We Recommend The AULA Sapphire Mechanical Keyboard For
Sometimes you want the best but can’t afford to pay for the best. Do you settle for the next best or do you go a level down and get the best in that level? The AULA Sapphire mechanical keyboard will put you in such a situation. If you don’t want to spend a ton for a good mechanical gaming keyboard but really don’t want to settle for a membrane type heavy-duty gaming keyboard, then the AULA Sapphire is what you should be getting. Granted, it misses out on macro keys and programmability but everything else that a professional gamer needs is there. Unless you enter competitions on a regular basis or plan on carrying your keyboard with you wherever you go, the AULA Sapphire will serve you well.
- AULA mechanical blue switch with ultra-long lifetime durability, perfect for all gamers and comes with a 1 year warranty.
- Express your individuality and get the leg-up in games with LED backlighting and numerous color options to pick from.
- AULA Armor Technology with highly durable Double-shot injection molding keycaps, suitable for all gaming circumstances
AULA Sapphire Introduction
Minimalistic styling and ergonomic design might be the forte of the AULA Sapphire Mechanical Gaming Keyboard but it is the gaming-centric features that get it into our list of top gaming keyboards. A massive palm rest that slopes ever so slightly outwards helps manage hand fatigue while the use of mechanical blue switches offers a perfect tactile response when gaming. Besides, these keys are designed to click the moment a keystroke is registered and it is the audible click they let you concentrate on your game rather than worrying about perfectly timed keystrokes for that stupendous move. This keyboard stays true to its gaming roots and offers a lock key that freezes all additional Windows based keys during gaming so you don’t accidentally minimize or move away from the game.
Now, AULA may not be as famous as some other gaming peripheral brands but their products are cheaper than the market rules plus reliable too. The Sapphire weighs in at just 2.6 lbs. but packs in all 104 keys with a metallic base underneath and a single tone LED backlighting too. It isn’t just lightweight but also sturdy. Come find out whether we approve of the AULA Sapphire or recommend against it.
AULA Sapphire Design
Sturdy is probably what I would go for but the plastic used on top of the metallic frame is what concerns me. While it seems to be ABS grade, I am not so sure and only time will tell. To be honest, AULA isn’t a recognized gaming peripheral brand and if anything, they are more interested in copying the most successful models in the market from other makers. One look at their website reveals that they are a Razer wannabe. However, at the price they are trying to sell the Sapphire Backlit Mechanical keyboard, I have no complaints on their design and marketing strategy so long as they stick to this price range.
As for the design, it is gaming-centric with a lot of bezel space and even a wrist pad built into the keyboard. This pad isn’t just for show either as it does slope gradually away from the keyboard giving your wrists ample space to taper off. As for the keys, they operate of Blue type switches though not genuine Cherry Blues. Nevertheless, these AULA knockoffs are just as good with the keys having a heavy response plus that audible click. The keys are slightly wider than most conventional mechanical keyboards which to me was a good thing especially since I have larger hands and the compact membrane keyboards are a huge bother to me. My mistakes drastically reduced ever since I began testing the AULA Sapphire. As for the backlit part, it really isn’t all that much as the light is mostly hidden underneath the keys. You have three brightness level settings and the lower two settings are useless because only the high is clearly visible.
AULA Sapphire Specifications
AULA and all its gaming accessories have begun cementing their position in the gaming industry and part of the success is due to their top-notch specifications at a considerably lower price. Take the Sapphire for instance. This keyboard packs in the complete set of 104 keys without weighing more than 2.6 lbs. And this is including the extra area to all sides plus the wrist pad. As for the keys, they operate off Blue mechanical switches that are proprietary AULA technology, though we suspect them to be copies of Cherry MX Blues. Nevertheless, these keys should travel no more than 4mm with a key force of around 60g, give or take 10g. Basically, these keys will make a properly audible clank as they bottom out but then that’s what gamers look for so they know they have set in motion on of the keys in a sequence that culminates in a devastating move.
AULA Sapphire Performance and Feel
To be honest, the AULA Sapphire feels pretty similar to a Razer keyboard albeit without all the quality checks and last minute adjustments. Plus, this keyboard does not have its own software to control keys and macros. Having said that, though, the AULA Sapphire does a wonderful job gaming. The mechanical keys are slightly wider in their arrangement and this ensures that you don’t accidentally press some key that you never intended to. This plus the amount of actuation force necessary to depress a key prevents any accidental presses too. The good thing about Cherry MX Blue keys, and probably the reason for my choice is that because of a high actuating force, you have to really press down on them and sideways hits therefore never register. That’s what happens with the AULA Sapphire keys. Sideway presses, half-presses don’t register at all until you intentionally press a key from straight above.
While this is touted as a gaming keyboard, the only two gaming features on this keyboard include the mechanical keys and the backlight. That’s about it. There are no macros and no profiles neither can you customize the keys with an AULA program. You could though download a third-party software for customizing the keys to your liking. Nevertheless, this keyboard only packs in the basics necessary to game. Coming to the ergonomics of the keyboard, the backlight has three settings, one of which is the breathing mode. This mode does not cycle through the colors but only gradually changes the brightness levels, which is useless since the lowest two brightness levels are pretty hard to see unless it is pitch dark. Next is the palm rest that works as advertised though I am not personally a big fan of it. What I am a big fan of though is the provision of back stands. A lot of keyboard makers tend to skip out on these nowadays and it is nice to see AULA stick to the age-old kickback stand.
AULA Sapphire Pros
- Inexpensive gaming peripheral that packs all the requisites you will ever need to game barring macros and programmability.
- The keys are similar to Cherry MX Blue though they are not Cherry keys. The key force, travel, and all other specifications are exactly the same plus these keys are actually more rugged so they will not register accidental hits.
- Gaming mode button stops all Windows related keys from firing in-game so you don’t have accidents whilst in the middle of a co-op mission.
- The backlight has multiple modes and is a nice addition especially for those who love gaming in the dark as opposed to the light.
- Wrist pad, the design of the keyboard and the back stands are all ergonomic additions for the comfort and benefit of the gamer.
- Weighs less than 3 pounds making it a light mechanical keyboard. This is great especially if you wish to take it along on your trips.
AULA Sapphire Cons
- The default color setting is blue and this is a huge pain especially if your mouse and other peripherals are all in another color. Besides, the option to set default color would have been a nice addition.
- The cable is shorter than 6 meters and you might have a problem reaching your PC if it sits far away.
- This keyboard uses Blue keys but they are not tested so the longevity might be an issue though we observed zero complaints about the keys thus far.
- There are no macro options or a bundled program that can re-program keys and set macros. Would have been nice to get a third-party program bundled with the keyboard.
- The backlit keys are barely visible unless you use the highest brightness setting and in breathing mode, the brightness keeps changing though the color remains the same.
AULA Sapphire Conclusion
Yes, there are several limitations of the AULA Sapphire mechanical gaming keyboard and yes there are several better models in the market. However, at this price tag, it is kind of difficult finding a gaming keyboard with mechanical keys that performs above average. In fact, if it weren’t for the minor nagging issues of the backlighting I would recommend this to one and all. However, because of the backlighting, which isn’t the brightest and also the absence of any third-party software bundled with this keyboard that can immediately reprogram the keys, my vote goes elsewhere. Nevertheless, if you have a tight budget and can find the AULA Sapphire mechanical keyboard at a good price then, by all means, go for it.