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Steel Series 7G review or Listen to me justify buying a $150 keyboard

Last response: in Computer Peripherals
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May 9, 2008 5:10:45 AM

Well I did it I plunked down $118 on a plain looking, wired, standard keyboard with almost no extra features what-so-ever.

Here are some pictures:

http://www.steelseries.com/int/products/keyboards/7g/pi...


So what made me do it? And how can I justify the $150 msrp

First off I got it from Dell for $118 so there's $32 right there.

Point 2: I like controllers I own 6 different mice, a force feedback steering wheel, and Steel Battalion, which I never would have paid for except for it's controller

Here is a picture:
http://www.steelbattalion.org/controller.php

It's pretty evident that for all the money I spend on exotic controllers I don't use them nearly as much as I use a standard keyboard and mouse. So from a day to day aspect it makes much more sense to put money into those things.

Third thing, I like minimalistic keyboards. I like keyboards with full sized keys and no extra bits, and I like keyboards that don't fall apart. I hate keyboards that look like someone poured molten tar on my desk and then sprinkled keys on it.

So getting back to the price debate. I tend to buy one keyboard a year hoping to find something better, all in all this probably costs me $35 a year. So lets chalk up $35 for this year's keyboard purchase.

In discussing the keyboard itself, it feels really high quality, which is worth doubling the annual budget or another $35.

Okay after that it's pretty much a wash. The keyboard is nice but it's not great. I'm not a professional gamer so I didn't buy it for professional gaming. I bought it to make casual gaming slightly more enjoyable. Does it do that? Yes and no.

The first thing that struck me typing on this thing is that the backspace key is too damn small. It has an over sized return key, one that takes up two rows. As such the backslash key is move up next to backspace and I ended up typing backslash the first couple times I meant to delete something. I learned not to do this after about five minutes.

The second thing that struck me is that the keyboard only has one windows key. The windows key on the left side of the board has been replaced by a special function key which when pressed in combination with f1 through f6 controls the audio (mute, volume, etc..). The audio controls are nothing special, but not having the stupid windows key to accidentally hit and crash my games is worth at least $5.

The third thing the struck me is that the action on the keyboard is like no other keyboard I've ever typed on. The keys a very solid and tight, you can feel a little pleasant friction along their shafts (no jokes please) as you push them down. Most keyboards resist your press up until they are about half pressed then they fall down suddenly and bang against the bottom of the board. The keys on the 7G linearly increase their resistance as you press them down. Not only that but they register a key press about half way down so you don't need to press them fully.

What does this mean? Well it feels weird to type on, and not in a good way. On the other hand this is far more satisfying when using the ole WASD. It feels like a game controller you can pound on that you might also type on as opposed to a keyboard you use for gaming.

And on a final note the Num-lock, Caps-lock, and Scroll-lock lights are actually incredibly bright LEDs. We're talking brighter than the flashlight in Doom3 bright, plus the board is heavy enough to be used as a weapon, making it better all around. Oddly the LEDS are so direction they aren't too annoying for the person typing on the thing, however someone looking over your shoulder in a dark room could be blinded if all three were on at the same time and the person looked directly into them.

So was I ripped off?

Cost $150
-$32 for finding it for $118
-$35 for what I would have spent for a good keyboard anyway
-$35 for the fact it's built really well and should last a good long time
-$5 for no windows key under the WASD controls
-$3 flashlight/weapon bonus

Total amount I was ripped off $40

On another note I just got a new keyboard for work, the Key-Tronic Designer P2:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

This keyboard is awesome for touch typing/coding. Different keys have different resistance, so that the keys under your pinky take less force to press than the keys under your pointer finger.
August 10, 2009 8:27:00 AM

Lol i just bought this keyboard also, and i love it!

I just know once i get used to the key presses I can type even faster!!
August 18, 2011 11:48:05 PM

Sorry MagicPants, but I'm sitting here typing on a 7G which has the keys falling off after less than a year.

It's all very well to have swappable keys, but the Ctrl key started coming off within a month, and eventually cracked to the point where it won't stay on.

I talked to their support, and they told me where I could go to buy new keys, or throw good money after bad.

Buy anything else.
August 19, 2011 11:56:34 AM

you do realize this post is two years old....

and the fact that it was a review based on initial impressions and not long term use...

talk to pretty much any keyboard manufacturer and they will tell you the same thing (if the boards can even be fixed). if you treat keyboards right they can last a very long time, even if build quality isn't perfect. i have a $5 keyboard that is over 5 years old and still types like it is brand new. i have a $100 logitech keyboard that is over 5 years old and still types like it is brand new. i have a 22 year old ibm keyboard that still works perfectly fine.

i'm not saying that there isnt an issue with the board but it very well could be either general wear or abuse.
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