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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  • ymrtech - Sunday, November 25, 2012 - link

  • stratosrally - Sunday, November 25, 2012 - link

    I've been using a Corsair K60 for a year, and my solution for illumination was to purchase an Allsop Redmond monitor stand and an Antec Halo 6 LED USB lighting strip. The strip runs underneath the leading edge of the monitor stand and into a USB port on the back of my Samsung monitor for power. I drilled one of the stand's legs to hide the cable, and it is very stealthy... and casts a lovely glow downwards onto the keyboard and illuminates enough of my desk surface to have all lights out in the room when gaming.

    Instead of worrying about an individual LED failing on my keyboard that would require an RMA or a replacement, I can spend less than $8 on a new strip if it fails.

    BTW - I'm absolutely loving my Cherry MX Reds and my Corsair Vengeance K60 - and my M60 as well.
  • ol1bit - Sunday, November 25, 2012 - link

    I just got the Cooler Master CM Storm Quick Fire Pro with Brown Cherry keys for $74 with a $20 rebate card on New Egg. Black Friday deals..still going on today. :-)

    Liked the features it had compared with Roswell basic, and like you said the Illuminated Roswell is just too much money.
  • greenbackz - Sunday, November 25, 2012 - link

    I have a steelseries MERC stealth.. u can change the lights from blue, red or purple, it has media keys and also was cheaper than this thing.. why does this thing cost more when it has far less functionality compared to the SS merc? lol
  • torp - Monday, November 26, 2012 - link

    One, your keyboard has rubber switches not mechanical, which is why it's cheaper.
    Two, some (me included) consider the extra keys a hindrance not a feature. Personally i have a Razer Ultimate and the macro keys on the left annoy me to no end.
  • vshin - Monday, November 26, 2012 - link

    Well that was fast. Cyber Monday deals rock!
  • Zokudu - Monday, November 26, 2012 - link

    Have you looked at the Cooler Master Quick Fire Rapid? I feel like these keyboard reviews are missing some major mechanical players.
  • Omega215D - Monday, November 26, 2012 - link

    There's also the CM Storm Quickfire TK that's tenkeyless but still offers a num-pad. It's backlit and comes a variety of switches. Similar in price to the Quickfire Rapid.
  • CobaltFire - Monday, November 26, 2012 - link

    I work on fairly old equipment and get to use some of the older mechanical switch terminals (IBM and HP). This series is a great way for me to get a feel for the mech keyboards available today without spending a ton of money.

    That said, the Centurion is not a bad mech. I routinely use one well (-AL with a PPC, -YLW, and a -D with an LB), as do many others. It may not fit your playing style, however that is no fault of the platform.
  • JonnyDough - Monday, November 26, 2012 - link

    I think it's time for a holiday gaming keyboard roundup with recommendations.



    Tactile Response/Speed - i.e. how many buttons can you press at once, response time, "trigger weight"

    Allow me to clarify "Trigger weight". Think of a gun, and how many pounds are required to pull the trigger. I want a keyboard where I don't have to push the button down very far to get the key to actuate input (which is why Cherry Switches are sort of a poor choice for gaming), but I don't want it so soft that merely touching the keys to find the home keys registers a push. My Logitech G15 which I have been using for a few years is nearly perfect)


    Additional Features:

    USB ports on the top edge of the keyboard are tough to access. LCD screens are nice but not necessary, still they can add value. Indicator lights are a big help. It would also be nice to get some sort of register of how much juice different keyboards suck down. Does my G15 cost me an additional $10 to run over the course of a few years? It might not be a huge deciding factor but it could be an interesting read. I really like the gaming switch my G15 has. I often forget its there but it would be nice to have a keyboard's software automatically double check to make sure that this key is disabled when in full screen.

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