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Sentey Crimson Pro Mechanical Gaming Keyboard Review

Join us as we get up close and personal with our first Sentey keyboard: the Crimson Pro mechanical gaming keyboard. Read on for Chad's full thoughts.

@chad_sebring
Published Tue, May 13 2014 9:09 PM CDT   |   Updated Tue, Nov 3 2020 7:00 PM CST
Rating: 98%Manufacturer: Sentey

Introduction, Specifications and Pricing

While we have not yet had the privilege to have a look at a keyboard from Sentey, we have had the chance to see both a mouse and headset from them. What we have seen so far is that Sentey is really on top of their game, and delivers products with a user experience in its unveiling that not too many other companies can accomplish. When a Sentey product arrives, and gets to the unboxing phase, once you get through layer after layer of outer packaging, you arrive at a fancy internal black box that opens with magnets and a pull tab.

As the excitement builds, you find one more layer to go through, as every Sentey product we have received so far has come with its own travel case as well. Once the case is unzipped, not only do you find a very well protected product awaiting you inside, but there are typically quite a few accessories added into the package as well, just to be sure they don't leave anything to chance.

With this design, they are offering a professional level of keyboard that is very gamer oriented; it features things like Windows lockout functionality, multimedia and profile keys, and even software to take full advantage of this 104 key layout with the ability to establish Macros and basic command functions through the keys as well. So, if the air of Sentey rings true, not only are we going to get all of the bells and whistles as far as packaging and accessories are concerned, but this backlit mechanical keyboard will carry all the currently available bells and whistles too.

With quite a few mechanical keyboards under our reviewer's belt at this point, we have a good idea of what to expect. However, since this is our first keyboard from Sentey, we have taken their product and software on a maiden voyage as we spent some time with this keyboard. Considering we have had this keyboard on the desk for a few weeks now, and have a few reviews already tucked away with the help of the Crimson Pro, we find it is high time to bring forth our findings.

Sentey Crimson Pro Mechanical Gaming Keyboard Review 01 | TweakTown.com
VIEW GALLERY - 37 IMAGES

The Crimson Pro from Sentey is based on Cherry MX black switches, and offers full NKRO over a PS2 adapter, but still offers six-key rollover support via USB 2.0. The layout offers 104 keys in the standard U.S. layout, and the keycaps are all laser engraved to extend the life of the legends on each cap. Across the F-keys there are multimedia buttons; almost all keys are reprogrammable to set one of the ten available Macro slots, and to keep you in the game on the go. The Crimson Pro also offers 128kb of onboard memory to keep your settings in the keyboard. Each of the keys is also red LED backlit with four levels of brightness. Along with a pair of USB ports and audio jacks, we get the Windows lockout button, and the software offers five profiles, each capable of holding ten Macros like we mentioned earlier.

As for what this keyboard looks like, well, it comes with a matte black finish and is 17.5 inches from left to right, 5.7 inches from front to back, and stands one inch thick at the back. Next to the USB and audio hub, there is 1.8 meters of high strength braided cabling permanently attached to the Crimson Pro. This cable then terminates with a gold plated USB 2.0 connection, and a pair of gold plated stereo jacks for the headphones and microphone jacks to get their signals as well. The only things left to cover is that the Crimson pro weighs in at just under three pounds, and comes with a two-year warranty against any defects or issues due to poor workmanship.

Finding the Crimson Pro from Sentey isn't something that can be done just anywhere. Most places, while offering stock of some of their older designs, just do not yet show stock of this new model, but we were able to locate it at Amazon. There we found the pricing to be right at $150. Considering what we have seen included with Sentey products prior to this, and what this keyboard offers in its specifications, as long as the packaging and accessories are to the caliber we expect, we find this pricing to be very reasonable. Providing that we come through to the end with no major issues, we think a lot of mechanical keyboard users may gravitate to this sort of a product rather than the plain Jane models we see on the market at similar pricing.

PRICING: You can find the Sentey Crimson Pro Mechanical Keyboard for sale below. The prices listed are valid at the time of writing but can change at any time. Click the link to see the very latest pricing for the best deal.

United States: The Sentey Crimson Pro Mechanical Keyboard retails for $129.99 at Amazon.

Packaging

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The front of the packaging is kept simple and more elegant in its presentation. With just the company logo and product name to the left of a large image of the product inside, Sentey attracts the eyes without overwhelming them.

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One of the longer sides shows multiple listings of the specifications for this keyboard in various languages on a red panel. As for the opposing panel, it is just a red panel with the Sentey logo in the center.

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In three languages, Sentey delivers an explanation of why the Crimson Pro could be your professional gaming center. They explain the MEQTECH, the 45 gram force of the black switches, and what the software delivers to gain better control of your games.

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As we swing around to the back panel, we find another large image of the keyboard -this time with the wrist rest installed, and the LEDs illuminated. Off to the far right edge, we find a list of six features, and three images of the accessories inside of the box.

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The last panel is another smaller end panel, but here Sentey covers the wrist support and the fact it is detachable, shows the MEQTECH word again, and shows off the hub at the back.

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After sliding the thin outer layer of packaging off, you find there is a much thicker black cardboard box inside with the Sentey logo on it. One edge is magnetically latched, and when you pull the tab to open it, we find a cloth travel case with their logo on it, containing the keyboard inside.

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As we unzipped the case and lifted the top of it open, we found that everything that comes in the kit is packaged well inside of it. The keyboard is surrounded in foam to keep it from sliding around, and the net pouch at the top is filled with accessories and paperwork.

Sentey Crimson Pro Mechanical Gaming Keyboard

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As we get a look at the left side of the Crimson Pro, we find the frame is split right down the middle, and it allows them to add grooves to the bottom edge to provide some grip for moving it around. We can also see the convex curve of the key caps that will make them sort of uncomfortable to use.

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The seventy-four keys on the main section of the keyboard have easy to read legends in the standard U.S. layout. They have used their logo on the space bar, and the font used on the rest is something anyone would like.

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The F-keys serve dual purpose, as they are also where the multimedia keys are placed. Starting at F1, we see mute, volume down, volume up, play and pause, track back, and track forward buttons as we get to the F6 key.

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Moving over to look from F7 to F12, we find this is how you swap through the profiles without the software once everything has been programmed. It is also where the Gamer/PC button is that will lock out the Windows keys while you game.

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The key caps are cylindrical in shape; they are molded from one color injection of white plastic, and then a matte black finish is applied. It is then when the caps would be laser etched to allow the red LED to pass through each cap.

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The remaining 30 keys offer the command buttons, and a full number pad. Along with the arrows on the number pad for moving in-game, the "2" key is how the LEDs are turned down or off, and the "8" key is where they can be turned back on and raised to their full potential.

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At the top edge, at the right side of the Crimson Pro, we find boxes that will illuminate when the numbers, caps, and scroll locks are active, and it also shows the locations of the various ports of the hub.

Sentey Crimson Pro Continued

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Extending the feet for normal use is advised. Not only does it make the keys easier to see for visual typists, but it also allows a much better angle of attack to the keys, so they don't feel like they are falling away from you like they do when you use it flat.

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Moving around to the back edge, we now see the pair of USB 2.0 ports, and the audio pass through jacks to help add some distance to the cables that usually have to reach from the PC to you. Also, just off to the right, there is the braided USB 2.0 cable coming out of the back of the keyboard.

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The rest of the cabling is also sleeved up to the retention block that likely offers a ferrite choke as well. As the cable separates into its three leads, those are also sleeved all the way down to the plastic and gold plated connections.

Sentey Crimson Pro Mechanical Gaming Keyboard Review 19 | TweakTown.com

Under the keyboard, we find rubber pads at the leading edge, one on either side of where the wrist support clips into. The back edge uses tiny pads just behind the extendable feet to keep this keyboard stable.

Sentey Crimson Pro Mechanical Gaming Keyboard Review 20 | TweakTown.com

When we extend the feet, we find that they are also rubberized at the end to ensure stability. We do still wish they were oriented side to side, since it would be a better option to keep them from accidentally collapsing.

Sentey Crimson Pro Mechanical Gaming Keyboard Review 21 | TweakTown.com

The last image we have at this point is of the Crimson Pro with its wrist support attached to it. It covers the keyboard fully from side to side, offers a rubberized feel to it, and slopes gently to better support the hands that are using it.

Accessories and Documentation

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Part of the kit you receive is this cloth bag with a draw tight top on it, which contains a key puller along with a set of four blank orange key caps. Since they are blank, they could go anywhere, but we are sure they are intended for the WASD keys or the arrow keys.

Sentey Crimson Pro Mechanical Gaming Keyboard Review 23 | TweakTown.com

The wrist support also is found in that mesh bag in the top of the carry case. While we can see the Sentey name on the top of this rest, the bottom of it is designed with good support and there are extra rubber pads there for a bit of extra grip as well.

Sentey Crimson Pro Mechanical Gaming Keyboard Review 24 | TweakTown.com

All of the paperwork and flat goodies come inside of the black envelope at the top left. We get a user guide, warranty card, product catalog, stickers, a VIP card for access to cool things on the Sentey website, and the driver disc is also found in here.

Sentey Crimson Pro Mechanical Gaming Keyboard Review 25 | TweakTown.com

For those that are really serious about gaming and have a bit of unused wall space, Sentey also sends along a door tag and a poster to help immerse you into the Sentey experience.

Inside the Sentey Crimson Pro

Sentey Crimson Pro Mechanical Gaming Keyboard Review 26 | TweakTown.com

The provided key puller works well to pull these painted caps off of the keys. However, looking closely, we see the puller scratches the matte finish on the frame around them though. So only pull the key caps if absolutely necessary.

Sentey Crimson Pro Mechanical Gaming Keyboard Review 27 | TweakTown.com

There are Cherry MX black switches under all of the caps on this keyboard's layout. Each switch is also individually LED backlit, and the LEDs are only red in color.

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Getting the frame apart was pretty simple after removing all of the screws. We see that the bottom of the tray has supports to keep the PCB from flexing, and the top section uses thick plastic to give the thin sections some strength.

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Picking a random spot on the PCB to look at the clean up job after the soldering was finished, we find that most of the residue has been cleaned up, with only minimal spots here and there of leftover flux.

Sentey Crimson Pro Mechanical Gaming Keyboard Review 30 | TweakTown.com

Sentey has employed the services of this 8-bit Freescale MCU. The MC9S08JM16 is where all the traffic of signals flows in and out of the keyboard, and it is also where the 128kb of onboard storage is housed.

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To control the traffic of the additional two USB 2.0 ports on the back of the Crimson Pro, we find this Genesys GL850G hub controller. It also has an 8-bit MCU to handle the traffic, and we found it to work well with our testing of those ports.

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Just to sort of show how the orange key caps play against the rest of the black keyboard, we installed them onto the arrow keys; they do look pretty slick.

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With everything reassembled, we went ahead and powered up the Crimson Pro. Now we have all of the keys illuminated as brightly as they will go, and we also have the lock keys pushed to show off the boxes at the top right edge of this keyboard.

Software

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With the software installed, we opened it up to see what it has to offer. Across the top are the five profiles to select from, followed with a large image of the keyboard. Across the bottom are the Macro, Import, and Export tabs, followed by the Apply, OK, and Reset buttons.

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You will notice the red "M" from the Macros tab is now gone as the bottom of the window expands to show M1 through M10. First, you click on the M-0key button at the bottom, and it will flash. Then choose a key to apply it to (we used #1 on the keypad), and by using the dropdown arrow, we find eleven functions to use, including the options to leave it as default, or even disable the key.

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If you do click on the Macro function to program your own, this is the window you are given to do so. Simply click record, press the keys you need for the Macro, and stop it when you are done.

You can edit line to line, and even add delay timers to allow the PC to catch up to the last command before issuing the next step. To name the Macro, click on the save button, and it will offer that when it saves to the PC wherever you direct it to.

Final Thoughts

Let's be very blunt for a second to add a bit of perspective. We have seen quite a few mechanical keyboards that demand what Sentey is asking for their Crimson Pro, but not once, in any of those samples, have we received the experience and offerings that Sentey was more than happy to deliver to us.

Think about it for a second: most keyboards don't even come with a key puller, let alone come with extra key caps, a poster, a door tag, and best yet, a somewhat rigid carrying case to lug this keyboard around with you to game somewhere other than your house. Even here things are easy; since the keyboard offers onboard memory, those fifty Macros you spent all that time programming, yeah those come with you too.

We found our time using the Crimson Pro to be very pleasant. Keyboards don't usually last too long around here due to the fact that we still have our preferred green switch based keyboard, but there is something nice about the linear feel and reduced noise that the Cherry MX black switches offer. We also like that the keys are easy to read in the daytime without the LEDs on, and at night, with red as the choice of LEDs, it doesn't dance in your peripherals like blue LEDs have the tendency to do. After quite a few long reviews, and some game time under our belt, we struggle to come up with anything as a negative to address with the Crimson Pro.

Not only does Sentey live up to our expectations, they show what sort of value can be had at near $150. As we've already addressed, most of the time all you get is the keyboard in a fancy box at this pricing, but here you get everything you could ever think to want or need to go along with a very well equipped product at its base. Also unlike many other submissions, once the software is programmed to your likings, all of the functionality can be had with the press of a key or two, without needing to go back to the software at all.

From every angle we look at or try to attack the Crimson Pro from, it just stands there and takes it smiling, because it knows you are going to be hard pressed to find a better Cherry MX black switch based gaming keyboard on the market.

PRICING: You can find the Sentey Crimson Pro Mechanical Keyboard for sale below. The prices listed are valid at the time of writing but can change at any time. Click the link to see the very latest pricing for the best deal.

United States: The Sentey Crimson Pro Mechanical Keyboard retails for $129.99 at Amazon.

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After a year of gaming, Chad caught the OC bug. With overclocking comes the need for better cooling, and Chad has had many air and water setups. With a few years of abusing computer parts, he decided to take his chances and try to get a review job. As an avid overclocker, Chad is always looking for the next leg up in RAM, cooling, as well as peripherals.

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