GameSir GK300 Review: Cheap and Luxury Wireless Mechanical Gaming Keyboard!
Mechanical gaming keyboards are now increasingly popular, despite having a noisy sound but this type of keyboard is very popular because of the level of accuracy it has. Speaking of a mechanical gaming keyboard, GameSir also creates an invasion that is no less great. Yup, named GameSir GK300, a mechanical gaming keyboard designed for gamers who want to appear calm and not complicated. For your information, GameSir Founded in 2010, Guangzhou Chicken Run Network Technology Co., Ltd. is one of the world’s leading providers of high-performance gaming peripherals, providing an excellent gaming experience for every gamer. With the development of the company, GameSir was created in 2013 and has become a recognized brand in the global gaming and esports communities. It has four offices worldwide, located in Guangzhou, China (headquarter), Shenzhen and Hong Kong, China (R&D Departments), and Los Angeles, USA (Global Marketing Center).
The GK300 is a wireless keyboard that is designed for gaming. It’s a full-sized keyboard with 104 mechanical keys and has a built-in, rechargeable, lithium battery. The GameSir GK300 is a wireless mechanical gaming keyboard which promises to deliver a comfortable typing experience and a low latency, comparable to its wired counterparts (as low as 1ms), but, are we really at the point where we can give up our reliable wired mechanical keyboard in favor of a fully wireless solution? The truth is that it’s difficult to persuade gamers that wireless and gaming can be used in the same sentence and it’s understandable considering that only recently the wireless gaming mouse has been accepted as a reliable alternative to the wired mice, while the mechanical keyboard’s migration towards wireless was deemed unnecessary due to several factors.
In purchasing GameSir GK300 you will find several items; including a wireless keyboard, warranty card, type-B micro USB cable, caps puller, a thank you card from GameSir, and palm rest. Incidentally, the product that I get is white, so the impression of luxury and cool is felt when you first see.
The following are the box content that comes in transit.
- Gamesir GK300 Mechanical Keyboard
- A Wrist Rest
- USB Cable
- User Manual
GameSir GK300 is a full-sized wireless keyboard with 104 built-in mechanical keys. The keyboard has a metallic sleek design with aluminum alloy cover and plastic keys. The anodized aluminum panel makes this keyboard a little heavy but also makes it more durable and easy to maintain. The Keyboard is exclusively designed for die-hard PC gamers, who spend the maximum amount of their time playing games on their PC. Consequently, the keyboard is steeply designed at 7.5 degrees angle and comes along with a Wrist Rest(detachable) to provide a comfortable gaming experience.
Other than 104 mechanical keys you can find a slider switch on the top right side of the keyboard, which can be used to turn ON and OFF the keyboard and to choose your wireless preference. The backside of the keyboard is mostly empty with 6 rubber feet that will help your keyboard to stay glued to the desk. You can also find the USB dongle compartment at the bottom right side of the keyboard. The layout of the keyboard consists of 104 mechanical keys made entirely out of ABS (plastic); the caps are transparent, but painted white, leaving the symbol shape clear to let the LED shine through (the paint will wear out over the years after prolonged use, so the PBT may have been the preferred material). Furthermore, the GK300 uses the DCS standard keycaps which are a bit thinner and taller than the Cherry profile.
After removing a keycap, you will notice that the keyboard relies on the proprietary TTC Red switches which seem to be a clone of the iconic Cherry MX Red switches, being advertised as having the same actuation force (45g ± 15gf) and the same distance to the actuation point (2.0 ± 0.6mm from the starting point and 4.0 ± 0.4mm of total travel distance). When typing on the keyboard, there was a bit more resistance than on the original Cherry MX Red and I know that the gaming community isn’t fond of imitations, but, for the most part, the GK300 did really well and the switches are almost indistinguishable from their more expensive counterparts and a lot cheaper (the switches claim a durability of up to 50 million keystrokes).
In terms of noise, the keyboard is loud – less loud than one of my old membrane keyboards, but loud nonetheless, especially if you are a heavy typer (although that clicky sound is definitely satisfying). Underneath the keys, GameSir has positioned small LEDs which can light up depending on the selected pattern (press FN + left or right arrow to change the pattern): it can be all LEDs enabled, all LEDs flashing, one or some LEDs enabled or a wave-like pattern which reacts differently depending on the pressed key. You can also choose between five levels of brightness by pressing FN + up or down arrow. One thing that you will notice is that you can’t change the color of the LEDs, white (6500K) being the only available option (no RGB).
The GK300 measures 17.2 x 5.0 x 1.6 inches, so it’s neither the largest nor the smallest keyboard available (I am thankful that it didn’t go with a tenkeyless design which would have made the keyboard smaller but would have changed the layout and overcrowded the keys). Additionally, the GK300 sits at an angle of 7.5 degrees (there are no adjustable feet on the bottom) and it also has a detachable wrist rest which measures 17.3 x 3.0 inches, so it is going to push the keyboard quite a bit from the edge (it is made of a lightweight plastic that can’t be easily cleaned). While having a detachable wrist rest does allow the GK300 to be more portable, the keyboard is a bit on the heavy side, weighing 3.09 lb – but, as a positive, the increased weight along with the six feet on the bottom do manage to keep the keyboard steady.
On the top right side, next to the Num Lock button, there’s a small switch with an LED that allows you to turn off the keyboard (push it to the middle), set it in wireless mode (to the bottom) or in Bluetooth mode (to the top). As you can see, there is no wired mode, the keyboard being purely wireless and the LED will let you know when you have to recharge the battery (it will pulsate red – otherwise, if it is above 15%, the LED will pulsate green).
To recharge the keyboard’s battery, you need to use the cable provided in the package (it is 3.28 feet long) and connect it to the micro-USB port from the left side (would have preferred a type-C). In order to connect the GK300 to your computer, you need to use the small white receiver which can be found on a special slot on the bottom -the dongle uses the 2.4GHz WiFi frequency.
Features and Performance
GameSir GK300 has a myriad of features that really spoil its users. This keyboard is a wireless keyboard that can be connected in two ways, namely with Bluetooth 4.1 or with the 2.4 GHz Wireless USB dongle that has been provided. Interestingly, this keyboard can not only be used for PCs or laptops but can also be connected to smartphones or tablets with Bluetooth connections. Besides being a mechanical keyboard, the main highlight of the GameSir GK300 is the fact that it’s wireless and suitable for gaming. It took a lot of convincing to make the gamers switch from the wired mouse to the wireless gaming mouse mainly because the tests objectively showed that now, there is no difference between the latency of a wired gaming mouse and a wireless gaming mouse.
The traditional mechanical keyboard remains a favorite for gamers due to its low latency mainly because of the way the user interacts with the keys: the shorter the key travel distance, the lower the latency. The wireless mechanical keyboard can accomplish the same feat, but it does come with a new complication: the wireless communication itself which is vulnerable to interference. There are various technologies to ensure that the wireless connection will have the same low latency as the cable and GameSir calls it the Agility X 2.4GHz. I encountered this technology on the GM300 wireless gaming mouse and it did a great job at keeping the latency low and on the GK300, it should have the same role, featuring the 1000Hz polling rate (1ms) – although you still need to take into account the keystroke delay.
The GameSir GK300 also advertises the 10-key roll-over with anti-ghosting which basically means that you can press up to 10 keys simultaneously and all will be registered at once by the computer (I didn’t have to press that many keys at the same time while gaming, but I did sometimes needed to press 4-5 keys simultaneously and the GK300 performed well). If you turn the keyboard upside down, you will notice that there’s a tubular protrusion and that’s where the 3600mAh rechargeable Lithium battery sits. The battery is capable of delivering up to 300 hours of use if you don’t turn on the LED lights at all and a maximum of 30 hours of continuous use with the backlight turned on.
In reality, unless you game for 30 straight hours (I don’t judge), you will get a lot more than 30 hours even with the LEDs turned on because GameSir has put some battery-conserving features in place: the backlight will turn off automatically if you don’t type anything for 30 seconds and the keyboard will enter the sleeping mode if you don’t press any button for one minute. Recharging the battery from 0 to 100 % shouldn’t take more than three hours. The 2.4GHz WiFi is not the only way to connect the keyboard to your devices, you can also use Bluetooth (4.1). To connect the GK300 to other Bluetooth devices, simply move the switch down and the keyboard should become visible and ready to be paired. If it doesn’t immediately become visible, you need to reset the connection by pressing the FN and PB buttons at the same time (the Pause/Break is the Reset button). The polling rate under Bluetooth is 125Hz (8ms), so there is a noticeable amount of latency when compared to the WiFi connection.
Unlike the GM300 gaming mouse, the GK300 keyboard lacks a dedicated software where you can adjust various functions and, in order to update the firmware, you’ll have to download the GameSir GK300 firmware package from the official website. While making sure that the USB dongle is connected to your computer, extract the folder and double-click the GK300 update tool. This will open a new window, where you will have to select the suitable language (I chose English) and wait until all the available firmware updates are loaded towards the bottom of the page: afterward, simply install the newest firmware.
For the whole starting from the design, materials, batteries, and features of the GameSir GK300 already feels pretty good. GameSir GK300 is also compatible with various types of smartphones for Bluetooth connectivity. Although the latency generated is quite high, so the authors suggest that you use a USB dongle to provide the maximum playing experience. The wireless gaming mouse era is in full bloom, so is this the beginning of the wireless gaming keyboard era?
GameSir seems to think so and the GK300 is a good example of what a wireless gaming mechanical keyboard should look like (more conservative, therefore suitable for home, gaming and office use) and how it should behave (it should offer low latency, comparable to the performance of the wired keyboards). Of course, there are some shortcomings, such as the need of two USB ports or the lack of programmable keys but, considering the limitation of using a purely wireless connection and the acceptable price tag, the GameSir GK300 does manage to make a solid impression to anyone ready to give gaming with a wireless mechanical keyboard a try.
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