For those of you that sometimes get frustrated that your keyboard becomes dislodged and slides around your desk while in the middle of an intense fire fight, you’ll be glad to hear you should have no such problems with the 7G. This is largely due to four large soft rubber strips that keep a good grip on any dry flat surface the keyboard is resting on but also it helps that the ridiculous over-engineering of the keyboard has led to it weighing an absolute tonne. Okay, so maybe not a tonne but at 1.5Kg, it’s surely the heaviest keyboard on the market.
While the 7G isn’t exactly stacked when it comes to extra features, it does have six multimedia keys that are secondary functions of the F1 – F6 keys. These are activated via the SteelSeries logo key that replaces the left hand Windows key, the removal of which we’re not happy about. While we appreciate that some gamers find it frustrating when you accidentally press the Windows key while gaming and get dumped back onto the desktop, if like us you regularly use Windows key shortucts – in particular using Windows R to open programs and Win D to show the desktop – then its omission is going to prove very frustrating.
Meanwhile, above the numpad are the usual trio of Num, Caps, and Scroll lock indicator lights but for some reason SteelSeries has felt the need to use the brightest white LEDs known to man. While typing off to the side, they’re not too distracting, though entirely excessive, but if you happen to view them straight on you’ll be non-too-far from burning your retinas out and at the very least you’ll have a nice after glow in your vision for a few minutes. We suppose there is some merit in making it really obvious when you’ve activated these buttons – certainly it’s useful that when typing reviews it is really easy to spot when I’ve accidentally hit Caps Lock – but it still seems a little over the top.
On a more positive note, we do like the inclusion of headphone and microphone pass-through ports on the back particularly as the quality from them both is very good with not a hint of noise added to the signal on route; whether that’s helped by all the connections being gold plated is a matter for debate. You also get two USB 2.0 ports, which use their own dedicated cable. This is because, by default, the 7G uses a PS/2 connector for the main keyboard connection though a PS/2 to USB converter is included in the box. Incidentally, SteelSeries makes a big deal of this keyboard’s ability to have every key pressed at the same time when connected via PS/2 and have it register instantly (most other gaming keyboards can only handle seven simultaneous keys before delays are introduced). However, we really can’t think of any situations where this is advantageous but it’s there if you want it. When connected by USB, 10 keys can be pressed simultaneously. All the connections are bundled together in one thick (6mm) braided cable that is a considerable two metres long.