Before anything else, we would like to thank MorganStar Marketing for providing our samples for this review.
Where to Buy
Unboxing – Gigaware Ajazz AK33
Unboxing – Closer Look
The Gigaware Ajazz AK33 mechanical keyboard gained popularity around 2016 because of its selling price. Who doesn’t want a real mechanical keyboard for just US$40? Furthermore, its design is also one of the reasons for its popularity. We will tackle more about that later on.
The packaging of the Gigaware Ajazz AK33 mechanical keyboard is plain and simple. No fancy colors or graphics design like most do. It only has a few branding name and information that are written in Mandarin. Which is probably a way to cut the cost and sell this keyboard for a cheaper price.
The backside shows more information written also in Mandarin. I wish they went with a little extra effort to at least write each information in English. Given that this keyboard is already available worldwide. I’m not quite sure but they probably already did in the US market and didn’t bother to do so for the Philippine market. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ I checked Amazon.com but couldn’t find one that shows the packaging.
Opening the box, you’ll find the product itself along with the detachable USB cable connector. Nothing fancy to see. Just enough protection to prevent scratches or damages when in transit.
Unboxing – Accessories & Protection
Taking all the stuff out of the box. The Gigaware Ajazz AK33 mechanical keyboard comes with some extra for delights. The packaging includes a small brush for cleaning your keyboard, a key cap puller that is made of plastic, a thick and quality detachable USB connector, and some maintenance guide, warranty and certification papers that I don’t understand because they are all written in Mandarin.
Like most keyboards, the Gigaware Ajazz AK33 mechanical keyboard is protected and cushioned by two pieces of pre-fitted foam on each side. It’s soft and it provides ample protection to prevent damages during transit which is good.
The keyboard is also wrapped and covered with a soft foam. It is covering the whole section of the keyboard to prevent scratches. However, if you ask me, I’d probably want a bubble wrap than a soft foam. Bubble wrap will provide more protection for the keyboard than a soft foam. Just my two cents.
Closer Look – Gigaware Ajazz AK33
What we have here is a plain Gigaware Ajazz AK33 mechanical keyboard. It doesn’t have any LED lighting. It boasts a TKL 75% Mechanical Keyboard design and as well as a compact design. The keyboard measures about 31 cm in length and 12 cm in width. It has a peak height of 5.5 cm with the adjustable stand and a height of 3.8 cm if the stand is tucked in.
In terms of switches, the sample that we have here uses a Blue Zorro Switch. Blue Zorro switches are tactile clicky switches that are considered to be an imitation of the Cherry MX blue, and these Blue Zorro Switches does feel very comparable to Cherry MX blue switches. Zorro blues are more scratchy, however.
Facts – Zorro Switches
Zorro switches, is it the first time you ever heard of them? Well to make things simple, Zorro switches is another Chinese brand type of switches that copies or imitates, or at least tried to, Cherry MX Switches. These kind of switches are more popular and are very common among mechanical keyboards that are being sold for a very low price.
Are they interchangeable? Yes. You just have to remove the back cover of the keyboard and unsolder the switches.
Experience wise, the one we have here seems to be consistent and equally thorough through all out each of the switches. It’s not disappointing in a way but also not that satisfying. There is somehow some inconsistency among the keys. Some tend to activate without pressing the key halfway while some tend to not activate unless you really press the key.
Overall, you wouldn’t notice the difference if you’re not that picky. However, if you’re coming from a long time Cherry MX switch user, you definitely will.
Closer Look – Backside
The back side of the keyboard is covered with a protective plastic that prevents scratches. The back side is made of a glossy plastic. If you remove the plastic, you’re presented with a very glossy plastic backside cover. I don’t like this kind of plastic. Glossy plastic tends to be scratched easily and gets really dirty over time. It also gives off a cheap feeling and makes the keyboard look very cheap.
This keyboard also offers adjustable feet that can change the angle of the keyboard towards the user. Not bad to be honest. I have seen some that don’t even offer adjustable feet to really cut the cost.
Lastly, the keyboard boasts rubber feet. Assuring you that it won’t slide easily especially during those intense use like when gaming.
The rubber feet is not the type of rubber feet that you usually see on high-end mechanical keyboards but more of a rubber that is similar to a pencil eraser.
The Postive Side
After using the Gigaware Ajazz AK33 mechanical keyboard as my everyday keyboard use for about a week, I can say that it’s a decent mechanical keyboard. It’s not disappointing and not that great either. It also exceeded my expectation. Probably because I am expecting a really really bad performance from it. Especially that I have been using keyboards that use Cherry MX Blue and Kailh switches for a very long time.
In terms of overall performance, I have somewhat a split and different thought about this keyboard. I mean, it really is not disappointing and you will understand that if you try one but as I have said, you will notice how poorly it performs if you’re coming from a Cherry MX keyboard user. I can say it can be a decent secondary or emergency keyboard for those type of people that has been using high-end keyboards for years. On the other hand, you will appreciate this keyboard if you’re on a budget and want to switch to a mechanical keyboard. I can conclude that it is a decent entry level keyboard overall.
Going to the specifics. Probably the best thing about this keyboard is its price. For just PHP1,300 (the selling price as of this writing), you can grab yourself a real mechanical keyboard. Another worth mentioning about this keyboard is its design. It’s one of the best features of this keyboard. It boasts a 75% TKL Compact keyboard design which you rarely see on the market. Yes, there are a few but mostly just TKL with the standard keyboard layout.
This keyboard has gained its popularity way back in the middle of 2016. It is slowly gaining popularity as well here in the Philippines. The keyboard layout design is really a plus for this keyboard.
The Negative Side
Now let’s talk about the negative side of this keyboard. The glossy backside is definitely a turn off for me. It makes the keyboard look really cheap, given that it is cheap already for the price but they could have gone with a better design. The keycaps also feel cheap, well for this model (Non-LED Gigaware Ajazz AK33). The keycaps are not embossed or covered with finish matte coating. Once you get the feel of the keycaps, it will remind you of those white keyboard back in the days.
Another worth mentioning is the use of Zorro switches. I know that they really have to go for cost cutting and using every affordable component as possible to offer this at an affordable price point but they could have at least provided more information about the Zorro switches. You will not find anything about them on Google other than those that are looking for more information about the switches and a very short, useless information from a wikipedia like website.
Lastly, going straight to the point. This is a decent keyboard for people on a budget but a very very bad keyboard for those looking for a replacement of their Cherry MX or Kailh keyboard. You can’t go wrong for the price and I believe this is the cheapest mechanical keyboard you can find on LAZADA. Given that the price is an LAZADA price, this could be even cheaper if you buy directly from the seller. The addition of the keycap puller and a brush is a welcome value added accessories. The thick USB detachable cable is also lovable but I wish they could have gone with a braided one. I have seen cheaper non-mechanical keyboards (soft membrane keyboards) that already comes with a braided cable.
Do you own one yourself? Tell us about your experience with the keyboard in the comment section below.