The Rosewill Illuminated Gaming Keyboard in Productivity

The most amusing thing about the different Cherry MX mechanical switches is the subtle differences between the ones that aren't Blue. Our review unit features Cherry MX Browns, and these are going to be noticeably quieter than the Blues. They're still more tactile compared to the Reds and the Blacks (which are both more popular for gaming keyboards), but not quite as clicky as the Blues.

For basic productivity tasks I've noticed that the Browns in the Rosewill Illuminated Gaming Keyboard feel very different than the ones used in Logitech's G710+ keyboard. Logitech employed some extra tricks to reduce noise, but in the process the feedback from the keys actually felt like there was a bit more reverberation to it. I tend to beat my keyboards like they owe me money, and the G710+ became pretty painful to use in a hurry as I felt the reverberation in my wrists.

By comparison, Rosewill pretty much just lets the Brown switches be what they are, and the result is a much more fluid typing experience. These are definitely softer switches than the Blues in every respect, but they're very enjoyable to type on and I'd almost argue they're second to the Blues for that purpose. Any mechanical switch is typically going to be more pleasing to use than a membrane-style keyboard, but the Browns may be more ideal for people who like the feel of the Blues but either don't want or can't deal with the noise.

I also really like the treatment Rosewill uses for the keycaps on this keyboard as well as the size of the keycaps themselves. The G710+ felt slightly oddly spaced, either as if the keycaps themselves were too narrow or the keys were too far apart. Rosewill's design doesn't suffer from that issue. I wish they'd included a wrist rest (hell I wish they'd include a wrist rest on all of their keyboards), but for what it's worth, the RK-9100BR is pleasant enough to type on. They get the fundamentals right.

The Rosewill Illuminated Gaming Keyboard in Gaming

In being a slight jump from the Cherry MX Blue switches in typing and productivity, the Brown switches used in the RK-9100BR also lend themselves a bit better to gaming. I did a quick run in my woeful Centurion in MechWarrior Online (now in open beta!) and didn't feel myself really fighting with the keyboard so much as the fact that the Centurion is a terrible mech.

The reason is that while the Browns actuate in the same manner as the Blues, they require a bit less pressure, which will feel like slightly less travel. These still aren't ideal for gaming (for that, you really want Reds or Blacks), but it's definitely an improvement over the actuation force the Blues require.

The Rosewill Illuminated Gaming Keyboard RK-9100BR Conclusion: Matters of Priority and Price
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  • Torrijos - Sunday, November 25, 2012 - link

    Are we going to see comparisons with competing product like those from Razer?

    Also how is the support for other OS (Mac, Linux)?
  • kabbluyee - Sunday, November 25, 2012 - link

    support, hmmm, it's a basic keyboard
  • p05esto - Sunday, November 25, 2012 - link

    No real compute users use Macs, thats why it's not mentioned here. Duh.
  • Westicles - Monday, November 26, 2012 - link

    I have the Cherry MX Blue version of the illuminated keyboard and it works fine on my MacBook Pro, just the Windows keys dont work, but everything else does. I have yet to try the Brown version but the Blue version works very well and is definitely the best keyboard I've ever owned. I prefer no frills. And the Fn media keys work well with all my media programs so far. I got mine for $95 though, I got a 20% off all Rosewill keyboards coupon, Newegg runs sales on their Rosewill stuff fairly often.
  • jigglywiggly - Sunday, November 25, 2012 - link

    gotcha, still, I'll wait for a cherry mx red version. All the other ones slow you down, and I type 140wpm on general typing and 122 on typingtest's test instructions test.

    I just want a cherry mx red keyboard with media keys that isn't too expensive. I've yet to see one. I have the normal rosewill cherry mx red keyboard, but it has no media keys.

    I play bf3 quite a bit, and I use 3rvx to control my sound, and spotifyer for spotify hotkeys except punkbuster kicks you for both programs.
  • Dustin Sklavos - Sunday, November 25, 2012 - link

    Corsair K90. Something like $109 on sale right now at NewEgg. You're not going to do much better than that, and it's a fantastic keyboard.
  • DanNeely - Sunday, November 25, 2012 - link

    As a lefty mouser, the block of bogo keys on the left side is a bit of a turnoff. On the occasions when I'm using a right handed mouse the numberpad/arrows part of the keyboard is always annoyingly in my way; and I suspect the K90's extra keys would have the same problem .
  • ImSpartacus - Sunday, November 25, 2012 - link

    It may also be worth noting that Newegg is currently comboing just about every component with a 9100 or a 9100i for $5 off the combo.
  • HisDivineOrder - Sunday, November 25, 2012 - link

    ...Newegg? Seriously, we can't help it if we live in backward states with backward laws. Our state governments suck. Does that mean we can't have cheap, quality keyboards with backlighting?

    Yes, in this case, it does. This should not be glossed over.
  • ymrtech - Sunday, November 25, 2012 - link

    Yeah, there needs to be comparisons to Razor mechanical keyboards... they have a standard ones for as low as 65$ now and illuminated ones for 100-130... They even had "special edition" game ones that came in different LED colours in case you didn't like the default green colour.
    Not sure what switches they use, but i got to play with one at a local best buy and it feels awesome.

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