The market of today is ever-growing and constantly expanding. We see new innovative ideas and limit questioning products being released almost every single day. People and even manufacturers are no longer satisfied with what they have and keep looking to the future both in design, performance and the overall approach of their products.
Royal Kludge RK 61
- Multi-Device Connectivity
- Great Build Quality
- Much Cheaper than Competitors
- Not for Gaming
- Basic combinations are somewhat complex
Connectivity: Bluetooth and MicroUSB | Style: 61 Keys 60% keyboard | Dimensions: 291 x 101 x 39 mm | Weight: About 500g | Cable length: 60 inches | Battery Life: 10 hrs (360 hrs idle) | Charge time: 3 hrs | Mechanical Switches Type: Blue
VERDICT:The Royal Kludge RK61 is an extremely cheap wireless mechanical keyboard which shows no weakness in performance and rivals the more famous brands in this particular field. It possesses great lighting features, has absolutely excellent connectivity and can be swapped between devices. For a 35$ product, it easily surpasses expectations.
There used to be a time when there were only a few manufacturers of keyboard products, and you would never consider any other being capable of properly doing your requirements justice. Those times are way behind us now. We have way more legitimate brands of keyboard makers now, Razer, Corsair, Logitech are just a few of the famous names of the market of today. The existence of new products every day brings us to Royal Kludge. Now we were not really aware of Royal Kludge until we laid our eyes on this product which is the RK61 wireless Mechanical Keyboard. Not only were we surprised to find out that a brand like this existed, but we also were awestruck by the potential their products appear to have and how they might channel that into something great. The RK61 is a very compact, user-friendly, easy to use product which also delivers the extra punch with its great connectivity options and stunning backlit lighting features. We will now look to dive deeper into what this product is and for whom it may be useful.
The Royal Kludge RK61 comes in an old school cardboard style box with the Royal Kludge logo affixed right at the center of its topside.
There is nothing fancy on the box, its a simple basic box with just the one logo. Once the box is opened, the user will find the Keyboard sitting inside a protective sheet, which is a nice touch both as far as safety is concerned as this protects the keyboard from unnecessary damage, this also gives off a very professional feel by Royal Kludge. Apart from the Keyboard, the box contains the following:
- 1x MicroUSB cable (for charging and connectivity)
- A user manual
- A quality confirmation card and,
- A keycap remover (in the RGB version only)
There is not much to talk about regarding this aspect of the Keyboard. You don’t get a lot of goodies as is to be expected from a very budget-friendly product, just the bare essentials. The old school cardboard box is not a bad touch, it is refreshing to see a company rely on the product itself for its advertisements rather than flashy colors and vibrant boxes. The keycap remover is a good plus, not every keyboard manufacturer supplies this and that is kind of shocking. The USB cables provided are of matching color to the product included, so if you buy the white keyboard you get the white wire and for the black keyboard the black wire is included.
The first thing regarding the product that you will notice is how compact and elegant it looks. There is literally no space wasted, as you would expect from a 61 key only keyboard meaning that you don’t get the usual number pad or the direction keys in separate dedicated segments. The build quality is solid and the product itself weighs just enough to be heavy but also the weight is perfect to make the product better, durability wise. You will find the Royal Kludge logo situated at the bottom right corner of the keyboard. The keys themselves have a secondary command visible on them which can be accessed by holding them down in collusion with the FN (function) keys located at the bottom right. There is an on-off button at the back as well.
On the backside, you get four (4) rubber grips, with them situated at the corners of the keyboard. The keyboard does not budge from its position due to the rubber grips. One thing to notice is that the keyboard is not height or angle adjustable, the angle/height is pre-adjusted and cannot be altered. So if a user is one who does not care for such a feature or the keyboard base angle is good enough for them, this will not be a troublesome issue. However, if you are used to using the keyboard at higher angles, your going to have to adjust to this one.
As far as the overall size of the keyboard goes, it is much smaller than an average keyboard. Its length is about 60% that of a normal keyboard and its width is about the size of a regular gaming mouse. All in all, it is very compact and portable.
The RK61 comes in two colors, white base with white keys and black case with black keys. The MicroUSB supplied matches the keyboard color you buy. One thing to notice is that the Black variant comes with a nice yellow backlit Led and the White variant has what you may call a very bright baby blue (light blue) color backlit LEDs. There is also an RGB variant of the same product which comes with almost double the price tag.
The Royal Kludge RK61 wireless keyboard has a few very enticing features that can attract users of almost all aspects. Its main sale point or best-advertised feature is definitely its connectivity. You can easily connect 3 separate devices to this keyboard at the same time and can easily swap between them by pressing the function key and the Q, W, E Keys simultaneously. You turn the keyboard on from the button located at the back, put the keyboard in Bluetooth mode by using the function key and tab at the same time and then enter pairing mode by pressing P and Function key at the same time. Easily connect this to any device that has Bluetooth feature. You can use this to work on your phone as typing an extended portion is pretty hard and taxing on the small screen of the phone, you could use this to connect to laptops and PC’s as well. With the three device connectivity feature, you can have an easy swap between all of your paired devices. The keyboard has Blue switches for its mechanical keys making it sound quite clicky and loud compared to other mechanical keyboards.
The RK61 also comes with backlit LEDs. As stated above yellow LEDs in the Black variant and Light Blue/Baby Blue LEDs in the White variant. The color of the product and the LEDs work very well together. The best part is that you have built-in effects control of the LEDs. You can swap between a whopping collection of 17 different key lighting effects by simply pressing the function key with the backslash key. Ranging from strobing, pulse effects to overall disco type LED effects. You honestly cannot get bored with the built-in effects you get, our favorite is the different light-up effects, which only come into play once you press a key. Added versatility is the inclusion of easy to use brightness control for the LEDs themselves. By pressing the Function key along with the Square brackets you can easily control the brightness of the LEDs up to 4 levels ranging from No light to maximum light.
The battery life is 10 hours while using and 360 hours on idle. The RK61 takes about 3 hours to charge with its supplied MicroUSB wire. You can use the device while it is charging in wired mode or just use the device in wired mode to avoid input lag that a Bluetooth device normally delivers. One issue regarding the wired mode we came to realize was that once the wire is connected there comes a very annoying red light just encompasses the corner side of the spacebar. This bug is very distasteful as it completely goes against the color scheme and is also impossible to turn off with the key commands. The sad part is even when off, the red light still remains on if you have the wire connected to a source. Now, this may be just our experience, but we have heard reports of other users getting the same annoying red light on the white variant.
You don’t have dedicated arrow keys but you can use the arrow keys by simply pressing Shift along with the Function key. This makes the arrow keys available, you can turn this off the same way as well. All in all, every feature of the keyboard can be used in collusion with the Function keys. There is nothing complicated and is pretty easy to use and execute.
This keyboard will appeal to non-gamers more than dedicated gamers. One of the reasons for that is simply the fact that due to Bluetooth connectivity there is input lag, this makes it almost impossible to enjoy gameplay or even execute gameplay properly. This keyboard was not built for gamers in mind. Using the wired feature to eliminate the input lag does not make sense in our mind as there are dedicated gaming keyboards out there in affordable price ranges. This keyboard is good for portability as it is small and compact. You can use it if you travel and have some typing to do.
The main market you probably assume will have a genuine need for this apart from keyboard enthusiasts is people who have a need for wireless connectivity. You can swap between different setups instead of having to buy a separate keyboard for all of them or skip going through the hassle of individually connecting/disconnecting devices to use another. So, people working with multiple setups can find this useful or even those with just the one. Just gaming is not an option here. If you like you can use it for office use as well, you have the option to tone down the LEDs brightness and effects making it usable in an office setting, if you prefer mechanical keyboards for doing everyday office work. Connect it to your Smart TV’s which support such a device or your PC/ Laptop.
The Royal Kludge in itself works extremely well, has all the required features that you can want. It gives its competitors a new challenge in its affordability and high-quality build.
Positives and Negatives
The product is very cheap at about 35$-40$. It has blue mechanical switches, supports 3 devices which you can swap between and is wireless. Has very consistent battery life and very durable build quality. It is very user-friendly and easy to use and has quality LED lighting and effects. Having said that, there are some shortcomings.
The product skips the need for adjustable angles for typing, and many of the basic functions of any keyboard are harder to access on the RK61. Not only do you have to use the Function key to use the arrow keys, but the DELETE and question mark key also require a function key combination to work. This is a very odd thing to do by Royal Kludge. No one wants or likes to have their basic typing made complicated. Especially when you consider the fact that this product in itself is not for gaming use, making is specifically for non-gaming which is primarily typing. This self-inflicted handicap is probably a result of trying to overdo the compact size of the keyboard.
The Royal Kludge RK61 wireless mechanical keyboard is a very high-quality product with great performance. You get LED lighting and built-in effects. Easy swap between up to 3 connected devices makes life very easy. The product is good to have and is probably for users who have a need for wireless as well as some aesthetics from the LED lighting. Gaming although can be done, is not recommended due to input lag and even if you use it in wired mode, you are better off buying dedicated keyboards for that. The product itself is a massive success in our mind. You get way more than you pay for especially considering rival products being super expensive. In the end, I would like to say that you should get this if you are looking for wireless connectivity and portability instead of gaming experience. Use it in office or for typing on connected devices be it your phones or laptops. At under 40$, it is a very cheap and a super effective product.
Price at the time of review: $40
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Prices taken/valid at the time of review.