Arbiter Polar 65 Magnetic Gaming Keyboard Review

Arbiter Polar 65's adjustable magnetic switches are impressive, but the overall quality of the build and components makes this a buttery smooth keyboard.

Published
Updated
Manufacturer: ARBITER STUDIO (POLAR65)
6 minutes & 49 seconds read time
TweakTown's Rating: 90%
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The Bottom Line

The Arbiter Polar 65 Magnetic Gaming Keyboard's magnetic switches are impressive, letting you adjust the sensitivity on-the-fly. The build quality is excellent, too, making it a 65% form factor winner.

Pros

  • + Impressive hot-swappable magnetic switches
  • + Robust build quality
  • + Buttery smooth and comfortable to type and game with
  • + Web-based app for customization
  • + There are nine colors and styles to choose from

Cons

  • - Limited key remapping remap and lighting customization
  • - Secondary functions not printed on keycaps
  • - No height adjustment

Should you buy it?

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Introduction & Specification Details and Close-up

Mechanical keyboards have come a long way in recent years. Getting a sense of a keyboard's overall value extends beyond the type of switch used and the quality and type of the keycap material. These play an essential role; however, more and more companies (those creating excellent products like the Polar 65 Magnetic Gaming Keyboard reviewed here) are taking that extra step to ensure that things like rattling keys, comfort, and echoey switches are a thing of the past.

Arbiter Polar 65 Magnetic Gaming Keyboard Review 3

Arbiter Studio might not be a household name. Still, its designers and engineers have put their wealth of collective experience to good use with the Arbiter Polar 65 Magnetic Gaming Keyboard. A 65% compact form factor mechanical with a premium type-feel that features fully customizable Fuji magnetic switches. Magnetic switches are still relatively rare, but they open the door to some of the most in-depth tweaking and tinkering you can do regarding a keyboard's performance. Because they're sensor-driven, you adjust the actuation travel distance for a more rapid-fire or traditional typewriter response.

The Arbiter Polar 65 Magnetic Gaming Keyboard's magnetic switches let you adjust the actuation distance from 0.1mm to 3.8mm. They also include Rapid Trigger tech that activates a key the moment it's pressed and deactivates it the moment you release it. It's impressive stuff, and the Polar 65 certainly ticks the "great switches" box - however, it's all of the little design and build touches that elevate it to greatness. Let's dig in.

Specifications & Close Up

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  • Product Name: Arbiter Polar 65 Magnetic Gaming Keyboard
  • Product Type: Wired Gaming Keyboard
  • Size (Full/TKL): 65% TKL
  • Switch: Fuji - 36g Linear, Hall Effect Magnetic Switches, Hot swappable
  • Actuation Point/Force: 0.1-3.8mm/36g
  • Interface: USB 2.0 (USB-C to A)
  • Polling Rate: 1000 Hz
  • Compatibility: Windows 10, 11
  • Lighting: Per-key
  • Dimensions: 315(L) x 109(W) x 40(H) mm
  • Weight: 990 grams (keyboard)
  • What's in the Box: 1 x Arbiter Polar 65 Magnetic Gaming Keyboard, 1 x Keycap and Switch Puller, 7 x Replacement Keycaps, 1 x 1.8m Braided USB Cable, 1 x User Manual
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Kosta's Test System Specifications

  • Motherboard: ASUS ROG CROSSHAIR X670E HERO
  • CPU: AMD Ryzen 9 7950X
  • GPU: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4080 SUPER Founders Edition
  • Cooler: ASUS ROG RYUO III 360 ARGB
  • RAM: 64GB (4x16GB) Corsair DOMINATOR TITANIUM RGB DDR5 DRAM 6000MT/s
  • SSD: Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus-G M.2 PCIe Gen 4 SSD 4TB, Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus Plus M.2 PCIe Gen 4 SSD 8TB
  • Power Supply: ASUS TUF Gaming 1000W Gold
  • Case: Corsair 5000D AIRFLOW Tempered Glass Mid-Tower ATX PC Case
  • OS: Microsoft Windows 11 Pro 64-bit
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Design & Software

Design

The 65% form factor or TKL keyboard size is one of the most popular for gamers as it takes up minimal desk space while offering full-sized keys. However, this inherently means you miss some nice-to-haves of larger, full-sized keyboards. For the Polar 65, in addition to the lack of NumPad keys, the row of Function keys is also gone, alongside a couple of PC system keys like Home and End. Without dedicated keys, these missing keys are accessed via secondary functions, including media controls mapped to specific keys.

Arbiter Polar 65 Magnetic Gaming Keyboard Review 4

Weighing 990 grams, the Arbiter Polar 65 Magnetic Gaming Keyboard is solid and then some. The company offers nine color options for the Dual-Shot PBT keycaps and CNC aluminum frame. For this review, I requested the Jedi Green option with secondary Ronin Red keycaps to play around with different looks and customization. Undoubtedly, one Polar 65 design will speak to your sensibilities, with the overall physical design being minimal and "all-key."

The build quality here is uniformly excellent, from the keycap materials to the metallic frame, the rubber feet on the underside, and the detachable braided USB cable. Most of the magic is happening under the hood to complement the impressive adjustable Fuji Magnetic Switches. With screw-in stabilizers, an anodized switch plate, and weighted silicone for dampening, the result is a supremely comfortable and smooth typing experience free from rattle or noticeable debounce issues.

Arbiter Polar 65 Magnetic Gaming Keyboard Review 13

The stars of the show are the Fuji Magnetic Switches. With hall-effect sensors and rapid trigger functionality, they arrive pre-lubed and ready to go. With twenty levels of per-key actuation point customization available, these linear switches are versatile enough to suit any workload or task. The default super-fast 1.0mm actuation makes it an excellent out-of-the-box keyboard for competitive shooters, with the good news being that you don't need to install any software for customization - as it's all handled via a web interface.

Software

Plugging in the Arbiter Polar 65 Magnetic Gaming Keyboard and heading to a webpage to customize it is a first (for me), as peripherals usually require dedicated software. Although still listed as in "Beta," the web-based Polar 65 customization worked flawlessly for the duration of the review. This is impressive because you can use Chrome to adjust per-key actuation distance, reset things to default, and check out all the different lighting modes.

Arbiter Polar 65 Magnetic Gaming Keyboard Review 15

Changing the Actuation globally across all keys is handled via a slider that makes the change. It feels like a magic trick because going from 1.0mm to 3.8mm instantly makes the Polar 65 feel like a completely different keyboard. This is awesome if you prefer a different response when typing and gaming, adding a layer of versatility that you won't find in non-magnetic switches. Being able to mix and match actuation distances on various keys is what takes it all to the next level.

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However, there are a few notable issues with the design (which can be chalked up to the fact that you're looking at a 65% form factor product) - namely, the keycaps themselves not displaying secondary functions and being unable to remap these via the web-based software. Remapping is limited to a key's primary function, so it's limited when you can't change secondary functions or even program or record macros. That said, changing Page Up and Page Down to control volume solved one of my main must-haves for a keyboard.

Arbiter Polar 65 Magnetic Gaming Keyboard Review 14

Also, without the ability to adjust lighting on a per-key basis, there's limited customization here, too. That said, with 16 different RGB modes and the ability to control brightness and the speed of effects, there are still plenty of lighting styles to choose from - albeit without the ability to sync them across different hardware. Function and customization-wise, the Arbiter Polar 65 Magnetic Gaming Keyboard is closer to a Ducky-style keyboard than one from a mainstream brand in that you can do all of this on the hardware without using the web app. From changing per-key actuation distances to RGB modes, it's all accessible via the hardware.

Gaming Performance and Productivity

Gaming Performance

The default 1.0mm actuation point for the Arbiter Polar 65 Magnetic Gaming Keyboard is quick, and when you pair this with the excellent keycaps, dampening, and robust build quality, you're looking at a fast and responsive keyboard that immediately feels at home the moment you fire up Call of Duty or DOOM Eternal.

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A fast and responsive linear key isn't ideal for every application, so when switching up the game style to the less shooty Diablo 4 and Last Epoch, changing the actuation distance to 1.8mm or 2.0mm gives the Polar 65 a more classic linear feel that is comparable to 'Red' switches found elsewhere. This ability to change things on a per-key (one very cool thing to try is making the spacebar more or less responsive based on how you thumb it) makes the Polar 65 an excellent gaming keyboard. And with the 1ms low-latency wired connection, there's responsiveness to match the responsiveness you get from the switches.

Productivity

The productivity chops of a 65% form factor keyboard will always be a 'lesser than' situation when you don't have direct access to Function Keys or the Num Pad - which might be day-to-day essentials for many. The ability to remap keys (primary functions only) paired with storing up to five profiles and the in-built secondary functions of the Polar 65 still add up to something you can use for more than gaming.

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Of course, adjusting the actuation travel distance to 2.0mm is possible - which immediately creates a more familiar feel - the excellent build quality results in a remarkably smooth and comfortable typing experience, even with fewer keys. The 65% form factor does take some getting used to, and the keys can feel a little cramped on the right-hand side - but all in all, having high-quality magnetic switches and a buttery smooth feel goes a long way.

Keyboard Click Sound Level

To test a keyboard's overall sound level, we use the Ozito Digital Sound Level Meter, capturing the sentence "the quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog" multiple times and recording the maximum dB level. This indicates how "loud" the switches used are for everyday usage. The following chart showcases where the Arbiter Polar 65 Magnetic Gaming Keyboard sits.

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Final Thoughts

The Arbiter Polar 65 Magnetic Gaming Keyboard is a premium product through and through, and its use of magnetic switches is a great reminder that this relatively new style of adjustable switch can add a new layer of versatility and function to a keyboard. Overall, this is a winner, where impressive switches meet a robust build with high-quality components and an eye toward comfortable buttery smooth typing. Sure, it's not the most affordable 65% keyboard on the market - but quality like this doesn't come cheap.

Arbiter Polar 65 Magnetic Gaming Keyboard Review 7

Suppose you're in the market for a 65% form factor keyboard or have been eyeing magnet adjustable switches. In that case, there's a lot to love about Arbiter's Polar 65 - from the quality of its components to choosing from nine different color options, right down to the ability to make adjustments via a simple-to-use web app instead of installing a separate app. There are a few shortcomings, but there's a level of customization on offer here that more than makes up for it.

Performance

93%

Quality

90%

Features

90%

Value

88%

Overall

90%

The Bottom Line

The Arbiter Polar 65 Magnetic Gaming Keyboard's magnetic switches are impressive, letting you adjust the sensitivity on-the-fly. The build quality is excellent, too, making it a 65% form factor winner.

TweakTown award
90%

Intel Core i9-14900KS Desktop Processor

TodayYesterday7 days ago30 days ago
$662.55$663.55$664.00
* Prices last scanned on 5/24/2024 at 7:09 am CDT - prices may not be accurate, click links above for the latest price. We may earn an affiliate commission.

Kosta is a veteran gaming journalist that cut his teeth on well-respected Aussie publications like PC PowerPlay and HYPER back when articles were printed on paper. A lifelong gamer since the 8-bit Nintendo era, it was the CD-ROM-powered 90s that cemented his love for all things games and technology. From point-and-click adventure games to RTS games with full-motion video cut-scenes and FPS titles referred to as Doom clones. Genres he still loves to this day. Kosta is also a musician, releasing dreamy electronic jams under the name Kbit.

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