GG’s Ironclad V2 is a unique keyboard due to the work done to optimize your typing experience. Let’s discover this model, which shuffles the cards in this highly competitive market.
Keyboard player Ironclad V2 is like a UFO in today’s market. It does not seem to shine with its design, but it should not be underestimated either. The creator of the brand has done a very detailed job on the innards of the keyboard to offer a typing experience that is light years ahead of what the industry giants offer.
Thus, a lot of work has been done on the lubrication of the switches, as well as on reducing their noise. All these improvements, little visible on the outside, tend to place the Ironclad V2 above all its competitors available to the general public.
This second iteration of the Ironclad has new switches and is offered at the recommended price of 139 euros. A price that is still reasonable, given the services offered.
A little history
Before going any further in this test, and in order to fully understand why the Ironclad is so special, it is necessary to take stock of the current gaming keyboard market. Since the adoption of mechanical switches, most manufacturers have developed their own switches with varying degrees of success.
Parallel to the market dominated by Logitech, Corsair or Razer, some more demanding users have begun to build their own keyboards by carefully selecting the chassis, switches and electronic components. Behind this approach, the goal is often to significantly improve the typing experience, which is still very uncertain on keyboards from major manufacturers.
This includes manual lubrication of switches and stabilizers, to make them as smooth as possible. Stabilizers are the metal/plastic combination mechanisms found under the large keys, such as the shift key and space key.
In addition to lubricating the switches, the addition of acoustic foam and a stronger plate to receive them helps to minimize noise and resonance. Although some manufacturers are beginning to make efforts on these points, the rendering is still unmatched by what is found on “hand-built” keyboards.
This is where GG comes in, contributing the experience and demands of the world of keyboards. habit, in a model accessible to the general public, pre-assembled and relatively cheap compared to the usual cost of these devices. Beyond this already important work, the Ironclad V2 features double-injected PBT keycaps, longer-lasting interchangeable switches, and a firmware open source (in beta) that will allow the keyboard to continue to evolve, even after its official support ends.
A very classic design.
Visually, the Ironclad V2 does not shine with its originality. The keyboard revolves around a hard plastic cover and has no “visible” features that could make it stand out from its competitors. However, it is very well built and its high weight gives it an appreciable impression of solidity.
These design choices go hand in hand as the Ironclad V2 tends to be closer to keyboards. habit they are generally very clean. There is no logo present on the chassis and the area above the numeric keypad is solely of interest to house the LED indicators.
This timeless design is also marked by the cutouts in the casing that house the keys and switches. So they lag behind the rest of the keyboard and this choice goes a bit against the current trend.
Going back to the keys, these are logically made of double-injected PBT plastic. This choice, normally reserved for high-end keyboards, guarantees a much longer lifespan for the keys and also avoids grease deposits that are very quickly seen with traditional ABS plastic.
RGB lighting is also included which properly illuminates all the cut out characters on the keys. While this sounds normal, it’s not necessarily the case, as big brands like Razer still don’t offer this, even on their more expensive models.
Under the chassis, we take advantage of a clever cable routing system. In fact, the supplied braided USB cable is removable, and if connected to the center of the keyboard, it can be routed to the left or right, depending on user preference. Two retractable feet are also installed at two heights to be able to choose between three different inclinations.
The Ironclad V2 comes with a key and switch removal tool, but also some replacement keys to add system volume control. Some spare switches are also provided.
We regret that the wrist rest is not included in the box as you have to pay a few more euros to get it. However, it is very comfortable and blends perfectly with the keyboard. Its only flaw is not being magnetized.
A complete software, minus the visual aspect
If you don’t have dedicated media keys or volume control wheel, the Ironclad V2 benefits from many shortcuts accessible thanks to the Fn key. The only drawback: these shortcuts are not indicated on the keys, so you will have to learn them by heart.
As often happens, it is mainly at the level of the software proposal and therefore the functionalities that “young” brands struggle to convince. However, the Ironclad V2 comes with relatively comprehensive software that offers most of the essential features. However, we will not stop at the visual aspect of the application in which there is still work to be done.
The utility first allows you to customize the RGB lighting of the switches. Options are complete with numerous presets and the ability to customize lighting on a key-by-key basis. At this level, GG does just as well as the competition.
The functionality of the keys will also be changeable with many actions ranging from keyboard shortcuts to multimedia and system functions. It is also possible to assign macros, which can be recorded directly within the application.
Finally, other more specific settings are included, including the possibility of activating game mode, which deactivates the Windows key. You can also enable or disable anti-ghosting, customize the rebound to adapt the behavior of the keyboard to the switches that are grafted to it and to modify the frequency of vote.
Profiles can be created to save different settings. Unfortunately, it is currently impossible to associate these profiles with games or applications in order to automatically switch from one to the other automatically.
Ironclad V2 will eventually be compatible with the firmware alternative QMK. This feature will allow it to remain customizable and scalable even if official support is no longer guaranteed.
An exceptional writing experience
While the Ironclad V2 doesn’t necessarily stand out for its design or features, it’s another story when it comes to the typing experience. It’s simple: no keyboard player The general public does not currently offer such a service.
The switches benefit from excellent quality lubrication that gives them unmatched fluidity with what the big names in the sector can offer. Only Asus manages to come close with its ROG RX switches, failing to really compete.
The larger keys also benefit from a special treatment with lubricated stabilizers. We added some excellent work on the acoustics that provide extreme typing satisfaction as we get closer to what we find with a keyboard. habit.
As for the characteristics of the switches, here they are similar to the traditional ones. switches Cherry red or gaterón. They are therefore linear switches with a required activation force of 45 g. Generally reactive, they reveal their potential in FPS and other demanding titles of the genre.
The excellent experience provided by typing on these switches also makes them suitable for editorial use. Writing this test, naturally done with the Ironclad V2, was a real pleasure. Also note that it is possible to get the Ironclad V2 with the more classic Gateron Blue and Brown switches.
Finally, let’s not forget that the switches can be easily replaced with the accessories provided and that the keyboard can therefore evolve according to the tastes and wishes of the user.
GG Ironclad V2 price and release date
The GG Ironclad V2 keyboard is available at the recommended price of 139 euros.