What has not been offered by gaming peripherals for PC at this time? After years of racing against each other by trying to offer something different, there isn't much "new" thing they can inject to justify a higher price than conventional non-gaming products. The best solution that can be injected is to change the design side, make it comfortable but at the same time continue to strengthen the existing cosmetic side.
In this last affair, some succeed in producing designs that are full of identity and not hard to steal your attention at a glance. For some gamers, the element that might sound non-essential in terms of performance is actually the part that is sought after. Everything on behalf of appearing as a gamer on the surface, especially if he allows the personalization process on it. In a market like this, Acer is trying to answer the challenge with the Acer Predator Aethon 500, an RGB mechanical gaming keyboard. But unfortunately, there is something that feels lacking in this one keyboard.
Features and Design
Seeing it on the surface, the Predator Aethon 500 does look and feel like a gaming keyboard. The shape of each key keyboard that offers comfort wrapped in a dominant black color and an inscription "Predator" at the bottom of the keyboard. Compared to most keyboards, the size is indeed slightly extended especially because of the extra space they have to inject on the left to facilitate a new row of keys. While on the right side, there are a few parts that stand out from the key row to access media settings instantly. That's right, a small wheel that can be accessed by spinning it in analog is injected to adjust the volume without interrupting your gaming process.
Wrapped in aluminum material that dominates it, the Predator Aethon 500 does look big and sturdy. As gamers who like the keyboard that is a little heavy and often associate it with stability, we are certainly happy with this one aspect. But on the other hand, weight like this makes it not suitable to be used as a keyboard that you can carry when traveling for gaming or productive activities, for example. Acer also injects a bluish key for four keys - W, A, S, D to strengthen its identity as a gaming keyboard. Did this strategy work? Since you will use it more with your fingertips, we should call this an ineffective step. We have even found that for unclear reasons, the writing of these four keys is easily eroded compared to other "regular" keys.
Making sure you can access almost all functions instantly regardless of the software support we will discuss later seems to be the idea of the overall design of the Predator Aethon 500. In addition to the 5 macro buttons for you who need them, there is an extra button labeled "P" which as you can predict is a symbol of "Profile". By pressing it, you can change the Predator Aethon 500 profile instantly without the need to access the software side at all. What we like about it is the round shape, so that when your muscle memory moves to the upper left side to press the "Esc" button, the strange round shape will inform your fingertips that the button you are pressing is not the "Esc" you are looking for. With it, you can move it a little to the right and find the button you want.
While the analog button on the right will help you access multimedia functions instantly, which of course is very helpful not only when you enjoy your favorite movies for example, but also ensures that song player applications running in the background such as Spotify to stop, continue, or are now present with a smaller volume. Because it is not impossible for you to meet a game that requires grinding or is so repetitive that music will be an effective encouragement. Buttons like this will make you not lose important moments in the game for example.
Unfortunately, it must be admitted that the Predator Aethon 500 did not come with a special design. Indeed it comes with the concept of RGB which we will discuss later, but the writing just "Predator" at the bottom of the keyboard does not provide a cosmetic effect or strong image that is ready to make gamers excited or proud. Yet on the other hand, Predator has a logo that is counted masculine and cool to be better utilized with the design side like this. The logo only ends at the palm rest, which is not necessarily used by all gamers, including us.
Predator Aethon 500, How Comfortable?
Broadly speaking, the Predator Aethon 500 is a mechanical gaming keyboard that is designed quite comfortably from the placement of keys to the size that it stretches. But on the other hand, the technology itself raises questions if we also talk about the price it wants to offer. Why? Because instead of using Cherry MX, they use Kailh - a "second class" switch which is usually used as a source of technological compromise for many similar products at a cheaper price. Often associated with lower endurance, our experience so far with Kailh is quite good and not much of a problem. Especially with the blue switch, he was carrying, the tactile sensation offered by the Predator Aethon 500 entered into our personal preferences.
But when it comes to the price he is carrying, the selection of the Kailh switch is certainly provoking curiosity. Why? Because it is not difficult to find similar competitor products on the market when referring to the USD price, which already uses Cherry MX as a base. This is, of course, the difference that is not difficult to make some types of PC gamers to look away from the Acer keyboard as a whole, especially for those who have negative prejudice on the quality of Kailh itself. Conditions like this make the Predator Aethon 500 lose one specific attraction.
In the midst of designs that on the surface are not so "crazy" and "different", the decision to use Kailh makes its appeal a little decreased. But it doesn't stop there, the Predator Aethon 500 also includes a user-interface software design that looks cheap compared to competing products. It's easy to find everything through a simple tab, where you can use it to embed macro functions, adjust the RGB lighting effects so diverse, to save the profile you want. But all the fully recognized functions are "sinking" because of a bad first impression. Acer should pay for a better user-interface design to make it look more elegant and classy. This contributes again to the value of his identity and appeal. Slowly but surely, it looks like a keyboard that is not "charismatic".
Yet once again, it carries the performance as a fantastic gaming keyboard. With the N-key rollover feature, it guarantees that all commands you throw will be properly translated. This makes even a fast gaming activity, will minimize the risk of ending with the translation of commands that actually overwrite each other and make some other commands do not appear on the screen. The Predator Aethon 500 did a very good job as a gaming keyboard when we tested it in the latest shooter game 4A Games - Metro Exodus. FPS games like this do not require you to do a lot of unnecessary movements, but the presence of the Predator Aethon 500 seems to guarantee that all you have to worry about is the cannibals and mutants you face before your eyes. We also made it the spearhead to play Apex Legends, which like Metro Exodus, handled the Predator Aethon 500 well.
The Ultimate Points: Lighting
Talking about performance and comfort, the Predator Aethon 500 does offer consistency that you can count on. But as we talked about earlier, a number of decisions such as the choice of keyboard design on the surface, the lack of visible logo that is actually cool on it, to the bad design of user-interface software that does make it look "cheap". Whereas in particular for design, the choice of aluminum as an aluminum base material not only makes it look solid but also strengthens the lighting effect it produces.
With so many pre-set RGB systems that you can do in the Predator Aethon 500, the quality of the light effects that he injects is indeed fantastic. The bottom of the aluminum-based plate seems to reflect light and make the intensity higher than it should. The result? Bright colors that peek a little in the cracks of the keys appear to shine brighter with precise color accuracy, but on the other hand, it is not excessive to make you happy to do gaming in the midst of the darkness that ends disturbed. The "cheap" user-interface will make it easier for you to find pre-set locations and "create" your own RBG effects.
For those of you who really focus on the quality of RGB lighting, the chance of modification and implementation per key seems to be enough to make the Predator Aethon 500 an attractive alternative choice.
Less "charismatic" at first might sound like a strange sentence to choose from defining the experience of using a gaming keyboard. But by reading what we talked about above, slowly but surely, you will likely understand why we call the Predator Aethon 500 that way. Because basically, it is a quality gaming keyboard that does its job well.
But on the other hand there are a number of choices made, not essential to affect performance, but significant enough to reduce the "class". From the decision to use Kailh at the price level it offers, user-interface with a cheap-looking design, to an overall keyboard design that doesn't look special.