Playing with the Osmium

The Osmium with Cherry MX Brown switches is ideal for those who like some light feedback while using a mechanical keyboard, unlike the more smooth response given by the model with Cherry MX Red switches, that are more discreet and don’t even feel very mechanical. Here goes, again, a complaint about the lack of a better nomenclature between the Osmium models to distinguish both products; if it is confusing on a review, imagine it on the shelf. The choice of switches notwithstanding, the Osmium has remarkable precision; the sensation of being “in control” is a little more intense in this model because of the tactile response from the Cherry MX Brown switches. We found it hard to miss a click because our fingers actually felt the bump during typing.

OsmiumFigure 12: Osmium with wrist rest attached

The macro keys are poorly located, because the G1-G5 keys are set in a very isolated position on the upper side of the keyboard, requiring the player to lift the hand from the main control keys (the WASD cluster) to reach them; if they were on the left side, that would just require a quick side move with the pinkie. Better yet, Gigabyte could have included a lateral set of macro keys (for more frantic commands) and kept the ones above for less urgent commands. Since we found the macro keys to be somewhat distant, we just programmed them for simple tasks, like selling junk items on World of Warcraft.

OsmiumFigure 13: Illuminated Osmium

The idea of having control wheels on the keyboard like those found on mice was great. They make altering the volume and the illumination intensity very intuitive, but the multimedia controls deserved a separate set of buttons like the macro keys, and not just be associated to the function keys F1-F4.

In terms of endurance, because the keyboard is heavy, the Osmium kept perfectly stable on the table, even in the heat of battle. The thick cable is not that flexible and can be difficult to be managed. On the other hand, having a complete hub with USB and audio ports is very handy, and the user can plug a headset (digital or analogical) and a gaming-grade mouse into the Osmium and not bother to struggle with wiring behind the PC.

A self-assumed gadget-freak and an avid gamer, André Gordirro has written about pop culture, Internet and technology for the past ten years. He works for SET Magazine, Brazil's biggest movie magazine, and usually contributes to its technology section writing about consumer products. His body lives in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil – although his mind is said to inhabit cyberspace.