Date Joined: 11/11/16
Pros: I was in the market for a new board. Had a few backlit ones before, so I thought I'd maintain the dork course. I looked around and this thing popped up for an entirely too reasonable price. These are all preliminary thoughts about it.
- The backlights look great. All of them work and function to their full advertised potential for now. I can't say how long they'll last yet. My previous boards always seemed to lose a light or two after awhile.
- The thing just looks fantastic. The keys are matte on top with a neat font, however, the sides are gloss black. This just looks really great against the matte baseplate and ever so gentle chrome accents along the sides where even more customizable lighting exists. I'm hoping the finish remains after heavy usage. Time will tell.
- The board stores your preset lighting configuration in its own memory, so there is no need for external software. This is a paramount plus. I wholly dislike offloading that type of nonsense onto my computer.
- The 'Fn' operation to customize the board is really easy to use once you know what all the symbols mean.
- This board is an excellent combination of basic and stylish. No extraneous macro keys, the form factor is great for a mechanical keyboard.
- The preset light shows and interactive shows are actually really cool to see and use. Kids would love them.
- The keys don't sit in a well. You never consider something like this, but if you pleasure yourself frequently while using oil, the oil and bodily fluids would collect under the keys. This also has the additional effect of being able to see the key light splash off of the frame. It looks very professional for a goofy gamer keyboard.
- Easy to clean. Since it doesn't have a key well, you can just blow compressed air across the plate.
- The keys are easy to remove even if you don't have a special tool to pull them off. You just start at an edge and work your way in.
- The cord isn't braided with cloth, so you don't have to worry about dust balls collecting on your cable.
- It has a very simple, dedicated row of multimedia keys. The volume controls are priority, and the play/pause/stop/open keys are operable using the 'Fn' key.
- It has a dedicated calculator button above the keypad (obviously) that opens the calculator on your computer. This may not matter to some, but I really missed having this from my old cheap board a long time ago. It adds dignity to the whole thing.
- It's actually really nice to type on. My last keyboard felt funny, and it could have just been my imagination, but possibly the alignment of the keys is more proper on this one.
- It has a clever cord management system built in where you can thread your cable out from three holes in the back. Left, middle, and right.
- The palm rest is foldable but also raises the keyboard about a quarter of an inch in the process. It is fully removable by unscrewing it.
- Comes with a little Velcro cable tie for when you need to bundle it up.
- I tried a gentle torque test by giving a little twist from the sides, and it's pretty rigid. That's what she said.
Cons: - The spacebar is super noisy compared to the other keys. This appears to be due to the mechanism they used to equalize it. It doesn't distract during loud games or anything, but it does pop at you when you type in your quiet solitude. It could likely be remedied by putting a small dab of grease on the tracks since they don't come in contact with the actual actuator. The longer keys like the shift and enter keys all have this mechanism, but it's not as loud, nor are they pressed nearly as often as the spacebar. The trade-off is you don't have to mess with some silly spring threading when you want to remove the longer keys for thorough cleaning.
- No USB or audio pass-through. This isn't a con for me as I didn't use them that often on my old boards. Also reduces the number of connectors dangling around. I wouldn't be ashamed to plug it into the front of my computer if needed.
- You can't change what the toggle button colors change to, but they at least switch to neutral white when activated. What's neat is that Caps key is now its own toggle light.
Overall Review: Rosewill has thoroughly impressed me here. As far as endurance for the lights and keys, who knows? I've only had it for a day, but at this price, if I get 5 years out of it, I will feel pleasantly satisfied at its value. I paid around $100 each for the two prior boards, and they really only made it about 3 years before light failures. This board has so much more at a lower cost. I'd be thrilled to see this one beat them for endurance.
I thought it would have been cool if there was an interactive mode where every time you pressed a key it would change color so that your board would be an ever evolving candyland, or have it react to music, but all the stuff that's already here is great.
ONE YEAR UPDATE: This board is still working flawlessly. It's seen some abuse but all the keys and lights still work.