on March 8, 2012
Very good keyboard with great keys. There is one design flaw: This keyboard comes with two cables - PS2 and USB - but the mini connection is very weak (mine shorted out and I returned the keyboard). The cables are just too heavy for the tiny connector. A better design would be hardwired or at least internal, reinforced. Also, the keys are lasered and letters will wear off with time (check user forums). (I later purchased and highly recommend a DasKeyboard, which is excellent, with a hardwired cable connection.)
on November 9, 2011
I'm a fan of mechanical keyboards. I own 3 at the moment. Of them, I submit that this one is my favorite. Here's why:
1) Detachable cables (mini-USB to PS/2, and mini-USB to USB), braided, and plenty long.
2) Perfect layout. This is the way US keyboards should be.
3) Perfect fit-and-finish. Screws are tight, no scratches or scuffs. Earlier versions had a textured plastic housing, but the latest ones are a smooth, matte black. Nice weight. Seems durable.
4) Unique features key switches are mounted on a red metal plate. While this is a subtlety, I think it looks a lot better than other brands (which look bland by comparison).
5) Keycap Compatibility: Keycaps intended for FILCO-brand keyboards will fit this perfectly. You can get these in a number of places online, or even have them custom made (I have some from Signature Plastics, you can find their website easily).
If you are having trouble deciding between the various revisions, THIS ONE IS THE RIGHT ONE. The Cherry MX Brown switches are some of the lightest switches available, yet have a tactile feel; the actuation point is 2mm below the resting position, and requires approximately 45 grams to achieve that actuation. The switches aren't quite as crisp as Cherry MX Blues, but they are almost silent, no louder than your average basic $10 keyboard from Logitech or Dell.
on April 11, 2013
Click clack, click clack.
I feel like some of mechanical keyboard hipster; I've been using a trusty IBM Model M and a Northgate Omnikey Ultra way before mechanical keyboards became the new "in" thing two or three years back. As I've been using the M and Omnikey for the past ten years, I feel qualified to compare this Rosewill which I've used for almost a month now with them.
Why did I decide to upgrade to a new keyboard? Well, I recently built a new computer, and the motherboard that I used did not have a PS/2 port. I've tried several adapters, but none of them were totally satisfactory. Keyboard shopping it is then. Both the IBM Model M and the Northgate Omnikey that I used were clicky and tactile; this means that you can feel when the key switch is actuated (tactile), and you can hear it as well (clicky). Almost all new mechanical keyboards now use switches by Cherry Corp. of Germany, so I looked for the equivalent switches from Cherry: "blues," so named for the color of the actual stem coming out of the switch which the keycap attaches to.
I ordered the keyboard from Amazon, and, as usual, got it a few days later. My first impression was, "Wow, that's tiny!" Despite being a full sized 104 key keyboard, the Rosewill is absolutely tiny compared to the Model M, nevermind the Omnikey with its additional function keys. The Rosewill feels much lighter than both the M and the Omnikey, but that's not to say it feels cheap. The plastics use on the case feel sturdy, and the feet snap into place with an authoritative click. The keyboard has a detachable cable, and comes with both a USB and a PS/2 cable, both braided and high quality. The connectors are gold plated, which Rosewill claims will decrease latency. This is false. Boo, Rosewill, Boo.
How's it perform?
Well. It performs well. The Cherry Corp. keyswitches are lighter than the buckling springs of the M, but they're about the same as the Omnikey. They're satisfyingly loud, but without the finger fatigue that may come if you're not used to the heaviness of buckling springs. 6 key rollover over USB, with claimed N key rollover over PS/2. I've verified USB, but lacking a PS/2 port, can't check the N key. What does rollover mean? It's the minimum number of simultaneous keypresses the keyboard can register. asduin weklsn vcxio2 On the Rosewill, I can press down any six keys, and they will all register on USB, which is better than what my Model M can do.
Unfortunately for keyboard enthusiasts, we no longer live in a world where keyboards are our primary way of interacting with a computer. This manifests itself in the Rosewill having obviously lower quality than the Model M and the Omnikey. Of course, the Model M has the advantage of a huge economy of scale; it was the standard keyboard shipped with every IBM computer in a ten+ year period, and the Omnikey was a mail order keyboard which, inflation adjusted, cost several hundred now. How does the Rosewill compare? Quite well! The only con that I've found is that the spacebar can stick a little when pressed. It does not stick a lot, and it doesn't stick down and register a keypress; it sometimes doesn't fully spring up, maybe lacking a millimeter or two in height. The keycaps also don't quite compare to the M or the Omnikey in quality, but they still feel durable, and the printing is clear and legible. Some people have complained about the cable port in the back coming loose, but Rosewill has claimed that they have addressed the issue, and you really should't be forcing that connection anyway.
In summation, I'm generally quite pleased about this keyboard and hope to use it for another ten years. The Cherry Corp. switches feel great, and the auditory feedback of clicking increases my typing rate over regular non mechanical keyboards. I will see if the spacebar improves; if it does not, I will take it off and lubricate it.
on December 27, 2012
Before this, I've limped along on membrane keyboards. I never saw the justification of buying a $100 keyboard, even if it supposedly lasts longer. But when I saw this on sale for $70 after Christmas, I had to buy it.
I don't have the micro USB connector issue some people seem to have. I don't jerk the cable around though.
This is THE CHEAPEST MX Black keyboard out there. Currently, the CM Quickfire is slightly cheaper, but you lose a numberpad, and you get all these conspicuous gaming markings like "Quickfire" on the space bar. I don't call something without a numberpad a keyboard. I use my numberpad to bind macros to. Since the CM Quickfire doesn't have one, I guess I would have to bind macros to the arrow keys?
Rosewill has always been a manufacturer of solid, no-frills-attached type products. I have built many rigs using Rosewill cases and fans, but this is the first time I've tried one of their peripherals. It's built to the exact standard Rosewill uses in their products, similar to how Corsair has a good build quality. I can tell in a blind test whether a fan is from Corsair, Cooler Master, or Rosewill. The Corsairs and Rosewills are made of higher-quality ABS plastic, while most of CM's offerings are made of some polysynthetic junk that flexes under the slightest weight. So you can imagine why I wasn't eager to go with CM's take on a keyboard.
As for the value of this product, it's up to you. Sure the typing experience is better, but does it really justify $70-$80? I've typed on a few membranes that feel AMAZING and only cost $30. They failed me quickly though. My last membrane failed in about 6 months. The keys got sticky and some of the keys wouldn't respond unless I slammed them. Also, I got ghosting problems. Currently, the only membrane that has anti-ghosting is the Microsoft Sidewinder series. The X4 sells for $50, so I figured I could spend $20 more for a better typing experience and a longer-lasting product. Also, some of the cheaper, no-name brand mechanicals use USB connectors, so they don't anti-ghost. The Rosewill has a PS/2 and USB, so you can use the PS/2 for anti-ghosting on desktops that have a PS/2 port, or the USB on ones that don't.
I will be sure to update this in 6 months to see if the keypresses remain consistent. After typing this review, the keys seem slightly smoother, so there's some break-in needed.
Here's a guide on Cherry MX switches:
As you can see, each type is kind of a combination of two other types. In case you were wondering, tactile feedback means there's a bump about halfway down the keypress that takes a little more pressure to overcome. Brown and Blues have this, and it is not good for gaming, though it's excellent for typing because the keypress isn't registered until you overcome the bump. If you accidentally press a key and you pull back before the bump is activated, it will not register, which is how it's good for typing. Blacks are the best compromise between typing and gaming. They have a linear feedback, so no bump, it's just a straight travel down, so it's good for gaming. However, it has the most actuation and bottom-out force. This means it's harder to accidentally press a key when making rapid machine gun strikes while typing. Reds are a pure gaming switch. They will actuate when a finger is rested on them, making them good for twitch reflex gaming. However, in typing you will find accidental keypresses ALL THE TIME. Blues are essentially Browns with a clicky sound made when it goes over the tactile bump. This makes them INCREDIBLY noisy when you do machine gun typing. all you hear is CLACK CLACK CLACK CLACK CLACK CLACK CLACK CLACK CLACK. I think the Razer Blackwidow uses a modified Blue switch. It still has the tactile bump feedback, so I wouldn't recommend it for gaming.
Anyway, this is a great keyboard. Only time can tell if the lifespan of this will justify the price. $70 is a great deal, so get them while you can!
on December 12, 2011
The stats that matter: This is a light-resistance mechanical keyboard. The weight of your fingers alone is enough to push the keys down. There is no "click" noise or that bumpy feel (high resistance at first, then popping down). "Red" Cherry MX switches are prized among us strange keyboard enthusiasts for being really straightforward, fast to type on, and generally just rare. This is the first one I've seen in the price range in years.
Mechanical keyboards just feel better to type on. I'm not a fan of the old IBM Model M, but modern mechanical keyboards have a smooth, well-tuned action. If you don't type very much, or you hunt-and-peck, you probably won't see a huge difference. But if you type a lot, you'll probably find your handspeed improved by 5 - 10 wpm. And more importantly, they're just more comfortable. This will quickly become your favorite keyboard.
The Rosewill is made rather well. It is made sturdily with a metal plate throughout, and is nearly impossible to torque. The cord is one of those nice fabric-wrapped kind, which tend to tear less over the years, and is replaceable with a standard miniUSB cable. As a nice visual touch it has a red platform behind the keys, leading to a slight iridescence. It won't win any beauty contests, but it won't lose them either. Also, this is definitely one of the least expensive mechanical keyboards out there, and hands-down the cheapest Cherry "Red" keyboards.
The main drawback of this keyboard, and really any mechanical keyboard, is the noise. The lack of an actuation point and the additional "click" that certain keyboards adds does help reduce the noise. These are about the quietest mechanical keyboards you will find, but the noise from plastic-bouncing-off-plastic while typing is comparable to lightly tapping your fingernails on a desktop. Normal rubber-dome keyboards have, well, big rubber domes to dampen the noise. These don't, and in quiet or moderately-quiet offices might annoy your cubemates.
Still, finding a Cherry RED keyboard, this well made, at this price, is like finding an unreleased Elvis album in the discount bin. If you do any volume of typing, pick it up now.
on October 12, 2013
This is a good mechanical keyboard. It uses the Blue (clicky) Cherry keys and is a good choice for people who spend most of their day typing. Unlike the Brown keys, the Blues are "clicky". The clicks are not so loud to me, but may be an inconvenience to other members of the family at night or co-workers sharing the same office. To my ears, the key clicks sound a little bit louder than the click produced by the old and venerable "IBM Model M" keyboards, but it's more of a "tick tick" variety instead of the "clack" of the Model Ms.
The big problem with this keyboard (and you will find out that 7 out of 10 people will also report this) is the poor choice for the USB connector. The manufacturer decided to use a USB connector on the back of the keyboard and a straight USB cable. There's no stress relief and this will end up breaking the solder that holds the USB connector in place. There are TONS of people reporting this problem. The manufacturer recently "solved" the problem by also gluing the connector to the circuit board (I haven't opened my keyboard to check if I have this "fixed" model) but some people report it will break anyway.
My solution to the problem was to purchase a StarTech Mini USB Cable - A to Left Angle Mini B - 6 Feet (USB2HABM6LA) and use that instead of the factory cable. Also, get some Adhesive Backed Mounting Bases and glue them to back of the keyboard, using zip ties to hold the cable securely in place. This should completely eliminate the stress on the connector no matter how you pull the cable. Make sure you tie the cable in place strongly.
I'm uploading pictures of my setup and I hope it will help someone out there. Please note that I used 1" Adhesive bases, but 3/4" bases should be even better.
on January 22, 2011
Actually it essentially IS a rebadged Cherry MX Blue Filco Majestictouch 104 full keyboard and that's a wonderful thing since Filcos are becoming very scarce in the United States. You can go on forums like geekhack to see the nitty gritty breakdown and gut shots to prove it. I don't know how to pay Rosewill a higher compliment than that. They're offering a great keyboard at a great price.
I co-sign with any and all 5 star reviews.
I've been using run of the mill rubber membrane keyboards like many of them are for years. An MS Natural Ergo 4000 being the most recent for the last 3 years. It served me well but I wore down two of them in less than 5 years with nominal usage. I type and game. I've never raged out on my KB, either. ;)
That tipped me off that maybe I was using something of less than great build quality and I wondered if there were better options with better build quality.
I had no idea what I was really missing until I stumbled upon the mechanical keyboard world via my research. The feel, the build quality, the responsiveness of the keys: It's a huge difference. I was pleasantly surprised.
When you pull this out of the box you can already tell by feel, weight, and appearance you're in for something different and better. Then you use it. I'm saying all of this as someone who went in fairly skeptical thinking "A keyboard is a keyboard." Wrong! I don't even miss the Ergo with this which is a pleasant surprise. It's almost like upgrading for some $10 mouse to a Logitech G9x as a loose analogy.
Keyboard and mouse are of equal importance for me from now on after this. Mechanical 4 Life. I'm a believer now. I can say that I feel like my typing and gaming have benefited from the feel and even the satisfying and addicting sound the keys make as you use them.
The price is a bargain. You're not paying for any extra fluff like lit keys, USB slots, piano finish, or anything else. You're strictly paying for awesome fundamentals which is exactly all I wanted.
I think I'd have to try VERY hard to a reckless degree to try and damage this keyboard or wear it out.
Cons: No complaints just some notes and heads up:
1.) The Blue LED lights for number lock, scroll lock, and caps lock are a pleasant and good looking blue when you're sitting and using the keyboard normally but woe be unto ye if you stand up directly over and look down. Wow.
2.) If you want NKRO, you need to buy an active PS2-USB adapter for this keyboard. Not a passive one. Look carefully before buying. Rosewill didn't include it which is a minor nit given the great price of the keyboard.
Final thoughts: If you know you want Cherry MX Blue mechanical and don't care about fluff then this is the best bang for your buck. No lit up keys, no usb ports, no detachable chords, no black piano glossy finish...just a great keyboard.
If you want a Filco that fits that description, this is essentially the same thing. There's really no point IMO spending the extra money to import.
The Leopolds/Archiss line will also cost a little more than this does when they show up in the States probably in February of 2011.
They will consist of most if not all of the Cherry MX "flavors." Will they be better than this? Somehow I personally doubt it at least by anything appreciable but I guess you never know. I have a hard time imagining how you could appreciably improve on this type of keyboard at this price point.
I didn't feel like waiting because I needed a new KB and I knew what I wanted and I was ready to buy. This fit the bill for me perfectly. It's awesome for both typing and gaming and there's something satisfying and almost addictive about using it.
Forums like geekhack are excellent places to start doing research on mechanical keyboards so you can make an informed buying decision like I did.
on July 7, 2014
Great keyboard at a great price.
Pros: Mechanical Keyboard, Cherry MX Blue Switches, Solid construction, Braided USB and PS2 cables
Cons: No backlighting (don't expect that at this price point), Keycap printing will wear off over time (Easy to replace)
Overall fantastic keyboard. If you are looking to pick up your first Mech Keyboard, then I would highly recommend this one.
on July 8, 2014
I've bought five of these from Amazon and had planned to stick with Rosewill for life, until one was dead out if the box and the one I use at work began to flash lights and not be recognized by Windows. I switched it with another, crappy Dell keyboard and it worked fine.brought in my Rosewill I use Syu home and it works fine too. Stick of shipping these duds back! Tossing this newest dud in the trash, sorry Rosewill, I'm switching to Tesoro Durandal Black Cherry MX now. Guess they aren't what I hoped they would be
on June 25, 2014
This is my first transition from a membrane keyboard to a mechanical one, so keep that in mind when reading my review.
I ordered the white version with Cherry MX Blue Switches, and I'm not entirely sure if that has any affect on it or not. When I first took it out of the box my first impression was that it was quite heavy, way heavier than any keyboard I've ever used so I'm under the assumption all mechanical keyboard are like this. I decided to hook it up via the PS/2 connection and it did not work off the bat, I had to restart the computer but I've had to do that for my old PS/2 keyboard.Using it for a day have been pleasant and it seems perfect for me. Even the loud keys, I know some would not like it but I personally love it. There isn't anything that makes this special like shortcuts or even media keys, but some other reviews have stated, its a good entry to mechanical keys and apparently the price is good. Others have complained about the back mini USB detaching when in use but I have not experienced this yet.
-Loud (Cons to some, but not me)
-Responsive, definitely notice a difference from my old non-mechanical keyboard
-Simplistic design which always win me over
-Choice between a PS/2 or USB connection
-A bit heavy but this won't effect my rating on it at all
I would definitely recommend this to any person who has never owned a mechanical keyboard. Only because I assume this is very basic and a good introduction to it. I personally have had no problem yet.