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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  • Beenthere - Monday, November 26, 2012 - link

    I went to Newegg to take a look at these mechanical mobos and no matter what Rosewill model I looked at, the reviews all said that the mini USB port on the keybord where the cable plugs in, fails after about 6 months. There is one review after another with the identical defect/failure on multiple models.

    I'm wondering if the RK-9000I and RK-9100BR have this same mini USB port issue?
  • Impulses - Wednesday, November 28, 2012 - link

    I haven't had an issue with mine but it never moves so there's no way the port could fail... I've heard it's actually fairly easy to fix if it's out of warranty tho, at least if you're handy with a soldering iron.
  • Beenthere - Wednesday, November 28, 2012 - link

    Actually several reviews by people who never move their mobo have reported the Rosewill mini USB port on the mechanical keyboards failing, which is why I asked because this is a serious design flaw.
  • Purpose - Monday, November 26, 2012 - link

    Cherry MX Blue switches require less force to depress than browns because there is no resistance from the leaf spring encountered until the actuation point, unlike browns, which have a near linear resistance.

    That's the primary difference between browns and blues. Blues are easier to depress until the actuation point, then you get noticeable resistance, and once the switch is activated, the resistance of blue switches decreases dramatically.

    Browns on the other hand are slightly harder to depress due to the near linear nature, but require less force at the actual activation point.

    Shame, shame for the obviously horrible research done prior to writing this article.
  • Pheesh - Tuesday, November 27, 2012 - link

    I'm not sure why the reviewer thinks brown's are not ideal for gaming. In the large fps gaming community that I follow gamers prefer either brown's or red's. (seems to be mostly browns, actually). Black switches are somewhat despised.
  • LintMan - Thursday, November 29, 2012 - link

    I have a Steelseries keyboard with MX Black keys and found that while it was fine for FPS-type games where you're holding down the keys for movement, it was not so great for games where you are quickly just tapping keys, and it was especially bad for "double-tapping"; I had a very hard time reliably getting a double-tap response because it's not very clear where the actuation/release points are without the tactile feedback of the click point.

    Similarly, I had problems with typing - the number of typos I was producing shot up compared to how I do on typical non-mechanical keyboards or on the RK-9000 MX Brown I replaced my Steelseries with. It was such a relief going from the MX Blacks to the MX Browns.
  • McFoozle - Sunday, December 2, 2012 - link

    IBM Selectric was genius in that the keyboard was concave which reduced the amount of distance your fingers had to reach to get from Home Row to the other rows. Why can't anybody make a proper keyboard even after I explain it to them? I want a concave design split into two halves which are angled outward kind of like the GoldTouchApple but with palm rests.

    Every single damn tech thing I buy or look at isn't the way I want it. I totally understand why Steve Jobs used the "F" word so much.
  • Beenthere - Wednesday, December 5, 2012 - link

    While the Rosewill mechanical keyboards seem to be a decent product they are way over priced, IMO. I don't see how they can justify a ~$100 price tag for any of the mechanical keyboard models.
  • batguiide - Sunday, December 9, 2012 - link

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