When it comes to keyboards, I have a problem. Some people collect stamps; I collect mechanical keyboards and no matter how many I get, I’m always looking for the next one. As a gamer, I’ve been making the case that enthusiast keyboards are too good for gaming to pass up. Today we’ve found the best of both worlds: the Sewino GK64 mechanical gaming keyboard. It’s a custom build gone mainstream, packed with RGB, a full aluminum chassis, PBT keycaps, and a full gaming software suite. Want a high-end custom mech that’s specifically made for gamers?
- Price: $149.99 - 173.43 (Varies)
- Layout: 64-key, ANSI
- Key Switches: Cherry MX Blue
- Key Lifespan: 50-million Actuations
- Cable: Detachable, Braided, USB Type-C
- Keycaps: PBT, Dye-sublimated legends
- Illumination: Per-key RGB (no shine-through legends)
- Case: Full aluminum chassis
- NKRO: Yes
- Polling Rate: 1000Hz (1ms)
The GK64 began its life as a DIY custom kit that’s since become so popular Sewino has picked it up and begun selling them pre-built. The keyboard first caught my eye way back in November when TaeKeyboards did a review on his YouTube channel. The Sewino GK64 is a small keyboard and pretty close to your standard 40%, which means it loses everything but the main key area. Extras like your Function Row or the center Editing/Navigation area are still accessible but through function commands. For many users, removing the arrow keys can be a bridge too far, which is where the GK64 comes in.
Not only does the GK64 have arrow keys (I know, *gasp*) but it also features the full programmability of your average gaming keyboard and a build quality that puts all of them to shame. That’s not an exaggeration. In the world of custom keyboards, you begin to see what a truly well-built keyboard looks like. Here you get high-end electrical work in its construction, a heavy-duty aluminum case you could throw from a car window and still count on the circuit board working, keycaps that won’t shine or wear down in your lifetime - the works. There are also small touches, like the detachable cable that uses USB-C instead of the breakage-prone micro-usb still found on even many expensive keyboards.
Gamers tend to scoff at these features. In the comments sections on our reviews and reviews across the web, the same questions come up again and again. Why should you spend upwards of $150 on a tiny keyboard like the GK64 when could spend $20 once a year and call it good? Put simply, you could. If that’s where your budget it as, there’s nothing wrong with that. But understand, that keyboard is meant to be disposable. A keyboard like the GK64 is not. If you treat it right, this is a keyboard that will likely still be kicking when USB has been put out to pasture like the good old PS/2 ports of old.
More importantly, though, this keyboard just feels amazing to use. The GK64 is my first experience using clicky Cherry MX Blues on a full aluminum case and it’s sublime; a bit like using a quiet typewriter, far more so than a normal keyboard, but even that doesn’t do it justice. If you’ve ever used a keyboard with an aluminum top, you might think you have an idea of what a solid aluminum keyboard might be like but you’d be wrong. The denseness of the case kills any reverberation which makes the switches quieter and the bottom-outs duller. It feels far better than any plastic-shelled keyboard on the market.
Some of this also has to do with the fact that the GK64 also uses double-thickness PBT keycaps. (Nevermind the “ABS” on the Gearbest site, it’s wrong). PBT is a denser material by itself, so simple typing won’t wear them away and cause them to shine. The legends are also dye-sublimated, which means the dye is set into the plastic and will never fade.
Underneath it all is a gorgeous RGB underglow. The keycaps are not shine-through, so you get a true bed of light under the keys. The LEDs are very bright, so even in daylight they keyboard looks fantastic. In the GK6X Plus software, you can create your own lighting schemes or customize the animations that ship from the factory. If you’d rather not bother with software, you can also select from eight presets that come loaded onboard. These include your standard spectrum options, reactive typing, and ripple-type effects we’ve come to expect but since they keyboard also supports three onboard profiles, you can store up to 24 presets.
The software is really what explodes the potential of this keyboard. In the enthusiast world, software seems to be a bit of a taboo. Most users want the simplicity of plugging it in and having access to all of the features right away. But the GK64 is equal parts enthusiast and gaming keyboard, so the software suite gives you far more options for customization and programming. You can record chain macros, edit delays, delete or insert events. You can remap any key, even to mouse inputs. You can tie a single key press to launch different programs or to act as shortcuts for common functions, like refreshing your browser or opening the calculator.
The downside is that the current version still has some untranslated characters and some less than intuitive functions. For example, the software refers to Online and Offline modes when saving your own custom profiles but neither of these actually mean being on the internet. Instead, it’s referring to whether you’re saving them in the software (online) or on the keyboard itself (offline).
In what might be the coolest feature of this keyboard, the Cherry Blue switches can be hotswapped out for anything you’d like. If you’ve ever been curious about another switch type, it’s as simple as buying a set and pressing them in. No more buying a whole new keyboard just to see if you’d like another switch better. Depending on the brand of switch, you could swap out the entire keyboard for less than $30.
As a gaming keyboard, the GK64 feels like a tool. It’s small, so it frees up lots of room on your desk which is perfect for those big sweeping mouse motions used in shooters. Despite its small size, it’s built like a tank with a heavy metal frame and excellent PBT keycaps. The lighting looks fantastic and thanks to profile layers, you can store up to 24 different light schemes for your different games, and, unlike most enthusiast mechs, this one features a software suite giving you the programmability of high-end gaming keyboards.
Head on over to GearBest if you’d like to pick one up for yourself. The company is also running an anniversary event with tons of gear for gamers and techies like us. You can view the current selection of deal here.
- Tiny even compared to a TKL but has tons of functionality
- Made for gamers but with enthusiast levels of quality
- Very vibrant backlighting that’s completely customizable
- Love the heavy aluminum case; totally changes the feel of the keyboard
- Price varies but can be expensive
The product described in this review was supplied by GearBest for the purposes of review. Affiliate links are a requirement for review sampling per GearBest guidelines for tracking purposes.