The market for gaming peripherals is a huge one. Especially so when we talk about keyboards. With so many to choose from at different price points, it’s difficult to know what to look for in a good mechanical gaming keyboard. Well, we think we found one of the absolute best and affordable mechanical keyboards out there that’s a real joy to use, courtesy of GearBest. Why do we think Alfawise V2 is worthy of such words? Read on to find out.
Alfawise V2 RGB Mechanical Keyboard is available for purchase at GearBest.
When talking about technical specifications, the Alfawise V2 comes at a 44cm (17,32 inch) length, 15,20cm (5,98inch) and 2,5cm (0,98inch) width. The top of the keyboard casing is aluminum alloy combined with a plastic bottom, weighing just below 1kg making it very portable. Minimal is the name of the game with two small extendable legs that tilt the keyboard for a better typing angle. There is no cable management systems or USB pass-throughs to speak off. While I would have liked for the keyboard to include a wrist rest of any kind, its absence really can’t be argued at the proposed price point. It is advisable to use an external wrist rest during longer play sessions but keeping your hands on a table while using it is still comfortable enough to use due to the good design and a non-steep tilt.
|Dimension and Weight||Package size (L x W x H): 48.00 x 20.00 x 5.50 cm / 18.9 x 7.87 x 2.17 inches|
Package weight: 1.1590 kg
Product size (L x W x H): 44.00 x 15.20 x 2.50 cm / 17.32 x 5.98 x 0.98 inches
Product weight: 0.9740 kg
The keyboard itself has a standard 104-key layout with five macro keys (plus macro recording key) and dedicated media controls sitting on the top and are slightly raised when compared to the rest of the keys. The macro keys can’t be used to start different applications but are instead used to record up to 64 keystrokes during a 30 second recording time. The media keys become active when there is an application supporting them running on your PC. There is even a small wheel on the far right of the keyboard which can either control your volume or the brightness of the RGB lights on the keyboard itself.
Overall, the keyboard layout is clean and minimal, meaning that when the RGB lights are turned off, it can easily be used for purposes other than gaming, without being too flashy. Even the key font supports this notion with bold minimal letters with only some of them featuring a stylistic font change to give it a gamer-esque look. Additionally, the bold font along with the fact that the switches are partially exposed to the sides of the keycaps means that RGB is highly visible, bright and generally looks excellent.
Another standout aspect of the keyboard itself pertaining to the lighting is RGB strips at its side. These strips cycle through different colors and give the keyboard a more premium look. Unfortunately, the lighting mode of these can’t be changed and they can’t be turned off so this segment might put off some people who want less RGB. Also, the media and macro keys always glow with a blue color which could also put off those who want a unified color scheme across the keyboard.
When it comes to the switches, the Alfawise V2 features the OUTEMU Blue switches with a 3ms response time. While these are comparatively a level below MX Blue switches they are still very fast and the key presses feel very satisfying. Keep in mind that they do get pretty loud so typing a large amount of text on it can draw unwanted attention. The loudness is, however, more than fine for gaming. To further drive home that this is a keyboard meant to mainly be used for gaming is the fact that all keys have anti-ghosting so you can essentially press every key on the keyboard simultaneously and have them all be registered.
During my testing, I found that the keyboard performed the best while playing fast-paced shooters like Overwatch or Unreal Tournament. These are essentially the games that justify investing in a mechanical keyboard the most.
|Product Details||Cable Length (m): 1.7m|
Interface: USB 2.0
Key Number: 104
System support: Windows 10, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows Vista, Windows XP
Keyboard Lifespan ( times): 50 million
Response Speed: 3ms
Keyboard Type: Mechanical Keyboard
Keyboard Switch Type: Blue Switch
Backlight Type: RGB Light
Keyboard Switch Brand: OUTEMU
While some people might appreciate the fact that this keyboard features all the necessary controls build into it, meaning that it’s a simple, plug-and-play system across all systems, from Windows to Mac, others will hate the fact that they can’t be more in control using the dedicated software to fine-tune the keys and RGB lighting.
While you might not reprogramme all the individual keys to have another function or light in a color of your choice, there is still a suitable number of RGB options that you can set with the combination of the function and some other keys. You’ll find your standard color cycle, color wave, breathing, ripple, reactive and plenty more to cycle through and will certainly find the one to your liking.
The dedicated software is not included in the packaging along with the keyboard so you are left with searching the web to find it. For simplicity sake, you can download it at this link. The fact of the matter is that you don’t really need the software to be fully in control of the keyboard’s functions and the software itself is really underwhelming. You can manually select the existing RGB presets and record macro functions a bit easier but that’s it. You can’t select RGB for each individual button or design your own preset and you can’t create profiles for the keyboard to work in tandem with the application you currently have running.
My usual daily keyboard driver is the Razer’s Chroma Blackwidow V2 while I previously used the Corsair K95 Platinum and it’s insane how close Alfawise V2 comes to the top-of-the-line quality of those two in both the performance and the design, especially when you consider the price difference. Don’t get me wrong, Alfawise V2 is still noticeably a $50 keyboard that lacks a robust dedicated software, a wrist rest and features slightly worse switches when compared to the MX variants. Still, there is plenty to love here with the simple, yet beautiful design, speedy performance and the inclusion of macro and media keys along with plenty of awesome RGB options.
|+ Simple yet beautiful design||– Underwhelming dedicated software|
|+ Plenty of RGB lighting options||– No wrist rest|
|+ Macro and multimedia keys||– Could be too loud for some|
|+ The price|