On the Surface
If the box is any indicator, I should be able to light this baby up any way I want. I imagine someone might be horrified if they thought those colors were fixed. I know I would be. We’ll find out when we plug it in. So what’s it look like?
Rosewill decided to go with the unblocked raised look of exposed switches. Because the switches themselves are mostly transparent, it does a lot for the colors. The keys are sporting a similar font to the Neon K51, with the spray paint template design of taking a notch out of fully enclosed symbol spaces. While this shouldn’t be a problem to the average typist, anyone who needs to search their keyboard for a letter or symbol may find the @, #, and 8 a little difficult to find. Unlike the Neon K51, the keys above the arrows are now understandable using more than two letters to represent page up, page down, scroll lock, etc.
I’m going to bring this one up quick to get it out of the way:
Yes, the switch is a Kailh. If this is your first mechanical keyboard, this will not bother you in the slightest. The actuation force and full press distance are identical to the pricier MX Cherry Blue and 0.1 mm more than a Razer Green switch. On a performance level, it does the same functions as any other blue switch or equivalent. I will say that the difference between a Kailh Blue and a Razer Green is the sound it makes and the pressure required. Kailh Blue is a bit more treble in the sound of it, sharper. Also, when I say that a Kailh takes a bit more pressure, I don’t mean that it is difficult to press so much as Razer Greens are really light.
Summary: Do you want a sub $100 keyboard with features? Then you likely will not have Cherry MX switches. Are Kailh switches worse than Cherry MX? No, they are essentially the same but cost less like an adhesive bandage that’s not labeled Band-Aid.
I’ll admit that I was ready to harp on them based on amazon reviews of cheaper mechanical keyboards. However, so long as they perform the same job the same way then I have nothing bad to say about them. There’s rumors about a lack of quality, but only years of of use is going to show that and clearly I can’t simulate that. Nothing’s broken yet.
A fun little addition is this hinge attached to the wrist rest. The wrist rest was folded under the keyboard when I removed it from the box. It was odd and questionable in a, “why would you attach it like this?” kind of way. After folding it back in and laying it down I noticed something:
The keys sit level. Keycap design aside, the whole keyboard itself becomes elevated and level. Those feet in the previous picture are angled in such a way that folding the wrist rest in lightly locks them together. If you despise wrist rests you are free to unscrew the hinge. I’m liking this new keyboard solution, though.
The feet still lift it after folding the wrist rest in and I can’t help but wonder if that is a step too far. I’m no longer sure what is practical and what spits in the face of ergonomics. Currently, I’m leaving the wrist rest out.
One more thing before we plug it in is, this is a heavy build. The switch surface is all metal. Reading the specifications on the box, the keyboard is only 2.2 lbs. Is this what 2 lbs feels like? The underside is the kind of plastic I expect from keyboards. Now for lights!