Review: Enhance GX-K3 ‘mechanical-like’ gaming keyboard

Based on hybrid switch technology, Accessory Power’s Enhance GX-K3 delivers a ‘mechanical keyboard-like’ experience, but it won’t set you back for a mechanical keyboard price.

Feature highlights and specifications

enhance6.png
Credit: Accessory Power

The GX-K3 is a compact, low-frills ‘pseudo’ mechanical keyboard based on hybrid switches that sound and feel similar to a mechanical keyboard based on Cherry MX Brown switches.

The switches are essentially a mechanical-like switch sitting over the top of a rubber dome contact point, giving the GX-K3 similar tactile feel to a true mechanical keyboard.

The GX-K3 has 3 colors of LED lighting (red, purple, and blue) as well as breathing/cycling effect that automatically shifts between each color. The keys sit atop a simple aluminum backplane and aren’t inset—another cost saving feature, but one I’ve come to like quite a bit because it makes clearing the keyboard of dust, cat hair, etc. much easier.

The LED lighting is adequate but weak because the hybrid switches don’t allow any light directly through to the key; instead, the LED lights up the area around the key, some of which shines through the top of the key cap itself. The end result is simply that the GX-K3 LED backlighting isn’t very bright.

GX-K3 Features & Specifications

  • Hybrid switches for a ‘mechanical-like’ feel
  • 3 color LED lighting (red, purple, blue, + color cycling mode)
  • Small footprint
  • USB 2.0
  • 1.8m braided USB cable

Performance

The GX-K3 actually feels and performs quite well; if you didn’t know it used ‘hybrid’ switches you might be hard-pressed to tell the difference between it and a true mechanical keyboard.

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Credit: Accessory Power

Regardless, there’s no doubt this is a budget-gaming keyboard. The GX-K3 also has an oversized Enter key and a half-sized Backspace key (European style), which will likely annoy users sensitive to the standard-sized American sizes (i.e. larger Backspace key and smaller Enter key).

Playing games of Hi-Rez Studios’ Smite and the Blizzard’s Overwatch closed beta, I can’t say that I noticed any huge performance differences between the Enhance GX-K3 and my usual keyboard(s). I did occasionally drop a stroke trying to rapidly fire off voice emotes in Smite. I also dropped an occasional stroke when typing rapidly, but I suspect this was largely due to me adapting to the sensitivity of the keys and key-travel distance more than any deficiency in the keyboard or its hybrid switches. (Overall the oddly-sized Enter and Backspace keys were far more of an annoyance.)

The Enhance GX-K3 is also a bit stiff—more akin to Cherry MX Black keys in terms of resistance—than Cherry MX Red or Brown switches. If you like a good, firm keystroke or are just like hammering on your keys pretty hard (some folks do), the Enhance GX-K3 may be a good fit for you.

The GX-K3 doesn’t require any software drivers, nor does it offer any additional capabilities such as macro recording, pass through connectors, or anything else. (It doesn’t include a detachable wrist-rest, but I can’t honestly say I’ve used one anyway.)

Overall: Recommended

The Enhance GX K3 doesn’t boast a lot of bells and whistles, but it does deliver a mechanical-like feel at a mechanical-lite price. For about $35 it’s not much more expensive than a standard non-gaming keyboard, and it sure feels better to type and play on than typical cheap, non-gaming keyboards.

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