Back in 2014, GIGABYTE first introduced the AORUS brand, which focuses on enthusiasts for PC gaming and esports. Today, we’ll talk about mechanical keyboards, specifically the AORUS K1. This keyboard was released on April 24, 2020, and it’s currently new to the mechanical keyboard market. It’s a follow-up to the AORUS K7, but it features a much simpler design. Most gamers are looking for flashy peripherals and PC parts, and their first question would probably be “Does it have RGB?”, or “Is it comfortable to use?”, etc.
Ever since the first mechanical keyboard hit the market, there have been lots of companies who also started manufacturing good-quality mechanical keyboards, adding more features here and there. Introducing the AORUS’ latest mechanical gaming keyboard, the AORUS K1, coming in at $139 AUD — a keyboard 1simple, yet has a Neonpunk design. If you’re a gamer and you want a flashy and straightforward mechanical keyboard that feels and performs excellent, then this is for you.
As you take home the newly bought product, you get a medium-sized rectangular box. The box design firmly secures the product inside and doesn’t damage it. On the front side, you’ll see a sample of the keyboard and its lighting. Alongside are the legends on the keycaps. It tells you some key features (which we’ll discuss later on), which has a Cherry MX Premium Switch, supports RGB Fusion 2.0 Software, and has a full range anti-ghosting.
At the back, you get more information about the keyboard and the advanced & specific features that make it the right product for gamers.
AORUS K1 Review – Design and Functionality
On this part of our AORUS K1 Review, we’re going to describe the design and functions it delivers.
There are a lot of different gamers out there, and many of them prefer a simple design. Vivid lighting and excellent legends (keycap fonts) are what they’re looking for, and the AORUS K1 nailed it. It has a sleek design, dark, and standard to this generation. As a result, the keyboard shines from the shadows.
Some people might also prefer the TKL (Tenkeyless) keyboards, mostly for those who want more space on their desk, more straightforward look, mouse space, or those who don’t use the Numpad at all. On the other hand, you have this keyboard which gives you the Numpad and at the same time, providing more space with its sleek design.
You get a clean design that catches every gamer’s attention. It’s also a slimline form factor that makes it an excellent choice for a fresh look.
The surface is matte black, making it a good-looking keyboard. Matte black is a popular choice for most gamers out there; there’s no mistaking it. When you first take a look at this keyboard, it feels premium, and the quality is excellent!
The key caps feel premium, but we’re currently not sure yet if it’s using ABS plastic or PBT plastic. The font design engraved to the keycaps looks excellent; it will attract gamers who are into a simplistic and compact design.
On the upper-right part of the keyboard, you’ll find the AORUS logo, along with the LED indicators for Caps Lock, Scroll Lock, and Num Lock. On the very left side of the keyboard, you’ll find an inspirational quote engraved, saying “Team Up, Fight On.” in a good-looking font. Lifting it, it’s quite heavy as it weighs about 1125g, making it durable because of the metal finish.
The switches feature CHERRY MX Reds, which is a solid choice for every gamer out there. Unfortunately, this is the only available switch for now. We’d like to see more switches soon.
Finally, there’s the cable management underneath for routing the cables in 3 directions. The cable can be routed in the left side, middle, and right side.
This keyboard utilizes two software, AORUS Engine for macros and programming custom keys, and RGB fusion 2.0 for the lighting. There are also on-the-go multimedia keys which are accessed by pressing the FN key + the key with a multimedia sign. These keys can be handy, especially when you quickly need to adjust the volume in-game.
Key Features of the AORUS K1
This part of our AORUS K1 Review, we’re going to enumerate the key features of the keyboard and see if this product is worth your money.
The first one being is the theme, which GIGABYTE refers to as “Punk Gaming”. Neonpunk style keyboards make themselves shine through the darkness, meaning it looks great when lights are off. The RGB LEDs support 16.7M colours and can be synchronized with other AORUS devices.
Premium and Durable Switches
The CHERRY MX Red switches are linear, and it makes this keyboard designed specifically for gamers. Red switches are the most preferred for gaming, the second one being the browns. Typing is also a great experience, but not as good as the blue switches. Anti-ghosting is also a feature to easily combine keys as much as you want.
The keyboard also features an all key programmable with onboard memory. It’s very convenient if you’re going to be carrying this keyboard on LAN parties or tournaments because you can save your profiles without the software.
Software-wise, the User Interface is simple and very easy to use. You can record macro keys on any key you want through AORUS Engine. Comparing it to other RGB Mechanical Keyboards out there, I’m sure there are lots of features that aren’t present yet on AORUS Engine. We’d like to see more improvement in the software and combine both AORUS Engine and RGB fusion 2.0.
For adjusting the LED colour, open the RGB Fusion 2.0 software and click RGB Fusion. Afterwards, click the Peripheral devices LED. Click on the keyboard section, and you’ll be able to customize the colour or select built-in effects preset.
Now, RGB fusion 2.0 comes with six built-in profiles for your LED effects. The available patterns are Wave, Cycle, Reactive, Ripple, MOBA, and FPS. With the keyboard’s onboard memory, you’ll be able to save them so that next time, you don’t need to open the software.
Small & Compact
The keyboard’s design is small and easy to carry anywhere. Although the cables are non-removable, you can roll them up and put it in your backpack. GIGABYTE made sure you get it cheap and offer excellent performance. It makes it a good value for your money.
On-the-go Multimedia Keys
Unlike the CORSAIR K70 MK.2 which has dedicated multimedia keys, the AORUS K1 has 22 media keys when combined with the Fn key. The keys are Scroll Lock, Insert, Home, Page Up, Delete, End, Page Down, Left, Up, Down, and Right. That’ll make the design much cleaner since it doesn’t have to use more space. Seeing dedicated multimedia keys is a good thing, but GIGABYTE made sure to maintain the compact design.
On this part of our AORUS K1 Review, let’s dig into the specifications. We’ll start with connectivity.
The keyboard will work with any computer, as it only needs the standard Hi-Speed USB 2.0. It has a polling rate of 1000Hz to reduce input delay and prevent sluggishness as well as improve your gaming experience.
Again, it comes with the German-made CHERRY MX key switches, so longevity isn’t a concern here. The switch lifespan is 100 million times, so you don’t have to worry about using it daily. It uses the linear red switches, which has a peak force of 45g, travel distance of 4mm to the bottom, and 2mm to actuation point.
Hands-on with the AORUS K1
This section of our AORUS K1 Review is more of a demonstration of the actual product. Let’s talk about the feel and the experience we had.
The keyboard feels very sturdy. The typing experience is excellent, and you don’t have to worry about the keys wobbling around. The AORUS K1 also made it possible to still apply macro keys without any dedicated macro keys, which is a good thing.
The onboard profiles are handy, and means a lot when you have hotkeys or macros. This keyboard is software-independent, and this quickly gets a 10/10 when it comes to versatility.
The AORUS K1 is an excellent keyboard, and there’s no doubt about it. We’re still unsure where the keyboard would sit on the market since we lack the information about its pricing.
This keyboard was recently released, and we’re yet to find out about the price.
AORUS K1 Review Summary
GIGABYTE is new to the mechanical keyboard market, but they had a good start with finally releasing a keyboard lineup.
Overall, this looks like they’re trying something new to adapt to the current generation’s aesthetics, and we think it’s a good idea.
To conclude our AORUS K1 Review, we were delighted with the product’s appearance and durability. We recommend it to gamers who want the aesthetics of a neon punk and have the premium feel.