A4tech X7 G800

I had to laugh when I went to check out the X7 G800 gaming keyboard on A4tech's website - word for word, here is one of their selling points: '5-Star waterproof design - lets you keep your eyes on the game - eat, spill, sweat or cry over your keyboard - no worries!'

NameGaming keyboard: A4tech X7 G800
At a glance:Spillproof design,Adjustable keystroke speed/response time,Rubberised WASD and arrow keys,15 user-definable gamer keys,Poor key layout,Requires a PS/2 connection
Summary:A basic gaming keyboard with some nifty features, but also with some bizarre design flaws.
Rating:2.5/5
RRP:$43
Contact:a4tech.com

I had to laugh when I went to check out the X7 G800 gaming keyboard on A4tech’s website – word for word, here is one of their selling points: “5-Star waterproof design - lets you keep your eyes on the game – eat, spill, sweat or cry over your keyboard – no worries!”

Now, I cry as much as the next guy when I’m gaming, but if any of you seriously sweats so much playing games that your keyboard needs a drip tray, I have serious concerns for your health.

Aside from humourous marketing claims, the X7 G800 actually has some pretty cool features for a budget gaming keyboard. The first thing you are likely to notice upon unboxing the unit are the orange rubberised WASD and directional arrow key clusters.

This effectively gives those keys a non-slip texture, and whilst they feel a bit weird at first, after you become accustomed to them they are quite handy at both stopping your fingers slipping off the keys and finding them in the dark (the board is not backlit).

If you don’t like them then you can replace them with normal keys which A4tech supply in the box as replacements, along with a handy key remover.

Running down the right hand side of the keyboard you have 7 basic media control buttons including volume adjustment. Above the numpad are two buttons with LED indicators which toggle through the speed and key-swap adjustments. The 4 speed settings basically just change how many keystrokes are registered per second when you hold a key down, and also improve the response time.

The key-swap button simply provides you the options of making the WASD keys function as the directional arrows instead, swapping the Control and Caps Lock buttons around, and disabling the Windows key.

The entire keyboard itself is quite light, and it has a generous wrist-rest built in, however I still have a couple of major gripes with the board.

My first and foremost complaint is the location of the “Gamer” keys. These are basically like the F keys except you can manually bind key commands to them, predominantly useful in MMORPG games. I don’t mind a keyboard having these keys, but A4tech have completely butchered the layout of the board by cramming them in inconvenient places.

For example – G10 is where the escape key should be, G11 and G12 are keys that should actually be part of the space bar, and G5 to G9 are underneath the spacebar where I usually like to rest my thumb.

My other problem with this board is that it requires a PS/2 connection (even though it has a USB pass-through connection as well). Why? I have absolutely no idea. A lot of modern motherboards don’t even have a PS/2 connection anymore, so buyer beware.

All up it’s not a bad keyboard for the price. It’s better for gaming than the regular trash that PC manufacturers usually bundle with their systems at least, so it could be a worthwhile upgrade for some users.

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Tags gamingreviewkeyboarda4techa4tech x7 g800

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Paul Urquhart

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