Rosewill RK-9000 Mechanical Keyboard

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Intro

Today we have a Rosewill RK-9000 in house. Before we get started, allow me to briefly go through what is a mechanical keyboard.

The term, mechanical keyboard, as the name suggests, it is a keyboard consists of mechanical switches under each individual keys. Imagine there are 104 on/off switch on your keyboard just to differentiate which keypress to register. This differs from those regular rubber dome keyboards as those comes with a sheet of rubber domes under the whole keyboard, and a keypress is registered when the dome is compressed and makes contact with the circuit board. Read here if you’re interested to know more about mechanical keyboards.

Rosewill RK-9000 comes with four different Cherry MX switches – Blue, Brown, Black, and Red. The review sample we have is equipped with clicky-tactile switch – Cherry MX Blue. Read on to know more about this keyboard and my thoughts on the keyboard.

Tech Specs

Model No. RK-9000
Color Black
Type Mechanical Keyboard
Interface USB and PS/2
Normal Keys 104
Key Switch Cherry MX Blue Switch
Key Pitch 19.05mm
Key Stroke 4.0mm±0.5mm
Total Travel 4.0mm-0.5mm
Operating Force 1.8±0.5 oz
Switch Life 50 x 10^6 Times
Operating Power 4.0 V
Dimensions
440(L) X 138(W) X 38(H) mm / 17.32″(L) X 5.43″(W) X 1.52″(H)
Keyboard Weight 1600g / 3.53 Lbs
Operating System Supported
Microsoft ME/ 2000/ XP/ Vista/ 7/ 8
Package Contents
1 x RK-9000 Keyboard
1 x USB to Mini USB cable
1 x PS/2 to Mini USB cable
1 x User Manual
Parts 3 Year limited
Labor 1 Year limited

Features

  • Highly durable professional gaming keyboard
  • Extremely responsive and accurate for hours of comfortable gaming
  • Gaming-grade lifetime: 50 million clicks
  • Durable red metal inner chassis
  • N-Key rollover: 104 Key could press at the same time, avoid any key jamming (Only PS2 mode, at USB Mode 6-key rollover)
  • Cherry Blue Switches: 2 stage of press feeling, click sound inside switch, 50 million life cycle of the switch, comfortable typing for long term use, fast response on each key.
  • Laser printing design for the keycap
  • Gold plated USB and PS/2 connector to ensure low latency
  • High quality braided cable

Source: Rosewill

Packaging

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Box front view.

The design of the box is not fancy. It shows a full image of the keyboard with text description for the product in English and French. No idea why French is one of the primary languages for the box.

Anyhow, I don’t really mind if the box is plain as soon as it provides a certain level of protection to the keyboard.

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A smaller picture showing that this RK-9000 is equipped with Cherry MX Blue switches, along with some feature description text.

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Back of the box.

More production descriptions.

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Open box.

The packaging design is not that secured. There isn’t much paddings around the keyboard except a piece of thin layer of foam cover and the box.

So far as I know, Ducky DK-9008G2 has the best packaging, it looks great and what not, it has layers of paddings between the keyboard and the box. But nowadays many boards are coming in this kind of package, lower cost.

RK-9000 doesn’t come with a clear plastic keyboard cover as offered by certain mechanical keyboard manufacturers.

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Included in box:

  • RK-9000 keyboard
  • Mini-USB to USB cable
  • Mini-USB to PS/2 cable
  • User manual

Interesting that Rosewill is including two types of cables in the package – a USB and a PS/2. Other keyboard manufacturers usually include a USB-PS/2 converter along with a standard Mini-USB to USB cable.

There’s no included accessories such as custom key caps or key cap removal tool.

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More like a technical specification sheet rather than user manual.

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The cables are thick and braided.

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Close up at the cable braiding.

The cable feels a little stiff probably due to the thickness or braiding.

Looks, Feel and Usability

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Plain and simple looks. Many people asked me why mechanical keyboards are so expensive despite they looks so ordinary. No fancy lighting, no media controls, no short-cut keys, even less feature than any regular multimedia keyboards. Well, the answer lies underneath each and every key caps – the switches.

Another reason – plain is classy. Instead of gamerz style with wacky designs and gimmicks.

By the way, the keyboard layout is US ANSI with standard key layout. This means you can easily find replacement key caps or even custom key caps.

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Rosewill logo above the lock LEDs.

Some complained that the logo is ugly. I thought it looks pretty classic.

LED lock indicators are pretty bright in dark environment, but if you don’t look into the light it won’t blind you. But still, I have to turn off the Num Lock LED before I go to bed.

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Even this is not a custom board, the backplate is sexy with the bright red colour.

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Regular RK-9000 comes with matte black chassis.

RK-9000 also comes in a limited edition Ivory chassis.

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Mini-USB out located at the top right section of the keyboard.

Many asked about the previous USB problem faced by RK-9000, Rosewill has already fixed the problem since late 2012. Not sure why they don’t give a new revision model number for the updated board.

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Back of the keyboard.

It doesn’t comes with any dip switch to change the keyboard functionality such as disabling windows key, swapping left control key with caps lock and etc

Truly a basic mechanical keyboard.

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Keyboard label at the back.

Not as fancy as certain boards that comes with aluminium-alike sticker label.

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Elevation feet is quite solid. Too bad it doesn’t comes with rubber pad on it, so the keyboard might skid a bit if you push your keyboard sideways.

Otherwise, if you don’t use the elevation feet, the 4 big rubber pads at the base of the keyboard is sufficient in keeping your keyboard in place, even a rigorous gaming session.

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Approximately 4 degree elevation angle, height of elevation is about 12mm at the highest point.

Conclusion

Pros:

  • Genuine Cherry MX switches
  • Great build quality – 8.5/10
  • Plate mounted – solid typing feel and increase stability and it’s RED!!
  • Standard US-ANSI layout (easy key cap replacement)
  • Detachable USB cable
  • Solid elevation feet
  • Quality rubber feet
  • Individual USB and PS/2 cable – braided
  • Laser etched key cap printing – more durable than pad printed
  • 6KRO (USB) & NKRO (PS/2)
  • Mid-High customizability – Standard layout for universal key caps fitting
  • Bang for the buck – RM299 SRP for a quality board by Costar OEM
  • 3 years warranty

Subjective:

  • Regular design – personal preference
  • Plated mounted – increased stability, but lowered customizability if compared with PCB mounted
  • Wired Stabilizers – Original feel of the switch, but troublesome when changing key caps
  • ABS key caps – less durable than PBT, but cheaper
  • Heavy weight – stability VS portability
  • No multimedia or short cut keys

Cons:

  • Lack of accessories – no included key caps or key cap puller
  • No multimedia or short cut keys
  • No configurable options – disable Windows key, swapping left CTRL and Caps Lock

Upon taking the keyboard out of the box, immediately I could feel the weight and solidness of the keyboard. It gives an impression that you could use it as a weapon. I tried to look for any parts that is hollow and turned out only the bottom of the chassis is. One thing that I don’t understand is whenever I switch on my room’s air conditioner, as the room temperature drops, the keyboard would make some squeaking noise as if thermal expansion (SCIENCE!) is happening on the keyboard’s metal plate. I suspect that the assembly of the keyboard is too tight hence there’s no room of the metal plate to contract/expand. I’m not sure if anyone is experiencing the same phenomenon as I had.

Coincidentally, the keyboard came during my Final Year Project development phase, which requires a lot of coding of course not to forget about the report typing. So basically my project’s system is developed on this keyboard. It was a joy using this keyboard, the typing feel closely resembles Filco’s Majestouch 2 line ups probably due to the fact it is OEM-ed by Costar as well, albeit different label and lower price tag (with differences here and there).

To conclude, Rosewill’s RK-9000 surprised me with its awesome quality at an affordable price point. I was sceptical at first when people mentioned that Rosewill’s keyboard has made a comeback with their latest revision of RK-9000. Previously, RK-9000 is bugged with the problematic USB connection problem, but it is no more a concern as they already fixed the issue. After using the board for more than a month, I’m pretty sure that this keyboard is a great deal.

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