In an arguably saturated market, keyboard manufacturers need to do quite a lot to have their products stand out from the rest. From dedicated media keys, to unique split ten keyless keyboards, manufacturers are trying all sorts of wonderful things to attract interest from buyers. In the case of the Aorus K1, Gigabyte has done nothing of the sorts. What they have produced however, is a solid basic keyboard that only does what it is intended to do.
The Aorus K1 is solid, and I mean that in every literal sense. You could quite literally wield this into battle if you so wish. When first picking up the keyboard it immediately felt premium, and weighing in at 1125g, you could mistake it for being made of metal. The keyboard is also very slim, measuring 44cm long, and 13cm wide, taking up very little space on your desk. This great form factor is topped off by a matte black finish, with subtle design ques in the form of fins that really round out the product. All in all, this is a rather pleasing design that feels exceptional and durable.
I do appreciate the inclusion of a braided cable which adds to the premium feel of this keyboard. There’s also included cable management channels in the middle, left and right of the keyboard base, they really are nailing the basics of what makes a decent gaming keyboard. Of course, the Aorus K1 features RGB. The backlighting is done on a per-key basis which is a step up from budget gaming keyboard and features the expected 16.7 million color spectrum. You have numerous lighting effects to choose from, as well as full customization within the Aorus software suite (assuming it works).
Yes, this well-balanced keyboard gets let down by its software. The software feels clunky and is in dire need of a refresh. I could forgive the design assuming it worked as intended, but sadly that is not the case – I have faced numerous issues when trying to customize lighting effects on the keyboard, from settings not applying, to hard crashes. It really is a shame, but something I feel gigabyte could likely address in the future.
The Aorus K1 features Cherry MX Red switches, which provide a wonderfully linear and soft key press. With an actuation distance of only 2mm, and travel distance of 4mm to the bottom, you get an incredibly responsive and quiet key press which will appeal greatly to gamers and streamers. For those who find themselves typing a lot, the soft keys pose a bit of a challenge, as brushing a key often results in a mistype.
Gigabyte offers full range anti ghosting across every key on this keyboard, that ensures no keystrokes are lost due to an inability to process simultaneous signals. For those of you who use macros, you will be pleased to know that Gigabyte offers all key, and combination programmable macros which are stored in the onboard memory for an almost unlimited number of profiles.
While I would have liked to see an included wrist rest for added comfort, at this price point I cannot fault them for not including it. I would have also liked to see a wider variety of Cherry MX keys on offer for those who do not particularly enjoy the feel of the Red switches, especially now that a lot of users are working from home and may need to sit at their personal rig typing away all day.
Gigabyte has produced a very good basic keyboard, and in no way is this a bad thing. They really have nailed down the core features of a gaming keyboard and presented it in a very well designed and visually pleasing product. Its only fault lies in the software backing the keyboard.
AORUS K1 Mechanical Gaming Keyboard
A keyboard that ticks off all the basics at it’s price point