on January 25, 2012
Full disclosure: I've not used this keyboard for very long, having just opened it and started to use it. The keys feel very nice, both in their construction and in their action - but that's why you're looking at a mechanical keyboard anyway, right?
Anyway, I went for this model rather than their newer 7G keyboard because (a) with the 7G they made the poor decision to use the World's Smallest Backspace Key (patent pending), and (b) it's a lot more expensive. Unfortunately, in my fervor to obtain a sensible backspace key, I didn't notice that they enlarged the Enter key and moved the Slash/Vertical Bar key below Enter - moving and shrinking the Right Shift key in the process.
Now, I don't know about anyone else, but I use my keyboard for typing as much as gaming; I sought out SteelSeries because their keyboards are simply Excellent Keyboards, without any nonsense. Also, I type "properly," as it were, and without looking at the keys; this seemingly innocuous difference has (a) forced me to stare at the keys as I type, as it is unlike any sensible keyboard layout, and (b) forces me to reach much further just to actuate the Shift key. The "pinky finger" is not a strong, flexible finger! Its repositioning is as painful as it is clumsy.
I knowingly (if begrudgingly) accepted the removal of the right-side Windows key, as I'm aware that many gamers find it difficult to simply "not press" that key, and it can interrupt a game quite easily. However, I find no logic in their tweaking of the right-hand side of the keyboard, unless you spend much time hunting around the keyboard for the never-moving, *already oversized* Enter key. It seems that they have tried to solve some problem that doesn't exist, and in so doing have completely changed the ergonimics of their otherwise fantastic keyboard - for very much the worse.
Again, the keyboard feels very nice, and any time I don't need to use the Right Shift key (as I do when I capitalize both "Right" and "Shift") I absolutely love the feeling of typing. I have no reason so suspect that long gaming sessions will be anything less than a complete joy. But any potential purchasers simply MUST know that there are some little things that might just kill your fun.
[Edit:] After using this keyboard for several months, I can say that while the right-hand Shift key feels more natural, the forward/backslash key placement has remained a great annoyance. I do a fair bit with command-line interfaces, and having those keys right next to each other only compounds the confusion of trying to remember which does what in your current filesystem - and leads to hitting the wrong one 50% of the time.
As I suspected, its physical action and digital responsiveness are an absolute joy, both for most typing applications and for long gaming sessions. As advertised, the keys activate with the gentlest touch, though they feel very solid if you take them their full travel distance.
Honestly, I feel comfortable recommending the 6Gv2 to most people, my personal qualms aside. But as I said in my initial review, people who spend any time coding might want to look elsewhere.
on November 21, 2010
---Edit as of 051515: After five years of ownership, I am happy with the purchase given what was available at the time. I would not recommend this keyboard over other best-in-class options currently. Since I purchased this, the market has grown substantially, providing suitable alternatives.
- The switch under the "/' key on the numpad broke a couple of years into ownership without being abused, forcing me to use the / next to the >.
- The portion of the keycaps that fastens itself to the switchs has broken for one of the keys. I easily replaced it with a keycap from a lesser used key. ---
I want to make it clear that I narrowed virtually every "gaming" keyboard and most popular mechanical keyboards on the market down to this and the 7G. The reason I went with the 6Gv2 is because of the familiar key layout. As appealing as the 7G was, I had no interest in relearning how to type using its awkward key layout (small backspace key, small right shift, etc.). That being said, I am happy with this purchase for several reasons which I will list in pro/con format.
- MX Cherry Blacks (widely considered the most appropriate switches for gaming, along with the lighter MX Reds).
- Solid construction (fortunately, I did not have any problem with the keys being loose in any way. My keyboard is solid through and through perhaps due to successful shipping and handling).
- Full NKRO
- Relatively inexpensive for a mechanical keyboard
- Familiar key layout and key size
- It works flawlessly with Windows 7 64bit. You simply plug it in BEFORE turning on the PC, then turn on the PC to enjoy your new keyboard.
- Very minor flaw, but the PS/2 converter isn't the most snug-fitting connector. However, it works and does enable full NKRO, so I'd highly recommend using it.
- I can confirm what other users have written about dulling of printed letters on the keys. No exaggeration, after only a few DAYS of use, the WASD (my most used keys) keys have faded considerably. I should note that I'm impeccably hygienic and wash my hands thoroughly before each session at my PC. That being said, it's not dirt that's obscuring the letters; the letters themselves are literally rubbing off the keys. I don't see this as a glaring issue, but if you desire immaculate aesthetics, this could irritate you.
- Angle of keyboard is non-adjustable. (Not an issue for me since, if anything, I prefer a flat keyboard)
I can attest that typing on MX Cherry blacks isn't as laborious or disastrous as some people make it out to be. They're certainly still considerably more suitable for typing than rubber dome membrane keyboards. At first you might make more typing-errors because the keys actuate about half-way through the stroke, meaning if you're not a confident typist some of your thoughtless keystrokes will register as well.
Summary: if your main interest in keyboards is multimedia utility or having dozens of extra keys, then look elsewhere. This keyboard is minimalistic, highly durable and functional, and could easily be the last keyboard you ever purchase (I've read numerous claims of mechanical keyboards lasting 15-20 years with almost no loss of functionality).
For the record, I tried many different products across multiple manufacturers and ended up coincidentally settling with almost all SteelSeries peripherals. I don't have much experience with this company, but from all my impression with their products, I am very satisfied and will continue to try their merchandise.
on January 19, 2011
To begin, let me say that this was indeed my first mechanical keyboard and I was not sure what to expect. I read around a bit and learned the differences between the different switches and such. After a bunch of reading, it came down to this keyboard or the Steelseries 7G, which apparently cannot be found anywhere on planet earth for purchase. Because of that, I was kind of forced to go with this one. After some research, I found that really the only differences between the two were that the 7G has a different keyboard layout, with smaller backspace and right shift keys, which I really didn't want to deal with anyway, and it comes with a wrist rest. You can buy the rest for 3 dollars else where, so no big deal.
So, I get the keyboard. It's not natively PS2, but provides an adapter so you can plug it in to your PS2 port. PS2 is required to use the anti ghosting feature, which works flawlessly by the way. The keys are pretty loud compared to a membrane keyboard, but I was aware of this before purchase and actually find it fun ( i am easily amused ) . It feels like I am efortlessly gliding around this keyboard, mashing keys at an unprecedented rate. It is far more compact than any keyboard I have ever used and I can basically man the entire left half of the keyboard with one hand easily. I didn't really beleive that something like a keyboard could increase your in-game performance so greatly, but boy, was I wrong. I saw a 25 point actions per minute in Starcraft 2 on average!
The board its self is very sturdy and I feel like I could bludgeon a small mammall with it and it would stay intact. Overall, this is an amazing product for the price. I would highly recommend it for someone looking for their first or even an upgraded mechanical keyboard.
on November 13, 2010
When my LogitechLogitech Illuminated Ultrathin Keyboard with Backlighting started acting up, I found I had to throw it out because it is impossible to clean except with gentle compressed air; key removal was impossible.
I was disappointed as my last keyboard lasted years, so I started to do some research. According to a couple of enthusiast sites I visited, mechanical keyboards have a much longer life span, have removeable keys for easy cleaning, and are preferred by many for the feel of the keystroke.
However, trying to decide what mechanical keyboard to get is pretty hard. I've only ever used squishy membrane keyboards, and there was no way I was going to buy half a dozen keyboards @ $100-$300 each to test them. So after mulling, I decided that this one at less than $100 including shipping was a good risk. And the keyboard is everything I hoped it would be.
This is by far the heaviest keyboard I've owned, and seems very well made with German key switches. I cannot tell you what they are like in comparison to other switches, but compared to my membrane keyboards, they feel quite good. It does not take an excessive amount of pressure to actuate the keystroke, and I can type for extended periods without strain. In fact, my fingers are less tired with this board than the Logitech. The keys feel like they have constant pressure until you hit bottom. You actually only have to press the key about halfway for the stroke to register, and if you do that there is no noise that I can hear. The noise I do hear is when the key hits the bottom. Unless you hit the keys like Conan the Barbarian, the noise is unobtrusive. I can type in the next room when my wife is sleeping with absolutely no problems.
As far as ergonomics go, I find the board super comfy. I've included a picture in the user pictures up top in an attempt to show the angle of the board and the gentle concave curve of the key rows. I also included a picture of our baby goat cause who doesn't like baby goats, ;-) . I hope you can see how each row is at a different angle to the horizontal plane. It is obvious that there was thought given to ergonomics with this product. However, the board is not adjustable in any way. There are no foldable feet or anything.
Key removal and reseating is quite easy.
Steelseries replaced the left windows key with a 'steel' key, which you can press in conjunction with some of the f keys to control a media player (see picture). It worked with WMP11, VLC v1.1.4, Foobar v1.1.1 right out of the box with no problems with Winows 7. I did not test it with any other players because those are the only ones I use. Note: there is still a windows key on the right hand side of the keyboard.
Finally, there are no bells and whistles. No illuminated keys, no gaming LED's or LCD's, no bling; there is only a solid ergonomic mechanical keyboard with a number pad and 3 white leds to indicate on/off of num lock, caps lock, and scroll lock.
In short, this is exactly what I was looking for at the price I was hoping for.
on March 11, 2011
The Steelseries 6vG keyboard is a really great gaming keyboard. I used to use a Logitech and before that a Dell, but this is clearly the best one. The keys press very quickly and are very responsive to the touch, which is the most important feature for a competitive gamer. It also isn't too big or clunky like many Razer keyboard, which is another nice feature. It doesn't have too many bells and whistles, but it is really clean and efficient. If there was any drawback, it would be that the keytrokes are really loud, but aside from that it's a really great keyboard.
I like this keyboard quite a lot except for the fact that instead of having an extended shift key on the right side, for some inexplicable reason they chose to put 2 smaller keys, one of which is a backslash and one of which is a shortened shift key. If this is the only keyboard that I used, I could get used to the unusual configuration but switching between 2 separate keyboards between work and home can be difficult.
My wife purchased this keyboard for me about 9 months ago and I have used it extensively. The weight and feeling of durability is very pleasing to me. It reminds me of my old IBM "tank" keyboard that I bought in the early 1990's. That keyboard, which cost nearly 100 dollars at the time, was my favorite. In fact, I used it so much that I wore it completely out having typed the paint off of many of the keys. The tactile feel of the keys on this keyboard is very nice, though being old school, I still really miss the old fashioned key click (this is not a fault of the keyboard as the cherry system used didn't promise key click).
The big bugaboo for me with this keyboard is what I opine to be the fundamental design flaw of putting 2 keys where only one should be. One might expect slight variations in keyboard layout with infrequently used keys such as a windows key, the function keys or the escape key. Why would any designer in their right mind mess with a key that is used in almost every single sentence a person types? Though the right hand shift key is in the right place, I fail to see why it has been shortened so as to be able to include a backslash key right next to it. The new keyboard configuration takes some getting used to, but it is certainly doable. However, the problem re-rears its ugly head when I switch to other keyboards, say at work or when using another family member's computer.
Ignoring the layout issue, this keyboard is outstanding. The feel of the keys is nice. The texture, bounce back and the pressure needed to actuate each key is just about perfect. Though the keyboard doesn't actually have a key click there is some subdued audible and tactile feedback when pressing down on a key. The way the keyboard looks as to the sheen and finish is great. The LED's are nice and bright and all in all, the keyboard has a feel of quality which matches its general performance. I just wish they had not messed with my shift key. 9 months after obtaining this keyboard, I still find myself hitting the backslash when I want to hit the shift key from time to time, especially after I've come home from work where they use a more standard configuration.
This keyboard is so good in so many critical respects that I really wanted to give it 5 stars. However, the backslash key layout issue really pulled this one down.
*Note: I wrote this review with my husband who is a newspaper reporter / photojournalist. All of the above opinions/words/sentiments are his.
on April 6, 2013
I have both the Red Cherry Switch and Black Switch versions of the SteelSeries 6Gv2. Both are very heavy, solid keyboards. You will be happy with either keyboard. The Black version has white lights for Num, Caps, and Scroll and the Red version lights are red. The Red Version also has a red plate under the keys.
The black version takes more force to type and is louder than the red. I prefer the Red Version for typing emails and word processing. I would buy both of the keyboards again.
on January 27, 2012
A lot of the advertising listed above talks about the "better tactile feedback" that this keyboard gives, but that is potentially misleading. The Cherry MX Black switches used in this keyboard are considered "non-tactile" switches. (See the great guide at [...] for a good explanation of switch types.) Generally, tactile switches are considered to have a "click" or "pop" feel to them as they are actuated, after which the key resistance drops. They may or may not make noise as they do so. But the MX Black switches do not do this; they are linear switches so the key resistance steadily rises as you press further, until you bottom out. This gives a "smooth" feel, which you might consider a type of "tactile" feel, but it doesn't give you any actual tactile *feedback* of when the key registered. I guess you can say that smooth linear resistance is better than the actual but inconsistent rubber dome tactile feedback they'e comparing against, but it seems a bit marginal.
Anyway, the keyboard has been good so far for gaming, but I've had a hard time getting used to it for typing. After about 2 months now, I'm stil not really comfortable with it; it's not terrible, but the cheapie Dell dome keyboard I have at work is better for typing on.
Update/edit: I should mention that the gaming type that these smooth, non-tactile keys are good for is FPS-style games, where you will generally pushing fully down on the keys and holding them down, rather than just tapping them. (ie: WASD movement keys). I recently started playing a platformer-style game that sometimes requires a double tap on certain keys to activate an ability, and I find the lack of tactile feedback leaves me screwing this up all too often - activating it when I don't want to and failing to activate it when I do. It's a fairly big problem, but given it's not needed to be done that frequently and it's not a type of gaming I do all athat much of, it's not a total deal-breaker for me, but your mileage may vary.
I was a bit concerned about the potential noise before I ordered the 6Gv2, because some mechanical keyboards can be quite loud. It does make some clacking noise as the keys bottom out, more than most rubber dome keyboards do, but it's not disturbingly loud.
+ NRKO with the PS/2 connection
+ sturdy construction
- no keyboard angle adjustment
- relocated windows key: I'd rather have a switch to disable the key than to have it relocated.
- I'm not a fan of the big Enter key
on January 10, 2013
So, I switched from the Razer Blackwidow Ultimate to this keyboard because my Razer keyboard was starting to act up on me. Now, it's important to note-- these aren't clacky in the way that the Razer ones are clacky. By itself, the keys don't click when you press them down, but there is a very obvious click when pressed down all the way as they're hitting the back panel of the keyboard.
Now, I loved my Blackwidow, it was a great keyboard. This... just blows it out of the water. In fact, the key presses are crisp like water and the whole thing is just a delight to type on. The media keys are well-placed and convenient, and the whole thing feels like it can take a real beating before ever giving in. Heck of a keyboard.
on November 12, 2010
This is a good value for a keyboard if you like cherry black mechanical switches. The switches seems to be of great quality; compared to other cherry variations this is one of the quietest. However it still has a bit of click at the bottom, so it's not totally quiet. Force seems pretty uniform among keys, and that is it registers a bit past mid-strike with a very slight increase in pressure with additional depression.
The board has an elegantly utilitarian look, which is most likely exactly what you want if you are looking for a mechanical keyboard. Very professional. The keyboard itself seems virtually indestructible and it has a very nice heft to it compared to the average consumer board.
The major downside is that about 1 of every 5 keys on my bard is only loosely affixed to the switches. During normal use I do not see this as an issue. However, if you transport your board much or store it other than flat on a desk there is a reasonable chance you might lose a key. Simply turning the board upside down, all of the keys remain attached. However, several have fallen off when bumped against say a door (daughters are a bit less gentle with the board than I am). About 20 buttons in total can simply be lifted off of their switches without any noticeable resistance.
Works as advertised with n-key rollover using included PS/2 adapter, but the USB input is somewhat limited. That is a limitation with the technology and not really unique to this board. The USB is plug-n-play and it's worked with Windows XP, XP 64, 7, Server 2003, Server 2008 R2, and several versions of Linux.
So no compatibility issues such as I had with Das Keyboard. But I still prefer my Filco Majestouch because you can select which cherry switches you would like. Still, if you are looking for blacks and this keyboard happens to be cheaper than the Filco this is a qualified recommend (the loosely attached keys being the only concern).