- Interface: USB
- Keyboard Switches: TUF Optical-Mech Switches
- Others: Magnetic Wrist Rest
- Lighting: Per-key RGB
- Dimensions: 439 x 131 x 37mm (Keyboard)
- Weight: 794g (Keyboard), 194g (Wrist Rest)
- Linear switches
Typing On TUF
With brands entering the peripheral game inch by inch, it is inevitable for ASUS to release TUF keyboards for the gamers/users that require a little additional toughness to their gear. Typical of ASUS, however, is that it does not stop at making a usable product. ASUS basically threw in a slew of features to make itself stand out in the market with the new ASUS TUF K7.
Unboxing the keyboard is a fairly straightforward affair. In the package, you can also find an additional leatherette wrist rest that attaches to the keyboard magnetically. You can also spot TUF accents throughout the wrist rest. With it being magnetic, you can easily slip the wrist rest on and off, depending on your style. The keyboard is also designed with a tough top plate and is IP56 rated as well. This means that spills, sweat, tears and even bread crumbs will pose no issue to this keyboard.
And speaking of style, the keyboard oozes style out of the wazoo. It is a full-sized keyboard so you have your Numpad and function keys, along with a gamer’s favourite arrow keys. And underneath the keys, you have the crowd favourite RGB lighting that can be configured via ASUS Armoury II software. If you have other ASUS products, you can even light them up in harmony with the ASUS Aura Sync program.
A gaming keyboard’s selling point is usually tied to its switches and this one is no different. However, instead of the regular mechanical switches, the TUF K7 is built with the new TUF Optical-Mech Switches that function similarly to a new switch that recently hit the market. Instead of regular metal contact points, the TUF Optical-Mech switch is triggered when the shaft of the key blocks the infrared light inside the housing, and this leads to faster key registration compared to the switches that are built with metal contact points.
In our tests, we pitted the keyboard against a few rounds of Apex Legends and work. We did not find massive differences in terms of productivity or gaming prowess, but we did begin to miss the tactile feel of our previous keyboard. Luckily, the TUF K7 also comes with an alternate version that is clicky and tactile, as a counterpart of the linear one reviewed here.
CHIP CONCLUDE: The TUF K7 is a great pickup if you are looking for a tough keyboard that should withstand the test of time, provided that you like the new TUF Optical-Mech switches.
(to be published in issue March 2019)