Gaming Keyboards NEED More Of These Cool Features!
There are plenty of cool gaming keyboards out there in 2019 but in general they’re getting a bit boring. So we went on the hunt for unique features and items that more keyboards SHOULD have but don’t because most gaming companies want to play it safe. Is this the way to design the perfect gaming keyboard in 2019? We think so….
Our trip to Taipei for Computex had really opened up our eyes about keyboards in general. We weren’t really into this whole boutique/premium/affordable brands like Ducky, Leopold or Varmilo, but it got us thinking that the gaming keyboards scene is becoming a bit stale. So brands like Corsair, Logitech, SteelSeries, Razer and ASUS have a fantastic gaming reputation in the keyboard space, but they all have basically the same keyboard with slight design variations. I do however appreciate different variations of mechanical switches which is often the deciding factor in picking a SteelSeries keyboard one from say, Logitech. So in today’s review I would like to discuss my favorite keyboard features that I would love to see expanded into the gaming keyboard market because let’s face it, fact is that gaming keyboards are now becoming way too boring.
Unique Design Features
One of the latest keyboards to arrive here in the studio is the ROG Strix Scope and it’s actually the keyboard that inspired this whole conversation.
So this one in particular has two unique elements. One is the over-sized control key that is the same width as the North American layout shift key and they’ve literally received an innovation award for this control key alone. Now is it actually anything special as a crouch key? Actually yes. So if you play with your keyboard angled like this, the pinky finger doesn’t have to reach to avoid the windows key and thus It’s really awesome for FPS gamers’, larger control key more area for your pinky to make mistakes and therefore you will still press it without needing to reach for a tiny control Instead.
This non-traditional layout also pushes the space bar to the right, giving you a bit more of a comfortable reach to the alt key, but that is something that I had to train because I’m not really used to using my thumb for anything other than the space bar, which by the way on the scope is also slightly shorter.
The second cool element on the Scope is the privacy key that minimizes your desktop and mutes the audio. Of course you can do this yourself with Windows + D to go into desktop, however that does not include the mute functionality, so it’s cool that ASUS is thinking about ways to integrate some sort of universal short guard that I will probably use once in a while as i’m sure you as well.
We’ve also seen plenty of secondary wheel integrations on keyboards that could replace several keys. I like what Drevo has done with this low profile and easy to access wheel on the side. It’s not just the volume wheel.
I like what SteelSeries is doing with the new Apex line as it’s not too intrusive and hold multiple functionalities.
Custom Key Caps
Now I appreciate the effort of including additional key caps. Most of the time they are just WSAD keys and different colors like the silver ones with the scope keyboard or different texture and contours with the Corsair keyboards.
But what about unique escape keys or different graphics on the space bars or just spreading out a little design flares here and there that isn’t too much but shows you that your brand brand building and recognition. There are some really insanely detailed key caps available from companies like Dwarf Factory or Hotkeys Project. I’m not advocating $30 per key cap, I just hope that gaming brands use that for inspiration.
For example, I got this key cap from GamerStorm (and they don’t even make keyboards) that I use on my escape and key looks pretty cool and I’d love to see a few ROG themed key caps on future gaming keyboards or some cool low profile ones from Logitech. It doesn’t have to be super fancy or expensive, just has to align with the brand. Imagine having a really cool escape key that has a little texture to it or different graphic on it or maybe the same thing with the enter key or the space bar. It will definitely elevate that gaming brand keyboard above the rest because we haven’t seen anything like it in the gaming market.
We’ve seen so many of those and the the enthusiastic keyboard market where you buy key caps and you swap them out, but having something that’s standardized on the gaming space would be really cool. And I’m not even talking about PBT Double-Shot Keycaps, which feel amazing and premium and only a few handful of keyboards actually have PBT key caps like the Corsair K70 MK2 RGB.
I know this isn’t for everybody, but I would love to have gaming keyboards merge with the enthusiastic community of keyboards. R/mechanicalkeyboards is a really fantastic place to explore all types of ideas and I hope gaming brands I’m hoping are taking note.
What’s under the key cap is even more important like quality stabilizers and you know there’s more to mechanical switches than MX Cherry and I love the trend of companies making their own like Wooting with their Lekker switches, Logitech with their Romer G, SteelSeries series with the new Omni point switcher and even HyperX is making their own switch. Taking chances to set your keyboard apart from the rest is one trend that I appreciate most with gaming brands.
Next, it would be great to have full height adjustability and not just the two levels that we see 99% of keyboards currently on the market. High customization is something that’s very important for typists.
So that leaves us with the cable. I personally love a removable and non braided cable like on the Drevo Blademaster TE. If you guys recall, Myonix had the coiled cable on the Wei keyboard that looked really awesome.
Most of the time now all we have are hard non-removable braided cables with the only advantage of having cable routing built into the bottom of the keyboard, like with the scope. And of course their keyboards too. But courser keyboards have the built in USB pass through on many of them, which makes the cables really thick.
The last thing I will say is the font on majority of gaming keyboards just pisses me off. Why does it have to be this ugly, aggressive, bulky, stretchy, weird font on the majority of keyboards that come from all these gaming brands? Why can’t it be simple clean letters and numbers that you can appreciate that still looks fine in this aggressive aluminum body?
My perfect vision of future gaming keyboards lies in this hybrid territory where you can tell it’s a gaming keyboard, maybe by certain keyboard switches like the space bar, the escape key or the enter. But the rest of the body remains clean and almost minimal, but still has a bit of character of what the brand tries to achieve and tries to deliver with the combination of that sweet diversity of mechanical switches. I know I’m not the only one frustrated with gaming keyboards. Every single new one that comes out, it’s like what is new? It’s the same thing that we’ve seen for the last five years, but with a slightly different body and maybe some tiny little features here and there.
None that have come out that say hey, I’m a perfect hybrid, here, buy me.
Buy items in this video from Amazon at the links below:
RoG STRIX Scope: hhttps://geni.us/STRIXSCOPE
Blademaster TE: https://geni.us/BLADETEE
Blademaster Pro: https://geni.us/BLADEMSTPRO
M70 Mk.2: https://geni.us/K70LPRAPID
Logitech G Pro Keyboard: https://geni.us/GPROKB
CM SF120P ARGB: https://geni.us/SF120P
CM SF240P ARGB: https://geni.us/SF240P