ASUS TUF Gaming K7 Optical-Mech Keyboard Review

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Our purchases are almost always investments, unless you have cash to burn. And since most of the time we don’t have that luxury, we’d prefer it if the things we buy last as long as we want it to be, a lifetime if possible. Perhaps, ASUS’ TUF lineup embodies that very thing we’re yearning for through its statement on both durability and performance. All the more reason why it’s a boon for keyboards. With that said, what we’re looking at today is the ASUS TUF Gaming K7 – an optical-mech keyboard that boasts an IP56 rating, optical-mechanical switches, and RGB.

Technical Specifications
Connectivity: Wired
Switches: TUF Optical-Mech
Dimensions: 439 x 131 x 37mm (Keyboard), 439 x 77 x 18mm (Wrist rest)
Weight: 794g (Keyboard), 194g (Wrist rest)
Inclusions: TUF Gaming K7, Wrist rest, User Document

But first off, what are Optical-Mechanical Switches?

"Traditional mechanical switches actuate through physical contact, resulting in a release-and-return lag known as a debounce delay. Optical-Mech switches make no contact, eliminating the debounce delay – so you're able to game at the speed of light.”


“Each TUF Optical-Mech switch casts a beam of infrared light. Pressing a key causes the shaft to break the beam for near-instant actuation. This unique design eliminates the 5ms debounce delay intrinsic to traditional metal contacts, slashing total actuation time to just 0.2ms – so it's quicker than the blink of an eye! “

PACKAGING



Going into the unboxing, the ASUS TUF Gaming K7 is packed quite presentably. It arrives in a compact box with a cutout on the directional keys to let you test out the feel of the switches. Once you open up the packaging, you’ll be met with the TUF Gaming K7 itself and some paperwork. ASUS says there’s a wrist rest in the packaging but our review sample doesn’t have one included. Not so much a loss since we can still experience the keyboard as it is.

BUILD QUALITY AND DESIGN



Design-wise, the TUF Gaming K7 looks ready for the elements. Heck, even the TUF GAMING logo on the upper right section of the keyboard features water droplet designs to make a statement on its water resistance and whatnot.


While at first glance it looks super heavy, it’s actually quite light 794g. For reference, the HyperX FPS Pro TKL and the Corsair K68 mechanical keyboards weigh in at 900g and 1.2kg respectively. While weight usually reinforces the idea of durability, we have no qualms about it being light. It actually feels pretty solid.


One thing to note however, the TUF Gaming K7 unfortunately doesn’t have braided or detachable cables. At this price rage, we expected it to have both of that, or at least one. But sadly that’s not the case here. Oh, and another thing, if you’re reliant on media controls, the TUF Gaming K7 doesn’t have dedicated keys for that, but you'll have room for Fn keys for control on the F6-F8 keys and volume controls on F9-F11.


SOFTWARE

The ASUS TUF Gaming K7 makes use of the ARMOURY II Software. This is your command center for mapping macros, adjusting settings, and styling it up with RGB. You can customize the lighting modes through presets such as Static, Breathing, Color Cycle, Wave, Ripple, Reactive, Starry Night, Quicksand, Current and Rain Drop, or customize it to your own liking.





USER EXPERIENCE


The ASUS TUF Gaming K7 is quite phenomenal – these optical-mech switches have this satisfyingly loud tactile feedback. These optical-mech switches feel a bit similar to Cherry MX Blues, but with a shorter actuation point at 1.5mm. It’s fast and precise, which makes it super useful in esports titles where a split second can determine life or death.


As standard today with gaming keyboards, you can also lock out the Windows key to avoid accidental actuations in games. The gaming mode also gives you the option to lock out keystroke combinations such as ALT + TAB and ALT + F4.


Another fun thing to do with it is you can tweak the RGB colors on the fly through the DEL, END, and PGDN keys – red, green and blue for each corresponding key. The brightness levels meanwhile can be controlled through Fn + Up/Down keys, and you can also cycle the RGB animations modes through FN +Left/Right keys.

CONCLUSION


It feels so damn satisfying to type on the ASUS TUF Gaming K7 Optical-Mech Keyboard, and even that feels like an understatement. It's just phenomenal. That IP rating is a welcomed addition if you're the type to bring drinks while you play or work. Its design is also a statement to its durability even with its light weight. While the cabling may be a downside, it's a bit of a stretch to call it a dealbreaker since you don't always have to move your keyboard often.

It costing Php6,250 is also quite a surprise. This is ASUS we're talking about, where gaming-centric products often come at a premium. At this price point? Simply put, The ASUS TUF Gaming K7 makes for a great choice if you're looking for gaming keyboard to step up your game.


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