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IT & Systems Management

SteelSeries 6GV2 review: A durable, but ultimately boring mechanical gaming keyboard

The SteelSeries 6GV2 is a keyboard built for people who hate their keyboard. I don't mean that in an "Ugh, I want to get rid of this thing" way. I mean it in an "I regularly abuse my keyboard" way. An "I've been known to angrily slam my fist on my keyboard" way.

It's solid. Durable. Heavy. These are the adjectives SteelSeries' designers want you to think of when you look at the 6GV2. And that's probably why they selected Cherry MX Black keyswitches, which require the heaviest actuation force of the entire Cherry MX produce line.

Beyond that, there's not much else to recommend this no-frills keyboard. It's not backlit. It doesn't have macro keys. Heck, it doesn't even have flip-out feet to adjust its angle. A selection of media-player control keys overlaid on the first six Function keys is the only other bonus feature you'll find. You might easily mistake the 6GV2 for the cheap rubber-dome keyboard that came with your factory-built computer.

In terms of performance, the 6GV2's keys feel very cramped, a problem exacerbated by its non-standard key layout. The | key is next to the right Shift key, and the Enter key is enormous. It's not an unheard-of layout--I've used other keyboards with the same--but it's an unnecessary complication. Even after several hours of use, I found myself constantly making typos.

If this durable keyboard has an Achilles heel, it's the cheap rubber cable, which has a stiff joint where it joins the keyboard. I just don't think the cord will stand up to much abuse. And for all this keyboard's bulk there are heavier keyboards out there, and there are more durable keyboards out there. I just don't like the 6GV2. It's not aesthetically pleasing, and it doesn't have enough frills to justify its $100 price tag.

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