NORMAL SHIFT KEY
Incredible build quality, excellent mechanical switches.
TINY SHIFT KEY
Lack of extra features, short right shift key makes typing difficult.
If the SteelSeries 6Gv2 looks familiar to you, it’s probably because you’re already familiar with the 7G, SteelSeries’ flagship mechanical-key keyboard. SteelSeries didn’t update the 7G this year, and it’s still the company’s top-of-the-line model. The 6Gv2 is essentially a more aggressively priced (around $100, versus around $150) version of the same keyboard with a few features stripped out.
The reason that the 6Gv2 looks nearly identical to the 7G is that it keeps all of the physical features that make its big brother a monster gaming keyboard. The keys use gold-plated mechanical switches with huge travel and no click. You don’t have to press a key all the way down for it to register though, so you can either press the keys lightly and quickly, or slam them down, depending on your gaming style and/or current K/D ratio. We’ve always loved the 7G for gaming, although we’ve found that the no-click mechanical switches make the keyboard hard to do a lot of fast typing on.
Visually, the 6Gv2 is almost completely identical to the older 7G model.
Also intact is the 7G’s amazing build quality. Made with metal-infused plastic and built on a solid-metal plate, the 6Gv2 could serve double-duty as a battering ram. Also, the keys are easy to remove, wash, and put back into place. In other words, you won’t have to replace it any time soon.
So, all that good stuff is still the same. What do you give up? Two things. First, the 6Gv2 doesn’t have a USB or audio pass-through. We can live with that. Second, for some reason, the 6Gv2 is missing about 50 percent of a right shift key. It’s about the size of your standard control key, and is flush with the right side of the enter key. This means that trying to type a capital Y with your right hand alone lies somewhere between a difficult act of contortion and a physical impossibility, depending on your hand size. Who knows the motivation behind this decision—but it’s obnoxious and very difficult to adapt to. On the plus side, the 6Gv2 now has a full-sized backspace key.
Otherwise, our only beef with the 6Gv2 is the same as with the 7G—owing to its super-austere design, it doesn’t have some of the features you’d like in a gaming keyboard. Sure, we don’t really need a billion macro keys, or a dedicated media controller, but it is useful to have access to at least a few recordable buttons.