All the keys are easily removed, which makes cleaning simple and could be useful for those people that do like to remove all but the essential keys from their keyboard. Bear in mind, the switch is still exposed so accidental activation is still possible.
So, we come to the most important bit of any keyboard, the key action. Each key uses its own mechanical switch, which in this case are Cherry MX Blacks. The Cherry MX series are widely regarded as among the best keyboard switches available and have a life of 50 million operations. The Black version use a linear, non-clicky action, whereby they’re quite heavily sprung but have no discernible break. Instead the switch activates as the the key only partially depressed – to about half way. This feels a bit odd at first but does make for lightening fast response times and seemingly lead to a noticeable increase in my typing speed – placebo effect though that may be. Certainly going back to various keyboards round the office that use now common, cheap rubber membrane sprung keys and the difference is as clear as day. Those keyboards feel sluggish!
So, to a certain extent this is a case of lesson learned with regards performance keyboards – they certainly work in high typing speed situations. However, we’re still not sure it makes that much of a difference when gaming. While the responsiveness is still noticeable, in our experience those actions that a keyboard performs when gaming aren’t so time critical as those of a mouse. There are a few examples like tricky jump and crouch manoeuvres in FPS games but we didn’t notice a significant improvement in our execution of these when using this keyboard, certainly not enough of one to warrant the huge asking price.
The SteelSeries 7G gaming keyboard is certainly the most responsive and solidly built keyboard we’ve ever used so if you don’t want any gimmicks and feel your current keyboard’s performance is holding you back then it’s certainly worth considering. However, it’s severe lack of features such as programmable macro keys, LCD displays, and shortcut keys combined with its very high asking price means it’s not one we’d recommend for most people.
Score in detail