Fnatic Gear RUSH G1 Mechanical Gaming Keyboard Review

Fnatic Gear's RUSH G1 silent mechanical gaming keyboard manages to impress. Why? Come and find out.

Published Jul 27, 2017 11:52 PM CDT   |   Updated Tue, Nov 3 2020 6:58 PM CST
Manufacturer: Fnatic Gear
15 minute read time
TweakTown's Rating: 95%
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The Bottom Line

The Rush G1 proves you do not have to go overboard to sell a superior product. The feel is fantastic, the price is right, and while it may not have all the bells and whistles, it does not need them to impress the masses. The Rush G1 has it where it counts, and that is all that matters!

Introduction, Specifications, and Pricing

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Anyone hip to eSports knows of the Fnatic Gear name, and while newer to the game than many other companies, they were able to impress us with their products so far. Of course, we have only our experiences with the Clutch G1 to base this off of, with what we saw from Fnatic Gear so far, we do know that they have their head in the game, and know what users want from their peripherals. While visually, Fnatic Gear products may seem a bit standard on first glance, but once you spend some time with them, it isn't long before you realize there is something special about these devices.

Since Fnatic Gear has had some time developing mice like the Clutch and the Flick, it only makes sense for them to start their journey into keyboards as well. Not just the ordinary keyboards either, ones that are tuned for the gamer, and while using a widely available mechanical switch, delivers a feel found in no other Cherry MX Red switch keyboard we have ever used. Now, this keyboard is not all decked out with fancy RGB LEDs, nor is the software all that involved. What you are about to find here today is a mechanical gaming keyboard which is tuned to the basic needs of all gamers, as not to be a distraction, but to be used as a tool of war to deliver effortless control while playing any game.

Fnatic Gear has brought forth the Rush Pro, or Rush G1, keyboards, depending on where you look for the name. This mechanical keyboard may have simple styling, but with some of the features not always found on a gaming keyboard, Fnatic Gear can deliver exactly what is needed, without crossing the line into obscure and unneeded add-ons. Since this is the first attempt to please the masses with a single keyboard, we do think we should cut Fnatic Gear some slack, as what we will compare it to, those companies have had years of development to improve on things. However, the reality is, Fnatic Gear hit the nail on the head with the Rush G1 Silent mechanical gaming keyboard, and we are about to show you why.

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From what we see on the Fnatic Gear website, this keyboard is identified at the Rush Pro Silent Gaming keyboard. The thing is though, if you look on the packaging, the keyboard is identified as the Rush G1 Silent Gaming keyboard, but no matter how you try to look it up, we always come back to the same product. The chart that Fnatic Gear provides is not very forthcoming with details, but it does offer the basics. We can see that the Rush measures 448mm from the left side to the right side, from the front edge to the back edge is 148mm of a keyboard, and to the top of the last row of keycaps, it stands 33mm tall. All told, not including the cable and add-on parts, the Rush weighs in at 1275 grams. The cable may vary in length between 1.8 meters and 2.0 meters, but as of this moment, no matter the layout options, the Rush keyboards are based on Cherry MX Red switches.

What they do not mention is a list nearly as long. The frame is a two-piece design, where the steel plate is sandwiched between layers of plastic, enveloping the switches, so that they are not exposed. The top surface of the keyboard frame has a rubber coating applied to it, to make moving it around much easier. The Rush is backlit, and while the only color to pick is red, there are four levels of intensity as well as a pulse mode. There are multimedia keys, there are profile keys, a Fnatic mode to lock specific keys, and the keyboard is software supported, allowing users to set up to ten Macros per each of the five profiles.

Since we were already browsing the product page, immediately following the name of the keyboard, Fnatic Gear shows the €89.99 MSRP. For those who are currency conversion challenged, that works out to roughly $103 on our side of this big blue ball. Looking locally for a price, we see that there are two versions of this keyboard. One of them is listed with Brown switches, and the other shows to be fitted with red switches. As for the version we have, the price on Amazon is set at $89.99, while the brown switch version is $10 less. Looking at Newegg for the same keyboard, we find there to be three versions shown there. The brown option is listed at $99.99, the red option is listed the same, and the third, blue switch version, again, is listed at $99.99. Of course, we like the pricing at Amazon better, and also ships free to Prime members. With what you are about to see, we feel that the near $90 price is on point, as we do get the features we need, and a switch feel that we have never experienced on any keyboard utilizing Cherry MX Red switches.

Chad's Peripherals Test System Specifications

Packaging, Accessories, and Documentation

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The packaging for the Rush G1 Silent backlit mechanical keyboard is done with white cardboard, which makes the image of the keyboard pop out to grab your attention. We can also see that this sample is shipped with the US layout, and Cherry MX Red switches are used under the keycaps.

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On this smaller end of the box, Fnatic Gear keeps things simple, and only displays their logo here.

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While the side that gives access inside of the box is blank, just an expanse of white cardboard, the other longer side does have something to offer. We see Fnatic Gear has placed a product sticker on the one end of it, showing the model name, the SKU, and that this product has been assembled in China.

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The second of the smaller panels brings a bit more than we saw on the other end. This time the Rush G1 Silent name is present, as it reiterates that this is a backlit mechanical keyboard.

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On the back of the box, we see another image of the Rush G1, this time with the wrist rest present. There is a bit about why this keyboard is good for eSports, and to the right are mentions of features found within this design.

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Inside of the box, we find the Rush G1 either surrounded by cardboard, as we see in front and behind the keyboard, or with dense foam as we see on both sides. The keyboard is shipped inside of a plastic liner to keep dust at bay, while the inner packaging delivers us a keyboard in fantastic condition.

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Under the keyboard, you should also find the plastic wrist rest, which has been coated with a matte rubber coating like the top half of the keyboard frame has. There is also a small bag to be located, which has the clips to mount the wrist rest to the leading edge of the Rush G1.

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Floating around under the keyboard, we also located the Rush G1 quick guide. Mainly, this is offered to show how to connect the keyboard to the PC, where to go for drivers and a bit about what the keyboard offers functionally.

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What we see here is likely the most important page of all of them, and is something you can refer to later. This explains the Fnatic Gear mode, and also describes where the profile buttons, lighting controls, and multimedia controls are, as well as how to swap between 6-Key Rollover and NKRO modes.

Fnatic Gear Rush G1 Silent Mechanical Gaming Keyboard

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The left side of the Rush G1 shows us the body line which separates the two-part frame. The lower section is made of textured plastic and has grooves to add some grip as well. The top half is rubberized and keeps the switches and LEDs out of view.

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Looking at the primary section of keys, we find the Rush to have a typical QWERTY layout, and we also see red peeking out between each of the keycaps. The caps are slightly textured, but left in their natural state, with nothing fancy to mention as to its appearance or additional keys.

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The F-keys do provide double duty, as we are given some of the multimedia keys. F1 mutes sounds, F2 lowers the volume, F3 raises the volume, and F4 is the play/pause key.

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F5 and F6 will either go to the previous track or the next track respectively, which ends the multimedia segment of the keys. The F7 and F8 keys are used to swap profiles on-the-fly and are where profile one and two reside.

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The last group of F-keys offers the profiles three, four, and five over the F9, F10, and F11 keys. On the F12 key, we see the Fnatic Gear logo, which indicates where to enable Fnatic Gear Mode. This works much like a Windows lock but also engages assigned buttons.

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On the right end of the Rush G1, we find the command keys, the arrow keys, and a number pad under the company name and Lock LEDs. Along with the extra set of arrows offered on the number pad, we also see light icons on the number 2 and number 8 keys. These are used to adjust the LED intensity or put the Rush G12 into a pulsating LED display.

Rush G1 Continued

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The right edge of the Rush G1 is similar to what we saw at the left edge, just that this time we have extended the feet. This changes the angle of attack and leans the keys towards the user for a better ergonomic feel to the layout.

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While we were not expecting this from what we saw online or in any of the literature, Fnatic Gear has added a two port USB 2.0 hub to the back of the Rush G1. This is so you can plug in your mouse, headset, or thumb drives, without having to reach away from the desk, and also helps to keep the wires tidy.

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Because the specifications show a variance in length of this braided black cable, we measured ours and found it to be six feet from the back of the keyboard to its termination. While we do not get any hook and loop to tend to the cable, we do find a gold plated USB 2.0 connection at the end of the nondescript cover.

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Under the keyboard, we find that the shape is stylized, even though many will never see it. Four tiny feet are found in the corners, and right in the center is the product sticker with the serial number on it if one needs to have it for RMA purposes.

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At the front edge of the keyboard, there is a pair of locations that are cut into the frame, with a small hole on either side. These are used to insert the wrist rest clips. The back edge of the wrist rest is them fitted into the C-channel, making the rest easy to put on and remove without having to fiddle with the clips.

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Of course, the flip out feet is here as well at the back edge of the Rush G1. The flip out to the back, but there is not a lock to this position. Since the tips of the feet are rubberized, when used, if the keyboard is shifted, they can collapse fairly easily.

Inside the Rush G1

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Removing some of the keycaps, we not only see Cherry MX Red switches, but we can also see that the steel plate matches the theme. This means that the red LEDs on each switch will deliver a deeper red, as they do not have to play with another color to do so. The last thing worth mentioning is that the torsion bars are exposed, so exercise caution when removing the longer keycaps.

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The keycaps are typical to what we find on most of the mechanical keyboards out there. The keys are molded with white plastic, and once cooled, are painted with a black coating. The legends are left blank to allow the red LEDs to show through the keycaps.

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Removing seven screws and some gentle prying will split the frame into its two components. The lower section has ribs to help support the steel plate and eliminate vibrations, while the top part is a cover, and only has white tubes added to help project the lock LEDs through the frame.

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Picking a random location on the PCB, not only does the PCB match all the red accents everywhere else, but we see some of the cleanest workmanship ever with the Rush G1. The solder points are precise, and there is no evidence at all of left over flux or any residue for that matter.

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The MCU soldered to the PCB of the Rush G1 is the Freescale/NXP Semiconductors MC9S08JM16. This is an 8-bit, low-cost, high-performance processor, which is more than enough to power the Rush G1 and the features it offers.

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For those of you who wondered what is controlling the pair of USB 2.0 ports on the Rush G1, here it is. The controller used is the Genesys Logic GL805G. We have seen this used many times, and experience has proven this to be a solid, issue-free, well-known option to use.

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After reassembly, we powered the keyboard by connecting the cable, and what you see here is the brightest of what the Rush G1 is capable of. Under our lights, it appears to be dim but is much brighter with less ambient light. We also see that the number lock, Caps lock, and the Fnatic Gear mode indicator LEDs are also red to go with the theme.

Rush Gear Settings Software

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After downloading and installing the software, this is what will be presented to you for usage and modification of the keyboard. The main window offers the user the ability to pick from the profiles at the top, also offers a way to backup and retrieve profiles from storage in the PC, and with a click of the Fnatic Gear button, you are delivered to their site.

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This software is used mainly to add Macros or various commands to whatever keys you will find them best used. To get this far, we first clicked on the M1 button, then clicked on the keyboard key we wanted to set it to. Once that is done, you go back to the box next to the M1 button and click on the arrow. It is at this time a drop-down presents itself, where you can pick a function, or to use a Macro.

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If you do opt to use a Macro, a different window will appear, that is the Macro Recorder, as it is called here. By clicking on the orange button at the top-right, it starts recording key presses, which show in the large white section. Macros can be imported and exported here as well, but every time we clicked on the gear icon, our software would crash and restart.

Gaming and General Impressions

DOOM & Battlefield 1

Gaming has been a pleasure on the Rush G1 Silent, and this is a statement you will not often hear from us with keyboards using Cherry MX Red switches. The lack of noise coming from our moments and rapid space bar presses as we moved around in DOOM was pleasing, as we found the need for a headset to be much less.

Battlefield 1 has us spending much more time on the WASD keys and space bar mainly, but we did notice that we were resting our hand as we would on keys with much stiffer springs, and we did not find ourselves accidentally pressing keys as we do on other keyboards with switches of this type. No matter the game, we found the Rush G1 to be a step above any other Cherry MX Red based offering, as there is a feel to this keyboard that we cannot put our finger on as to why the feel is so much better.

Windows and Productivity

Typically, when it comes to a daily driver in a keyboard, we gravitate to blue or green switch based products. This comes from having fat fingers as well as tending to rest our meat hooks on the keyboard a lot. Usually, a red switch is wobbly, and the throw is soft and easy to hit multiple keys at once. Not with the Rush G1.

Aside from the lack of noise associated with our tactile switch choices, that and the lack of the bump, we took right to the Rush G1 with limited typing errors and a feeling of some form of a secret going on with Fnatic Gear and this Rush G1. Most times we would toss something with red switches to the side in just a couple of days, but with this keyboard, it has been a trooper in gaming and typing quite a few reviews over the last couple of weeks. This is one time, where we feel that we will miss using a keyboard containing Cherry MX Red switches, the Rush G1 is just that solid and impressive.

Final Thoughts

Fnatic ear may not have been on the scope when it comes to tracking what peripherals you want to buy next, but in what the Rush G1 Silent has given us in our time with it, we strongly suggest you add them to the top of the list. The matte black finish is attractive, the easy to use wrist rest is near genius, and as hard as it is to say as a reviewer, we love the fact that the Rush is not overloaded with things most will never use. Yes, you can find keyboards out there with many more features, more in-depth software, and RGB LED lighting, but most times, none of that is needed when it comes to gaming. This is where Fnatic Gear excels. They deliver everything you need to get by, while enjoying using it, not staring at the lighting or trying to figure out how to program the software. Sometimes simplicity is the key, and the Rush G1 proves that to be true.

Only a couple of minor issues plague this product, and only in specific instances. Initially, we did find that the feet would collapse if we slide the keyboard back, but this is rectified by not using a rubber desk mat as we do, or simply lifting the keyboard and not being lazy. The second thing we ran into was the gear icon in the Macro editor. We assumed it might open more abilities to the Macro programming, or allow us to edit what we had entered, but we never got to see as the software continued to crash trying to use it. That is all we have though. Nothing detrimental, as the Rush G1 is solid, vibration free, and in no time at all, it was like meeting up with an old friend we had not seen in a while. After about five minutes of catching up and assessing the situation, it was life as usual with a keyboard which is great for gaming or typing.

One thing we cannot account for is the feel of the switches in this Rush G1. Side by side with a Corsair keyboard we have yet to test, we can immediately feel a difference between them, and both are based on Cherry MX Red switches. We looked at the stems on the keycaps, thinking they might be larger, offering a tighter fit, to explain the solid and not wobbly feel of each press. That wasn't it. We then thought maybe Cherry screwed up and added stiffer springs to a batch of red switches, so we broke out the nickels. We could stack ten of them on the Corsair switch before it completely collapsed, and the Rush G1 took eleven, which is the difference of five grams. Not enough to account for the difference in feel. At this time, we are still unsure as to why the Rush G1 has such a superior fell to the switches, but in the end, we don't care, as it makes the Fnatic Gear Rush Silent stand out in the crowd.

With everything we have covered, we cannot think of a single reason to shy away from the Rush G1 Silent keyboard. You may be able to find something with more flash and a richer feature set, but is the increase in cost involved to get them worth it? Likely the answer is no. You will get everything you want to get right to gaming comfortably with the Rush, and many may opt never to install the software at all. For those of you who like shortcuts and Macros, you will want to install the software, and also be able to program up to fifty various commands across the five profiles. It comes with a wrist rest which is a big decider for many users, the feel is like no other, and anyway you look at things, for just $90, you will be hard pressed to find another keyboard which has impressed us as much at the Rush G1 Silent Gaming Keyboard has.

Chad's Peripherals Test System Specifications

TweakTown award

The Bottom Line: The Rush G1 proves you do not have to go overboard to sell a superior product. The feel is fantastic, the price is right, and while it may not have all the bells and whistles, it does not need them to impress the masses. The Rush G1 has it where it counts, and that is all that matters!

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Chad joined the TweakTown team in 2009 and has since reviewed 100s of new techy items. 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 and coolers.

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