We review a lot of keyboards here at MMORPG.com. Some are fantastic examples of function over form. Some really stretch the limits of purpose, and some just are outright gimmicky. In a competitive world of peripherals, there’s very little that’s truly new to do in gaming keyboards. Enter Roccat’s latest, the Roccat Horde AIMO may look just like any other, and in some ways that’s true. But the “membranical” keys, functionality, and the simple but extremely effective addition of the function dial make this $90 keyboard stand out.
I’ve had quite a few Roccat keyboards in my time, and I’m still using the Suora daily at work. One thing they’ve always done well was mechanical keys and added functionality via the Roccat software. But the benefits here are “mechanical-esque” keys that Roccat is calling membranical - essentially striving for the same feel of a mechanical board but without the noise. For the most part, it works really well.
- Membranical keys - with precise midway travel actuation point
- AIMO lighting system - intelligent illumination harmonized across devices
- RGB illumination - configurable multicolor lighting with multiple zones
- Precision key layout - fingertip design improves key distinction and island layout resists dirt
- Quick-fire macros - low-profile keys that prevent accidental miss-hits
- Configurable tuning wheel & keys - on-the-fly control for multimedia, illumination & more
- Detachable palm rest - ergonomic design comfortable for long gaming sessions
- Improved anti-ghosting - ensures every single key stroke is registered
- ROCCAT Swarm - comprehensive driver & software suite
The best part of the Horde AIMO its extra function buttons and Windows dial. Other keyboards do the extra buttons, but Roccat outdoes them all with the Horde by adding a customizable wheel right on the keyboard. The usual assortment of keys are there, but so are buttons for volume, mic level, key brightness, lighting color, RGB effects, swapping windows like an alt-tab press, and a user switch button. Once you realize how nice it is to have keys already programmed in Windows for these functions, you realize just how great a feature they are.
In terms of the customization software, like always Swarm is straightforward, and assigning macros is easy as ever. You can also change just about any key on the keyboard and make it do what you want. I don’t have much use for this personally, but hey - the option is there! One of the cooler, but sillier new functions of Swarm is the ability to assign sounds to key presses - typewriters, alien noises, and stuff like that. I find it best to use to humor my 5 year old, honestly... and me.
THE MEMBRANICAL KEYS
The membranical keys are not going to replace the Cherry MX keys you love, but if you want a keyboard that feels close to mechanical without all the noise (especially key in a house of many or while streaming, the AIMO is legit. The actuation felt great while playing more action-oriented games, and the key spacing is perfect without feeling like a chiclet keyboard. All in all, the Horde AIMO has some of the best keys I’ve ever used on a membrane board, and I hate membrane boards usually. This finally feels like one I can use daily. If there’s one thing that’s not quite great, it’s that the backlighting is not as bright as I’d like, or as is possible on fully mechanical keyboards. But that’s a small gripe in an otherwise great peripheral.
It’s available at Amazon, Best Buy, and other places of the sort, and at only $89.99 it’s well worth the price.