|Rosewill Gaming Keyboard RK-8100|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Input Devices|
|Written by Steven Hill - Edited by Olin Coles|
|Thursday, 20 December 2012|
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Closer Look: Rosewill RIKB-11003
Just because the keyboard is designated as gaming doesn't mean you can't use it for other tasks. In fact, I'm writing this review using the Rosewill Gaming Keyboard. The keys don't travel quite as far as on some mechanical keyboard (2.5 + 1mm according to the specs). Typing on this keyboard is a responsive, if noisy, affair. If you really get typing, the sound is reminiscent to hard-spattering rain against your window.
The designation "gaming" seems to give keyboard manufacturers the burning desire to give their devices alternative dimensions. The Rosewill Gaming Keyboard is not your daddy's standard rectangular keyboard. As you can see in the images, it would be difficult to define the keyboard's actual shape. It is a large keyboard, with extra keys taking up space at the top left, top tight and both sides. In an effort to reduce wrist strain, there is a substantial palm rest. Make sure you have plenty of space available on your desk or keyboard tray. The shiny black surface of the keyboard is prone to picking up finger and palm prints, so keep some sort of microfiber cloth handy to keep it clean.
Unlike many recent entries into the gaming keyboard market, the Rosewill Gaming Keyboard does not feature backlit keys. It does have one LED-lit emblem, however. What this emblem depicts is anyone's guess. In my opinion, I think it's supposed to be a tiger or some other large cat. Though, with the side details that could be construed as mandibles, it could very well be some sort of insect.
A close look at the surface of any individual key makes it appear that the character is some sort of raised sticker. Running my finger over the character, I can definitely feel it is very slightly raised compared to the rest of the sloping key surface. However, whatever technique has been used is fairly durable; I can't pick the character off with my fingernail. The keys don't feature any noise-reduction technology like gaskets or o-rings.
Possibly the best feature of this keyboard for gamers are the rubberized WASD and arrow keys. Your fingertips find them easily, and, thanks to the keys' texturing, your fingers don't slip easily from their surfaces. However, in the case that you don't like these keys, Rosewill includes a set of plain plastic replacement keys and a small key removal tool that saves you the effort of grabbing a butter knife to pop keys free from the board.
The bottom of the board features two folding legs and two small rubberized pads to hold it in place. However, in the sample provided to me at least, the keyboard wobbles slightly from side to side. Perhaps there is some slight warping, or the pads and legs are uneven in size. In any case, it is a noticeable annoyance.
The keyboard doesn't include any other fancy features like extra USB ports or audio plugs. You just plug the single USB cable into your computer and go.