SteelSeries 7G

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Keyboard Specifications:
Dimensions in cm (Width x Depth x Height): 44.9 x 13.5 x 3.9 — No flip out feet
Weight (kg): 1.34

The SteelSeries 7G was the top of the line keyboard from SteelSeries in the late 2000s and early 2010s which is still highly regarded in the community to be one of the best ‘no nonesense’ gaming keyboards. Yes, it doesn’t scream I’m a gaming keybord. It’s simple, and sometimes, that’s all you really need.


Here’s the video review if you prefer watching content:

Build Quality: 7/10

It’s very understated. With a quick glance, you wouldn’t think it was a ‘gaming keyboard’, which you may or may not like, but I personally love it! It’s makes for a good sleeper keyboard. It also features, a durable plastic casing with matt black finish on all sides. No shiny glossy plastic to seen here, yay.

In my usual ‘bend test’ you can hear more creaking on this board compared to the 2010 and 2014 BlackWidow, surprisingly, but it’s still built tough (as Ford used to say). I wouldn’t expect the board to break upon multiple drops.

Now, onto the cons. The keycaps are pad printed and whilst they are thick, they still wear off over time. My W, A, S, D, L shift and L CTRL keys have worn off significantly. Not to mention that almost all the caps have shine on them too and it doesn’t look very uniform anymore. They will look even worse in the future.

Features: 6/10

Just like the 2014 BlackWidow, it features a thick braided cable, media controls on the F keys as secondary functions, a mic in and a headphone out port. But, unlike the 2014 BlackWidow, the 7G has two USB ports instead one just one and it comes with a removeable wrist rest. The 7G also has Cherry MX Black switches and features a BIG ASS Enter key, but with a one-unit backspace.

Apart from that, the 7G falls behind in terms of additional functionality compared to both the 2010 and the 2014 BlackWidow. It also is still using a PS/2 connection instead of USB, despite it having a USB connector to power the additional ports on the keyboard. It’s a very basic board with no frills. It has no macro functionality, no gaming lock, no RGB, no ugly legends to look at and more importantly no crappy software to install. It doesn’t even have flip out feet for some reason.

The lock lights are also bright as f*ck. Turn them off when working in a dark room to avoid blinding yourself.


Cherry MX Black switches on arrow keys.
Cherry MX Black switches.

Daily Performance: 8/10

Cherry MX Black switches aren’t for everyone. In fact, a lot of enthusiasts dislike the switch for its stiff weighting. However, I really like them. I would rather have the MX Black than the MX Red.
You have to get used to the 1-unit backspace though and you’ll get quite annoyed when you accidentally press “\”, believe me. I pressed it while writing this sentence.

Reliability: 8/10

As the board is very simple which means less things are bound to break or malfunction over time. You don’t have to worry about RGB lighting showing the wrong color or having a potentially outdated ‘gaming’ software running in the background.
Plus, SteelSeries is known to make reliable keyboards. As an example, everything still works on this keyboard, nice!

Value: 8/10

I paid a total of £3.20 for the keyboard, but they usually hover around the £15-20 in the used market. It’s enough of a price difference to recommend this over a Chinese clone board as its not likely this keyboard will break.

So, unless you really need RGB or a more modern layout, I highly recommend you go with this one.

Final Score = 37/50 (74%)

 

Places to purchase this keyboard:

eBay

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