Today, we are going to take a look at the Rosewill RK-9000V2 RE mechanical keyboard.
This is a budget mechanical keyboard with genuine Cherry MX switches which has red switches, for this particular version. It has no crazy lighting, and it no macros. It is just a simple USB keyboard with mechanical switches.
In the box, along with the keyboard itself, you get two 58 inch cables, which is about a meter and a half, and a short user manual detailing the function keys. The cables are both USB and PS/2. The cables are braided and very thick compared to the typical USB cable. You probably will not have to worry about the cable getting tangled because it is thick and pretty hard to bend. However, the keyboard side of the cables is a right angle mini USB plug, and using a right angle plug on a keyboard is not ideal. I will talk more about that in a minute.
The first thing I noticed about the RK-9000V2 was how heavy it is. It weighs like 3 pounds or around a kilogram. The cheap rubber dome keyboards most of us have used for years typically weigh less than a third of what this keyboard weighs. The weight is mostly due to the metal chassis. It’s literally a big metal plate inside the body of the keyboard. The inner chassis is also painted a subtle red color. You can see the color behind the keys. But without LEDs, the color is not very noticeable.
SIDES AND BOTTOM
The sides are very plain, other than the mini USB jack on the back. The bottom has 4 rubber pads which provide a good level of grip. The keyboard will not jump around when you are typing or gaming, but if you need to reposition it, it slides fairly easily. The riser feet also have a rubber grip, so it will not slide around in case you like your keyboard at a higher angle.
The RK-9000V2’s keys have a sort of parabolic curve. By that I mean, the bottom row keys are angled toward the top of the keyboard and the top row is angled toward the bottom. A subtle touch, but you might appreciate it if your fingers slide off the keys often. While we’re talking about the keys, here’s a minor issue with this keyboard. The key labels are printed on the keycaps. You can feel the letters with your fingertips. I’m skeptical of the durability of these labels. These keys are necessarily going to get touched and rubbed against as you type, and with no protective coating or plastic shield on top. Eventually, that ink is going to wear away. Based on the thickness of the labels, however, this would probably take several years of heavy typing or gaming.
The RK-9000V2 has a full 104-key layout. That means you get all the keys you’re supposed to get with a keyboard, including the number pad. The function row doubles as media and shortcut keys. Across the top row from left to right, you have an Explorer shortcut, email, previous track, next track, play/pause, mute, volume down, and volume up. It would have been nice to have dedicated media buttons, but this is a budget mechanical keyboard.
Also, this keyboard does not come with a keycap puller, so you’ll have to get one separately if you want to get custom keycaps.
It does support N-Key Rollover, but only if you use the PS/2 cable. Otherwise, it uses 6-key rollover, which should still be fine for the vast majority of people. There is also a Windows lock key, which disables the Windows key. This is really useful to prevent accidentally opening up the start menu when you’re in the middle of a game. It’s indicated with a fairly bright blue LED, so you’ll know for sure when it’s on. The num lock, caps lock, and scroll lock LEDs are blue and unless you’re staring straight at them, not obnoxiously bright. Now, going back to those right-angle cables. To put it bluntly, this was well-intentioned, but it was a bad choice.
THE PROBLEM WITH THE CABLES
The cables are angled to the left. So, if you have your computer on your desk and it’s also on the left side, they work. However if you’re like me, and I think like most people, you have your computer either under your desk or on the right. That means if you want the cable going straight back, instead of it going straight back, it comes out sideways and has to curve toward the back of your desk. Even worse, if your computer is on the right, the cable has to double back on itself, so you have a big loop of a fat cable in the middle of your desk. Fortunately, they made the cable removable, so you can just get a different mini-USB cable with a regular straight plug instead.
COMPARISON OF THE THREE VERSIONS OF RK-9000V2
A quick note about their model naming scheme: There are 3 versions of the RK-9000V2, and the only difference between them is the switch type. The “RE” version, the one I’m reviewing now, has Cherry MX Red switches. The “BR” version has browns, and the one with no suffix has a blue color. The different switch types provide tactile or not-tactile, clicky or not-clicky, and different levels of force to press the keys. I’d say Cherry MX Reds are the most similar to rubber domes because they are non-tactile, which means there’s no “bump” when you press the keys. They are non-clicky, which means they don’t have the extra parts that make a loud audible click like Blue switches. And they have a light actuation force; they’re a little easier to press than my old rubber dome keyboard.
There is also a sound comparison between the RK-9000V2 with Cherry MX Reds versus a regular rubber dome keyboard. It is a bit louder than a rubber dome, but not obnoxiously so. I’ll be doing a full review on sound comparisons of a few different switch types, both with and without silicone key dampeners, so stay tuned for that.
This is actually my first mechanical keyboard review, and I’m quite happy with it. The Rosewill RK-9000V2 has a solid feel, comes with high quality except for the poorly thought out cables. And as a personal opinion, I really like how Cherry MX Reds feel. This keyboard has been my daily driver for a week or so now, and I think I’m going to keep using. It’s not too loud, it stays in place, and I just like the unobtrusive, regular keyboard look.
Overall, if you’re looking for a quality, inexpensive mechanical keyboard with Cherry MX switches the Rosewill RK-9000V2 is a pretty solid choice and a good place to start.