GK61 is a mechanical keyboard ideal for users who want to improve their gaming experience without breaking the bank. Surprisingly, the keyboard offers Gateron Optical Technology which is usually reserved for premium products. It definitely puts it a tier above its price bracket.
Besides that, the keyboard also comes with RGB lights, a USB-C outport, programmable function keys, and much more. Let’s take a detailed look into them in this detailed review.
Table: GK61 Mechanical Gaming Keyboard Specifications
|Keycap material||Double-Shot ABS|
|Compatibility||Windows & MacOS|
|Dust & Water Resistance||IP64|
- Excellent build quality
- Customizable RGB lights
- Built-in microphone
- Minimal latency
- Gateron optical switches
- Spill and dust resistance
- Hot-swappable switches
- Provides tactile feedback
- Decent key travel
- No dedicated arrow keys
- Not adjustable
- ABS keycaps
The Good in GK61 – Features That Make It Stand Out
Design and Build Quality – Built To Last
GK61 is a class apart as far as the designs of 60% keyboard go. It offers slim bezels, rounded edges, and an inclined surface that provides better ergonomics. The keyboard has a standard ANSI layout which makes it super easy to replace damaged or faulty keycaps. Bezels are very slim which makes the design stand out.
Keycaps of the keyboard feature a glossy finish on the sides which makes RGB lights look even better. The keys are placed over metallic plates with a white covering that creates a nice contrast and premium aesthetics. Metallic plates also incorporate strength into the design and make it very durable. GK61 features cherry-style stabilizers that are mounted on a plate. These are pre-lubed and sound much better than other budget keyboards.
GK61 has four rubber feet that hold it steady on the surfaces. Users would not have to adjust the keyboard again and again amidst immersive gaming sessions. Like most 60% keyboards, it offers secondary navigation keys which are marked with arrows.
Furthermore, the keyboard has IP64 water and dust resistance ratings which not only keeps it clean but also improves its longevity. Overall, the design offers a premium feel, covers all bases, and certainly stands out in this price bracket.
Gateron Switches – Faster, Dependable & Smoother
Gateron Optical Switches are certainly the unique selling point of GK61. Most keyboards in this price bracket either come with Outemu Normal or Outemu Optical switches which are far behind Gateron Switches in terms of performance. The Gateron switches are faster, dependable, and offer a much better overall feel. These are usually reserved for premium keyboards which makes it quite a surprise in this price range.
Furthermore, users can pick between multiple types of Gateron Switches depending on personal preferences. There are six options to choose from and each of them has a distinct feature. We recommend Blue Gateron because of its characteristic and satisfying audible click.
Optical switches are superior to traditional metallic mechanical switches both in terms of performance and durability. The keypress is detected via photoelectric switches and infrared which reduce the latency. Plus, the metallic prongs are not needed which eliminates the metal contact responsible for wearing the keys.
Almost all Gateron switches offer 4.0mm total travel with exception of Yellow and Silver which provide a distance of 3.2mm. Feedback on all switches is great albeit its nature varies between different types. To top it all off, the switches require actuation force as low as 45g which fits right in gamers’ fantasies.
Backlights – Create An Immersive Experience
RGB lights in GK61 are brighter compared to other keyboards in this tier and visible even under direct sunlight. This magnification in lights is achieved via tiny glass-like material that covers surface-mounted LEDs. Furthermore, these are original RGB lights that enable access to 16.8 million color combinations on each LED. Again, a feature that is not common in this price bracket.
Users can choose between a ton of modes and effects including Ripple, Music, Waves, Rainbow, and Windmill. Brightness is also adjustable between 21 levels. Largely the lights can be controlled via keyboard but for certain features, like enabling single color, users may have to use the dedicated application.
Keyboard also has a built-in microphone that synchronizes the lights with audio. Be it games, music, or movies, the effects change according to sound to deliver an immersive experience.
USB – C Connectivity – Faster Connection To Minimize Latency
GK61 has a USB – C outport which provides a rapid and latency-free connection. It is faster than even the latest Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connection which is a solid plus. The combination of USB-C with optical switches is the recipe for zero-latency which gamers will certainly appreciate.
The cable that comes bundled in is thick and sturdy and can withstand accidental jerks and yanks. Furthermore, it is a detachable cable so even if it breaks users can get a new one without needing to replace the entire keyboard. It makes storage and transportation convenient as well.
Programmable Keys – Simplifies Execution of Complex Commands
The GK61 keyboard offers multiple programmable keys that can be used to execute several commands. Gamers have to press a sequence of keystrokes to execute commands in games. Even a little mistake can stop the command which is annoying for users. The programmable keys ensure that users are able to execute commands every single time. It gives gamers an advantage over other users in multiplayer games.
Furthermore, users can also program them to execute other functions like screen recording, storage to the cloud, and many others. Because the users would not have to minimize or pause the games to enable a function.
Hot-Swappable Keys – Personalize However You Want
With most keyboards, users need to solder their switches which is complicated, time-consuming, and requires some tools. Fortunately, the process would be much simpler in GK61 thanks to Hot-Swappable Keys.
Hot-swappable keys require no heavy-duty or DIY tools for replacement. They can be easily removed via a switch puller that is bundled in the package. Users can personalize the keyboard however they like thanks to this. You can choose from a plethora of optical switches available online to make the keyboard look more exotic.
The Bad in GK61 – Things That Could Have Been Better
Users would not encounter any problems while using GK61 but certain things need to be considered. None of these are deal-breakers but some users may have different preferences. Let’s take a look at them.
GK61 does have risers to adjust its position which may be a problem for users who like to tilt their keyboards. The inclined design makes up for it but having those risers certainly offers additional adjustability.
Let’s face it ABS is not an ideal material for keycaps and even most mid-range keyboards have replaced it with PBT. But again, most users would not use the default keycaps anyway. You can choose from a ton of keycaps to replace them. The keycap puller comes bundled in the package to make it super convenient.
The dedicated Application of GK61 is complicated even for tech-savvy individuals. It will take some time before users get a hold of it. Fortunately, most of the commands can be carried out via push of buttons which reduces reliance on the application.
GK61 Mechanical Keyboard For Typists – A Good Option?
Typists have slightly different preferences than gamers when it comes to selecting a keyboard. Such users usually look for ergonomics, comfort, and decent feedback. Fortunately, GK61 has it all which makes it a decent enough choice for typists as well. A variety of switch types enables the users to select which they deem most appropriate for a certain job.
Users new to mechanical keyboards should know that it has low actuation force. While it makes the keyboard sensitive, it also increases the chances of mistakenly hitting random keys. Plus, the tactile feedback is not as loud in some of the optical switches. So, it will take a while before users get used to this keyboard for typing.
That said, average users would not need most features that make this keyboard great for gaming. Typists do not need RGB lights or programmable and swappable keys. It is because of these features that GK61 costs higher than average typist keyboards. Hence, purchasing this keyboard does not make a lot of sense. Users can select a number of other keyboards with price tags significantly lower than GK61.
GK61 is an ideal keyboard for users who want to improve their gaming experience. It offers all features that established gamers require and the price tag makes it excellent for amateur players as well. You get RGB lights, a USB-C port, and hot-swappable keys, on the top of cutting-edge optical switches.
Although it has some problems, none of them is a deal-breaker. All in all, it is an excellent option for users who are hunting for a premium experience at an affordable price. We hope this GK61 Mechanical Gaming Keyboard Review has been helpful. Thank you!
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