A solid, if expensive, mechanical keyboard
ASUS is continuing to beef up their gaming peripheral lineup in the Philippines. After releasing high-end ROG mice and keyboards, the Taiwanese company is now releasing a another, metal mechanical keyboard: the GK1100. It’s a solid, if bare-bones mechanical keyboard that’s built to endure countless hours of gaming.
Solid exterior and built like a tank
From our experience so far with ASUS peripherals, the brand doesn’t cheap out on the materials that they use on their keyboards or mice. The GK1100 is no exception to that, as the mechanical keyboard comes with a durable aluminum alloy body. Just like the ASUS ROG Claymore we reviewed a few weeks ago, the GK1100 looks and feels durable enough to be wielded as a melee weapon when the inevitable zombie apocalypse comes (always our benchmark for toughness), and would come out no worse for wear.
But unlike the Claymore that had elaborate Aztec-inspired design, the GK1100 looks almost boring with its matte black anodized aluminum finish. And while the GK1100 does have backlit keys, they’re not as customizable as the one on the Claymore. No Aura lighting here boys – just seven preset lighting options that you can cycle through.
The USB cables are braided for durability, and the GK1100 uses not one, but two USB plugs to provide power to the keyboard. Given that the GK1100 has two USB plugs, we found it odd that there’s no USB pass-through capability on it, and no option to plug another USB device to it. What’s the other USB port for, we wonder?
Blue Cherry MX Keys are awesome, though picky gamers might not like it
There’s this belief among gamers that Blue Cherry MX keys aren’t the best for gaming, eclipsed by the performance of Blacks and Reds. Sure, they need more actuating force to actually click the keys, but they aren’t that bad to be honest. Of course, if you’re the type that primarily plays games that require fast, repeated clicking, you might be better served with a mechanical keyboard with Red Cherry MX keys.
That being said, the keys on the GK1100 are easy enough to get used to once you start using them. As we said earlier, it uses Blue Cherry MX keys so they’re incredibly loud and require a bit of getting used to since they need higher actuation force compared to Red Cherry MX keys. The Blue keys excel at typing though, and feels like heaven for us, though we’re a bit biased since we use our PCs more for actual work than gaming.
ASUS includes a keycap puller with the GK1100, and a limited set of replacement keycaps for select keys. The switches themselves have a guaranteed 50-million keystroke lifespan, and anti-ghosting features with N-Key rollover. You can also customize macro shortcut for your keys, though you’ll need to install the software for the GK1100 for that.
Verdict: Another solid gaming keyboard, though it’s a little pricey
The GK1100 is a solid mechanical keyboard that’s built to last. Like we said earlier, you can probably use this is a very literal weapon against the invading zombie hordes and it’ll probably still survive. It’s also a dream to use, once you get used to it.
Unfortunately we’re not a fan of its pricing. At Php 6,995 it’s quite expensive for a gaming keyboard, especially for one that’s quite barebones as the GK1100. It’s already close to the pricing of the ROG Claymore (at least, the version without the number pad) that has more features like customizable Aura lighting. You won’t be disappointed when you buy it, but there’s better options out there.