G.Skill Ripjaws Gaming Peripherals Review
Published: 23rd September 2015 | Source: G.Skill | Price: |
It's always a brave decision to move from your comfort zone into a world that contains plenty of well-established brands with years of tweaking and polishing behind them. The odds of getting it perfect on your first attempt are pretty slim, but G.Skill have made a seriously good effort.
The MX780 Mouse is the thing that is perhaps the easiest to get right. Since the first mice appeared before nearly all of us were born, the shape has been repeated endlessly. With the need to fit a human hand restricting the opportunity to go crazy the MX780 still manages to look like few others. Yes we have hints of a Ouroborous, R.A.T and Cougar offerings, but there are few mice that look like this against the scores of Intellimouse clones. It's fantastic to see a high end mouse that supports left handers as well as right. With 10% of the population left-handed it's a big market to ignore. The MX780 combines an Avago Laser sensor with the quality Omron switches into a very comfortable product. Thanks to the adjustable side panels, palm rest and well-placed buttons this will fit everyone from Verne Troyer to Andre the Giant.
The KM780 Keyboard takes something which is part of almost every mechanical keyboard around, the Cherry MX switches, and adorns them with additional dedicated macro and media keys. We particularly like how compact the KM780 is. It's easy to make a keyboard have a small footprint by going tenkeyless, or not adding any keys beyond the regular ANSI set. G.Skill have managed to achieve it despite adding another row of keys above the main set and a new column on the left hand side. There is no overhang and yet it is very comfortable to type upon, helped in no small part by the addition of the all-important wrist rest.
There are a few problems as almost any first attempt will have. Some are more problematic than others. The software is generally easy to use but there are two different software packages for a "unified" driver. Given the importance on choosing these peripherals because you're loyal to the G.Skill brand one would assume you'd have more than a single product. So why do we need two (or as you'll see on the headset review, three) different software packages. The software has other issues when it comes to lighting. On the keyboard you either have everything one colour or have to set them all up manually one key at a time. Fine, but annoying. We'd like the ability to set clusters to a certain colour. The Mouse is even worse as it only works one light at a time, all 7 of them, and to apply a colour you have to pick the colour, click the spot you want to change to turn it off, then click again to turn it on in the colour you've chosen. For all of them individually. Even then the colours are fine, but the decision to use the transparent keys means the colours aren't as searing as some we've seen. Lastly although the addition keycaps are a nice touch, they're nearly impossible to take out of the supplied box. Certainly without damaging them. One of our office bunnies has the longest nails you've seen and she couldn't manage it. The weights in the MX780 mouse have a similar problem in that you can put them in but not easily remove them.
All of those issues are minor things which don't greatly affect the usability of either the keyboard or the mouse. Minor annoyances we notice because we're trying to cover everything for you - thus need to change colours often - and also we have tried the absolute best and so notice these small flaws. The big flaw comes with the keyboard though in that our model had a slight problem with the feet at the front meaning the keyboard rocked back and forth in use. That's inexcusable and seriously annoying.
For a first foray into the peripheral world both the KM780 and MX780 are very good products which just fall short of the high standards set by other ones in the world, largely because of the software issues. We particularly like the design details both in the small footprint/big features of the keyboard and the adjustability of the mouse. Get the software sorted and these will really challenge the establishment. At the moment though, both win our OC3D Silver Award.