The AOC AGON AGK700 makes up part of AOC AGON's ever-expanding suite of gaming peripherals. You'll likely know the brand from the many monitors they make, including an impressive lineup of budget gaming monitors, but that's by no means the only thing they do.
I recently tested and reviewed one of AGON's recent premium monitors, the rather excellent AOC AGON AG275QZ, and for the last month and a half or so, I've been using two other AGON peripherals, a GM510 gaming mouse and the AGK700 mechanical keyboard, first released in late 2021, but still a worthy contender for people's attention.
I'm big into my gaming, and although a lot of my preferred genres (sports, racing) involve wheels or controllers, I'll always have a special place in my heart for slower-paced strategy games, where the keyboard plays a central role.
Also, as a creative fan and curious hobbyist, I regularly use Photoshop, InDesign, video-editing software and, every now and then, audio-editing software, either for work or my own creative ventures. And as a writer, a good keyboard is absolutely central to my fundamental happiness and wellbeing.
And after living with the AGK700 for over a month now, using it for work, hobbies and play, I admit I'll feel a little pang of sadness to pack it up again to make space for the next keyboard in my review queue.
AOC AGON AGK700 review: Design and build
The first two things I noticed when I unpacked the AGK700 were the distinctive red dial at the top of the keyboard, and the sheer weight of the thing.
Now, at just under 1.7kg, it's not the heaviest keyboard I've ever used, but considering the comparative thinness of the casing underneath the keys, it's clear that this thing is packed tight.
The top of the casing is covered in an aluminium alloy that's textured for that extra premium sensation, the keys switches are high-quality Cherry MX ones, with a stated pressure sensitivity of as little as 45g, with a 1,000Hz, 1ms polling rate and 100% anti-ghosting. So gaming is clearly well thought through here.
Along with the 108-key layout, with a tenkey and numpad included, are five keys on the side that you can customise to your heart's content, along with quick-access buttons and the large, inviting volume dial on top. Using the G-Menu app, you can customise every single key along with the RGB lighting presets, and assign different setups to any of the five profiles available. If you've got more than one AOC peripheral hooked up, such as a mouse and keyboard, you can set synchronised RGB lighting between each item.
This is not only useful for gaming, although the G-Menu options are unsurprisingly centred on that, as you can select from a number of different shortcuts, including for content creation, streaming and other work.
Then to add to the comfort element, a magnetic leather wrist rest is included, which snaps onto the front of the keyboard with the help of four magnets in each unit that lock very satisfyingly together. Large mechanical keyboards, especially ones with the tall Cherry MX keys, can often feel like a bit of a climb for my stubby fingers to traverse, so the presence of this rest is very welcome.
Like I explained above, the keyboard is equipped with Cherry MX switches, and included are replacement keys, such as red WASD keys for that classic gaming control setup.
The G-Menu app is also a great help, although it's not quite as feature-rich as Corsair's iCue application, for example, but the ability to set different profiles, which I could swap between after turning off my work software and switching into gaming mode. You can also customise the polling rate and pressure sensitivity for the keyboard in the G-Menu, which is a boon as some people are delicate typists while others are a bit more thwock, thwock, bam, bam on their poor unsuspecting keys. I leave it to you to guess which one I am, but I'll tell you my coworkers are probably grateful I mostly work remotely.
In the month and a half I've had the AGK700 as my daily driver, I've gotten on extremely pleasantly with it.
The typing experience, as with any Cherry MX mechanical keyboard, is very involved but one without unnecessary heaviness or labour involved in typing, for me at least. Fans of low-profile or membrane keyboard obviously won't agree, but they're probably not reading this review anyway.
The programmable keys (and the macro keys on the side) are useful for gaming, but I also found them a real boon for setting up some content creation and photo-editing shortcuts and macro commands, so the AGK700 makes a case for itself as a good options for creatives who don't mind a bit of RGB flair to their desk setup.
The biggest niggle for me is the size, or lack thereof, of the Enter/Return key. Instead of a big, extended Enter key, the one here is the version that's smaller than the Shift key below and only slightly bigger than the backslash/hash key above it. It led to me hitting the backslash/hash rather too frequently at times when I meant to go for the Enter key.
The music and playback shortcuts are especially welcome for a media fan like me, but it feels like a good opportunity gone amiss that the large volume dial can't be reformatted via G-Menu, such as for rotating brush sizes, zooming, varying opacity or any number of functions within Photoshop, for example.
On its original release in late 2021, the AOC AGON AGK700 cost upwards of £170/$180, but now this AOC flagship model can be had for £/$60 or less. For the features you get, the programmable functions, the macro keys, the excellent Cherry switches, the wrist rest (lush) and the clicky-clacky mechanical typing experience, that's not a whole lot at all. That's on par with much more spartan models with much less customisation, so in the year and a half since release, the AGK700 has traversed the scale from slightly overpriced to frankly a bargain.
Should I buy the AOC AGON AGK700?
If you're a gamer who likes to customise their keyboard functions to oblivion, and wants premium-level build quality for a sub-£70 price tag, you can't really go wrong with the AOC AGON AGK700. Yes, there is a sense that it has some superfluous touches, and there are missed opportunities that creatives will spot, but for a full-on keyboard on par with many of the best gaming keyboards, and one that can do nicely for other work too, I recommend the AGK700 - if you can stomach the RGB flair, that is.