Introduction, Specifications and Pricing
When it comes to Rosewill, we are very aware of who they are and what they do. Being the Newegg in-house brand name, it sure makes selling their products very simple in a location with tons of traffic. We also know that they are in the business to not only make a few of their own unique products, but to actually clone other products and deliver them to their customers at a more reasonable price point. At least, that has been true for most of the cases and cooling products we have seen over the years, but today we break new ground with Rosewill, as we are now sampling products from the peripherals market as well.
Any of our avid readers know how we feel about the typical rubber dome based keyboards, and it is likely that Rosewill waited until they had a product in hand that they knew we wouldn't bash to harshly right off the bat because of the switch used. Well, the day is now upon us when they have contacted us about having a look at, and voicing our opinions on one of the mechanical keyboards that they released earlier this year. We also noticed at the time of the request that there was no mention of Cherry MX switches in these units, as Rosewill is another company that is joining others riding the Kailh mechanical switch bandwagon that seems to have found its way into our lives this year.
We have you here today to look at the RGB80 from Rosewill. This is not only mechanical, but it is also a ten-keyless keyboard, where the right quarter of the keyboard has been removed. Not only is this a more compact typist's keyboard, but Rosewill fills what keys are available with multimedia and profile buttons, along with support for full NKRO, or 6-Key Rollover. There is also the fact that this keyboard is not only fully illuminated, but you have many choices of coolers to pick from in the presets of the software.
The RGB80 is an 87 key keyboard due to the fact that TKL versions of keyboards do not include the number pad section in the design. This keyboard measures in at only 5.3" from front to back, 14.6" right to left, and not including the key caps, the back of the keyboard frame stands 1.1" in height. With the black plastic outer shell, painted key caps, Kailh blue switches, and the steel plate the mount to, the RGB weighs in at 2.2 pounds, without the included braided cable.
Near the bottom we see that you get the keyboard and paperwork, but there are also some extra goodies as well. For one, there is a key puller included, which is something every mechanical keyboard should come with. There is a reason why they include on in the RGB80 though, and that is due to the fact that Rosewill includes ten clear key caps as well. Each of the clear key caps features black painted legends and iconography; these clear keys are made to replace the Q, W, E, A, S, D, and the arrow keys.
There is no mention of the software, or extra functionality either. Once the software is downloaded (as there was not an included disk), we found that not only do we get five profiles to play with, but any key can be reassigned, and also used for Macro capabilities, launching programs, tying profiles to auto-load with games, and, of course, changing the LEDs behind the key caps to one of over 220 color choices. Another huge bonus is that this keyboard is sent with 512KB of onboard memory to house all of the programming, and allow the keyboard to go place to place without the need for the software at each PC.
When looking around for the RGB80 from Rosewill, we obviously went over to Newegg.com to have a look at what they are listing the keyboard for currently, and found a price of $99.99 with free shipping. Of course, they offer plenty of stock, but trying to locate this keyboard elsewhere at this time is pretty futile unless you find one listed in used markets. However, places have been known to carry Rosewill products in the past, so availability may get better as time goes on. As for now, Rosewill will take a bit of a hit in the scoring for limited distribution to be fair to all the other companies, but not too much of a hit, as we understand the logic in keeping the house brand in-house as long as possible.