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Review of the KM780 MX (Reds)

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  • Review of the KM780 MX (Reds)

    I recently bought the KM780 MX and, at this point, have had it for a couple weeks. I thought that, since I haven't really seen very many in depth reviews of this product, that I would give one. I'll try and go over every pro and con that I can come up with.

    So, the first thing I will mention is that information about the device and its operation is scattered all over the place and isn't really in a single, easy to access location. The manual that comes in the box only has three pages (repeated several times in different languages) and barely covers anything. For information regarding the physical features of the keyboard you have to go to the specs and features sections of the product on the website. Meanwhile, comprehensive information regarding the driver software is found in none of those places; you have to go the "Download" section of the product page on G. Skill's website and download the User Guide.

    Which brings us to the next issue. Well, it's not so much an issue as it is needlessly aggravating under the wrong circumstances. The software is horrendously unintuitive. That is not to say that it is not-functional. Once you learn how to use it, it is fairly easy to program macros and create profiles and modes. However, in my opinion, the process of actually becoming proficient requires either a couple of hours of hair pulling or a reading of the User Guide, which is only available to download on their website (the keyboard doesn't come with a physical copy). Personally, I have only run into a single bug (some of my number keys occasionally stop working), but this appears to be a driver issue and I'm currently working it out with tech support. The keyboard is still pretty new and I imagine that these bugs will be worked out as software and firmware updates become available.

    With that, we're done with the non-keyboard-related aspects of this review and we can now jump into the glory that is this keyboard. I know it may sound like I've been dissatisfied with this keyboard, but that couldn't be farther from the truth. As frustrating as some of these experiences have been, I'm still very happy with my purchase. The keys are wonderful (as are pretty much all cherry equipped keyboards) and I cannot get enough of them after this upgrade from my Logitech G11. Each key has the same easy response with the exception of the Space Bar, Shift Keys, Enter Key, and Backspace. The Space is the easiest of them and isn't really that noticeable while typing. The Shift Keys aren't much worse and are still great to type with. The Enter and Backspace are both noticeably more stiff than the rest of the keys, which is unfortunate.

    The keyboard itself is very heavy duty and feels very solid. It may be purely psychological, but the heft of the object makes me feel more justified in having spent ~$100 on a keyboard. One thing that I have mixed feelings on is that, unlike previous keyboards that I've owned, the chassis of the keyboard does not come up around the sides of the keys at all, meaning that the keys look very tall in comparison to other keyboards. Initially, I thought that this made for a rather odd aesthetic (though it has grown on me some, over time), but in a practical sense it makes sense as it would make cleaning the keyboard significantly easier.

    The wrist rest, like the keyboard itself, if very solid and well built (unlike my G11's literal sheet of plastic). While the face does appear to be made out of plastic, it has a very unique texturing done to it that actually makes it feel silky and almost soft to the touch. The extendable legs on the back of the key board that prop it up are nice and, specifically, they provide better access to the numbers keys above the letters. Also, they seem pretty durable, unlike the ones that broke on my last keyboard. However, I have the smallest nit to pick: the ergonomics of the wrist rest feel like they were optimized for have the feet down rather than up. As a result, since I have the feet up to have better access to the number keys, the wrist rest is the TINIEST bit less comfortable. Still very comfortable, just a little less than it could be.

    The macro and mode keys all work as advertised, though it is worth noting that they are useless if you don't download and learn how to use the software. Meanwhile, the rest of the utilities are very nice and perform as expected. The "Windows Key Disable Button" is pretty nice for a gaming keyboard, the button controlling backlighting intensity is nice for those who don't like glaring LEDs, and the built in timer is actually pretty nifty (if somewhat gimmicky). Meanwhile, the media controls are pretty standard but very well executed. My favorite part is the wheel which is on the far right and has an LED visual indicator showing how high the volume is. This particular feature will be extremely nice for right handed people, but potentially cumbersome for left handed people. The only thing that is poorly designed on the face of the keyboard is that the Num Lock, Caps Lock, and Scroll Lock indicators are all poorly placed immediately above the number pad, meaning that you will likely be unable to see them without leaning forward a ways.

    The features that are more unique to higher end keyboards such as this include the throughput USB, the two throughput 3.5mm jacks (for headphones and mic, most commonly), N-Key Rollover switch, the gaming keys, and the cable management arm. The throughput USB and 3.5mm jacks make my life so much easier. They have a think, durable cable that significantly extends the somewhat short reach of my mouse and headset to the back of my desktop on the ground. The N-Key Rollover switch is kind of nice, though it actually screwed me over since I didn't know what it did and had to contact tech support to figure why NKRO appeared to by disabled (again, would love a physical copy of an owners manual). However, the fact that this switch is hardware and not software brilliantly circumvents the potential situation of having a keyboard that can't operate on a motherboard that doesn't support it, and for that I have to give them props. Then there are the gaming keys. Ooooh, the gaming keys. They are a cool idea, and I would even give them a shot if it weren't for the stupid slants on "w" "a" and "d". These make them complete ridiculous to try and type with, and even when gaming they cause my knuckles to feel cramped as I normally rest my fingers on the edges of the keys. On top of that, I genuinely don't know how I feel about the texture of the keys in the first place since I haven't used them for an extended period of time. They are much smoother, but have grooves. I worry that my fingers would slip more frequently, so ultimately I give the gaming keys a thumbs down, but they are completely optional. However, I do appreciate the nifty little clip-on case that they gaming keys came with as they ensure that I won't lose the keys in case I even decide to sell this beauty. And finally, the cable management arm is more aesthetically pleasing than anything else; it just looks cool to have little doohickeys sticking off of your keyboard. Personally, my mouse has a braided cable so it is too slender to be held in place by the groove in the arm, so it just kind of sits in it for shits and giggles.

    So there it is. My two cents. Personally, I love the keyboard in spite of the couple of frustrations and design flops, but I hope to enable people to make a more informed investment if they choose to go with this keyboard. Who knows? Maybe development will read this and take it to heart for future keyboard models.
    Last edited by Saligiad; 12-18-2015, 01:57 PM.

  • #2
    Good stuff, we really appreciate your time and feedback. We would like to hear everyone's perspective, experience, criticism, etc. as we believe it can help us immensely. We are all open ears to improvement.

    Thank you