Mechanical keyboards offer a superior typing experience and extensive customization options, making them an ideal choice for anyone who spends a lot of time typing, programming, or gaming.
The RK96 keyboard is a high-end mechanical keyboard that has gained a lot of attention in the gaming and typing communities. With its compact 96% layout, customizable RGB lighting, and durable build quality, the RK96 promises to deliver an exceptional typing and gaming experience. In this review, we will take a closer look at the features, performance, and design of the RK96 keyboard to help you decide if it is worth the investment.
Design and Build Quality
The limited edition comes in two attractive colors, forest blue and cape green, and features pre-lubed RK yellow linear switches that give the keyboard a heavier but smooth tactile feel compared to the standard version.
The keyboard measures 14.7 inches wide, 4.6 inches deep, and one inch tall. The RK96 offers three connection options: USB, Bluetooth, and a 2.4 gigahertz dongle. It has a full numeric keypad, and the function keys double as media control keys. The keyboard comes with a magnetic wrist rest that attaches to the bottom edge of the keyboard. The RK96 is built for customization, with hot-swappable switches, ABS double shot keycaps, and plate-mounted three-pin designs.
One of the standout features of the RK96 keyboard is its compact design. The keyboard is only 96% the size of a standard keyboard, making it perfect for gamers who need more desk space for their mouse. The keyboard also features RGB lighting, which can be customized using the included software. The lighting can be set to different modes, including breathing, wave, and reactive.
The RK96 also comes with a detachable USB Type-C cable, which makes it easy to connect the keyboard to your computer. Additionally, the keyboard features a built-in 32-bit MCU, which provides fast and accurate keystrokes.
One of the most important features of any mechanical keyboard is the key switches. The switches are plate-mounted three-pin designs and the printed circuit board also supports 5-pin switches swapping keys. The switches are very easy making this an inexpensive easy to work with the base model for customizing. You can easily order new keycaps and switches and drop them right into the keyboard and mix-and-match switch types and keycaps. The RK96 is available in several different key switch options, including Gateron Red, Brown, and Blue, as well as Cherry MX Red, Brown, and Blue. These switches offer a range of tactile feedback and actuation forces, so you can choose the one that best suits your typing or gaming style.
For those who find the red switch too light and soft, the RK yellow switches may be a good alternative. With an actuation force of 50 grams, which is only 10 grams more than the red switch, the yellow switch provides slightly stronger feedback while remaining smooth. Additionally, the factory pre-lubed switches make for a more seamless tactile feeling than other switches. The ultra-fast actuation of only 1.2 millimeters allows for rapid-fire key presses, making it ideal for fast-paced gaming, as well as a great typing experience.
The keyboard produces a soft sound with almost no metal ping and no rattle, thanks to the two layers of EVA silencer foam. The RK96 keyboard, built for customization, features the same construction as the RK84 limited edition. Overall, the RK yellow switches offer a smooth and fast experience for both gaming and typing, with excellent sound dampening and customization options for those seeking a more personalized keyboard.
Customizable RGB Lighting
The RK96 keyboard features customizable RGB lighting, which allows you to create a unique and personalized look for your keyboard. The RK96 keyboard offers 20 different backlighting modes that can be cycled through. Users have the option to set the lighting to either RGB or a single color by pressing the [Fn] and delete key based on personal preference. Adjusting the brightness is easily done by pressing the [Fn] key and the up or down arrows. The [Fn] key and left or right arrows can also be used to change the backlight animation speed.
Also, you can choose from a range of preset lighting effects or create your own using the included software. The RGB lighting is bright and vibrant, making it easy to see in low-light environments.
Additionally, the F keys on the keyboard serve as shortcuts for mail, calculator, and built-in media keys. Another notable feature of the RK96 is its ability to switch between PC and Mac layouts. To switch the layout to Mac, users can press [Fn] and [S], and to change it back to the PC mode, they can press [Fn] and [A]. This option makes the RK96 a suitable choice for users who switch between different devices regularly.
The RK96 offers three connectivity options: wired, 2.4GHz wireless, and Bluetooth. The wired connection is simple and straightforward, requiring only the included USB-C to USB-A cable to connect the keyboard to a computer. The two USB-A ports located at the top left of the keyboard can be used to connect additional peripherals such as a USB flash drive, a mouse, or a USB mouse transmitter.
The 2.4GHz wireless mode with the dongle worked fine within a range of four to five feet of the dongle, and the connection was very stable, with no missing keystrokes. The Bluetooth connection is also reliable and stable, with the ability to pair the keyboard with up to three devices, each accessed by the function key in combination with Q, W, and E. Pairing the RK96 with an iPad, iPhone, or Android device was smooth, with no latency or missing keystrokes.
The RK96 Limited Edition has a big 3750 milliamp hours battery that can last up to 200 hours in 2.4GHz mode with the backlight off. A full charge takes around 5-7 hours. With a full charge, the RK96 can last for over a week in Bluetooth mode with low-brightness backlighting. The battery indication can be triggered by hitting the [Fn] key with the [enter] key, making it easy to check if there is any juice left. Keep in mind that charging the battery on the keyboard can only be done in wired mode.
Although the RK96 works entirely without software, the RK keyboard programming app is available for PC computers. The software is powerful, allowing users to reprogram all key assignments and record macros. The software also lets users choose between about 30 lightning and effect modes and program their own.
The RK96 keyboard comes with software that allows you to customize the RGB lighting, set macros, and reassign keys. The software is easy to use and offers a range of customization options that can help you optimize your keyboard for your specific needs.
Overall, the RK96 keyboard is an excellent choice for anyone who is looking for a high-quality mechanical keyboard that is both stylish and functional. The keyboard's compact size, durable build quality, and customizable RGB lighting make it a great choice for gamers, typists, and anyone who values performance and aesthetics. While it may be a bit more expensive than some other keyboards on the market, the RK96's premium build quality and range of customization options make it a worthwhile investment for anyone who spends a lot of time typing or gaming.