- Interface: USB
- Keyboard Switches: Cherry MX Brown
- NKRO: N-key roll over
- Dimensions: 499 x 171.8 x 34.88 mm
- Weight: 1.46kg
- Flexible backlighting
- Limited macros
- Awkward palm rest
Keys Of Excellence
Gaming and esports, in particular, are becoming so big that everybody wants a piece of the pie. We’ve seen many brands, that traditionally don’t focus too much into gaming products, release more ‘gamer-centric’ ones. A good example would be Dell, which recently launched new peripherals under its Alienware brand, including this new Alienware AW768.
The Alienware AW768 is a mechanical keyboard that’s designed to deliver added value. This comes in the form of extra buttons that many other brands have begun to drop (for more minimalist designs) in recent months. The body is mostly grey in colour and has black keycaps. Also, the sides angle out a bit to give it some flare and it also has a palm rest. However, the palm rest isn’t large enough and is angled steeply, often meaning that our palms weren’t resting on it anyway.
Being a full-sized keyboard, the AW768 comes with a numpad – great for those who do a lot of spreadsheet work. As mentioned, it also comes with a lot of extras, including five buttons for macro functions and a profile switch button to change between three sets of macros on the left side. There’s also a mute button, volume control, and what’s called the ‘Alienware Head Button’ above the numpad. The last one can be configured to either toggle the keyboard backlighting or ‘Game Mode’ to On or Off.
To get the most out of this keyboard, the Alienware Control Center software is required; it can be found at Dell’s website. The software allows users to customise the keyboard’s backlighting and macro controls, as well as configure settings for the Alienware Head Button and Game Mode. There’s a lot of flexibility to the backlighting control as well, since the user gets to set different colours for individual sections.
For example, you can make it so that in Game Mode, only the WASD buttons are lit. As for the macros, only the five on the left side of the keyboard can be set. You also can’t use more than five quickly since the profile change is not instant.
Due to the use of Cherry MX Brown switches, the AW768 has a satisfying tactile feel to it that many love. At the same time, the keys are near silent. This makes the keyboard not only great for gaming (faster actuation on Brown switches) but also for work, since they’re unlikely to be noisy and distracting while you’re trying to type out a report or article.
(previously published in issue April