What is the Acer Predator Aethon 500
The Acer Predator Aethon 500 isn’t just a glitz-and-glam gaming keyboard. As well as RGB lighting, it also combines a decent typing experience that delivers just enough accuracy to satisfy your average gamer.
There’s a massive issue though. Not only are there some strange design decisions here, but it also has a ludicrously steep price which will likely scare away most potential buyers. Is the Acer Predator Aethon 500 worth the investment for cash happy gamers? I’m not convinced.
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Acer Predator Aethon 500 – Design and Build
For the £199.99 asking price (although you can find it heavily discounted right now), I expected a lot from the Aethon 500’s build quality, and it does deliver in some respects. It’s incredibly solid, the weighty frame never willing to budge during use.
This is accompanied by a magnetic wrist-rest that can be seamlessly attached to the bottom, although it’s so large and quite unsightly that I stopped using it. It just isn’t that comfortable.
Take this away and you’re left with a striking black design accompanied by stylish keys and a fluorescent blue underlay that make a pretty partnership on the eyes. You could argue it lacks the premium feel for such an expensive product, and I’d be inclined to agree with you.
The aluminum chassis is great, echoing the premium feel I lust for that’s sadly lacking in the product’s remaining features. It’s metallic keys are nice on the surface, but give way to Kailh Blue Switches than are found in far cheaper models.
For the same price or even lower, you can pick up the Razer Huntsman Elite and HP Omen Sequencer, both of which are far superior, immediately making this a hard keyboard to recommend. The WASD keys are conveniently coloured a light blue, marking their importance to an avid gamer.
A scroll wheel can be found on the upper-right that provides shortcuts for skipping, pausing and adjusting media, accompanied by a nifty little volume adjuster which makes minute changes to your in-game audio a breeze.
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Acer Predator Aethon 500 – Performance
The Aethon 500’s Kailh Blue Switches are unacceptable given the steep asking price, especially given how its rivals incorporate Cherry MX Blues with no trouble at all. They simple don’t have the luscious accuracy we’d expect from a keyboard of this calibre, lessening your response in competitive situations. It’s a big oversight, emphasised further by an inconsistent design.
Now, there’s nothing particularly wrong with the Aethon 500’s performance. It’s just simply not performing to the standard we’d expect for £199. In Destiny 2 and Apex Legends an actuation force of 50 grams didn’t lead to any issues, and the 1.9mm key travel meant all of my commands were received quickly and efficiently. You can’t go wrong with N-Key Rollover either, which is present and accounted for in the Aethon 500.
On the left-hand side you’ll find five dedicated Macro Keys that can be kitted out with your own custom commands. Item shortcuts and MMO movesets are perfect for this, and the way in which they’re located makes activating them a breeze. Like we said, the Aethon 500 is fine, but so are keyboards cheaper than this that perform to a very similar level. And if you’ve got £200 to splurge on a keyboard, you can do better.
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Acer Predator Aethon 500 – Software and Lighting
This is an attractive keyboard with some obtuse design oversights, ones which fortunately aren’t translated to the RGB lighting. This can be customised through a bespoke programme that can adjust specific sections of the device to your liking. It’s well implemented, and being able to highlight specific keys a certain way always helps.
By pressing a button in the top-left corner you can cycle the RGB lighting through a selection of unique presets, all of which highlight certain sections. They’re designed to accommodate specific situations, whether you need to see the keys in a dimly lit space or highlight those of extra importance. You can pick from 9 lightning presets or make your own from a staggering number of settings.
Should I buy the Acer Predator Aethon 500?
For the harsh asking price, it’s difficult to recommend the Acer Predator Aethon 500 when superior examples exist at cheaper prices. Its passable performance and impressive RGB lighting are all fine and dandy, but fail to put it into the upper echelons of gaming peripherals.