I’ve always been a stickler for keyboards, but I’ve never used, let alone owned, a mechanical keyboard. It seems that mechanical keyboards are “in” and are extremely popular no matter where you go, regardless of the manufacturer or style. So when Rapoo approached TechDissected to review the Rapoo KX, I jumped at the chance to review this keyboard.
Considering the fact that I’ve always been accustomed to, and prefer, the chiclet style of keyboards, I knew that testing out the Rapoo KX would be somewhat of a task. I’ve come to love the chiclet style keyboards, partially for my love of Apple keyboards, but also because I type the fastest on that style, and my fingers just glide across the keyboard without any hiccups or issues.
After taking the Rapoo KX out of the box, I just typed across the keyboard just to get a feel for it, and I instantly knew that I was in for some fun. Before I get into the actual usage of the Rapoo, let’s go over some of the features that Rapoo has packaged into the KX.
Rapoo KX Features
Measuring 13″ x 6″, this mechanical keyboard is on the smaller side of the spectrum, making the Rapoo KX extremely portable for on the road typing. Sporting an aluminum finish between the keys, and a matte finish on the bottom, the Rapoo KX could turn some heads, depending on where you are working at. Also, something extremely handy, is the fact that the Rapoo KX functions in both a wireless, as well as a wired mode. With the help of the Nano-USB receiver, if you want to use this in wireless mode, you won’t have to worry about anything sticking out too far, so you can keep this plugged into your laptop.
On the back edge of the Rapoo KX, you will find a micro-USB port for charging, a small indentation to house the Nano receiver, and the on/off switch. The inclusion of a place to hold the nano-receiver should make portability a non-issue so that even when you’re charging the KX, you won’t have to worry about misplacing the nano-receiver.
Rapoo KX Keys
The top of the keyboard is where the fun really is. Sporting three options for the backlight settings, so that you can adjust to your lighting conditions. What’s different from the Rapoo KX, compared to other keyboards that I’ve seen or used, is that all your function keys, aren’t actually keys. Instead, the KX sports a set of soft keys that vibrate and light up, when touched. During regular typing, the soft keys are white, but if you want to use a specific function, the soft keys turn blue once you’ve pressed the FN button on your keyboard. In addition to the backlighting options found on the Rapoo KX, in order to save battery life during wireless usage, the backlight will “time-out” so that you’re keys aren’t always on. This is great for trying to go long periods of time without charging, however you will run into issues if you’re using your keyboard in the dark, with the only light coming from your monitor.
This was where the first of few issues arose with the Rapoo KX. If you are trying to quickly turn up or turn down the volume on your computer, the KX doesn’t always register every tap that you make, and usually there is some type of delay before everything gets moving. However, this wasn’t a major qualm, just something to be aware of if you’re in the market for the Rapoo KX.
Now for the keys themselves. I tried educating myself to the best of my abilities on the various types of mechanical keyboard switches, and thanks in large part to the Mechanical Keyboards Reddit community, came to find out what each kind of switch was. If you’re someone like me, and are new to the realm of mechanical keyboards, here’s a little breakdown of the different common types of keyboard switches.
Different Keyboard Switches
When looking at different types of keyboard switches, there are many different types of switches, but the main four are Cherry MX Blues, Cherry MX Blacks, Cherry MX Reds, and Cherry MX Browns.
Cherry MX Blues:
- Most recognizable mechanical keyboard switch, with the click of the key marking the moment that the key registers on your computer.
- Has the most similar feel to a classic typewriter (if some of you remember those)
- Popular for gaming due to the clicking sound, and the bump acting as double-confirmation during gameplay.
Cherry MX Blacks:
- Ideal for gaming due to the smooth press that the switch offers.
- Medium resistance helps avoid any accidental key presses during quick movements.
- Resistance type reduces typing errors.
Cherry MX Reds:
- Most popular for gaming due to the extremely light resistance.
- Allows for the quickest activations (when the key registers with your computer.
- Extremely popular for MMO, FPS, RTS, and MOBA gaming keyboards due to the ability to quickly register double and triple tapping.
Cherry MX Browns:
- A good set of switches for the keyboard n00b.
- Provides quick response with light resistance, and a bump to help you recognize when you’re registering a key stroke.
- One of the quietest switches available, meant for those who can’t stand the clickity clack of the “regular” mechanical keyboards.
There are many other switches available, but a lot of these come from the manufacturer using their own, self-developed, switches. That’s where the Rapoo KX comes into play.
What Does The KX Use
Speaking of the self-developed switches, that’s where Rapoo comes into the game with their “third-party” switches. The Rapoo KX uses switches known as Kailh Yellow Switches that are Cherry MX Red Clones. So when using this keyboard, you can expect to have little resistance, and in theory, be able to type rather quickly. The issue that I came across, versus other mechanical keyboards that I have played with at my local MicroCenter, is that it feels that the keys are just spaced a little bit too far to be helpful during long distance typing. However, once you get used to the Rapoo KX, it’s really not noticeable any longer. (Other than my constant tapping of the Caps Lock when typing too fast for my own good.)
All in all, I really enjoyed using the Rapoo KX, and it has really projected me further into the world of Mechanical Keyboards. Instead of being on the outside looking in, I’m in the process of learning more about the various types of switches, and comparing the different types of mechanical keyboards that seem to be flying off the shelves everywhere. If you’re in the market for a mechanical keyboard to get started with, be sure to consider the Rapoo KX, due to the portability, and the fact that the overall design is just gorgeous.
There are five different color variations for the Rapoo KX, but there is only one type of switch for this specific keyboard. The five different colors are: Red, White, Black, Yellow, and Blue. So check out the different options and take your pick. You can grab the Rapoo KX via the link below for around $84 with free shipping through Amazon Prime. Let us know in the comments what your favorite mechanical keyboards and what you would recommend to someone starting out fresh.