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Written by Steven Iglesias-Hearst   
Wednesday, 08 December 2010
Table of Contents: Page Index
SteelSeries 7G Mechanical Gaming Keyboard
Closer Look: SteelSeries 7G
SteelSeries 7G Detailed Features
Testing and Results
Final Thoughts
Conclusion

SteelSeries 7G Conclusion

In this section I am going to write a brief five point summary on the following categories; Performance, Appearance, Construction, Functionality and Value. These views are my own and help me to give the SteelSeries 7G Mechanical Gaming Keyboard a rating out of 10. A high or low score does not necessarily mean that it is better or worse than a similar gaming keyboard that has been reviewed by another writer here at Benchmark Reviews, which may have got a higher or lower score. It is however a good indicator of whether the keyboard is good or not. I would strongly urge you to read the entire review, if you have not already, so that you can make an educated decision for yourself.

I was sceptical of any performance advantage that might be gained from using a mechanical keyboard before I had used one, it is one of those devices that have been long forgotten like the beige box of their era. Once you have had the pleasure of using one you will not want to go back to your regular keyboard, so I encourage you to give one a try, if you have access to one that is. With regards to gaming though, I cannot really say if I have noticed any benefit offered from the mechanical nature, this will only become obvious months or years down the line if I am still using this keyboard or not. I have got through many regular keyboard that have simply broken due to their cheap nature. Since I only play FPS I won't notice the anti-ghosting or increase actions per minute afforded by the 7G but I really appreciate the tactile and audible feedback.

SteelSeries_7G_Mechanical_Gaming_Keyboard_Angle_View_Right.jpg

The appearance of the SteelSeries 7G is going to get mixed ratings, with the wrist rest removed the 7G is right up my street I really appreciate the minimalistic looks and the color scheme suits my needs down to the ground but with the wrist rest attached that look is somewhat spoilt. This is not a problem though as the wrist rest is purely functional and as such is acceptable.

The SteelSeries 7G weighs just shy of 3lbs, and while I haven't wielded it as a weapon or used it like a dance mat I can safely say that it is one tough cookie that is sure to last for some time to come. The omission of retractable height adjusting feet is a god send, having these break is a nightmare and makes an acceptable keyboard nearly unusable. The ABS plastic and metal inner chassis give the 7G a feeling of real strength and gives me confidence that I won't hurt it with some heavy use.

Functionality is good with the 7G, sure the wrist rest makes it look odd but it really makes a difference when you use it. The media keys are a nice addition and the replacement of the left windows key is like a blessing for an FPS gamer such as myself. The rear headphone / microphone ports proved themselves very useful and really improved my working area by allowing me to place my headphones on the other side of my desk as the wire from my headphones often got in the way of my mouse. The USB ports however are not so useful for me, but a left handed person might really appreciate the location of the ports for plugging their mouse into (like me with my headphones). While I have not noticed the benefit of anti-ghosting I can rest assured that it is there and of course I had to make sure it worked, and it does! You really can hold down all the keys on the keyboard without getting that annoying tone and having all the keys register, but I am not sure why you would want to.

The SteelSeries 7G can be yours for $149.99 (PriceGrabber). While this may seem like a lot of money for a gaming keyboard but you must remember it is a Mechanical keyboard at heart and will likely outlast most if not all of your entire system. The gaming related features of the SteelSeries 7G are anti-ghosting, quick response keys and the omission of the windows key on the left of the space bar. It hasn't made a great deal of difference to my game but it is a damn good keyboard to type on. I find it difficult to recommend an input device that costs just shy of $150 to anyone, especially when that money could get you a GTX 460 768MB or an ATI 5770 1GB, but if you have the money and you want a quality keyboard that will last the duration then I am confident that you would not regret buying the SteelSeries 7G.

Pros:Quality Recognition: Benchmark Reviews Silver Tachometer Award

+ 18k gold plated mechanical switches
+ Tactile and audible feedback
+ Minimal looks is just right
+ Heavyweight build quality
+ Superior anti-ghosting ability
+ Built in USB and Audio ports
+ SteelSeries key replaces windows key FTW

Cons:

- Wrist rest spoils the looks
- Lock LED's are too bright
- USB hub is old USB 1.1 protocol
- Backspace key is too small

Ratings:

  • Performance: 9.00
  • Appearance: 9.00
  • Construction: 9.50
  • Functionality: 9.00
  • Value: 8.00

Final Score: 8.90 out of 10.

Quality Recognition: Benchmark Reviews Silver Tachometer Award.

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Comments 

 
# Seriously ?Ray 2010-12-09 23:44
How can you give a 9.0 to this hideous looking thing. come on now. The value should get 6.5 just because of they have the balls to include USB 1.1.
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# RE: SteelSeries 7G Mechanical Gaming KeyboardSteven Iglesias-Hearst 2010-12-10 00:15
I did say that the looks would get mixed ratings... and the inclusion of USB 1.1 ports over USB 2.0 ports isn't such a big issue as you're not going to use it for anything other than a mouse anyway.
At the end of the day you are allowed to make your own mind up and you can decide for yourself what you think, I can't represent everyone...
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# MechanicalToeringsandthong 2010-12-10 12:13
mechanical keyboard suck ! too 1990ish ! good if you had a ibm 386 dx40 i guess !
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# clackBoo 2010-12-10 21:31
Mechanical keys come in three flavours. The ones nice for typing have key spring resistance which reduces part way through the key travel. You press a key and it yields completing the stroke and giving you tactile feedback. This yielding can be accompanied by a mechanical clack or not. The 7G has constant spring pressure the only clacking comes from the keys hitting something hard at the end of their travel rather than a rubber dome, it is more of a rattle and depends on how hard you hit the keys.

I type this on a 7G. It is a very robust quality bit of kit (which it should be for the price). The wrist rest is excellent even if you might not think so looking at it.
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# Great, but...Jerry Nielsen 2010-12-12 05:19
Never seems to amaze me how stupid American consumers are. That's probably lack of education and years of media brainwashing. They like shiny unpractical and useless junk like for ex new glossy LG or Samsung plasma screens and have not yet grown up to professional quality. Most can not afford anything but Chinese or Korean crap - that's regarding comments above.

Regaring keybord itself it's almost perfect but... I've been using it for over a year and few of the keys like lower left Ctrl and neighbouring buttons started loosing the print - it's not dissapeared just fased badly - it's a shame for such a great product and soo good looking to start diminishing after such a short time... My G6 keyboard never had issues like that, however left Ctrl key stopped working after 1 year. They sent me G7 free of charge then... Great service, I've had a whole set of extra keys with my G6 - maybe will try switching them soon but not sure if would fit.

The wrist rest is bad in my opinion but I never needed to use it used any other...
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# RE: Great, but...Olin Coles 2010-12-12 10:23
Jerry: considering you are from Illinois, I'm not sure how much validity your insults carry. I'm not even sure why you would choose to begin a public post with a personal attack anyway. Furthermore, the author is from the UK.
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# RE: RE: Great, but...Jerry Nielsen 2010-12-13 04:44
Gotcha, what does not change my opinion. UK and US are unfortunately much alike (for both of them) and so is their new mass pop culture.

p.s. and I meant recent LCD's not plasma really but also people who say things like "plasma has 600Hz refresh rate" etc. Nobody fights ignorance anymore - just tries to capitalize on it...
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# RE: RE: RE: Great, but...Steven Iglesias-Hearst 2010-12-13 05:07
so is your comment about the article or is it about consumers. I fail to see what LCD/plasma has to do with this keyboard... what point are you trying to get across here?
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# RE: RE: RE: RE: Great, but...Jerry Nielsen 2010-12-13 11:18
these comments are about comments above, as stated, regarding "looks" of it and people who value looks above functionality, quality etc... if they could afford the good stuff they would know what really looks good as they would be able to differentiate good products from bad ones just by looking at then and drawing the opposite conclusions. I've had my neighbour say "hideous looking" about my $2500 Eizo LCD monitor... I gave a great gaming keyboard to my nephew and his friend commented that it looks so ancient - well... so he's still using flat keys samsung $5.99 keyboard which is looking hideaous in my opinion and is totally unusable. Now if all the keyboards in your local store cost 5-15 dollars then it shapes your taste accordingly. If you've only used solid keyboards in $80-150 range you would not be even looking at the earlier after typing 1 word and they would look hideous instead...
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# RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: Great, but...Steven Iglesias-Hearst 2010-12-13 11:28
I feel you. To understand why people are the way they are you have to turn to psychology, In the absence of product knowledge we revert to what 'looks good' this is perfectly demonstrated by many apple products.
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# RE: SteelSeries 7G Mechanical Gaming KeyboardJerry Nielsen 2010-12-13 20:31
won't even start on this one... :) they actually look good though...
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# RE: SteelSeries 7G Mechanical Gaming KeyboardAnton 2011-08-18 17:10
I bought one and it started falling apart almost instantly.

It's a lot of money for a pile of broken keys.
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# RE: RE: SteelSeries 7G Mechanical Gaming KeyboardSteven Iglesias-Hearst 2011-08-23 13:11
Sorry to hear you had a bad experience, are the keys broken or have the key caps come free of the mechanical switch? By design the key caps are removable.
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