Written By Family Pop TV
Mechanical keyboards are becoming all the rage. They differ from the keyboards you could find on laptops or at department store checkouts as they use aptly named mechanical switches to register key presses.
In this review, I'm going to show you everything you want to know about the Royal Kludge RK84 Limited Edition, a premium mechanical keyboard.
Many of you certainly heard of Royal Kludge as it became a favorite brand for many gamers and budget-conscious enthusiasts including myself. The Limited Edition I'm going to show you today comes in two color options, the Americano Black and Macchiato White. What differentiates these two from the standard RK84?
What’s in the Box
1 x RK84 Limited Edition Mechanical Keyboard
1 x 2-in-1 Keycap & Switch Puller
4 x Replacement RK Switch
1 x 2.4GHz Receiver
2 x Magnetic Foot Stand
1 x 2 in 1 USB Cable
Design of Royal Kludge RK84
The keyboard itself is as heavy as the standard RK84 thanks to its big 3750mAh battery. The RK84 limited edition features a 75% compact layout because this is a tenkeyless model the numeric keypad is gone, leaving us with a total of 84 keys. Many people including myself actually prefer TKL keyboards for the short distance to the mouse.
On the underside of the keyboard, we got four rubber feet, an on-off switch, Bluetooth, and a 2.4 GHz wireless dongle in a dedicated slot. The rear feet don't pop out to change the height of the keyboard. Instead, it comes with two magnetic feet that just snap over the existing feet and elevate the keyboard with additional 0.4 inches.
On the rear, there's a single USB-C port for a wired connection and two USB-A 2.0 passthrough ports which can be used for charging the internal battery and for wired connections. For example, the wired mouse, USB sticks, etc.
Both variants of the limited edition keyboard have a multi-color LED. There's no space between any of the keys and the right control key has been cut in half to make space for the function key. At 12.5 inches across and 5 inches wide, the RK84 is pretty small. But it's 1.75 inches thick and weighs around 1.77 pounds, which means it has a bit of heft to it making the overall construction feel solid.
Typing Experience on Royal Kludge RK84
Both versions come with pre-lubed RK yellow linear switches, which give the keyboard a heavier but smooth tactile feeling compared to the standard version. These yellow switches are recommended for those who feel the red switch is too light, too soft, and need slightly stronger feedback because the yellow switch is smooth and the actuation force is 50 grams, which is only 10 grams more than the red switch. Additionally, the RK yellow switches are factory pre-lubed. Effectively, the tactile feeling is much more smooth any other switches.
The yellow pre-lubed mechanical switch is having an ultra-fast actuation of only 1.2 millimeters which allows you to press keys multiple times as fast as possible. Silent but deadly. Ideal for rapid-fire keypresses and fast-paced gaming. It's also an awesome typing experience. The board makes a pleasantly soft sound with almost no metal ping and there's no rattle thanks to the two layers of EVA silencer foams.
The keyboard is built for customization. With the included keycap puller tool, you may swap the switches to a different type if you’re unfamiliar with the switch types. Blue, red, or brown comes down to personal preference. If you like the classic clicky sound and feel, you'll love blue mechanical switches. If speed is your consideration, you should stick to linear red or yellow switches, and for a mix of both just go with brown. All the switches are plate-mounted 3-pin models. You can easily order new keycaps and switches and drop them right into the keyboard. Mix and match switch types, and keycaps.
You can also remove the plastic plate surrounding the keys to change the RK84 from an embedded key model to a floating key model depending on your visual preference. I like the aesthetics of floating keys, so I always got it off.
The [Fn] Key
The function key gives you access to the additional features of the keyboard. The backlight configuration can be changed using the function button combined with the home button. It basically cycles through the 19 different backlight modes. Some of these are just spectacular.
Pressing the function key on the up and down arrow raises and lowers the brightness. A function key on the left and right arrow changes the backlight animation speed. With the function key, the F keys double as shortcuts for mail and calculator or built-in media keys. I use both a PC and Mac so I can switch the layout over to make 0the keyboard more compatible. To switch the layout to Mac press function and S. I take one additional step and change the modifier keys in my system preferences too. So that my command and option keys are in the right position according to Mac keyboard layouts
Wired and Wireless Connectivity on Royal Kludge RK84
USB-C Wired Mode
The first up was testing the keyboard in wired mode. All this requires is hooking the keyboard up with the included 5.6-inch USB-C to USB-A cable. There's no software needed as Windows detects the keyboard automatically.
One of the great features that the keyboard includes is a built-in USB hub which means that you can plug your mouse and another accessory, memory stick, volume controls, a keypad, personal massage device, whatever has the USB wiring and have only one cable running back to the computer. Please note a USB hub doesn't work in wireless or Bluetooth mode. It has to be in wired mode.
2.4Ghz dongle Wireless Mode
The first wireless mode with the 2.4 GHz dongle is okay. Initial testing was done on my laptop PC. I found the keyboard worked fine within a range of 4-5 feet of the dongle. No missing keystrokes and the connection was stable. For the Bluetooth connection, you’ll have to switch it to the underside. You can pair the keyboard with up to three devices. Each is accessed via the Function key in combination with Q, W, and E. Long pressing these keys puts the keyboard into a pairing mode. I tried this with the iPad Air. All works smoothly - no missing keystrokes, no signs of latency.
Bluetooth 5.0 Wireless Mode
let's try it with my old iPhone 8. The pairing is a dream. The keyboard was recognized by the iPhone almost immediately. Let's plug an iMac via Bluetooth. Again, the Bluetooth connection is picked up almost immediately and is very stable. The PC window key serves as an apple command key. Other than that no issues, and no missing keystrokes, and all work like a charm with the iMac. Now, let's plug in the Android pad. I had to put the keyboard into pairing mode and again the RK84 has been recognized by the Android pad straight away. all works fine. Same with the Android phone - the keyboard is recognized straight away.
I even tried some racing games. Here's the Asphalt 9: Legends - the game automatically detects that the keyboard is being connected to the phone and even shows the key combinations required to access the full control within the game. I found that the keyboard was accurate even a good 15 to 16 feet away from my testing device. I would certainly prefer the Bluetooth connection over the wired or 2.4 gigahertz dongle.
The RK84 has a big 3750 mAh battery. Royal Kludge rates the battery life at 200 hours in 2.4-GHz mode with the backlight off and a full charge takes around 5 to 7 hours. With a full charge, I ran the keyboard in Bluetooth mode only and with the low-brightness backlighting for over a week without the battery dropping to zero.
Software for Royal Kludge RK84
This keyboard works entirely without software but Royal Kludge does have a software configuration suite. Once you're in the software itself, there are a good number of configuration options. You can change the key assignments per key, create macros and change the backlighting, and even make some custom lighting modes. However, in my opinion, there’s no need to use the software unless you planning any deep customization. This is up to your personal preference.
Overall, the Royal Kludge RK84 Limited Edition is a winner for less than $90 dollars. I think this keyboard makes an interesting option. The case feels solid, the switches sound and feel nice, and Bluetooth is a massive plus. A simple design can be paired with three connection choices. A large battery, USB passthrough, and software that allows further configuration. Solid quality, nice weight, and good sound on many of their keyboards have given Royal Kludge a really good reputation for budget boards and the built-in USB hub helps with cable clutter.
If you don't have a compact 75% in your collection - this is a decent one to get. For customizers, it's a win with hot-swappable switches and standard keycaps. With a price tag, that's lower than most of the competition. So If you want a wired or wireless Bluetooth 75% keyboard with software-less configuration and ridiculously long battery life, this might be the right keyboard for you.