Honest Reviews: I will mostly be doing reviews about products which i myself am selling, so you might think that i am biased and….. i cannot refute that. However, i feel that my reviews will be more about what you will get if you buy these products, and less about OMFG THIS IS SO GOOD MUCH WOW PLS BUY. just sayin’.
The features. Will talk more on that later.
The first sight upon opening the box. My first thought was “IT COMES WITH A KEYBOARD COVER! ! <3”. No, I’m serious, I was stoked seeing that keyboard cover. Do you know how hard it is to find one here in Malaysia?
The booklet is the only other item in the box that comes with the keyboard, and it explains how you turn off the backlighted spacebar and how to turn of the Windows keys and function key. Pretty succint.
First impressions best impressions
Full frontal pic of the keyboard
How it looks from behind
Keyboard of Chinese Origin.
This keyboard comes with a normal, non-braided rubber cord. Definitely a (-) for a RM169 keyboard. =(
Pretty neat feature is this: cable management system which allows the cable to be routed so that it exits the keyboard to the left, centre or right. (+)
Note the rubber feet both on the base and the height adjuster. This means no matter what height you like your keyboard to be, the rubber feet are there for you. (+)
Even without the braided cable, it still comes with a gold plated USB plug. A good thing, even if it’s solely for the aesthetics. (+)
This keyboard comes with a pretty unusual font, which some might like and others hate. According to our in-house graphics team (I jest! We don’t have one!), it’s an Egyptian-ish font, which is kinda cool. I like it, but at the end of the day, its just a font, so no biggie.
More on the font. Also, holding the PrtSC button toggles the backlight for the spacebar’s backlight, which is the only backlight on the keyboard, aside from the usual LED indicators.
Pretty attractive/sporty red stripe goes all around the keyboard.
Delve deeper, we must (Wall of text ahead)
So I’ve been using this keyboard for a while now and several things pop out, some good, some not so good.
I guess bad news is always preferable first, so here’s the ugly:
The keyboard is marketed and tagged as a “tactile” membrane keyboard with the POM guide sleeves for each key, but I was severely underwhelmed by the feel of it the first time i tried it. However, bear in mind that I am comparing it to a actual tactile mechanical keyswitch which costs quite a bit more than this (double, in fact), so that comparison would be unfair, to say the least. Still, to market it as a “tactile” keyboard, I expect more tactility.
To play devil’s advocate here, let me give some feedback from other people. While the general consensus is that the keyboard feels similiar to normal rubber domes, a slight minority claimed that the K10 feels better and much more tactile than their rubber domes. Generally, they were coming from using older rubber domes, so I guess this keyboard would be much better than theirs. Still, all this is qualitative and cannot be quantified, so I guess it’s to each person their own.
Let there be ligh….. no?
For RM 169, I would love to see more LEDs on this keyboard. There are a total of 5 LEDs on this keyboard, and 4 of them are indicators. As mentioned above, this keyboard ‘s only decorative LED is under the spacebar. But this is an aesthetics thing, and I’m not too bothered by it.
One really annoying thing about the keyboard is that it has a standard layout EXCEPT for 3 keys, the “Enter/Return”, “Backspace” & “|” key. The enter key is super huge and takes up more space than is necessary. Not sure is this to make the logo on the key more noticeable or what, but this forces the “|” key. which is usually below the backspace and above the enter key, to be moved to the same row as the backspace key. This forces the usually “1×2” sized backspace key into a “1×1” size. This makes me constantly miss the Backspace as I usually hit the Backspace right in middle. For someone who switches between a few keyboards (part of the job :P) quite regularly, this annoys me to no end. However, if you only use one keyboard regularly, you could deifnitely learn to re-adjust your typing to this keyboard. Still, being one of the most commonly used-keys, it would make sense to make it larger.
Replaced the backspace key to at least make it FEEL different,
Now that we’re done with that, onwards to the good:
Yo momma so fat….
…that if she sat on this keyboard, she’d break. This keyboard is made pretty darn well. Feels really really solid, and pretty heavy as well. Part of this could be attributed to the fact that this keyboard has a “support plate” (so it says on the packaging, but I’d assume its a metal) underneath the membrane layer, but keep in mind that not ALL keyboards with backplates feel solid.
Cherry MX Keycap compatible
One of the really really (welcome) surprises about this keyboard is that the POM guide sleeve is actually compatible with Cherry MX keycaps.
The POM guide sleeves.
Replaced with iKBC Doubleshot PBTs from my RK9000.
In my personal opinion, this should be one of THE selling points that i-Rocks should emphasize. There are some people out there who love the looks of mechanical keyboards with custom keycaps but couldn’t care less about how they feel. This keyboard would be absolutely perfect for them, with several conditions. ONE, the keycaps they choose should be generously normal sized or big so that there’s enough clearance for the squarish raised borders/supports around the keycap stem. TWO, the keyboard uses normal rubber-dome stabilisers, so those keys using stabilisers (Enter, Space, Shift keys, the longer Numpad keys) would be be replaceable. Still, most people only want to change a few keys, not all, and changing all the alphabetical keys would be enough to give a keyboard that “cool” factor.
Actually has 30-KRO
This feature actually trumps most mechanical keyboards as most mechs only have 6 or 8-KRO over USB. The K10 has a whopping 30-KRO that i tested over keyboardtester.com, which is really really good. While it’s not something you would ACTUALLY use, it’s pretty cool and definitely a good thing for all those gamers out there.
No more hitting windows and getting flamed by your “friends”
You can easily disable the windows and right function keys whenever you’re gaming by just holding those buttons down until the “win lock” indicator lights up. Another good point for all of you to keep i mind.
The Dust Cover
I’m not jokin’, some 400ringgit keyboards don’t even come with this.
Now, to wrap it all up…
One last point that I have to point out is that this keyboard comes with stock PBT keycaps. While PBT keycaps are generally regarded by the keyboarding community (not sure if it exists) as the best material keycaps can be made out of as they feel better, the PBTs on this keyboard are pretty thin.
Right to left : iKBC PBT, SP ABS, i-Rocks PBT
For most of you out there, if you don’t understand what the initials are, then it doesn’t really matter to you. But for those of you who do, the PBTs on the K10 almost bear no significance because PBTs only matter when you bottom out on your mech switch, and bottoming out on membranes feel the same no matter what they keycap is made of. To be totally honest, if i-Rocks made these with ABS, pretty much no-one would mind, and they would(should) save some costs by doing so. This is something that I personally feel, but could be subject to everyone’s personal preferences. Good for them for using PBTs, but at the end of the day, totally unnecessary.
Whether you like/love/hate this keyboard and what you think of it, I would say, totally depends on what you are looking for in a keyboard. If you’re looking for a solid keyboard to type on but don’t care about mechanicals, this is just perfect for you. If you’re looking for a cheap alternative to a tactile mechanical keyboard, stay away. If you’re looking for a gaming keyboard which is durable, but don’t need media/macro keys or fancy pansy backlighting, pretty good buy as well as not many rubber domes give 30-KRO. If you’re looking for a keyboard for which you can change a few keys to make it personal, this would be awesome. At the end of the day, it’s what you want from a keyboard that really decides if this is a good buy or not.
My personal opinion is that its a pretty solid keyboard, but just not for me.
Dissapointing POM guide sleeve tactility, amazing Cherry MX keycap compatibility, terrible backspace key, great 30-KRO, awesomely solid, very niche clientele.
The i-Rocks K10 is available from RM 169 from us.