Peripheral Vision: Rosewill Illuminated Mechanical Gaming Keyboard (RK-9100)
Today we are checking out Rosewill's illuminated mechanical gaming keyboard (RK-9100) that features: Cherry MX blue or brown switches, individually backlit keys with 4 brightness levels and 3 different illumination modes, durable metal inner chassis and 2 USB ports located behind the keyboard.
Disclaimer: Before we get into how Rosewill's mechanical keyboard looks and feels, I want to take time to explain that this review is not aimed at a technical user but is instead aimed someone looking to up their game! So with that out of the way, let’s check how it feels and looks.
My first impressions of Rosewill's RK-9100 were pretty damn good because quite a lot of mechanical keyboards don’t have a numpad. While I understand that some players never use them, they're quite useful and appreciated. The key layout is standard USA and features a full-size backspace and return key, this important because some keyboards like to implement smaller backspaces, which can be super annoying to get used to. Each key is individually backlit and can help those of us who play in the dark, while also looking pretty damn sexy during the daytime thanks to the high quality LEDs.
The Scroll lock, Num lock and Caps lock are backlit with a green light to make it easy to see if they’re enabled, however this does mean you don’t have a top right indicator for them.
The RK-9100 features anti-ghosting key-pressing technology, meaning you can press up to 6 keys at the same time. This can be quite handy for those of us who play World of Warcraft or RTS games where often pressing 3 keys at once is fairly common. You also have two additional USB ports located at the back of keyboard, that allow you plug mice, USB keys or any other small device without bending/leaning over to your computer. One downside of this is that two USB ports are needed to fully power the RK-9100. Further testing showed the keyboard will fully function with only one USB plugged in,but won’t be fully backlit, only the Caps, Scroll and Num Lock will illuminate. Oddly enough, even with only one USB plugged in, both USBs on the back of the keyboard will still function.
Its last hidden gem comes in the form of 8 standard media keys accessed by holding down the FN key and pressing one of the F1-F8 keys. You can control the illumination brightness with 4 levels and even change the “mode” of illumination. These include having the entire keyboard illuminated, only the WASD and Arrow keys, or full keyboard without the numpad.
Obviously the biggest, and arguably most important aspect of any keyboard, is how the keys themselves feel. Rosewill has done a excellent job with the finish on each key. The rubbery finish on them allows you to keep a good grip while typing/playing during intense moments. Since the keys are backlit, the letters and numbers are not actually printed on the keys themselves but instead feature a transparent color.
So why choose a mechanical keyboard over its alternative? The basic principle of mechanical keyboards is that they not only feel a lot better to type on, but also be more responsive while gaming and providing a very long lasting keyboard. Mechanical keyboards (at least most of them) guarantee to last over 50 million key presses!
The Rosewill RK-9100 proves to be an incredible keyboard, including features that others lack, such as media key shortcuts or backlighting system. Its customizable lighting is useful, especially when playing in the dark, but beyond its usefulness, it's just awesome to look at. Sitting at around $100, it's not the cheapest of keyboards out there, but after using it for some time, I can confidently say that it would be money well spent.