GIGABYTE's FORCE K85 Keyboard Hits Minimalistic Sweet-Spot

👤by Tim Harmer Comments 📅09.03.2016 17:12:52

GIGABYTE XTREME GAMING have just announced via Facebook a new mechanical keyboard design that's part of their ever-growing peripheral range, the FORCE K85. The design is an evolution of the FORCE K83: equipped with mechanical switches within a stripped-down minimalistic chassis, it adds few luxuries in a market that is at times beset with frippery and irrelevant features.

The FORCE K85 is, dare we say it, basic in the exterior. Its 438 x 131 x 40 mm dimensions are simply enough to accommodate a full keyset without additional macro keys, nor indicator LEDs other than the norm. Whilst this may not jive with those who prefer a prototypical 'gamer' design, it will be preferable for anyone with more restrained tastes or under the kosh of a formal office environment.

Perhaps the one significant concession to aesthetics is a unified 16.8 million colour RGB backlight. Customisable through the FORCE Configurator software, you're able to create a range of lighting effects including static, pulsing and cycling modes. Limited control is also possible through the built-on keyboard controls (via a Function Key). It appears that this backlight is one of the chief differences between the K85 and K83 models.

Although the FORCE K85 makes us of a mechanical switch design, GIGABYTE haven't revealed the manufacturer of the switch. Product specs claim a more robust switch than most gaming models, capable of 70m keystrokes rather than the standard of 50m, and 2mm actuation distance with typical 'Red' (45cN) linear motion. The K83 model proudly boasted Cherry MX switches, so it's a little strange to see them omitted from the specification in this instance.

One benefit of the minimalistic design is clearance around the keys and frame to clean an clear out dust, crumbs and hair from between the keys. As anyone who has an elaborate membrane-switch keyboard can attest, cleaning a years worth of particle build-up can be... challenging.

The FORCE K85 also features anti-ghosting tech (tech that we've found to be very robust in prior GIGABYTE keyboard models), a Windows Key Lock to prevent accidental activation of the Windows Key, and large anti-slip rubber feet.

Models shown off thus far have used the US layout, and there's no news yet on either pricing or if UK/EU models are in the pipeline. For more information visit GIGABYTE on Facebook or the FORCE K85 product page.

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