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Gk61 Optical Keyboard’s Functions, Build Quality & Cost
If one thinks the GK61 optical, mechanical Keyboard is for one. Would you please use the link by clicking on any of the pink Gk61? It will take one to Amazon, where we may get a small kickback on the purchase. The support is what keeps TLR Technology up and going. So I want to thank all of one for that.
It is not too frequently that I come across an item that makes me think. It is a mad good value. GK61’s Optical Mechanical keyboard is one such item. I will admit that I have had a limited time with the Keyboard so far.
But nothing gives me pause on the long-term durability. That would stop me from recommending the Keyboard. For this reason, I have chosen this Keyboard to be the basis of the Budget Custom Keyboard’s build.
Let us get into it. Inside the box, one will get the GK61 Keyboard, an essential cap removal tool, a key switch removal tool, an edged USB-C to USB-A cable, And a Mode Cheat Sheet.
The edged USB cable provides fantastic. The critical puller is functional, but I have it better.
The Keyboard is a 60% layout. It means one doesn’t get the Number Pad or Arrow Keys. Although one can access the arrow keys by using the function key. If that is something that one cannot live. Then this Keyboard probably is not for one.
If one needs or wants more space on the desk or a keyboard that is more portable. Then this Keyboard is for one. Whether one is used to typing on a full-size keyboard. There may be a slight Learning Curve.
I was typing 5 to 7 words for more per minute with the GK61. After about an hour of use, then the Corsair K70 MK.2 The Rapid fire that we review here. That is likely due to the Gateron Brown switches in the GK61. Versus the low-profile Cherry Speed switches finds in K70’s Rapid fire.
On the subject of switches, GK61 comes with Gateron Blue, Red, or Brown optical switches are devices. One can find a GK61 that uses the traditional non-optical buttons. These are easier to come by and provide a wider variety of controls to choose from if one is swapping them.
The Gateron Brown’s Optical Switch was quickly removed and replaces.
The version that I am reviewing here. The one uses in our Budget Mechanical Keyboard build is the optical version that costs notably low.
There are many reasons to chooses the optical version of the GK61 over the standard switch version. The first can purchase the cost, the version with the optical switch here for around $50 in the United States for $50. One gets the choice of Gateron Blue, Brown, or Red buttons. GK61 uses the traditional electrical switch costs the price of $50. It is coming with no switches.
Reason number 2 is buying the optical version and durability. Optical switches are rates for twice the amount of clicks when compares to their electrical brothers. The reason optical switches are more Durable.
It increases the electrical components. These need to activate a Keystroke, and Optical switches only need to contain a Metal Spring in the linear version. It may include a Spring. Click the mechanism in the tangible browns—the Tangible and Clicky Blues.
Reason number three for the optical GK61 is Switches. Because optical switches have less material and move parts, it has cost notably less. Traditional Cherry MX electrical switches typically cost $10 for ten buttons or about a dollar each. Gateron traditional switches usually cost the same. If one is building a 60% keyboard using standard controls.
One will end up paying the price of $70 for the buttons of choice. A complete set of Gateron optical switches will cost around the price of $20. It is 50 dollars less than a comparable less durable traditional electrical switch. Suppose one chooses to order the optical switches from China.
Choose the standard shipping method, and one could get two sets of different buttons. It covers the shipping and still has enough to buy food from the favorite fast-food spot. Remember, the non-optical version of the GK61 costs is $50. It will require one to spend another $70 on switches.
So that is $120, and one still has to buy the keycaps. With the traditional version, one needs keycaps too. The optical performance uses a higher quality ABS double injects keycap. It should last a long time for most people. However, the font uses may not appeal to everyone.
The font chosen won’t appeal to everyone. It reminds me of Logitech’s font, and I like it.
Now I don’t want to come across knocking the iGk61, which uses the traditional electrical switches. It is the same Keyboard, same Software. One has more choices when choosing the button. One wants to use it, so there is a place for it.
Before we move on, let us talk about the switch options. It exists for the optical GK61, as I stated before. One can purchase the GK61 with the choice of three switches Red, Blue, and Brown.
The Red switches comparing to Cherry Mx reds, and these are Linear switches. It means they have a smooth linear stroke when presses. Like the Cherry Reds, they have a journey of 4.0MM. Motivate at 2.0MM, so the same as Cherry Reds.
Moreover, most people argue the Gateron optical Reds are the smoothest Red switch. One can buy as there is no force from the metal contacts. It needs to operate the Traditional Key Switch.
Blues were the same as Cherry MX Blues, which means they are clicky and tangible. When presses, one will feel a slight tactile bump. They are getting an audible click from the switch if one is new to crucial buttons. These are the super clicky switches that one has probably seen on youtube.
The Gateron optical Blues has a travel of 4.0MM. The same as the Reds but require ten more grams of force to actuate. The blue switch does take longer to actuate at a distance of 2.3MM vs. the 2.0MM of the Red. I doubt they describe 0.3MM of extra space the Blues. Need to press before most people notice the activation. So don’t let that scare one away if one wants that Sweet Clicky Sound.
The Browns are the switch that I chose—becoming a popular choice for many people because one gets the best features of the Reds and the Blues. The Browns give you the tangible feel of the Blues. So one get that small bump when the switch press. But one doesn’t get the loud click. It makes the Browns a much better choice.
If one shares a room or office with someone else as clicks from the Blues, they will get annoying to others. Another circumstance where the Browns shine is for the streamers. One wants the tactile feel when the switch is activated but doesn’t want the viewers to hear the word Click, Click, Click, Click all the stream.
Brown key switches are the same 4.0MM of total travel. It requires the same 55 grams of force to press as the Blues. But to actuate at the same 2.0MM of the Reds. One can see how the Browns are bold disobedience—a mix of the Blue and Red switches.
So you are almost asking yourself. What if I don’t want any of these. I know Cherry makes the White, Yellow, Clear, Green, Black, and Silver switches. Well. My friend one is in luck. One will get the optical equal to almost every version of Cherry switch.
Moreover, this leads me to one of the very few desirable to the optical version of the GK61. I have only found a few uses to buy replacement optical switches in my research, and those places are in China. I did tell one the switch selection was the advantage of the non-optical version.
One is shipping from China aside, as I said before. One can order two sets of switches from China with faster shipping. It will cost the same as buying one pack of the traditional buttons locally if one goes for the standard shipping. It would cost about $10 less depending on where in the world one lives.
Now back to the switches, one can get the Gateron optical switches in many more flavors. I would advise clicking the link at the end of the following paragraph to read more for yourself. I will highlight a few that I would like to try. Use in our budget custom keyboard build.
The Gateron optical Silver is compared to Cherry’s silver or speed switch. These have less overall travel at 3.2MM versus the 4.0MM of the Reds, Blues, and Browns. They also motivate much faster at 1.0MM. Half of the 2.0MM distance of the Browns and Red and1.3mm faster than the Blues.
Types of games on the silver switch will be a notifying difference when one needs that spell or fine to go off more quickly than the opponent. Silver is the key for one. Types on the Silvers is a different story. One needs to be accurate due to the very violent nature of the Silvers.
Let us talk about the Functions.
Variant form of the functions, the Gk61 packs most of the features that one would expect. It has RGB lighting. That is always cool to have the choice of IMO. GK61 will come up with a ton of built-in lighting effects out of the Box. These are preloading onto the keyboard’s hardware, which means one can remove it.
Take it with one or not installing the software at all. It is likely still finding an RGB lighting effect that one likes. A keypress combination allows one to change the full RGB pattern and change the lighting effect’s speed.
Set the keypress to take part in an exchange to an RGB section. That comes alive when any key is presses. Even one allows the microphone under the space bar to change the RGB to the beat of any music plays.
Suppose one doesn’t find a preset light show that tickles the fancy. One will download the GK61 software; the second negative of the GK series of keyboards, the software is in English and Chinese. It can take a few minutes to understand.
Moreover, once one does, one can set up any number of profiles with per-key lighting and macros, like $160 Corsair. The keyboard provides enough onboard memory to store three shapes that one can access without the need for the software. That is a piece of great news if one is a person on the go.
At the same time, it is scrolling through the software. I did find preset lightning color schemes for the League of Legends, DOTA, CS: Go, and few other games. I upload the LOL scheme. Changes the colors to a color code that I have using for years.
It only takes me about a literal minute once I figure out the software. Corsair’s I-CUE and Logitech’s new software were the best I have used to modify the peripherals device. The software for the GK61 is by distance is terrible.
That is not because the software is not robust. It is allowing just as many features and functions as the ideas of mega keyboard brands. It feels like a written Software Engineer on the back behind the building that does not know how to communicate with people.
The Build’s Quality
Again it is another area where the GK61 shines. Not because it’s the best, but because of the price, the quality punches well above its weight. First, you get Gateron optical switches, and these are on par or better than the OEM Cherry switch. So they did not extend on the area of the button.
The keycaps are ABS, not the preferable PBT material. That is more premium and is the preferred material for the keyboard group. Moreover, that does not mean the keycaps are bad.
It is quite the opposite, and the ABS caps are double-shot. It means the white of the letters and symbol is its layer of plastic. So the legend notes will never wear off. Double position keycaps are not the rule, even at the price of $100 plus keyboards.
Below the Keycaps and Mechanical Switches. One will find a painted metal base plate. The base plate serves a few functions. The first function to mount the buttons and hold them firmly in place, which it does.
The second strengthens the entire keyboard structure. It means there is little to no bent when twisted. Again something that cannot say for keyboards that cost twice as much. The last function is the white paint coating that reflects the RGB lighting—leading to a brighter and Fuller Glow.
Under the metal baseplate, one will find the PCB circuit board that contains all the RGB led. Various electronics allow the GK61 to function. Here is not too much to say, and each switch has an RGB led that is surface mounts. It will enable the buttons to be a substitute on the fly as the RGB led stays put.
Another item that one will spy on the PCB is the IR. Transmitter and receiver, and digital eye that sees the IR light from the transmitter. No one knows where the title of the optical switch and keyboard. Once something breaks the IR structural elements, the keyboard registers a Keystroke.
The last layer is the case. It surrounds the keys and provides a place for the baseplate and PCB to mount. Another item can be modified and replaced with other Color Plastics and Painted replaces with Wooden or Anodized aluminum units.
Some 60% of cases are said to not work with the GK61 PCB for some reason. These will work with minor mods, or one may not replace all the screws that one removes. It is possible to find a Plastic, Wooden, and Aluminum case. It will fit the GK61 without modification if one looks long enough.
The last item value mention is the cable, and the GK61 uses USB -C at the keyboard. Thank you. The keyboard is with the times and does not supply the mini USB connection. Again is found with keyboards that will cost much more.
What is more, the GK61 comes with a braids USB-C to USB-A cable. That is something one would expect from a high-end keyboard. Remember, this thing is only the price of $50.
I have list many reasons why one should choose the GK61 as the next keyboard for the custom project. The positive benefits distance out the weight. What are two sorts of Negatives, ordering the optical switches from China and the half-bakes, but frequently updates this is a good thing for capable software?
Here is the thing though, I would recommend this keyboard, the GK61, even in the stock form. It is just a fantastic overall keyboard at what is straight from the manufacturer’s pricing. Someone does not get a fancy box.
One does not get a big instruction book. It’s a super easy-to-use software, and I am lovely with that. What one does get is simply one of the best 60% keyboards on the market.
The Box is rather Plain, but it is a cost-saving measure.
Some of the hardcore keyboard enthusiasts’ hearts skip a beat. Some of them know I am speaking the truth. I still plan to buy the new Ducky One 2 Mini SF year of the pig edition because I like its looks and the thought and qualities. I also look forward to gets an Anna pro 2 for the wireless function and, mainly, type on my iPad Pro.
In the end, all the keyboards I am just listing have Pros and Cons; I see them as equal. The Ducky one-two mini is not hot-swappable. It has more Chassis Flex. The Anna pro 2 Bluetooth will have issues, and it is not hot-swappable.
Software is not excellent both, and the GK61 has more challenging to get switches as of the review. The software takes at the same time to figure out. The difference here is the GK61 costs half the price.
If I spend wisely, I will replace the keycaps. Get a second set of critical switches. Likely a custom braids USB-C cable for the cost of the Anna Pro 2 or the Ducky one-two mini.
The result is if I took all three keyboards with the same type of switches and keycaps. Let the people try them, and I would get a bunch of different answers. On which I felt best, or a bunch of them all feel the same. And for that reason, I cannot recommend the GK61 enough.
If one told me I had to choose one keyboard. Out of the three in the room with me right now. The Logitech g810 RGB, Corsair K70 MK.2 low profile Rapid Fire. And the GK61. I’m honestly choosing the GK61. That is nuts when one considers the other two keyboards cost three times as more.
So, it is essential information on the topic of Gk61 Optical Keyboard.
If Queries or Questions is persisting then, please comment on the viewpoints.