by Rob Williams on October 27, 2010 in Peripherals
GIGABYTE’s not a huge name in the peripheral business, at least on these shores, but it hopes that will change in the near-future. To help kick things off, it recently released its first gaming keyboard as part of its Aivia line-up, and in addition to sturdy construction, it features unique color choices, macro capabilities and an excellent feel.
In the world of gaming peripherals for the PC, there exist a couple of names that everyone is familiar with… so much so, that I don’t even need to mention them. But hiding in the bushes are some other companies that are eager to get a piece of this market’s pie; GIGABYTE being one of them. One thing’s for sure… it will be an uphill climb given the fierce competition.
Although GIGABYTE is a name that almost never comes up in North America when talking about PC peripherals, it’s been producing them for quite some time, but mostly in Asia. It wasn’t until fairly recently that the company had begun introducing products over here. The first gaming product the company pushed rather heavily here was its GM-M8000 gaming mouse, which seemed to be well received (I used one for close to a year and loved it).
It took the company quite a while to follow-up to that initial serious gaming offering, but earlier this month, it announced its first gaming keyboard to help fill the void, called Aivia K8100. As you can probably guess, the company wasted no time in sending us one to take a look at. With so much competition out there, can the K8100 offer enough to compete with the big boys? Let’s find out.
Hitting the market at around $70, GIGABYTE’s K8100 faces some real competition. Logitech’s G15, featuring an LCD screen, retails for around $80, as does Razer’s upcoming mechanical BlackWidow. The K8100 doesn’t offer either of those perks, but it does hope to make up for it with its looks, ease-of-use, comfort factor, and of course, functionality.
As a general rule, I never include photos of the product box in a review, but there’s the odd occasion when I feel overly compelled to. This is one such case, because when I hauled this box out of its larger shipping box, I wasn’t sure if GIGABYTE sent me a suit jacket or a keyboard. Yes, the graphics card is there only for comparison!
Prior to receiving the K8100, I had done little to no research on it, so I didn’t even know what it looked like. When I hauled this sucker out of its box though, can you guess what stood out?
GIGABYTE doesn’t declare this color as being “Ferrari red”, but that’s what it is. The company also offers a bright yellow version reminiscent of Lamborghini, and if you don’t care for such stand-out colors, there’s also a black version available.
The K8100 is not a mechanical keyboard, but its keys don’t look to be a far stretch, either in aesthetics or by touch. If I had to come up with a description for them, I’d say that the feel comes somewhere in between both standard and mechanical, because the keys don’t have the super-tight response of a mechanical keyboard, but they do have far better response than most other keyboards I’ve used in recent memory.