Peripheral Vision: SteelSeries 6GV2
Today we’re checking out the SteelSeries 6GV2 mechanical keyboard. The marketing boasts cherry black switches that are gold-plated, tactile feedback, extreme anti-ghosting, removed left windows key, and standard media functions. They even claim this keyboard is built like a tank; meaning if you sometimes get carried away while gaming you’ve got no fears of breaking it.
The 6GV2 instantly gave me satisfaction when I saw that the caps, num and scroll lock indicators are in the normal place (top right-hand side). In my previous keyboard reviews, I’ve always given criticism for having the indicators on the keys themselves, but the 6GV2 has pleasantly surprised me.
The 6GV2 doesn’t have any backlit keys or fancy design aesthetics, instead opting for a more minimalistic design by simply having your country’s standard key layout minus the left windows key, which instead acts as the key-modifier for use with the media keys.
However, one strange design choice was to not have little flip-up feet for raising and lowering the height/angle of the keyboard. SteelSeries opted to have a permanently raised keyboard. While I’ve not seen any hard statistics, I can safely say that I have no family or friends that I know of who have decided to use their keyboard without the feet. And using a broken keyboard at a university/college does not count.
Overall, the 6GV2 does exactly what a mechanical keyboard should do, Work! However, the strange permanently raised keyboard part is quite bulky and may put a few people off.
One feature that might be overlooked is the extreme anti-ghosting. Have you ever played a hotkey-intensive game such as World of Warcraft and had quite a few key bindings with + modifiers for spells/abilities (for example Shift+R = spell999)? Just on its own, the spell would work fine, but if you are also using WASD, jumping around or quickly pressing other keys, you will either hear a standard BEEP or the key you pressed won’t do anything. You won't have to worry about that with the 6GV2.
See, a lot of mechanical keyboards support up to 6 simultaneous key presses at once, and SteelSeries have gone one step further by (and it sounds silly) allowing you to press every single key on the keyboard at once. It's a safety net that allows you to bind anything to everything.
As mentioned earlier, what would be the Windows key on any other PC keyboard is instead used to operate the media buttons located on the F1-F8 keys, which are pretty standard: music control, volume and Home/Email shortcuts. Additionally, you won't need any software because this keyboard is plug & play. While some keyboards have their keys printed on the front (Filco) or even etched with a laser, Steelseries have opted for the slightly cheaper version by simply printing each letter/number on the key, meaning over time you will see them fade and ultimately disappear. That's probably not a deal-breaking problem, but it's definitely worth mentioning.
One very important aspect I’ve saved until last is the price. Mechanical keyboards can set you back for around $100-200 dollars quite easily, but Steelseries are selling this keyboard at a very good entry-level price of just $89.17 (Amazon).
At the end of the day, the SteelSeries 6Gv2 is a simple yet efficient mechanical keyboard that feels just like it should. Take one look at it and prepare to say goodbye to horrible rubber-dome keyboards, because you won’t ever want to go back!