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G.SKILL Ripjaws KM780 RGB Mechanical Keyboard Review

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G.SKILL Ripjaws KM780 RGB Mechanical Keyboard: Conclusion

The G.SKILL KM780 RGB performed spectacularly in that it had no issues of functionality. Everything worked on the hardware side, and most everything worked on the software side. Having the option to buy this keyboard with either Cherry MX Red or Brown switches is definitely nice – both are great switches for gaming, although some prefer the Browns for a balance of typing and gaming due to their tactile design. Personally I've used Reds for typing and gaming for a long time without issue after getting used to them; it all comes to personal preference. Anyone new to mechanical keyboards should try to use a few different options out there, or buy a switch test kit to get a feel of the different switches available. Any Cherry MX Brown keyboard should feel the same when it comes to pressing the switches – only layout, looks, and features should differ.

Upon first look at the KM780, I was taken aback by the design. The bars looked odd to me, but in use they didn't bother me, in fact I had many ideas as to possible uses for them including using them as tie downs for traveling, such as to LAN parties, and for locking the keyboard down to a surface using clamps on the bars – great for systems where the keyboard will move a lot such as gaming PC chair rigs. I was a big fan of the metal accents. The top of the keyboard is brushed aluminum, and the volume knob is knurled metal, too. On the top of the MK780, only the key caps are plastic (not counting the wrist pad). The braided wire sleeve was a nice touch, too, although the cable itself was fairly stiff.

The height of the keyboard is something that could shy some people away initially. Without the wrist pad, I was able to use the keyboard fully and comfortably, but the included wrist pad did make things much easier. The wrist pad is good quality, but it is a hard surface so don't expect much padding. Still, I felt much less fatigue and soreness in my wrists after a long day typing, much less than I do when resting my wrists on my glass desk surface. The surface is textured nicely in that it doesn't grate the skin, but it does help hold the hands firmly where you want them. But the pad doesn't stick to the skin either, something that I have seen some wrist pads do after time. The wrist pad does pivot, so it can articulate to odd surfaces and still function nicely even when the keyboard is inverted with its feet. I preferred not using the feet because it made the keyboard less stable – on the bottom of the main keyboard are four rubber pads and extending the feet makes it so only two make contact. The wrist pad has an additional two rubber pads to help add traction, too. The keyboard stayed in place well on my glass desk.

The size of this keyboard is massive, especially with the extra bars and flare on the sides, and with the wrist pad installed. This isn't a con, because it is the nature of this keyboard; measure your space before making a purchase and you will not have any issues. Unfortunately, the bars and side pieces are not removable without extensive modification – most consumers wouldn't want to go through the trouble. I was initially on the fence about these features, but they grew on me quickly. As long as you have plenty of space to the sides there is no reason to be upset with them.

The software was simple to install. Everything worked perfectly except the on-screen display for the alert system. I could not get that function to work with the timer. Everything else worked perfectly and was easy enough to figure out.

The pricing is high for people new to mechanical keyboards. Most mechanical keyboards are in a similar price range and they are actually priced competitively. Significant savings of around 25% are possible for those who opt for the KM780 MX instead of the RGB, the only major difference is that the MX has red LEDs only and the RGB has the wide spectrum of LED color. Most places are selling these keyboards under the MSRP, and their pricing becomes even more competitive.

The only issue I could see with this keyboard was when adjusting the audio volume with the knob. It would cause the keyboard to flicker and random keys to increase in brightness very quickly. Once I stopped adjustments everything was fine. It also didn't happen when I continued scrolling when audio was at the minimum or maximum levels.

Other than that issue everything worked well. Everything else comes down to preferences. If you like Cherry MX Red or Brown key switches and have the space for it, this keyboard could make a great choice.

 

Pros:

  • Cherry MX key switches with clear housing
  • RGB LED lighting
  • High variety of possible key bindings
  • Competitive pricing
  • Macros work well
  • Good wrist pad quality

Cons:

  • Topmost buttons are red LED only
  • LEDs flicker when adjusting volume
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