Mechanical keyboards offer several advantages over membrane ones, so it is still popular. However, the price of mechanical keyboards is quite high – especially for full-size models with a digital panel. But Gigabyte decided to present a budget model Gigabyte Force K85 RGB at a price of about 80 euros in Europe.
But what can a buyer expect for such a price? Of course, Gigabyte had to make some sacrifices in order to save, concentrating on the main properties of the keyboard. Of the distinctive features are except that RGB-backlight and dual-purpose functions of some keys. The buyer will have to give up additional keys, USB ports and programmable keys.
Gigabyte chose a fairly compact keyboard design. The layout corresponds to MF / ISO, but the keys are located quite close to each other. This arrangement is best for gamers. Of course, the close arrangement of the keys can lead to errors at first. On the other hand, F-keys are located at a normal distance from the main unit. The same ESC key is permanently removed from F1, so there will be no errors with it.
Quality of manufacturing Gigabyte Force K85 RGB does not cause censures. The materials are selected good, with high quality finish. Also, the keyboard is quite resistant to bending deformations. Surfaces are covered with rubberized material, so the hands do not slip. We also liked the keyboard feet, which are also covered with soft rubber. Even in the bent legs, the keyboard will not slide over the surface of the table.
The manufacturer did not use glossy surfaces, on which dust and fingerprints are noticeable. The keys freely “hang” over the substrate, which is convenient for cleaning the keyboard. Unfortunately, the panel for rest of hands that improves ergonomics is not included in the package. However, due to the small angle of the Gigabyte Force K85 RGB, working with the keyboard is convenient and without a stand.
As we already mentioned above, the keyboard is not equipped with additional keys. All settings, such as backlighting, are performed directly on the keyboard thanks to a double key binding. The highlight color can be selected using the Fn + Insert combination. Other modes (constant backlight, pulsation, color change) can be selected using the combination of Fn and the corresponding keys.
Finally, you can change the brightness (Fn + up / down arrows) and the effect speed (Fn + Insert / Delete) directly to Gigabyte Force K85 RGB. We did not like the highlight of some of the keys. LEDs are located closer to the top of the keys, which does not seem to matter. Unfortunately, Gigabyte did not always adapt the location of the inscriptions under the LED. As a result, some keys highlight secondary functions, rather than basic ones. Fortunately, with the keys of the main field everything is fine.
As for the switches, our Gigabyte Force K85 RGB sample used Kailh Red switches. Pressing the keys is linear, the maximum stroke to the stop is 4 mm. The stroke to the trigger point is 2 mm, but there is no tactile feedback. Gamers such a short stroke to the trigger point will certainly have to taste.
The triggering force is 45 g ± 1.5 g. The manufacturer claims about a lifetime of about 70 million taps. Since the Kailh switches are mechanical, they are noticeably noisy. However, because of the massive and stable housing, the noise level is limited. Even with more expensive models, the noise level is often higher. Let’s note one more feature: because of lack of tactile recoil keys are often pressed deeper than necessary.
At the beginning of the article, we asked the question: what can be expected from a mechanical keyboard with a low price? It is understandable that the manufacturer had to cut equipment and functionality to fit in such a budget. On the positive side, we note that the workmanship was not affected. The quality of materials and their processing do not cause any complaints, just like a compact layout. Just because of the compact layout keyboard Gigabyte Force K85 RGB focused more on gamers and game battles, it showed itself well.
The case of the keyboard is quite strong and resistant to torsional deformation, rubber mounts installed from below, preventing sliding of the keyboard. Also, the Kailh switches proved convincing due to the linear stroke and the relatively low noise level. Gigabyte Force K85 RGB keyboard is suitable for customers who would like to join the world of mechanical keyboards, but are not ready to part with a solid amount.