Just last month the PC tech masters at Gigabyte launched a duo of input devices. The Gigabyte Aivia Krypton gaming laser mouse was one-half of that duo–and a mighty half, indeed. Today I bring you the other, an equally pitch and similarly elegant mechanical keyboard dubbed; the Aivia Osmium mechanical gaming keyboard.
Another mechanical gem has fallen in my lap and I couldn’t be more pleased. The Avia Osmium mechanical is a super clean looking board. It sports my favorite key switches — the Cherry MX Red. The board also plays host to mic-in and headphone/speaker-in ports as well as a 2-port USB hub. One of the ports even plays nice with high speed USB 3.0 . There is a built-in “Macro Engine” with 32kb of onboard memory, 5 macro-specific hotkeys, volume and illumination dials, removable wrist wrest, key switch removal tool, 3 extra keys, 64-key rollover and the upper right logo doubles as a large “Profile Switch.
Gigabyte’s Ghost software utilities lets you take command of it all (same utility suite used with the Aivia Krypton). You can set profiles, record macros or assign keys to launch programs, if that suits you. The utility is easy enough to use and offers much of what we’ve seen from companies. It is a bit crowded with options unnecessarily. Hopefully a redesign or further updates will bring a more streamlined interface. Moving through menus and screens can get frustrating when there are few clear ways to get “Back”. Regardless the software gets the job done and you quickly get used to the minor interface nuances.
It all comes together to make one kickass keyboard. I love mechanical keyboards. There is no input lag and I can often type quicker, since the keys require less force to actuate. Less force produces less sound, rendering a mechanical even quiter than a membrane keyboard. But if you bottom those key out, things get very loud clickety-clackety. The key switches on the Aivia Osmium are Cherry MX Red. These are a seasoned typist’s dream keys. Some folks like a tactile bump of feedback, letting one know the key-press has been recognized, or at least actuated. These particular mechanical key switches do no such thing. The only way to know the key has been actuated is by either depressing the key all the way down, watching the screen for input or simply “knowing” from many years of typing. Yes this is not a beginner’s keyboard. This is for the seasoned gamer and lightening fast speed typist. In the hands of these skilled users, the Aivia Osmium is your Excalibur.
The Gigabyte Aivia Osmium is a great board. It’s exceedingly comfortable, the keys are easy to reach and I love the responsiveness. Gaming and typing on the Osmium mechanical keyboard feels like I’m fondling the love child of the Durandal G1NL and Nighthawk X9. The former uses Cherry MX Brown key switches while the latter brandished the lovely “Reds.” So the feel of the keys is very much like what I experienced on the Nighthawk X9. But the general layout and feel of the Osmium board–along with its hard plastic wrist rest–stir memories of the Durandal. Those are two terrific boards; so any comparison boards on “gushing”. Plus the Aivia Osmium is cheaper by several 10-dollar bills.
Mechanicals are simple, tirelessly efficient beasts. These are among the reasons gamers flock to them. They require no extra AC adapters or even software (unless you want to create profile and reassign buttons). Gigabyte is further fomenting this notion with such a bad-ass board. It comes highly recommended!
Bottom Line: The Gigabyte Osmium mechanical keyboard is more than worth the price of admission. I love typing on it–testing my speed and just gliding over the keys. It’s comfortable, responsive and the downloadable Ghost software works as advertised.
- Looks smokin’!
- Mechanical Cherry MX Red key switches
- Dedicated media controls
- Priced below similar offerings
- Hard plastic wrist rest
The Gigabyte Aivia Osmium Mechanical Gaming Keyboard is available at Amazon.com for $129.99
Shawn loves gadgets, literature, history and games. For 10yrs+ he's straddled both the comic book & video game industries, as a writer, editor, marketing officer & producer. Shawn got his start in tech & games as an editor & Hardware Director for GameRevolution.com. More notable accomplishments include Executive Producer on mobile games Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved & The Shroud.