The topic of membrane keyboards vs mechanical keyboards is open to great debate. Essentially, where a regular membrane keyboard has a pressure pad that have outlines and symbols printed on a flat, flexible surface, a mechanical keyboard uses spring activated, key switches. The switches vary based on the keyboard’s application or user preference Some love it, some hate it, other don’t really care. While people claim that mechanical keyboards offer superior comfort levels with regard to typing, they also tend to be more on the pricey side. That was the view that I too shared, till I encountered the Gigabyte Force K85 mechanical keyboard.
Gigabyte, a Motherboard manufacturer by definition, have been in the PC component industry for quite a while. Their range of mechanical keyboards began with the Aivia lineup. These, whilst being sturdy and robust, also tended to be on the pricey side. The Gigabyte Force K85 is the cost effective solution to this.
Priced at Rs. 12,500/=, the keyboard is available at Nanotek Computer Solutions and also at Redline Technologies.
The Gigabyte Force K85 comes in a stylish cardboard box that is actually easy to carry around as the dimensions of the box similar to that of the keyboard, doing away with extra space like the Gigabyte Aivia Osmium. Once you open the box, you find the keyboard tucked inside a polythene cover with the cable tied up inside a compartment.
Taking the keyboard out of the box, the first thing you notice that it’s not exactly light, but not too heavy either. Rather, it has just the right amount of weight to keep itself from sliding all over your table when you’re on a button mashing spree.
Speaking of button mashing, the Gigabyte Force K85 used Kailh Blue mechanical switches. Compared to other switches, Blue switches provide a tactile bump as well as an audible click. Though not as good as a Cherry MX Blue switch, the Kailh Blue switch is surprisingly close. I personally love Blue switches for the sound and the tactile bump. They are also recommended if you do a lot of typing, so it seemed the obvious choice for me. Typing a few sentences on the keyboard had me pretty much convinced that this would be my next keyboard.
One thing to note though. Blue switches tend to be a tad loud. So if you’re a person who types fast and also types for an extended period of time, you might find it uncomfortable. Then again, if you’re on the lookout for a relatively quiet mechanical keyboard, you can look at keyboards that have MX Red, Brown or Black keys.
If you have spent most of your time on a membrane keyboard, then making the switch to a mechanical keyboard might take a bit of getting used to but once you get used to it, nothing ever feels the same way again. Typing on it is very comfortable and as each keypress gives you a tactile bump along with a rather satisfying click to go along with it. Since each key has its own switch, you will find that your typing accuracy would definitely improve and you spend less time mistyping words. You will also find that you don’t need to bottom down on the key (where you press the key all the way down to register a keypress).
Just because the Kailh Blue switch is aimed at typists, that doesn’t make it any less of a gaming keyboard either. Rather, I found gaming on the Gigabyte Force K85 quite enjoyable. Each keypress has a proper feedback and the keyboard handled a variety of games ranging from Dota 2 to Overwatch, to Call of Duty Black Ops 3 to Project Cars and a host of other games, all with an equal flair. Since I headphones for gaming, the sound of the key press is not that noticeable but if you are gaming in a relatively quiet environment, then you will definitely hear the sound of these keys.
However, it doesn’t have advanced features such as Macro keys but it does have an anti ghosting feature so you can press multiple keys at the same time and they will all be registered. It also has n-key rollover which means that each key is scanned completely independently by the keyboard hardware, so that each keypress is correctly detected regardless of how many other keys are being pressed or held down at the time.
One thing that I noticed with the Gigabyte Force K85 was the lack of a wrist rest. As the keys are slightly higher than a regular keyboard, your hands tend to hurt after a while, especially if your wrists and your table are not on the same level.
Apart from it having the awesome click that I love, the Gigabyte Force K85 also features RGB backlighting with upto 16.8Million colors. If you’re typing in the dark or in semi dark environments, then this would suit you as well. Though the colors cannot be individually assigned to each key, that wasn’t a deal breaker for me.
Speaking of RGB backlighting, the Gigabyte Force K85 has inbuilt options to change color via shortcut keys on the keyboard itself. You can select one of eight colors ranging from Red, Green, Blue and everything in between. Brightness of the keys can also be changed from within the keyboard itself via shortcut keys. Apart from that, the Force K85 also features lighting effects in the form of a breathing effect where the backlight goes on and off on a rhythmic pattern. It can also cycle through the 8 colors with an adjustable speed. The F keys located on top of the keyboard (F1-F12) also act as shortcut keys to launch functions such as a music player, volume controls, web browser etc. The functions are all etched on to each key making it easier to find even in the dark.
Gigabyte also gives an additional software called K85 Tool which can be downloaded from their website. The tool allows you to fine tune settings such as the exact color of the keys, brightness levels and the speed of the breathing effect. You can also use the tool to create a two tone breathing effect which is pretty cool, especially if you have more than one favorite color. Since the color theme of my PC is now green and purple, those are the two colors I’ve set
Cleaning the keyboard is surprisingly easy as each individual key has a removable keycap. Once you remove the keycap, you are given easy access to clean in between the keys. All you need is a soft paintbrush or a medium bristled toothbrush. One good thing I noticed was that both the Enter key and the Space bar are completely removable. Usually even on mechanical keyboards, this would have a spring mechanism that proves a bit tough to reassemble but with the Force K85, you can simply take it out and pop it back in and you’re good to go.
If you’re like me, then the first thing you do before you take all the keys out would be to take a picture of the keys so you don’t mix up the order. If you know your way around a keyboard, then you should be OK but it always helps to have a backup plan.
Nothing is perfect. The same holds true for the Gigabyte Force K85 as well. The predominant problem that this keyboard faces is that the LEDS present in each switch tend to fail. This would either result in the LED not working at all or only working in certain scenarios. The individual RGB LEDs make use of pulse width modulation to regulate the voltage in order to change between the three colors. The problem occurs when one color is off. So for example, on one key or multiple keys, if red and green work, and blue fails, then any key that needs a combination of blue would either not light up or be a different color. This was confirmed to be a batch issue by the reseller and the issue was fixed in later batches.
Another issue that I noticed was that the spring mechanism on some keys has a bit of a weird sound compared to the other keys. This is probably due to the build of the Kailh Blue switch.
We’re not saying that it’s a cheap keyboard, rather, for the price you pay, it’s actually one of the better mechanical keyboards you can get. For around the Rs. 12,000/- price point, the Gigabyte Force K85 offers pretty good value. It has RGB backlighting, Kailh Blue switches and looks pretty good too. If you’r work involves a lot of typing then this would definitely make work a lot more fun. Some may complain that the price is a bit too steep but considering what you’re getting, I for one, feel that it is a good deal. If you’re in the mood for a new keyboard and are looking for something around that price range, give the Gigabyte Force K85 a go. If you don’t like it, there are other brands and models out there as well.
Have you used the Gigabyte Force K8? Love it? Hate it? Leave a comment below.
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Reviewed: The Gigabyte Force K85 Mechanical Keyboard
Mahesh De Andrado
Seedstars, a global organization based in Switzerland promotes, connects and invests up to $1 million USD in emerging market startups through their exclusive startup competition held in over 60 countries.
Seedstars, a global organization based in Switzerland promotes, connects and invests up to $1 million USD in emerging market startups through their exclusive startup competition held in over 60 countries. Last year, we saw Seedstars come to Sri Lanka for the first time. LayUp was selected as the winner of the first Seedstars Colombo, which was held last year. LayUp then went onto represent Sri Lanka as a finalist at Seedstars Global. Eight startups will be competing at SeedStars Colombo 2017.
The winning startup will receive an all-expenses paid trip to both the Seedstars Asia Regional Summit in Bangkok. They’ll also win a trip to Switzerland to compete at the Seedstars Global Summit for equity investments of up to USD 1 million, and to meet with international mentors and investors.
(Thursday) 5:00 pm - 8:30 pm
MAS Innovation Center
#50 Foster Lane, Colombo
Mobile Application Security Beyond Compliance Speaker Christopher Stewart is an IT Infrastructure and Security Practitioner with over 11 years of experience including cyber defense and Governance & Audit areas. Here's your chance to
Mobile Application Security
Christopher Stewart is an IT Infrastructure and Security Practitioner with over 11 years of experience including cyber defense and Governance & Audit areas. Here’s your chance to catch Christopher’s session on Mobile Application Security: Beyond Compliance.
Sign up via Email [email protected] | Call us on 011 4713290
*Priced at Rs. 500 (free for CSSl members)
(Monday) 5:45 pm - 7:45 pm
Prof Stanley Wijesundera Mawatha, Colombo 00700
Startup weekend-Trincomalee Beach Calling entrepreneurs, Growth Hackers, Dreamers, Rain Makers and Startup Catalysts to change the world in 54 hours! Bring your creativity and skills and Join Startup Weekend Trincomalee
Startup weekend-Trincomalee Beach
Calling entrepreneurs, Growth Hackers, Dreamers, Rain Makers and Startup Catalysts to change the world in 54 hours! Bring your creativity and skills and Join Startup Weekend Trincomalee ,Friday 27th to Sunday 29st Octon,2017 at Trinco beach hotel, Trinco
What’s Startup Weekend, Anyway?
Startup Weekend is a global phenomenon – 54 hours of fast and furious prototype development through to exploring potential markets and pitching. It’s an unparalleled opportunity to build lasting relationships with co-founders; mentors, and investors.The real value comes from taking an idea from concept through to execution using Lean tactics and working under high pressure with the best startups.
Google for Entrepreneurs is the global partner for Techstars Startup Weekend Program, including Startup Weekend, Startup Next and Startup Digest. Google is a sponsor of Techstars Accelerator Programs. Techstars collaborates with the Google for Entrepreneurs campuses across the globe to support engagement with entrepreneurs everywhere.
What You Can Do?
In short, Startup Weekend shapes the lives of many people as a starting point as entrepreneurs and startup enthusiasts. Ultimately, it’s an amazing spring board to get started on something (a new business, career at a startup or great relationships).
Come pitch, join a team, iron out your business model, and build away! In just 54 hours teams will come together to create startups from scratch and learn about entrepreneurship in a hands-on and meaningful way. Developers, designers, business experts, and makers will come to build prototypes and launch startups that use hardware or software to interconnect us all and change the world.
WHO GOES TO STARTUP WEEKENDS?
Experienced business people or budding entrepreneurs, Creative designers, Coders, growth hackers who are looking for new ideas and wanting to challenge their skills – Startup Weekends are a fun and exciting way to to upskill and test yourself in the world of startups
WHAT DO YOU DO AT A STARTUP WEEKEND?
Starting from 6.30 PM on Friday registration will be done, Welcome speech, Dinner, Startup pitches ideas chosen and lasting teams formed. By late Friday night you’ll be on your way with goals set and roles assigned.
Saturday is all about validation – contacting potential customers and checking out if there is really a market for your idea – and reacting fast if you need to change. Meanwhile if you’re a developer or a designer you’ll be furiously building the product.
Sunday is about making it work and preparing for the final pitch to a panel of carefully chosen judges. Throughout the process mentors from all backgrounds will be on hand. (link to timetable)
WHAT HAPPENS AFTER
Celebrate! We’ll put in place a follow up event, and there will be other opportunities, including our Co-Starters program.
What is the benefit of attending Startup Weekend ?
Startup Weekends are all about learning through the act of creating. Don’t just listen to theory, build your own strategy and test it as you go. It’s like an MBA in a weekend.
2) Build your network:
This isn’t just a happy-hour. Startup Weekend attracts your community’s best makers and do-ers. By spending a weekend working to build scalable companies that solve real-world problems, you will build long-lasting relationships and possibly walk away with a job or a even an investor.
3) Co-Founder Dating:
We all know it’s not just about the idea – it’s about the team. Startup Weekend is hands down the best way to to find someone you can actually launch a startup with.
4) Learn a new skill:
Step outside of your comfort zone. With a whole weekend dedicated to letting your creative juices flow, Startup Weekends are prefect opportunities to work on a new platform, learn a new programming language, or just try something different.
5) Actually launch a business:
Over 36% of Startup Weekend startups are still going strong after 3 months. Roughly 80% of participants plan on continuing working with their team or startup after the weekend.
6) Get face time with thought leaders:
Local tech and startup leaders participate in Startup Weekends as mentors and judges. Get some one-on-one time with the movers and shakers in your community.
7) Save money & get stuff:
Startup Weekends cost $40 (less for students). Your ticket covers seven meals, snack, access to exclusive resources our global sponsors, and all the coffee you can drink.
8) Join a global community:
Join over 30,000 Startup Weekend alumni, all on a mission to change the world.
Facilities for the Attendees?
Mentors : Whether it’s growth, design, or prototype,you’ll find a mentor who can help
Free WIFI: You will Get Free WIFI Access from our Telecom Partner
Meals : Morning Refreshment Plus Lunch and Dinner
Community Perks and Discounts : Take advantage of perks and discounts offered to all Startup Weekend participants from the Global sponsors.
Much More: Whatever you are building, our sponsors and community have put together some fantastic resources to help you build your idea.
october 27 (Friday) - 29 (Sunday)
Trinco Beach Hotel
326,Dyke Street, Trincomalee