wish it had a usb port on it somewhere.

    Usage:-
    It took me a while to get used to typing on this keyboard. Being so used to the click when typing on Mx Blue's going to a linear switch made me feel funny, idk. After the initial getting to know you period, i feel just as home using this as i did on my blackwidow ultimate. The keysize felt good, and using it as a tenkeyless was great. Would be a great size if you wanted to travel with a mech tenkeyless with a laptop and have the bells and whistles when you got home.
    The Macro-Pad being designed as a 'gaming first' feature also took some time to get used to because of its non-standard layout. Really confused the wife for a while. But the keys feel great on it too, and its fine to use for data entry after you remember whats where. Not playing anything where i would macro to all the keys, i didn't really use the software for modifying the pad other than turning the blinking Aorus light off, but it did that easily.

    Conclusion:-
    Firstly i would like to thank Aorus and CKThunder for giving me the opportunity to give this keyboard a shot. I have really enjoyed my time using it and will continue to use it for a good while ahead. Overall a great product using the modular design. Never had any problems with it other than the moving it and magnets releasing
    8.5/10
     
  6. OP
    OP
    CXThunder

    CXThunder Member

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    HI All,

    Thanks for all the testing and feedback. Happy to see you guys enjoy it. :)
     
  7. OP
    OP
    CXThunder

    CXThunder Member

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  8. Spork!

    Spork! Member

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    Tasmania
    I guess I'd better add my review of this keyboard.
    It's a bit late, as I had some issues with the first keyboard sent to me, and Aust post to Tassie can be slow, especially at this time of year.

    CXThunder was very helpful, but after troubleshooting it was decided the product must be faulty, so the first keyboard was returned, then a second one sent to me. (at no cost to myself) The problem was that trhe Macro pad didn't work when connected to the keyboard, but had to be connected via a second USB port. Not a big deal as it did still work, but not something you'd be happy with if you'd paid good money for it, and obviously not up to CXThunder's and Aorus's standards.

    I've now had some time using the second one, which works flawlessly, so I will provide my review of it as promised when entering the competition.

    This keyboard is a bit different to others out there in that it has a detachable numpad/macro pad. The numpad / macropad can be attached to either end of the keyboard, removed completely, used on it's own as a game pad, or even used with a different keyboard. When used with the Thunder K7 it is connected and powered via the keyboard. If used seperately it connects via it's own USB link. It attaches to the main body of the keyboard using magnets and 4 small gold contacts. It's USB cable unusually attaches to the same four contacts, also magnetically. [​IMG][/URL]`

    As soon as the outer packaging is removed, the quality and attention to detail in this keyboard becomes apparent. It comes in a solid inner box snuggled in a nest of closed cell foam, just like an expensive graphics card. The main USB cable is thick and braided. Another nice touch, both USB cables have neat little velcro tabs on them, to keep them tidy during storage, and also to help identify which cable in that mess behind your PC is the keyboard one. They even have covers on the USB plugs.

    [​IMG]

    Build quality. It is heavy and solid. Although I haven't pulled it apart, I'm told by someone who has that the switches are mounted on a plate, not the PCB, which makes the whole thing stronger. It feels similarly rigid to my Ducky. That solidity extends to the feet built in to change the keyboard angle. Althought these are plastic, they look and feel solidly made and “snap” into place firmly. They have rubber grips on them which contact the desk whether up or down. They won't slide or fold up accidentally during even the most frenzied gameplay.

    [​IMG]

    This keyboard uses the famous Cherry MX switches. In this case, reds. While Cherry Reds are probably the most popular choice for gaming, I'd like to see some other popular flavours offered. Browns, blacks and blues are preferred by some. Unlike some other gaming keyboards, this uses %100 mechanical switches. Some competitors keyboards use nasty rubber domes for some keys. This is frankly piss poor, especially when they are asking a premium price for their product. Apart from having to use inferior feeling keys, it makes replacing or changing keycaps almost impossible.

    Being a “Gaming keyboard”, this one is backlit. You can have any colour you like, as long as it's blue. A choice of backlighting colour, or even user customisable backlighting colours, would have been nice. It also lacks any backlighting effects or customisation (ie: WASD cluster only) apart from on/off and a dimmer switch, and a “breathing” effect for the (too bright!) Aorus logo. This is a minor thing, but something many competitors seem to manage to include in comparably priced keyboards.

    What else I hear you ask? Well, the scroll lock, caps lock and win lock keys all have dual coloured LED's, so they are blue (or off) like the rest of the keys, but when activated turn red to alert the user thay are turned on. Interestingly, the numlock key (on the numpad) lacks this lighting function. The keyboard has 3 scroll wheels, similar in size and appearance to mouse scroll wheels. They even have the same tactile feel. These control volume (push to mute) and backlighting (push to turn on/off) for the main keyboard and the numpad. The keyboard features the usual media controls piggybacked on the Function keys. In addition, the other function keys double as shortcuts to launch: browser, new tab, facebook, twitter, email, windows task manager, calculator and windows media player (possibly others if you use a different default player). The keyboard also comes with a (magnetic) wrist rest, which is the length of the keyboard and numpad combined.

    [​IMG]

    Lastly, the feature that really sets this keyboard apart – the numpad/macropad. This is a non-standard layout, giving it 20 keys opposed to the usual 17. Combined with 5 different modes (designated by the colour of the AORUS led at the top of it) this gives the user easy access to up to 100 macros. For many users (myself included) 17 x 5 (85) macros and a standard numpad would be enough, but I guess some hardcore gamers will prefer the extra 3 x 5 macros provided for with this setup. Programming macros is simple enough, using the utility that Aorus make available on their site. Launching macros in the heat of battle is brilliantly easy with the macropad located on the left of the keyboard as you can keep your right hand on the mouse and your left hand doesn't have to stray far from the WASD. In fact,I can reach four or five of the macro keys with my pinky without moving my other 3 fingers off the direction buttons at all. YRMV.

    In conclusion: This is a really solid feeling keyboard, with tons of features and flexibility. It will suit many gamers, while not looking out of place at the office either. (especially in it's TKL configuration). It does pretty much everything I would want a keyboard to do, without a ton of useless features. Some will like the aesthetics. Some won't. You simply can't please all the people all the time. This keyboard feels like it will last as long as the 50 000 000 key presses the switches are rated to! Unfortunately, the bottom row is slightly non-standard, as is the numpad – but I guess by the time the keycaps absolutely need replacing we will all have access to a 3D printing service to knock a new batch out!

    Pros:
    Quality, solid build and components.
    Flexibility. Seriously versatile, hardware and software.
    So many macros! (and easy to use macros)
    Media keys.
    Lots of other handy shortcut keys.
    Only needs 1 x USB port
    The packaging. I'd have to say it was pretty much “Post Proof!”.

    Cons:
    No choice of switch type or backlighting colour.
    Non standard bottom row and numpad keycaps. (-.5)
    Those wheels. Not my taste in styling, but they do work well. (-1)
    No dimmer for the AORUS logo. (-1)

    7.5/ 10

    Lastly – thank you CXThunder and Aorus for the opportunity to write this review, and of course for the sweet keyboard.
     
  9. Mean Machine

    Mean Machine Member

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    310
    If only Sidewinder X6 came in mechanical switches. Best keyboard ever!
     
  10. akromatic

    akromatic Member

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2008
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    well this would be the closest thing to an x6 with mechanical switches

    well worth it if you are after an x6 replacement, being an x6 owner i know
     
  11. akromatic

    akromatic Member

    Joined:
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    Just wondering hows everyone's keyboard holding out?

    mine just developed an issue with the profile LEDs no lighting up
     
  12. FqqTBawL

    FqqTBawL Member

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    Location:
    Wodonga
    No issues at my end mate. It has only been net surfing etc lately though...
     
  13. nammkit97

    nammkit97 Member

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Southport 4215
    I'm using mine as my daily driver and never had a problem with it so far.
     
  14. Gamemaster

    Gamemaster Member

    Joined:
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    7
    Location:
    North Brisbane
    bloody awesome keyboard glad I bought this, have been looking for a similar replacement to my old sidewinder x6, have been using an original razor blackwidow ultimate but my spacebar died.

    Would be nice to have a short wrist pad to match keyboard with numpad removed but not that big of a deal.

    Have been using with a KVM between my xbone and pc hasn't missed a beat. :thumbup:
     

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