Performance is always at the top of our checklist when looking for a new gaming laptop, and nothing will ever change that. But beyond the raw specs of CPU, GPU and screen type, how do you differentiate between the other features that manufacturers dress their machines in? Which are “nice-to-have”, and which can make you a better gamer?

Simply giving a notebook a black paint job, a few red LEDs and adding the word “gaming” to the nameplate isn’t going to help anyone progress through the ranks.

But a properly done backlit keyboard can actually enhance your gaming prowess and see you coming closer to the top of the tables in those all important online ladders.

AORUS shows how you do it

Which is why we’re quite taken with the latest AORUS range. On top of the performance processors and cutting edge graphics tech, it’s taken the backlit keyboard which allows typists to work in the dark, and made it even more useful for gamers.

The AORUS RGB Fusion keyboard fitted to the 17.3inch AORUS X7 and 15.6inch AORUS X5 notebooks is the first to feature per-key RGB lighting. Rather than relying on a single backlight for the whole keyboard or two or three bulbs to create shaded areas, every button on the AORUS has its own lamp that’s fully customisable.

This means every single key can be given an individual colour, and there are 16.8 million shades to choose from. Assuming each key has its own colour and you changed them all once a day, it would take around 450 years to use every shade in the palette.

And that’s not all.

Using the AORUS Fusion software, owners are able to add and change colours and program customisable effects. For example, the backlight can be set to fade once a key is pressed, press or have lights ripple away from a key press.

What does that mean in games? You can set up patterns to guide your fingers and confirm presses, speeding up complex actions with subtle visual cues all of your own.

You can also set up the keyboard so that only certain keys are illuminated: so unused keys in a particularly complex Elite: Dangerous setting can be set to dark, or the WASD keys can be highlighted a brighter hue for shooters. If you’re the sort of person who likes to spread their gaming tastes wide you can set up individual lighting profiles for different games and switch them on the fly.

Maximising what you’ve got

And if visual aids aren’t enough, any key on the AORUS X7 or X5 can be programmed as a macro key too. Macros can also be recorded and tied to profiles so when you switch from turning enemies into paint in Call of Duty to building a nation in Civilization, macros keys change as well.

Lit keyboards can just be a fancy paint job. But per-key RGB in the new AORUS X7 and X5 offers a degree of customisation that allows users to truly make a gaming laptop their own, and be a better gamer too.

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