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Corsair K65 Plus Wireless Keyboard: a responsive, well-featured gaming keyboard that’s great for typing too
4:41 pm | June 13, 2024

Author: admin | Category: Computers Computing Gadgets Keyboards Peripherals & Accessories | Tags: | Comments: Off

Corsair K65 Plus Wireless Keyboard: one-minute review

Let’s cut to the chase – the Corsair K65 Plus Wireless Keyboard is a fantastic wireless RGB gaming peripheral. Really, the only reasons to stay away are if you need a different form factor, whether it’s a full-size model or something in a more diminutive package, or if you find the price a bit too much to stomach. While plenty of premium gaming keyboards go for a similar price, you can certainly find decent models for much less.

That said, I will say I was essentially smitten the first time I typed on the Corsair K65 Plus Wireless. For me personally, it’s certainly among the best wireless keyboards and best mechanical keyboards out there. Whether it’s one of the best keyboards for you will depend on what you’re looking for, of course.

Outside of the main downsides I already mentioned, the only other reason someone might avoid this keyboard is if they want something that looks a little less like a gaming keyboard. As good as I think this keyboard looks, it still feels more appropriate for a gaming setting than a professional one.

Corsair K65 Plus Wireless Keyboard: price and availability

Connectivity options of the Corsair K65 Plus Wireless

(Image credit: Future / James Holland)
  • How much does it cost? $159.99 / £149.99 (about AU$250)
  • When is it available? Available now
  • Where can you get it? On sale in the US and UK

Paying $159.99 / £149.99 (about AU$250) for a gaming keyboard is a lot for most people, especially as everything else in life seems to cost a little more these days. For better or worse, though, spending that much on a premium gaming keyboard with wireless connectivity is par for the course.

The Razer BlackWidow V4 75% I reviewed last year, which not only shares the same size, but also allows you to replace keycaps and switches to your heart’s content (in fact, you can use both three- and five-pin switches) goes for $189.99 / £189.99 / AU$349.95. And, since it’s aimed at modders, any first-party additions like different keycaps only adds to that price tag.

Or, take a look at the Yunzii AL71. It costs almost the same depending on where you are ($159.99 / £129 / AU$245), and offers a lot of the same features regarding customization, connectivity, and even being able to switch between Windows and Mac connectivity. It is a slightly smaller form factor and you won’t get the control dial seen on this Corsair keyboard (more on that in a moment).

Value: 4 / 5

Corsair K65 Plus Wireless Keyboard: design and features

Corsair K65 Plus Wireless keycaps

(Image credit: Future / James Holland)

As far as the design of the Corsair K65 Plus Wireless goes, let’s start with the basics. This is a 75% sized model, meaning that you forgo a number pad and extra dedicated macro keys as you would see on full-sized options, but you still have the arrow keys as well as Page Up, Page Down, and Home (that you would miss out on with even smaller form factors). Plus, you still have a media key in the form of the control dial in the upper-right corner of the keyboard.

The keycaps have a soft feel with a concave shape to them that makes for easy, comfortable presses. And, since Corsair uses a top mount plate and stabilizers, not to mention pre-lubed switches, every press feels almost like pressing into a firm pillow (that might be a bit hyperbolic, but you get the idea). Each press is stable as the switches and keycaps have no wiggle to them – just a proper up and down motion.

There are also two layers of sound dampening built into the Corsair K65 Plus Wireless, and the Corsair MLX Red switches are designed for quiet operation as well. That makes this among the quieter mechanical keyboards I’ve used.

Corsair K65 Plus Wireless Keyboard Specs

Layout: 75%
Switch: Corsair MLX Red
Programmable keys: Yes
Dimensions: 12.59 x 5.35 x 1.37-inches (LxWxH)
RGB or backlighting: Yes (customizable)

Moving on to connectivity, the Corsair K65 Plus Wireless has just about everything you could ask for. There’s the wireless dongle, of course, for 2.4GHz operation, as well as USB connectivity for wired use and charging. Furthermore, there’s also Bluetooth on hand. Plus, you can pair this keyboard with three different devices and use hotkeys (mapped to Home, Page Up, and Page Down) to switch between each Bluetooth connection.

The controls for switching connectivity, excluding the different Bluetooth sources, are on the back of the keyboard along with another little switch that lets you flip between the Windows and Mac layout, a feature I really appreciate.

Since this is a gaming keyboard, RGB lighting is on hand and it’s quite colorful. You can customize to your heart’s content, even on a per-key basis, in the iCue software. Using that you can also remap all the keys along with some limited but useful customizations for the control dial, which controls the volume by default.

If there’s a missing piece of the puzzle here, for me it’s a nice wrist rest, especially considering the price. However, Corsair does include a keycap puller to remove both the keycaps and switches, which are hot-swappable.

Design: 4.5 / 5

Corsair K65 Plus Wireless Keyboard: performance

Corsair K65 Plus Wireless gaming

(Image credit: Future / James Holland)

All this attention to detail spills over to the way the Corsair K65 Plus Wireless performs. Thanks to a polling rate of 1,000Hz and switches that have an actuation point of 1.9mm, not to mention require just 45g of actuation force, this keyboard is as quick as most people will need.

While there are a few keyboards with a higher polling rate or lower actuation point, I would say that pretty much nobody but the most competitive gamers will notice any kind of difference. Even then, I have my doubts.

Whether it’s keeping up with the action in Battlefield 2042, Rocket League, Cyberpunk 2077 (the games I like to use for testing), or any other fast-paced title, there’s no question that this keyboard is up to the task.

I was even able to get the desired results with very light presses, so there’s no need for a heavy hand. Of course, if you are heavy-handed, the switches are rated to last 70 million keystrokes. Since Corsair employs N-key rollover, I never experienced any missed presses either.

More broadly, thanks to all the factors incorporated in its construction that I mentioned before, as well as the fact that the switches are pre-lubed, typing on this keyboard is a dream. In fact, I find that most decent gaming keyboards can keep up with general typing needs. 

Where this keyboard really sets itself apart is with its feel, as I was able to do quite a bit of typing without putting too much pressure on my fingers. Plus, it feels really nice to type on. If you’re willing to splurge, I definitely think the Corsair K65 Plus Wireless is a worthy recommendation.

Performance: 5 / 5

Should I buy the Corsair K65 Plus Wireless Keyboard?

RGB lighting of the Corsair K65 Plus Wireless

(Image credit: Future / James Holland)

Buy it if…

You want a lot of features
From being able to hot-swap the switches to changing between a Windows and Mac layout, not to mention all the connectivity options, the Corsair K65 Plus Wireless is about as fully loaded as they come.

You want an accurate, fast, and comfortable typing experience
It’s not only fast and accurate for just about any gaming needs, the K65’s quiet, soft operation makes for a very comfortable typing experience.

Don’t buy it if…

You need to save some money
Let’s be clear: the Corsair K65 Plus Wireless is worth its price. But if you’re on a budget, you can sacrifice some of its quality-of-life features for a cheaper keyboard that will still provide the performance you need.

You need a wrist rest
As comfortable as this keyboard is to use, I’m surprised it didn’t come with its own wrist rest. You can buy a third-party one, but for the price, you would think it would come included.

Also consider

How I tested the Corsair K65 Plus Wireless

  • Used regularly for a couple of weeks
  • Tested with typing as well as gaming
  • Tested all included features

I used the Corsair K65 Plus Wireless Keyboard regularly for a couple of weeks, typing quite a bit on it, as well as playing games. Specifically, I tried fast-paced gaming like Battlefield 2042, Cyberpunk 2077 and Rocket League as well as more sedate games like Starfield. I even tried it with some RTS titles like Iron Harvest.

I looked at other aspects beyond performance, of course. I played with the K65’s programmable features, whether remapping or adjusting RGB, and the various connectivity options.

I’ve tested a lot of tech gear over the years from laptops to keyboards and mice, and so have been able to use my expertise towards giving an honest and fair opinion, not to mention a critical eye, to any product I test.

  • First reviewed June 2024
Logitech Signature Slim K950 review: a great keyboard that’s ideal for Mac, Windows… or both
4:44 pm | May 23, 2024

Author: admin | Category: Computers Computing Gadgets Keyboards Peripherals & Accessories | Tags: | Comments: Off

Logitech Signature Slim K950: Two-minute review

The Logitech Signature Slim K950 is billed as a keyboard that’s equally comfortable at work or at home, with sensible looks, some advanced functionality and plentiful customization options.

Typing is satisfying on the Logitech Signature Slim K950, thanks to the feel of the keys. At first touch, they feel light and tappy due to the plastic material, but the subtle dampening helps to provide more depth to presses. Logitech claims that this is a quiet keyboard, but as the clashing of the plastics generate a high-pitched sound, I would be reluctant to point this out as a highlight, even if it’s still definitely quieter than a mechanical keyboard. Similar to a laptop keyboard, the profile of the keys is low, although the spacing between them is greater – a combination I personally prefer among the many options in the best keyboards.

The default shortcuts that occupy the function keys are well chosen, too. They’re aimed at the modern worker, with hotkeys for muting a microphone or activating a dictation package, as well as for bringing up a calculator app, screenshot tool, and even an emoji menu. 

These hotkeys can be modified using the Options Plus software, downloadable from Logitech’s website for free. It’s well designed and easy to use, and while it’s stable enough, I did encounter a few minor glitches and a crash on install, although this was easy to rectify.

Options Plus offers a set list of Windows and macOS system-level functions to choose from when customizing the hotkeys, which include actions such as putting your device to sleep and opening a certain app or file, to name a few. You can also create macros, which Logitech calls Smart Actions. The company provides 30 templates to choose from across a range of scenarios, which can be used as they are or edited to meet your specific requirements. Overall, many of these are well considered, although I did find that some of them failed to work as intended.

One of the new standout features in the Options Plus software is the ability to call up an AI Prompt builder, which essentially opens ChatGPT in a popup window at the press of a hotkey of your choosing. It comes with four default prompt templates for productivity purposes, but you can also create your own.

Depending on how much you use the AI chatbot in the course of your work, this is either a very useful tool or merely a gimmick to have fun with. Still, the integration works well enough, barring a few minor niggles.

There’s very little that the Logitech Signature Slim K950 doesn’t do well when it comes to being a tool for most users. The lack of rechargeable batteries, backlit keys and a few minor bugs are the only real issues with the product itself. The greater concern, though, is the cost: it’s hard to see why it’s almost double the price of its predecessor, the Logitech Signature K650, considering that the K650 offers nearly all the same functions and features, save for easy switching.

Close-up of Logitech Signature Slim K950 keys

(Image credit: Future)

Logitech Signature Slim K950 review: Price & Availability

  • $79 / £79 (about AU$120)
  • Graphite and Off-white color schemes
  • K650 is cheaper and almost as good

The Signature Slim K950 is available now for $79 / £79 (about AU$120). It comes in two colorways: Graphite and Off-white.

If you’re looking for a cheaper option, the Signature K650 is another Logitech keyboard aimed at productivity, but has a larger form factor and includes a built-in wrist pad (although in our review, we noted this as an irrelevance). However, the K650 is currently available for $49 / £49 (about AU$75), which offers a considerable saving over the K950. It doesn’t support easy-device switching, but apart from that, it offers virtually everything else the K950 does. 

Although the K950 is a pleasure to use for the most part, if you’re after a supreme typing experience, the Cherry Stream Desktop is a standout choice. Although it lacks many of the advanced features of the K950, the comfort and performance levels elevate it among our best keyboard picks.

  • Value score: 3 / 5

Close-up of Logitech Signature Slim K950 logo

(Image credit: Future)

Logitech Signature Slim K950 review: Design

  • Slender profile
  • Forgettable appearance
  • No rechargeable battery or USB ports

The K950 doesn’t exactly scream style: the Graphite finish I was given to test was quite austere, and the matte plastic made it look rather anonymous. A simple and small ‘logi’ logo is the only branding that adorns the K950, which at least keeps its aesthetic minimal. The slim profile helps to impart some elegance too.

The entire construction is plastic, with no metal in sight. It feels robust enough, as do the keys themselves. They’re tightly fitted with very little play, and the lettering is ever-so slightly embossed, which I could feel under my fingertips. 

The fold-out feet can raise the K950 to an 8-degree incline, which isn’t as steep as other keyboards, and there are no gradients in between. For me, this wasn’t a problem, but if you’re someone who likes a steep typing angle, then this likely won’t be enough for you.

The power switch is located on the top edge of the keyboard and hidden from view, meaning I had to feel for it every time I wanted to turn the K950 on or off. There’s a small LED in the top-right corner to indicate battery level, which flicks on momentarily when you power up the K950 – otherwise, it stays off. 

There’s no backlighting for the keys, which is a shame, but does at least save on battery power. The only lights available are one on Caps Lock and three on the easy switching keys, which again only light momentarily when connecting to devices, or blink rapidly when in pairing mode.

Another small gripe I had with the K950 is the lack of LED indication for the FN lock. If you have the optional Options Plus software installed, it will display an on-screen prompt, but only when the lock is toggled. This meant I had no way of knowing if I had it activated or not without having to toggle it again. This is a small point, but one that, if you plan on using this keyboard to streamline your productivity as much as possible, may become a real thorn in your side over time.

Another notable absence is the lack of a rechargeable battery and ports. Instead, the K950 runs on two AAA batteries. Some may consider this to be an advantage, as it keeps costs down. However, it does mean that you’ll need to change the batteries once flat, and you won’t be able to charge and continue typing, as you can on keyboards with inbuilt batteries. 

  • Design score: 3.5 / 5

Hands typing on the Logitech Signature Slim K950

(Image credit: Future)

Logitech Signature Slim K950 review: Performance

  • Satisfying typing experience
  • Nice hotkey selection
  • Options Plus software is great

Typing on the K950 felt great to me. The keys are clacky and light, but they are also slightly dampened when you press a little firmer, making them suitable for both soft and hard typers alike. Their profile is low, so those who prefer typing on laptops will be right at home here, although the spacing between them is generally bigger compared to most laptop keyboards in my experience – something I personally consider a positive.

Logitech claims that this is a quiet keyboard to type with, but in my experience, I don’t think it’s necessarily quieter than other keyboards in its class. The plastic keys generate a higher-pitched sound, which isn’t exactly loud, but I wouldn’t say they’re dampened enough to eliminate most of the impact; they’re just ‘quiet’ compared to the best mechanical keyboards.

The easy-switching functionality between three devices worked well in my tests, whether it was between macOS, Windows, or Chromebook laptops, or whether they were connected via Bluetooth or the included Logi Bolt USB wireless receiver. I did encounter a hiccup on one occasion, however, when after switching between macOS and Windows devices the hotkeys stopped working on the latter machine. A quick on/off restart of the keyboard fixed the problem, but it’s worth mentioning.

The hotkeys along the top row feature a good selection of productivity-enhancing shortcuts, including window switching, search, mute mic, as well as keys for opening the calculator app, screenshot tool, and a dictation package you have installed. There’s even an emoji menu shortcut – handy for workplace chats.  

They can all be customized in the Options Plus software, which is free to download and provides plenty of additional features and functions for the K950. It displays the battery life as a percentage, and has a support menu where you can rate your experience with the app or inform Logitech of any connectivity issues you might be experiencing.

I did experience a few minor glitches with the software. It crashed on first launch after I installed it on Windows 11, but a relaunch fixed the problem. And every time I put my device to sleep, on both Windows and macOS machines, the application would close by itself. 

Options Plus also launches in a window which isn’t full size, and it can’t be adjusted, which could be an issue for those who like to have their windows larger for the sake of clarity. 

The hotkeys – which occupy the function and navigation keys – can be customized in the software, allowing you to choose what shortcuts they activate from a predefined list. These include simple actions, such as putting your device to sleep, as well as the ability to record keyboard shortcuts. These can be assigned globally or on an app-by-app basis, effectively letting you create profiles for every app you have installed on your device. 

You can also record macros via Logitech’s Smart Actions, which again can be assigned to any of the hotkeys. These allow you to create a series of automated actions to perform certain tasks, including opening apps and recording keystrokes. Anyone who has used Apple's Shortcuts app will be in familiar territory here, as it looks and works very similarly. 

Logitech has 30 templates to choose from to meet the needs of various users. There are those made for productivity and leisure, and those for developers and designers. There are also others specific to meetings and for using popular AI tools. 

Although some of the templates worked well, others that I tested didn’t. For instance, one template is meant to use ChatGPT to reply to an email, by copying text you’ve selected, opening ChatGPT in Chrome, and asking it to draft a reply based on the copied text. The problem I found is that it failed to type in ChatGPT’s prompt box, as it wasn’t automatically selected after opening the page. Since Smart Actions are essentially macros, they can’t account for subtleties such as a dialog box not being selected in a home page, for instance.  

Speaking of ChatGPT, one of the new headline features of the Options Plus software is the AI prompt builder. When assigned to a hotkey of your choice, this displays a small window that connects you to ChatGPT, with a selection of ready-made prompt templates (which Logitech calls “recipes”) to query it. These default recipes include drafting emails and rephrasing text. In order to make it work, you need a user account with OpenAI.

You can also create your own recipes, which involves writing a prompt and choosing two parameters from a possible four that modify the output. The four available are: word length, tone, complexity and style.

Your mileage may vary with this feature, depending on how much you employ the AI tool in the course of your work, but I found the integration to be responsive, and it functioned well for the most part, aside from a few small annoyances. 

When submitting a prompt, you can’t go back to submit another via the recipes list without first closing and reopening the prompt builder menu (if you’d rather not use ChatGPT without going through the prompt builder window, then you can choose to open a window that takes you straight to the main ChatGPT prompt page instead). The prompt window remains on top of all other windows you have open, too, even when not selected. 

  • Performance score: 4.5 / 5

Logitech Signature Slim K950 battery compartment

(Image credit: Future)

Should you buy the Logitech Signature Slim K950?

Buy it if...

Don't buy it if...

Logitech Signature Slim K950 review: Also consider

How I tested the Logitech Signature Slim K950

I tested the Signature Slim K950 on Windows, macOS and Chromebook devices for around two weeks. I used it for work, leisure and general productivity, both in the office and at home. 

I tried out all the functions and features it had to offer, including the hotkeys and the customization options in the Options Plus software, to see how well it performed on these fronts.

Asus ROG Strix Scope II RX review: a keyboard for the sophisticated gamer
7:17 pm | April 23, 2024

Author: admin | Category: Computers Computing Gadgets Keyboards Peripherals & Accessories | Tags: | Comments: Off

Asus ROG Strix Scope II RX: One-minute review

Asus’ ROG Strix Scope II RX is nothing short of impressive. It’s the perfect culmination of clever design decisions and the latest precision switches, and is arguably one of the best-looking keyboards on the market right now. All the bells and whistles are there that you’d expect, and it doesn’t pull any punches when it comes to performance either, with impeccably accurate and rapid linear optical switches.

It’s not flawless, however. It lacks the 8,000 Hz hyperpolling that we’ve seen across a number of competing keyboards, even at this price point, and the fact that the majority of its configuration options are still tied to Asus’ Armory software is a detriment.

Don’t get us wrong, it works - you can tweak things there, but it’s very much a one-and-done experience. Armory still lacks the finer software polish of some of its rivals from the likes of Razer, Steelseries, Corsair, and Logitech. Despite this, it's still a truly stellar piece of hardware that is difficult not to recommend.

The Asus ROG Strix Scope II RX gaming keyboard photographed on a wooden desk.

(Image credit: Future)

Asus ROG Strix Scope II RX: Price & Availability

  • How much does it cost? $140 / £150 (around $210 AUD)
  • When is it available? Available now
  • Where can you get it? Available in the US, UK and Australia

Asus’s ROG Strix Scope II RX comes in at just shy of $140 / £150 (around $210 AUD) at retail, although you can find it for less than that, particularly around Prime Day and Black Friday. The cheapest we’ve seen so far is around $110 in the US. In the UK it typically hovers around the £150 mark or so. 

That’s a pretty sweet investment for what you’re getting. There are very few keyboards that match it on price, spec-for-spec, with NZXT’s Function 2 and Razer’s Huntsman V2 and V2 Analog being the only boards that come to mind.

Corsair has its K70 RGB Pro as well, priced similarly, which does feature some more advanced hyperpolling features, but it lacks optical switches, giving the ASUS Rog Strix Scope II RX a significant edge in that arena.

  • Value: 4.5
Image 1 of 5

The Asus ROG Strix II RX gaming keyboard photographed on a wooden desk.

(Image credit: Future)
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The Asus ROG Strix II RX gaming keyboard photographed on a wooden desk.

(Image credit: Future)
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The Asus ROG Strix II RX gaming keyboard photographed on a wooden desk.

(Image credit: Future)
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The Asus ROG Strix II RX gaming keyboard photographed on a wooden desk.

(Image credit: Future)
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The Asus ROG Strix II RX gaming keyboard photographed on a wooden desk.

(Image credit: Future)

Asus ROG Strix Scope II RX: Design

  • Incredible aesthetic style
  • Full-sized keyboard
  • Sound-dampened optical switches

The Asus ROG Strix Scope II RX is something else. This is one clean-looking board. Composed of a mix of sandblasted aluminum and plastics, the overall design is stunning. Each key switch is an optical RX linear variant of Asus’ own design, complete with a square-mount design, central RGB LEDs, and an incredible amount of sound dampening thrown in the mix.

It’s those RX switches that are the real stars of the show though. With a 1ms response, and a 100 million key switch life cycle, the top-line stats are impressive enough, but the stability provided is second to none. These are clean, quiet, and incredibly reactive to your touch. In use, it’s unlike anything we’ve tested to date. That’s no doubt thanks to Asus pre-lubing each and every switch on the board. Combine that with the in-built sound-dampening foam as well, and you’re very quickly on to a winning combo here.

Each switch itself has a transparent housing, with a small red accented scissor mechanism inside. The RGB LED sits in the middle, giving it a very unique look. When in use, and set to white, there’s a fleck of red that sparks out at you, providing a very unique look to the overall feel of the board.

The Asus ROG Strix Scope II RX gaming keyboard photographed on a wooden desk.

(Image credit: Future)

Outside of the switches, there’s an integrated media scroll wheel, along with a dedicated “multi-function” button as well, that swaps the scroll wheel’s control between the different modes. You can control volume, media playback, keyboard brightness, and a third option configurable in Asus’ Armoury software. All of which are clearly highlighted in the small LED illumination above the arrow keys. There’s a number of function keys built into the board as well. Although they’re not exactly out of the ordinary.

All the keycaps are PBT double-shot by design, and Asus also includes an additional ROG-style spacebar for you to swap out instead (if you don’t like the stock standard one). Connectivity is handled by a single USB C to USB A cable, and there’s multi-point adjustable feet in the back of the board, to help elevate the unit as well, if you need to.

  • Design: 4.5

Asus ROG Strix Scope II RX: Performance

  • USB connection only
  • Incredibly smooth RX switches
  • Hamstrung by software

We’ve already waxed lyrical about just how good these switches are to use. The RX switches come pre-lubed, and feature an impressive 1ms response time as well. Asus is keeping fairly tight-lipped on all the details here, but they feel about as easy to actuate as a Cherry MX Red, but far quicker on the press. Travel distance seems to be somewhat shallower too, similar to a low-profile switch, but with far less tactile response.

Stability is impressive, and the sound-dampening removes practically every errant ping or mechanical sound you’d otherwise expect to hear. We’re using the RX Linear variant here, so there’s far less audible feedback than with the Tactile version, but there’s still that tell-tale feedback you’d expect to hear if you bottom the key switch out, however, it’s a far softer, far more muted affair than what you’d see from some other competing boards on the market.

For the price, this board is stunning - and it easily keeps up with and often surpasses the likes of Corsair’s K70 and K100 boards, even giving Razer’s excellent Huntsman V2 a run for its money. Just bear in mind that it's not wireless, so you'll need a free USB port to connect it.

The Asus ROG Strix Scope II RX gaming keyboard photographed on a wooden desk.

(Image credit: Future)

The one area that does let it down somewhat however is software configuration. Armory Crate is just incredibly clunky to use. Even a basic install or update takes far too long to get on your machine, never mind navigating to the keyboard options in the app itself. It’s incredibly tedious, and a bit of a shame, particularly given how smooth Asus's own AI Suite is by comparison.

Combine that with the constant barrage of Asus Wallpaper, and login requests to access all the features, and it’s considerably off-putting as an end user. That said, although less sophisticated than its rivals, it’s still plenty usable. With lighting, multi-wheel control, and macros all easily configurable once you’re in the right place, and once you’re done with your initial setup, you can close down the program and head on out of there. There are no hardcore device settings or game-by-game auto-switching profiles to think about (although Asus does include up to 6 profile configurations if you include the default one).

  • Performance: 4

The Asus ROG Strix Scope II RX gaming keyboard photographed on a wooden desk.

(Image credit: Future)

Should You Buy the Asus ROG Strix Scope II RX?

Buy it if...

You want an incredible typing and gaming experience
The RX linear switches are phenomenal. Combine them with an impressive sound-dampening design and you’re on to a winning combo.

You love that ROG design language
The ROG Strix Scope II’s aesthetic is nothing short of awesome. The mix of metals, plastic, and impeccable RGB lighting really makes it stand out from the crowd.

Don't buy it if...

You need wireless connectivity
The ROG Strix Scope II RX features USB wired connectivity only. If you need Bluetooth or Wireless you’re better off looking elsewhere.

You want a TKL-style board
The Scope II RX is a full-size board only, although Asus does have a similar Scope II 96 wireless that’s a touch smaller - though without those RX switches.

You need 8,000 Hz Hyperpolling
Unfortunately, the Strix Scope II is limited to the standard 1,000 Hz hyperpolling. So if you’re a serious competitive gamer, this might not be the board for you.

Asus ROG Strix Scope II RX: Also consider

If our Asus ROG Strix Scope II RX review has you looking for other options, here are two more keyboards to consider...

How I tested the Asus ROG Strix Scope II RX

I used the Asus ROG Strix Scope II RX for several days, replacing my usual at-home desktop keyboards (and now I'm a bit reluctant to let it go). I used it for everything I would normally do: typing documents and responding to emails, with some gaming sprinkled in there to get the full experience.

We pride ourselves on our independence and our rigorous review-testing process, offering up long-term attention to the products we review and making sure our reviews are updated and maintained - regardless of when a device was released, if you can still buy it, it's on our radar.

Read more about how we test

First reviewed April 2024

Keychron C3 Pro review: punching way above its weight
2:59 am | February 23, 2024

Author: admin | Category: Computers Computing Gadgets Keyboards Peripherals & Accessories | Comments: Off

Keychron C3 Pro: Two-minute review

The Keychron C3 Pro keyboard thrives in a league of its own with a price point that’s below $40 while offering features usually reserved for the heavier hitters with money to spend.

To get a good keyboard for less than $50 usually means sacrificing a lot to give the illusion of more premium-priced products. When it comes to performance, the most obvious cut-back in the design are the key switches, lack of programmable keys and the like. Regardless of how one uses the C3 Pro, the mechanical keyboard is backed by a sophisticated gasket mount design and sound-absorbing foam that keeps keystrokes relatively quiet. 

Having a black and red design aesthetic, the ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene) chassis feels durable. Adding comfortability are three adjustable typing angles and curved keycaps. If there’s anything exactly wrong with the C3 Pro’s design its the location of the USB-C port that sits near the back-panel center.

The awkward placement can be a nuisance but it also allows better cable management as there are both vertical and horizontal nooks. This can be a problem for those who want to travel with the keyboard, but the average desktop user won’t think much about it after installation. 

The Keychron C3 Pro on a purple deskmat

(Image credit: Future / John Loeffler)

The C3 Pro is a mechanical switch keyboard with a 1000Hz polling rate and ARM architecture with 256KB flash storage. With N-Key Rollover into the mix, you have an incredibly solid gaming keyboard that goes a bit beyond casual usage.

Serious gamers who need quick keys or maybe more pronounced media keys may find trouble with the C3 Pro, but considering its price, anyone with those complaints should probably spend the extra money on the best mechanical keyboard they can afford and save themselves the trouble.

For most users though, it won’t matter if you use this keyboard for gaming or general tasks, the keystrokes will always feel good. They are tactile and springy enough for quick multiplayer rounds of Call of Duty or writing editorials through Google Docs.

The C3 Pro’s versatility is also one of its biggest assets, featuring the ability to switch between Windows and macOS keysets. All users have to do is hold the function key and tap the CAPS Lock.

Add QMK/VIA software support and there’s some crafty customization that can take place when using the C3 Pro. The open-source nature even contributes to some intricate backlight effects due to the per-key lighting that only comes in red. Interestingly enough, there are over 14 types of red back lights to choose from though many may have an issue with the singular color type. 

Overall though, the Keychron C3 Pro is a masterpiece of customization, performance, and price, and is absolutely one of the best keyboard offerings we've seen so far this year, and it will be hard to beat.

The Keychron C3 Pro on a purple deskmat

(Image credit: Future / John Loeffler)

Keychron C3 Pro: Price & Availability

Priced at just $36.99 in the US, the Keychron C3 Pro is currently available in the US and the UK through both Keychron’s website and Amazon. Australian residents are out of luck, however. At least for now.

Considering the budget nature of the C3 Pro, it stands tall against various rivals in both gaming and creative sectors. When it comes to rivals within its price point, the Logitech G213 Prodigy and Roccat Pyro RGB lean more into gaming. The Logitech G213 Prodigy provides more gaming specific features, tenkey number pad, and dedicated media keys in exchange for Mech Dome switches at the same price.

Meanwhile, the Roccat Pyro RGB has mechanical switches alongside dedicated media keys but is a bit more expensive at around $80. Considering those are more serious gaming keyboards, they lack the versatility provided by the C3 Pro. For someone looking for a keyboard on a budget, this is definitely something to consider.

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The Keychron C3 Pro on a purple deskmat

(Image credit: Future / John Loeffler)
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The Keychron C3 Pro on a purple deskmat

(Image credit: Future / John Loeffler)
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The Keychron C3 Pro on a purple deskmat

(Image credit: Future / John Loeffler)

Keychron C3 Pro: Design

As mentioned above, the Keychron C3 Pro’s black and red design adds a bit of flair to the ABS chassis. Despite the plastic material, it successfully rides the fine line between being lightweight but flimsy and sturdy but heavy, giving it the right amount of strength without adding too much weight.

This means that the C3 Pro can also survive a rough time in a backpack alongside some reasonable drops to the floor. Part of that may come from the internal keyboard plate material being made out of steel. The backlight design comes in over a dozen modes that affect the keys alongside light bars that run along the side. And while the all-red LED looks fine and also helps save on cost instead of per-key RGB lighting, some other solid color options would have been nice.

To make sure that users are on the correct operating system layout, there’s a small LED light that sits next to the CAPS Lock notification, which is a nice touch. The C3 Pro is also made to be configured with different keycaps so you can personalize its look somewhat. By itself, the key placement is laid out well enough while allowing users to easily switch between layouts for Windows and macOS. Considering there aren’t any additional media buttons or anything, the function button works well with the function keys. 

Comfort really takes centerstage in this the design, starting with three separate typing angles, and the key quality if outstanding, making it great to type on. If anything, the biggest design issue I have is the location of the USB-C port on the back panel near the center. The trade-off is that there is both a horizontal and vertical nook for better cable management, but it can still be a pain sometimes. 

The Keychron C3 Pro on a purple deskmat

(Image credit: Future / John Loeffler)

Keychron C3 Pro: Performance

The Keychron C3 Pro was billed as a keyboard that’s ideal for “gaming and work.” When it comes to casual gaming experiences, it does more than a good job. Having a 1000Hz polling rate and N-Key Rollover makes the experience of playing fast paced shooters like Doom Eternal, El Paso, Elsewhere and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare III a blast.

Keystrokes were springy, tactile, and responsive, and the additional foam padding underneath the switches also ensures that this keyboard won’t disturb anyone in the office with a whole lot of clickity clack.

As mentioned previously, switching between Windows and macOS is as easy as hitting the function button neat the CAPS Lock, and when using a Macbook, users can easily set spaces, change brightness, and more. In an interesting touch, there’s an AI assistant button for Apple users who need Siri to make an appearance. 

Users looking to customize their button layout can use either QMK or VIA for support as the keyboard also has a 256KB flash storage. Serious gamers who want more dedicated macro buttons in addition to other functions are going to have to pay a bit more or leave the mechanical switches aside for something less. 

Though less complex shooters like the ones mentioned above will work more than fine with the C3 Pro, gamers into macro-heavy games like League of Legends and high-level Fortnite play might want to look elsewhere. Again, within the bounds of its $36.99 price point, the C3 Pro can hang in there with rivals double its price even if some features are missing.

Should You Buy the Keychron C3 Pro?

Buy the Keychron C3 Pro if...

You want a cheap yet quality keyboard
At $36.99, there isn’t a better budget mechanical keyboard for gamers who have to get general task work done as well. 

You are ambidextrous for Windows and macOS
Users who love both Windows and macOS are going to appreciate the C3 Pro a lot.

Don't buy it if...

You need a more gamer-centered keyboard
Serious gamers or individuals with e-sports aspirations may want to spend the money for something that offers a bit more in terms of feature set.

You want a colorway and backlight that’s more than red
While the black and red colorway looks great, it would be nice to have other color options available.

Keychron C3 Pro: Also consider

If my Keychron C3 Pro review has you looking for other options, here are two more keyboards to consider...

How I tested the Keychron C3 Pro

I tested the Keychron C3 Pro over a week’s time. When using Windows, some of the games played included Palworld, Alan Wake 2, Robocop Rouge City, El Paso, Elsewhere and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare III. When not working, Google office suite and Adobe Photoshop were used as well. For macOS, Google Office suite and Adobe Photoshop were used as well. 

Since 2020, I’ve been covering various gaming laptops, monitors, keyboards and more for TechRadar. As a PC Gaming enthusiast, I can definitely help anyone who is looking for a quality keyboard for various price tiers. 

We pride ourselves on our independence and our rigorous review-testing process, offering up long-term attention to the products we review and making sure our reviews are updated and maintained - regardless of when a device was released, if you can still buy it, it's on our radar.

Read more about how we test

First reviewed February 2024

VickyBoard review: a very polarizing mechanical keyboard
3:00 pm | October 22, 2023

Author: admin | Category: Computers Gadgets Keyboards | Comments: Off

VickyBoard: Two-minute review

The VickyBoard – V-Split Ergonomic RGB gaming keyboard is most likely the most 90s keyboard I have ever laid eyes on. It could and probably will be considered ugly by some but I truly love the aesthetic – it’s so uniquely bright and colorful and has that delightful clear look that was all the rage in the 90s. Mine has a clear neon green form factor with orange and black keycaps and I adore how gaudy it sits on my home office desk – I’d imagine it would look even more out of place at my work office. And when I turn on the backlight, it’s even gaudier.

Other than aesthetics, the VickyBoard is designed much differently than the best keyboards and the best mechanical keyboards. The ‘V-Split’ in its name refers to how the board is formatted, which is bent in a small V. It’s meant to fit the natural placement of your hands when you rest them on your keyboard, similar to the wave shape of the Logitech Wave Keys.

But unlike the Logitech Wave Keys, this shape could be more comfortable due to how sharp the bend is. Because the design is so distinctive, its learning curve is incredibly high. But once you adjust to the shape, it becomes more ergonomic as your hands rest more comfortably, though I wish there was a built-in wrist rest to take that concept even further. 

The key placement is also affected by that split, as keys are spaced out to make it easier and more convenient to type. The space bar being split into two smaller keys on opposite sides is especially ingenious and I wish more ergonomic keyboards would do the same. That said, having the backspace key only in the center of the keyboard and not on both sides is completely evil (well... it's certainly annoying, anyway).

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a clear neon green wit orange and black keys

(Image credit: Future)
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a clear neon green wit orange and black keys

(Image credit: Future)
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a clear neon green wit orange and black keys

(Image credit: Future)
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a clear neon green wit orange and black keys

(Image credit: Future)
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a clear neon green wit orange and black keys

(Image credit: Future)
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a clear neon green wit orange and black keys

(Image credit: Future)
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a black case

(Image credit: Future)
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a light blue desk mat

(Image credit: Future)

There are two methods of connectivity, Bluetooth and wired, and both work fine. In order to update the firmware and reconfigure the keyboard, you need to use a website then copy the file data into the keyboard itself and update the keyboard through there. While software apps for other keyboards are easier to use, this method you don't need to install it into every computer you use.

The VickyBoard uses Gateron switches, which are more budget-minded than other brands like Cherry MX but still feel quite natural to type on. On the other hand, the switches don’t feel as smooth and luxurious as Cherry, or other in-house ones like Drop switches or Gamakay’s Planet series switches, which can be found in some of the best keyboards and best mechanical keyboards on the market.

Despite that, the Gateron Blue switches in my review unit have a delightfully clicky snap and tactile feedback, which makes typing on them an enjoyable experience. But those have an actuation force of 60g along with the quieter linear Black switches, versus the Red and Brown ones with a 45g and 55g actuation force, respectively. 

The VickyBoard keyboard is rather fascinating in terms of design choice, shape, ergonomics, and especially its price point. While I’m certainly open to this sort of keyboard, for how much it costs compared to other high-end mechanical keyboards in the same price-bracket, it doesn’t have the same level of quality to truly recommend it. But if you have the cash to spare and you’re looking for a truly unique product, then this is the keyboard for you.

VickyBoard: Price & availability

a clear neon green wit orange and black keys

(Image credit: Future)
  • How much does it cost? $199-$229 (around £164-£188 / AU$315-AU$362)
  • When is it available? Available now through Indiegogo and later through the X-Plus store
  • Where can you get it? Available in the US, UK, and Australia

The VickyBoard will be available to support on Indiegogo, in which you can purchase one for the ‘Super Early Bird’ price of $179 (around £150 / AU$280). Once the campaign ends, the retail price on the X-Plus online store will be $199-$229 (around £165-£188 / AU$315-AU$360). 

There’s also an All-Star pack which will include a carrying case, mat, and switch tools that will retail for $239-$249 (around £197-£205 / AU$378-AU$394). While the carrying case alone is of excellent quality, the mat is one of the shoddiest things I’ve ever laid eyes on and isn’t even worth keeping. Also, the fact that you’re being charged so much money and the standard version doesn’t come with switch tools is unacceptable, since many other mechanical keyboards come with them.

The pricing is extremely high, the form factor is heavy and solid (though made of thick plastic instead of aluminum), and I like the ergonomic design. However, it’s hard to justify that price tag when there are plenty of other mechanical keyboards that are much cheaper, like the Gamakay LK75 75%. There are also much cheaper ergonomic keyboards like the Logitech Wave Keys that you could invest in, and that comes with an attached wrist pad.

On the plus side, it will be available worldwide including in the UK and Australia, though no official pricing for other countries has been made available as of now.

VickyBoard: Specs

Should you buy the VickyBoard?

Buy it if...

You want a unique mechanical keyboard
I guarantee that you will never see another mechanical keyboard like this one and I love it.

You want reprogrammable keys
Thanks to the unique method of using a desktop site to reprogram keys and install them directly into the keyboard, you can set them however you want.

Don't buy it if...

You need a cheaper price point
This keyboard is extremely expensive, more expensive than other luxury-minded mechanical brands and rivaling ones like Drop and Razer

You need a more traditional layout
The V-shaped layout of the keyboard is very unique and while it could work for some, others may find it too difficult to adjust to.

VickyBoard: Also consider

How I tested the VickyBoard

  • I spent about a week testing this keyboard
  • I tested it both for productivity work and gaming
  • I used it extensively in a home office environment

I tested the VickyBoard keyboard in a home office environment, seeing how well it functioned in productivity work and gaming. I also carried it around in various bags to test its portability.

The VickyBoard is a mechanical keyboard meant for extensive use over the years. I made sure to quality-test it to see if it held up to those standards, as well as to see how easy it is to pull the keycaps off and how easy it is to reprogram the keys.

I've tested a wide range of keyboards including mechanical ones, and understand how to properly rate and test them out to ensure that they reach a certain level of quality.

We pride ourselves on our independence and rigorous review-testing process, offering long-term attention to the products we review and ensuring our reviews are updated and maintained - regardless of when a device was released, if you can still buy it, it's on our radar.

Read more about how we test

First reviewed October 2023

Gamakay LK75 75% review: a mechanical keyboard for the truly hardcore
6:08 pm | October 18, 2023

Author: admin | Category: Computers Computing Gadgets Keyboards Peripherals & Accessories | Comments: Off

Gamakay LK75 75%: Two-minute review

The Gamakay LK75 75% is a mechanical keyboard for the truly hardcore, allowing users to customize virtually every part of it. Thanks to the level of depth of its customization options alone, it's easily one of the best mechanical keyboards out there and could even personalized to be one of the best gaming keyboards and the best keyboard for programmers.

You can swap out the keycaps, replace the switches, and reprogram every key including the knob at the top right. The knob itself is pretty interesting, as it has its own LED screen that displays the time, date, and the OS the keyboard is connected to. You can also change up the RGB lighting through the knob display.

Reprogramming the keys requires the Gamakay software, which you can download from the official website. However, you wouldn’t know that since the included manual doesn’t mention it at all, which is a bit baffling. The software is quite intricate, offering tons of ways to customize the keys including function, lightning, and performance. 

The knob is also customizable through the software itself. Its initial function is to control the volume, but I found that it doesn’t work. Also, even though the time is displayed through it, it’s not set properly until you do it yourself, which is odd since it would make more sense to automatically sync with the OS time once you connect it.

white and orange mechanical keyboard

(Image credit: Future)

The Gamakay LK75’s PC plate and PCB are 'top mount' and, combined with the built-in PET pad, bottom silicone pad, PCB sandwich silicone pad, and spacebar form, it offers increased stability and reduces both sound and general harshness when typing.

Handling this keyboard can be a bit intimidating at first for those not completely familiar with the intricacies of mechanical keyboards, especially as the Gamakay line of switches doesn’t follow normal naming conventions and the abundance of text on the keycaps themselves can be confusing. But at least one aspect is much easier compared to other keyboards: the process of changing the switches.

Included with the keyboard is a combo keycap and switch puller. The keycaps come off pretty smoothly and you can swap them out for any other Gamakays keycaps to change up the aesthetic of the keyboard, though I rather like the orange caps myself. The switches are surprisingly simple to pull out as well and are not only compatible with the three-pin Gamakay Planet switches but with any other three or five-pin switches.

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blue switch

(Image credit: Future)
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various mechanical switches

(Image credit: Future)
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various mechanical switches

(Image credit: Future)

Depending on the type of switch you install, it has a huge effect on the sound and feel, though overall each switch that I tried out still has a softer impact compared to other mechanical keyboards. The Gamakay Planet switches which is the set I tried out are Mercury (the clickiest linear), Venus clickiest tactile), Mars (heaviest and strongest feedback), and Jupiter (the most balanced linear). 

They all have the same travel distance of 3.30mm, with the Mercury and Venus switches sharing the same actuation force of 40g. You can feel it in how light and easy they are to type on. My personal favorite is the Venus switches for that reason – providing a nice clickiness and tactile feedback without requiring too much force to activate. 

But even the highest ones, Jupiter and Mars, have an actuation force of 50g compared to Gateron Greens with one of 80g. There are plenty of other Gamakay switches to choose from including the Silent switches and, if you’re yearning for something a bit more traditional, Gamakay also offers Gateron switches on its site.

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white and orange mechanical keyboard

(Image credit: Future)
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white and orange mechanical keyboard

(Image credit: Future)
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white and orange mechanical keyboard

(Image credit: Future)

There are three methods of connectivity: wired via a USB Type-C port, 2.4 wireless, and Bluetooth. They’re activated by use of the FN key plus a number key, outlined in the thin manual included. All three work well, with the wired connection offering the least latency. I also adore that there’s a tiny magnetic slot to store the dongle in, preventing it from being misplaced. 

However, there was an odd issue when I tried connecting the keyboard to an all-in-one PC using all three methods - as in, it wouldn’t connect at all. But regular and gaming PCs seemed to work just fine. It's possible this was a one-off glitch, but it may be something to be wary of.

Gamakay LK75 75%: Price & availability

white and orange mechanical keyboard

(Image credit: Future)
  • How much does it cost? $129.99 / £110 / AU$211
  • When is it available? Available now
  • Where can you get it? Available in the US, UK, and Australia

The Gamakay LK75 75% keyboard is available in the US, UK, and Australia for $129.99 / £110 / AU$211. Gamakay also ships to most other regions, which is even better for those outside the aforementioned three.

Pricing is pretty standard for high-end mechanical keyboards, meaning that it’s very expensive though less so than others. Though at the time of writing, there’s a sale that shaves off about $10. Compared to other more notable brands like the Drop ALT,  SteelSeries Apex Pro TKL (2023), and the Razer Huntsman V2 TKL, this easily competes with them while being much cheaper.

Gamakay LK75 75%: Specs

Should you buy the Gamakay LK75 75%?

Buy it if...

You want a great-quality mechanical keyboard
It's a solid-quality mechanical keyboard that's heavy and well-built, with nice feeling switches and excellent features.

You want a fully customizable keyboard
Every bit of this keyboard is customizable from the keycaps to the switches to the programmable keys themselves.

Don't buy it if...

You need a more budget-minded mechanical keyboard
Though it's cheaper than other similar keyboards, its price point is still a hard pill to swallow.

You want a plug-and-play keyboard that works everywhere
I did have some issues connecting the keyboard to certain devices, and the Gamakay software is a must-have, so this isn't an easy plug-and-play recommendation.

Gamakay LK75 75%: Also consider

How I tested the Gamakay LK75 75%

  • I spent about a week testing this keyboard
  • I tested it both for productivity work and gaming
  • I used it extensively in a home office environment

I tested the Gamakay LK75 75% keyboard in a home office environment, seeing how well it functioned in both productivity work and gaming. I also carried it around in various bags to test its portability.

The Gamakay LK75 75% is a mechanical keyboard that's meant for extensive use over years. I made sure to quality-test it to see if it held up to those standards, as well as to see how easy it is to pull the keycaps off and how easy it is to reprogram the RGB lighting.

I've tested a wide range of keyboards including mechanical ones, and understand how to properly rate and test them out to ensure that they reach a certain level of quality.

We pride ourselves on our independence and our rigorous review-testing process, offering up long-term attention to the products we review and making sure our reviews are updated and maintained - regardless of when a device was released, if you can still buy it, it's on our radar.

Read more about how we test

First reviewed October 2023

Logitech Wave Keys review: a truly ergonomic option for office workers
10:01 am | October 11, 2023

Author: admin | Category: Computers Computing Gadgets Keyboards Peripherals & Accessories | Comments: Off

Logitech Wave Keys: Two-minute review

When Logitech touted its new keyboard, the Wave Keys, as an ergonomic wonder I was more than a bit skeptical. After all, why would a simple wave design and a wrist mat make this keyboard more distinctive? But did I ever eat my words once I took the Wave Keys for a spin myself. This is a strong claim for a non-mechanical keyboard but it’s convinced me that it could be a strong contender for best keyboard on the market, and easily take the number one spot for best office keyboard.

One of the direct claims from Logitech is that this keyboard’s wave shape makes it instantly approachable and comfortable to use, and it really does. The setup itself is super fast and easy, as you can either choose to use Bluetooth or wireless via a dongle. Simply enter the code that the built-in software provides, and it’s fully connected to your PC or laptop of choice. 

From the moment I had the Logitech Wave Keys keyboard running in my home office and placed my hands on it, I was immediately shocked at how downright comfortable and natural it felt. The wave design conforms perfectly to how you naturally rest your wrists and hands in proportion to the keyboard. The wrists are made from memory foam and support said wrists with a heavenly combination of comfort and firmness.

One aspect of this keyboard that may turn off most is the fact that’s not mechanical. And that does have an impact on longevity, as mechanical switches last for millions of clicks on average while the Wave Keys are most likely far less. However, the trade-off is that membrane switches don’t require nearly as much force to push down on as mechanical switches tend to, which means that the average office worker is putting less strain on their fingers and wrists to press down on each key. 

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pink keyboard

(Image credit: Future)
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black keyboard

(Image credit: Future)
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white keyboard

(Image credit: Future)
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many keyboards on desk

(Image credit: Future)
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many keyboards on desk

(Image credit: Future)
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taken apart keyboard

(Image credit: Future)
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taken apart keyboard

(Image credit: Future)

As an aside, the keys themselves have a satisfying clacking sound and feedback to them, similar to an older style keyboard from the 90s. Even better is that, unlike older keyboards, the function keys are customizable using the Logitech software. You can even create shortcuts for repetitive actions, which is another great option for either those with disabilities or those wanting to avoid repetitive movement injuries.

The Logitech Wave Keys initially come in two colors: Graphite and Off-White, with a Rose color coming sometime in 2024. The first two colors are standard fair, the former much more so than the latter. But the Rose is a pretty yet classy light pink that’s sure to stand out in any office setup, which is why I wish that color had been available from the start.

There is another peculiarity in the Wave Keys which is that it’s not a rechargable keyboard. Instead, it’s powered by two AAA batteries, with a pair thankfully included, and according to Logitech it lasts up to three years. While I would have preferred a rechargeable battery, there haven’t been any power issues so far.

For those who are concerned about it, the Wave Keys are made of a significant amount of recycled plastics. The Graphic version is manufactured with 61% recycled plastic, and the Off-White version uses 46% recycled plastic.

Logitech Wave Keys: Price & availability

black keyboard on desk with computer

(Image credit: Future)
  • How much does it cost? $59.99 (around £49 / AU$94)
  • When is it available? Graphite and Off-White available October 13, 2023; Rose available in 2024
  • Where can you get it? Available in the US

Though still affordable, the Logitech Wave Keys are a bit on the pricey side compared to most other membrane keyboards. One of these will set you back $59.99 (around £49 / AU$94), with models only available in the US and in the EU. 

Even compared to cheaper mechanical keyboards like the MSI GK50 Elite TKL starting at 64.99 (around £53 / AU$101) or the Logitech G213 Prodigy at $50 (£40, around AU$80), the Wave Keys can seem a bit steep. So if you prefer mechanical, there are options for you.

If you're interested in a combination pack for the full ergonomic package, there's also the Logitech Wave Keys MK670 Combo which includes a Wave Keys Wireless Ergonomic Keyboard and a Signature M550 L Wireless Mouse. That would cost you $79.99 (around £65 / AU$125).

Hopefully, we'll see a more global release for this keyboard in the near future, as many office workers around the world would benefit from such a product.

Logitech Wave Keys: Specs

Should you buy the Wave Keys?

Buy it if...

You need an ergonomic keyboard
The unique wave design and memory foam wrist rest both go a long way in making this keyboard comfortable and natural to use.

You need a more budget-minded keyboard
Though a bit pricier than many cheaper membrane keyboard options, it's still quite affordable especially compared to most mechanical keyboards.

Don't buy it if...

You want a mechanical keyboard
If you are a die-hard mechanical keyboard fan, this is not the option for you.

Wave Keys: Also consider

How I tested the Logitech Wave Keys

  • I spent about a week testing this keyboard
  • I tested it for productivity work
  • I used it extensively in a home office environment

I tested the Logitech Wave Keys keyboard in a home office environment, seeing how well it functioned in purely productivity work. I also carried it around in various bags to test its portability.

The Wave Keys is an ergonomic membrane keyboard that's meant for extensive use over a period of years. I made sure to quality-test it to see if it held up to those standards while maintaining maximum comfort levels.

I've tested a wide range of keyboards including mechanical and membrane ones, and understand how to properly rate and test them out to ensure that they reach a certain level of quality.

We pride ourselves on our independence and our rigorous review-testing process, offering up long-term attention to the products we review and making sure our reviews are updated and maintained - regardless of when a device was released, if you can still buy it, it's on our radar.

Read more about how we test

First reviewed October 2023

Drop ALT V2 keyboard review: too much of a good thing isn’t always bad
6:27 pm | September 30, 2023

Author: admin | Category: Computers Computing Gadgets Keyboards Peripherals & Accessories | Tags: | Comments: Off

Drop ALT: Two-minute review

The Drop ALT V2 is part of a recent refresh of the original CTRL, ALT, and SHIFT series of mechanical keyboards that were first released in 2018. Drop has made several improvements to the beloved line, adding highly requested features such as stabilizer upgrades, improved sound dampening, new switch options, improvements to lighting, and more. The result is an even higher-quality mechanical keyboard that feels luxurious in every sense of the word, and is easily one of the best mechanical keyboards and one of the best keyboards all round.

I received the Drop ALT V2 low-profile unit, a TKL (TenKeyLess) board that's sufficiently weighty that it could be used as a weapon in an emergency. Crafted from a solid block of aircraft-grade aluminum, this is absolutely a keyboard made to last – which, considering the cost of entry, makes this an investment for the long haul. The chassis and keys are meant to last for millions of clicks over a period of years.

The ALT V2 also features north-facing RGB lighting that glows through the keycaps as well as around the base of the keyboard. Unlike the original Drop ALT, the LED lights are a bit dimmer here, which could be a positive or negative, depending on your preference. In my experience, at times I found it difficult to see the lit letters while typing, but I appreciated the base lighting effect.

That said, the overall typing experience has definitely improved over the older model. The additional layers of foam throughout the keyboard – including Poron top case foam, IXPE switch foam, Poron hot-swap socket foam, and bottom case Poron foam – really do go a long way to improve the typing feel. And thanks to the upgraded stabilizers, the sound has changed as well. While I prefer the sharper keystroke of the older model, others may welcome the more subdued sound this model offers. 

I’ve loved the smooth feel of the keycaps, as if my fingers are gliding on air as I type. However, they can feel a bit narrow, which could be an issue for those with thicker fingers or shaky handsI was able to adjust to them relatively quickly and with minimal typos.

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yellow switch of black and grey keyboard

(Image credit: Future)
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black and grey keyboard upside

(Image credit: Future)
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black and grey keyboard RGB lit

(Image credit: Future)
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black and grey keyboard RGB lit

(Image credit: Future)
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black and grey keyboard RGB lit

(Image credit: Future)

There are two switches to choose from, the Gateron Yellow KS3 Linear switches or Drop Holy Panda X Clear tactile switches. My own keyboard came with the former, and although I’m not the biggest fan of linear switches (my true love lies in tactile), these have felt amazing – the usual mark of quality in Drop switches that I believe only Cherry MX switches can rival.

Since the keys are hot swappable, changing them is much easier too. This means you can customize these keyboards to your heart's content, with the built-in switch plate and hot-swappable PCB. Drop has also upgraded its already great QMK firmware, which already offers programable macros and customized key mapping. Now, Vial and QMK expands compatibility options, with support for the former coming later this year.

Speaking about customization, it's also now possible for hardcore mechanical keyboard enthusiasts to purchase the barebones version of each keyboard, to create a version that's tailor-made to their exact specifications. And if you own the original version of the CTRL, ALT, and SHIFT keyboards, the more cost-effective option would be to order the PCBA + foam kit and Phantom Stabilizers and update your unit to the V2 model without wasting materials.

Like most of Drop’s other keyboards, the ALT V2 comes with two USB Type-C ports: one for the wire to connect to your PC; and the other to connect any other hub device. I'd say the removable cable increases portability, but this isn't entirely accurate when you consider the keyboard's heavy weight.

Drop ALT: Price & availability

black and grey keyboard RGB lit

(Image credit: Future)
  • How much does it cost? $200 (around £164 / AU$311)
  • When is it available? Available now
  • Where can you get it? Available in the US

There are two kinds of Drop V2 keyboards available, the fully assembled unit and the barebones edition. The former ranges in price between $180 - $250, while the latter costs $140 - $190. If you own the older versions of the CTRL, ALT, and SHIFT keyboards, the PCBA + foam kit and Phantom Stabilizers are available for purchase starting at $105, allowing you to upgrade your keyboard to the V2 version. 

Regardless of which option you choose, these keyboards are expensive, coming at a prices you'd usually associate with high-quality and fully customizable mechanical keyboards made for more serious of enthusiasts. If you’re not someone who likes to tinker with a keyboard to achieve the best possible fit, then you might be better looking elsewhere. There are plenty of options that offer a similar level of typing quality and tactile feedback without making such a dent in your wallet.

The Drop ALT V2 can be picked up via the company's  online store. However, both the UK and Australia are out of luck, unless buyers are willing to pay the steep price of importing.

Drop ALT: Specs

Should you buy the Drop ALT?

Buy it if...

You want a high-quality mechanical keyboard
Drop is well known for its impeccable keyboard quality, and the ALT V2 is no exception, from its aluminum chassis to its switches and keycaps.

You want a fully customizable keyboard
If you're looking for a mechanical keyboard that you can customize to your heart's content, then this model is for you.

Don't buy it if...

You're on a budget
If you can't afford to drop two hundred bucks on a single keyboard, then look elsewhere. There are plenty of cheaper models on the market offering similar quality for less.

You live outside the US
Unfortunately, Drop's only really retails in the US, so if you're in the UK or Australia, then you'll have to import a unit with all the associated costs.

Drop ALT: Also consider

How I tested the Drop ALT

  • I spent about a week testing this keyboard
  • I used it for both work and gaming
  • I used it extensively in a home-office environment

I tested the Drop ALT keyboard in a home-office environment, evaluating how well it functioned for both work and gaming. I also carried it around in various bags to test its portability.

The Drop ALT is a mechanical keyboard that's meant for extensive use over a period of years. I made sure to assess its quality to see if it held up to those standards, while also reviewing how easy it was to switch out the keycaps and reprogram the RGB lighting.

I've tested a wide range of keyboards over the years, including mechanical units, and understand how to rate and test them out to ensure that they reach a certain level of quality.

We pride ourselves on our independent and rigorous review-testing process, paying long-term attention to the products we assess, and ensuring our reviews are updated and maintained. Regardless of when a device was released, if you can still buy it, it's on our radar.

Read more about how we test

First reviewed September 2023

MSI GK50 Elite TKL review: a great budget mechanical keyboard
3:00 pm | September 24, 2023

Author: admin | Category: Computers Computing Gadgets Keyboards Peripherals & Accessories | Comments: Off

MSI GK50 Elite TKL: Two-minute review

The MSI GK50 Elite TKL is a keyboard meant for those who want the distinctive feel and responsiveness of a mechanical keyboard but who are looking for more budget options. It balances on an aluminum top plate that’s both sturdy and lightweight, making it easy to carry around. The black metal has a sleek-looking design with the logo etched into the side, giving it an almost sophisticated aesthetic appeal that stands out from other similar keyboards. I do wish there were more colors available to offer more of a variety from the standard gamer look.

This is a wired keyboard, which I’m sure will disappoint the wireless fans but it keeps the price down, which is one of the most important factors. It’s also an option that’s ideal for professional and hardcore gaming as it eliminates any latency and response issues. Even better is that the cable can be detached from the keyboard and easily slipped into the included carrying case.

Though it’s very much a budget mechanical keyboard, being able to remove and customize the keycaps is always a welcome feature. Included in the box are a few spare keycaps as well as a keycap puller, which works well for the smaller keys but is slightly more difficult to use when it comes to removing larger keys like the spacebar.

Despite it being very much a budget mechanical keyboard, being able to remove and customize the keycaps is great. However, there’s no option for customizing the switches or the keys, something that more hardcore mechanical keyboard enthusiasts will miss. But there has to be some trade-off in terms of price versus features.

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a black mechanical gaming keyboard

(Image credit: Future)
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a black mechanical gaming keyboard

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a black mechanical gaming keyboard

(Image credit: Future)
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a black mechanical gaming keyboard

(Image credit: Future)
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a black mechanical gaming keyboard

(Image credit: Future)
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a black mechanical gaming keyboard

(Image credit: Future)

Though the switches are no Cherry MX, the Kailh switches in the MSI GK50 Elite TKL are of solid quality and deliver some excellent performance in both gaming and productivity work. There are three different switches to choose from – Blue, Red, and Box White – which offer a different response, pre-travel distance, total travel, and operational force. 

While both the Red and Blue switches have a total travel distance of 4mm and an operational force of 50gf, the Blue switches’ pre-travel is 1.9mm versus the Red’s 2mm. Meanwhile, the White Box beats out both with a pre-travel of 1.8mm, a total travel of 3.6mm, and an operational force of 45gf.

The one I tested was the Kailh Blue, which offers clicky feedback versus the more subdued feedback of the linear Red ones. The keyboard also features 6+N key rollover, full keys anti-ghosting, and a keystroke lifespan of over 50+ million clicks.

The keycaps are a bit narrow, which could give both thicker-fingered and differently-abled users some trouble, but the keycaps feel natural to use once you’ve adjusted to them. I will say that even as someone who greatly enjoys loud, clicky keys, it can be a bit annoying to hear these particularly loud ones going off during an intense gaming session. If you’re a frequent gamer, you’d be better off investing in the Red switches instead.

The RGB lighting is bright, flashy, and can be customized in a variety of ways including color and style, though you need to go online and download the MSI Center Microsoft Store app to do so first. This normally wouldn’t be too much trouble but the app is rather buggy and can be a chore to install due to weird errors that crop up during the installation process.

There’s also another issue concerning the lighting. The default RGB setting features an extremely intense strobing effect to the point of eye strain. I don’t suffer from any medical conditions that make me vulnerable to flashing lights, but if a buyer did and connected the keyboard to their PC, it could possibly have serious consequences. It would have made far more sense to have the default setting be a solid and less intense color instead, especially since you need to install the MSI Center to change settings if you want a different effect.

MSI GK50 Elite TKL: Price & availability

a black mechanical gaming keyboard

(Image credit: Future)
  • How much does it cost? $64.99 for the Red and Blue switches, $74.99 for the Box White switches (around £53 / AU$101 and £61 / AU$117)
  • When is it available? Available September 26, 2023
  • Where can you get it? Available in the US

The MSI GK50 Elite TKL will currently be available in the US for $64.99 for the Red and Blue switches and $74.99 for the Box White switches (around £53 / AU$101 and £61 / AU$117). The price difference between the Box White versus the other switches makes sense considering that the Box White is superior when it comes to pre-travel distance, total travel, and operating force.

The keyboard is launching in the US on September 26, 2023, for major retailers including MSI’s official site and Amazon, though currently there’s no release date or official pricing for the UK, Australia, or other countries besides Taiwan.

MSI GK50 Elite TKL: Specs

Should you buy the MSI GK50 Elite TKL?

Buy it if...

You want a good-quality mechanical keyboard
It's a solid-quality mechanical keyboard that's lightweight and well-built, with nice responsive switches and solid features.

You need a more budget-minded mechanical keyboard
This is a mechanical gaming keyboard that proves that you can have a good quality one without spending over $100.

Don't buy it if...

You want a fully customizable keyboard
Unfortunately you can't program the keys or switch out the switches, which might deter some mechanical keyboard fanatics.

You want better software
The MSI software is pretty bad, oddly buggy and has tons of installation issues to get past.

MSI GK50 Elite TKL: Also consider

How I tested the MSI GK50 Elite TKL

  • I spent about a week testing this keyboard
  • I tested it both for productivity work and gaming
  • I used it extensively in a home office environment

I tested the MSI GK50 Elite TKL keyboard in a home office environment, seeing how well it functioned in both productivity work and gaming. I also carried it around in various bags to test its portability.

The MSI GK50 Elite TKL is a mechanical keyboard that's meant for extensive use over a period of years. I made sure to quality-test it to see if it held up to those standards, as well as to see how easy it is to pull the keycaps off and how easy it is to reprogram the RGB lighting.

I've tested a wide range of keyboards including mechanical ones, and understand how to properly rate and test them out to ensure that they reach a certain level of quality.

We pride ourselves on our independence and our rigorous review-testing process, offering up long-term attention to the products we review and making sure our reviews are updated and maintained - regardless of when a device was released, if you can still buy it, it's on our radar.

Read more about how we test

First reviewed September 2023