Alienware needs no introduction: a keyboards, mice, and monitors do a commendable job of vital adult to a gaming PC line’s picture and quality. Even those peaceful though unrelenting angles in a product design, mostly accented with a triangular settlement so suggestive of a motion capacitor, visually advise blazing speed and total potential. Of course, possibly Alienware systems given with an Alienware Graphics Amplifier need 1.21 gigawatts is a opposite discussion.
Today, we’re going to plead Alienware’s flagship keyboard, a AW768, noted down on Dell’s site during this essay in Jan 2018 from $119.99 to $109.99. That’s not a bad cost for a automatic keyboard given with brownish-red switches and arguably a many exuberant RGB LED backlighting we’ve ever seen in a peripheral. Dell throws in a lot of perks, and we already know from a 4-out-of-5-star rating that this is a clever contender. But is it a right keyboard for your gaming rig? Let’s find out.
Alienware’s keyboard has a slick, considerable look, with a semi-shimmering, silvered matte finish, angular design, and an under light that runs around a front-facing edge…
The underneath light’s colors examination a pivotal backlight, that enhances a cold industrial/space-age vibe this keyboard gives off. The AW768 uses a customary QWERTY layout, though includes a few frills…
Unlike Razer’s BlackWidow Chroma keyboard, Alienware took an apparent and essential proceed by artwork a typographical black underneath a categorical series keys so both black would be clear on any pivotal in low ambient light conditions…
We can’t see a asterisk on a series 8 pivotal of a Razer keyboard in a dimly illuminated room. Without this etching, saying what we wish to form in a dim can be formidable unless you’re a really used typist. Alienware’s etched black safeguard that use in low-light settings isn’t frustrating.
The AW768 has a non-detachable braided wire equivalent to a right. We’d like to cruise that this equivalent serves to accommodate laptop users who wish to block in for a higher typing knowledge compared to their tear-jerking rubber domes. For example, we tucked a 13-inch HP Spectre opposite a AW768’s distant edge, right adult opposite a keyboard’s USB cable, though a ensuing position left a laptop shade pushed an in. or dual off-center from where we would have preferred. Yes, this sounds hopelessly pedantic, though cruise that a equivalent will be even incomparable with wider gaming laptops. Anyway, we wish Alienware would have shoved a tie over even more.
Alienware provides 15 programmable macro keys, including a 5 dedicated keys conveniently located nearby a keyboard’s left edge, all editable in Alienware Control Center. Note that a dedicated macro keys on left side of a keyboard are always set to one tone that correlates to whichever macro form is now active. That’s slick.
On a keyboard’s distant right side, a conveniently wide, textured rubber volume drum sits above a series keys, accompanied by a tongue-tied key…
You can examination this drum with touch-sensitive volume pads, on that we slip your finger adult and down a bar to change volume. Both of these options are improved than push-button approaches, in a opinion, though we cite a drum many of all. It grips good and provides some-more accurate control.
Just to a right of a roller, you’ll find a Alienware trademark (in a form of that balloon-shaped visitor head). Pressing a visitor symbol deactivates and reactivates a backlighting and can bucket a tradition lighting effect. Again, this is permitted around a Alienware Control Center.
The AW768 competence not be your initial choice if we like gaming on a go. At 19.6 by 6.8 by 1.4 inches and 3.2 pounds, it’s a bit of a savage for a briefcase or backpack. Alternatively, we’re not large fans of a pointed wrist-rest design. The slope’s position sits good underneath a heels of your palms, though a angle also means we hook your wrists more, that competence emanate aria with enlarged use. Alienware offers an discretionary resolution with a $21.99 AW168 palm rest, that attaches magnetically to a keyboard. Unfortunately, we didn’t have a AW168 for testing.
Turn over a keyboard and you’ll find 3 rubber feet, dual sets of flippable feet (with a available feet-within-feet design), and a improved perspective of a a underneath lighting…
All told, we found a build peculiarity of a AW768 to be excellent. There’s a bit of flex when we turn it, though not many deliberation a unit’s dimensions. It’s sturdy, attractive, and capable…usually.
Performance and Features
The Alienware Pro Gaming Keyboard hides Kailh brownish-red switches underneath a keys…
While a difference “pro gaming” advise that a keyboard competence use red switches, Kailh browns are still pleasing to form on and effective in gaming. As a reminder, blue switches are what we typically cruise of when automatic switches are mentioned. They’re a loud, clicky switches with a tip actuation force. Red switches typically span good with first-person shooter games since they’re wordless and have a lowest actuation force. Browns strike a change between a two. They’re pleasing and have a strike rather than a click, creation a switch significantly quieter than blues. Blues are ordinarily marketed for typing, and reds are marketed for gaming, so a keyboard with brownish-red switches can perform superbly during possibly task.
While a macro keys are useful, they can be a bit irritating during first, generally during diversion play. One reason is that a pivotal for switching between macro profiles sits during a tip left dilemma of a keyboard, where we would strech to find a Escape key. So, if you’re attempting to exit a game, and press a macro switch pivotal instead, you’ll still be in that game. So, you’ll need to indeed exit a match. Then, you’ll have to corkscrew back to a scold macro form before starting a subsequent game. It’s not a vital problem, though it’s still inconvenient.
Gaming program can make or mangle a gaming keyboard. Now, many settlement program requires that we hunt a manufacturer’s site and try to collect out a scold program from a disaster of program for other keyboards. Alienware blissfully spares us from this; Alienware Control Center starts installing on plugging in a keyboard.
The settlement program is accurately what we would expect. You can change backlight settings, configure macros, and toggle gaming mode. While all gaming mode typically does is invalidate a Windows key, we can change a gaming mode settings to close a accumulation of other keys, including Tab, Alt, and Shift (left). Locking Shift seems like a rather unreal choice, as many games use this pivotal for sprinting or abilities.
Backlight settings are where things start to get interesting. While we can name one plain color, or corkscrew by several pre-set patterns, we have dual options for environment your possess pattern. You can name to light specific pivotal groups, such as WASD, a dedicated macro keys, a Fn keys, and a numpad. Alternatively, we can use Alienware’s zone-based lighting. Zone lighting splits adult a keys (with a difference of a macro keys) into 5 zones, and we can name a tone for each.
Alienware calls a zone-based lighting “AlienFX,” that has a underline that will cgange a backlighting while personification certain games, in a identical demeanour to Razer Chroma. While scrolling by a list of concordant games, we motionless WildStar would yield a good test-run for AlienFX. However, during a prolonged trek by a educational quests, a keyboard never altered from a default pattern. At this point, after consulting with a folks during Alienware, we schooled that a in-game lighting is usually serviceable on concordant Alienware systems—a fact we ovelooked on a AW768 product page. Unfortunately, we didn’t have a compatible Alienware PC or laptop on palm for contrast during a time of essay this review, so we’ll have to wait for this underline to strech other systems someday in a future.
All things considered, a Alienware Pro Gaming Keyboard AW768 is a respectably plain peripheral. While some competence be deterred by a $100-plus cost tag, Alienware’s switches, volume roller, build quality, and backlight customization are glorious and make it value a price. We usually wish Alienware’s in-game lighting effects were, as well. We also would have favourite a lighting effects to be as zodiacally implemented as Razer’s Chroma. Additionally, a plcae of a macro keys can mostly means we to skip a Escape pivotal during first, though that’s usually a slight inconvenience. Ultimately, a AW768 delivers good value and a fun experience.
Alienware Pro Gaming Keyboard (AW768)
Alienware’s flagship keyboard not usually sports an considerable settlement and RGB LED lighting system, though also provides a reward knowledge for both typing and gaming.
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