Gigabyte's Osmium is a very nice addition in the gaming keyboard arena alright. The ergonomics are fine and the keyboard feels fantastic to work with and play games on. We do have a couple of minor remarks though.
Much like we noticed with other brands, I would like to see proper media keys that aren't hidden away under function keys. Also I would have liked to see more macro (G) buttons, five is enough though especially in combo with the selectable macro button. But let's make ten the future minimum okay ?
A lacking PS2 port could impose a restriction. Most mechanical keyboards support NKRO. If your keyboard doesnt specifically say NKRO somewhere on the box, then it is probably the standard 2KRO. NKRO stands for N-Key Roll Over, a feature that allows the keyboard to send any number of simultaneous keystrokes to the computer. On the Aivia Osmium Gigabyte calls this Anti-ghosting key, which isnt exactly accurate, but lets assume they are making something sexier out of NKRO.
There are numerous in-game situations where anti-ghosting and NKRO can really save you time and anguish. A few good key combos to try (and test your keyboard) are ASX and WDE.
The first two letters should register, but the third would not. Anti-ghosting moves the trouble key combos to other areas of the keyboard, so its possible that your keyboard works fine with these key combos, but problems will still crop up with other (and much less likely) key combos. There are several websites that test for NKRO, even one provided by Microsoft, which is what I used.
Now Gigabyte claims they can do 64 key presses simultaneously, and much to our surprise, it definitely passed 6 key presses. In fact using pressing ten key simultaneously registered perfectly fine. 64 key presses ... well considering the humanoid only has ten fingers, I'd say you are safe. NKRO it makes it very hard to classify though.
Now is a mechanical keyboard realty worth 100 EUR/USD is a question we always bring up. Is it really worth that money ? Yes, we think so. Mechanical keyboards really are in a class on their own. Are mechanical keyboards really that good? Yeppers -- we think, they are.
Once you have used a mechanical keyboard, there is no going back to a regular keyboard. The differences are just too great, typing is better, faster and gaming is so much better as you get a feel with your keyboard It's terribly hard to describe though -- it's just no comparison. There is one downside though, mechanical keyboards do make a lot more noise.
Making high-end gamers keyboards is nearly an art form these days with a very enthusiastic crowd that is very critical.
The message we are trying to evangelize here is that you do not need a fancy mechanical keyboard to play a game well, but it can make a game much more enjoyable to play. On the other hand, there are keyboards that are better for noise than others. The Cooler Master Trigger is in the noisy keyboard category, it does have a nice sounding clicketyclack though ! Gaming wise I definitely liked the keys, the black cherry MX switches simply work out well.
The Aivia Osmium has everything you need when it comes to gaming versus a keyboard really. The keyboard is ergonomic and has a very relaxed grip to it. The rugged looks and sheer weight definitely help out there in that regard. We do feel that Gigabyte could do more with rubberization. The keys themselves are a little slippery and the hand rest is merely thin plastic. So the some anti-slip functionality with rubber would have been the way to go.
Also with the WASD keys being so important it should have been nice to to give these a second color LED backlit, I mean all keys blue with WASD colored red or something. The backlit keys themselves are good, if you feel they are too bright then you can dim them, what a simple yet elegant solution. Also now that I think of it, it would have been nice to have seen the keys switch in different colors corresponding to the macro modes as well.
Software and macro's wise there is a plethora to work with. Gigabyte's software could probably use a little touch up in overall functionality and sheers looks, but the programmability works well and fast.
In closing then we feel the Osmium is an excellent keyboard, it's a good looking and very sturdy programmable gaming keyboard with the added benefit of a usable USB 2.0 and 3.0 port. There is room for improvements in the software suite but overall we feel this simply is a gaming keyboard the way its supposed to be. As such we can recommend it very much.Oh and next to gaming, it's an excellent keyboard for desktop usage as well. This entire review fort example was typed on the Osmium.
Mechanical keyboards are not cheap, the 100 EUR/USD is quite a bit of money for a set of keys, but as a true gamer we can certainly recommend making that investment as it makes quite a bit of a difference. Only once you start using a mechanical keyboard, you will understand what I am trying to say here. Not cheap, but the Gigabyte Aivia Osmium has a fair price tag for what simply is a good mechanical gaming keyboard.
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