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Thermaltake Premium X1 RGB Mechanical Gaming Keyboard Review

Thermaltake Premium X1 RGB Mechanical Gaming Keyboard Review

Thermaltake's X1 RGB is jam-packed with features and once you get your head around them, you will be very surprised at what it has to offer.

@chad_sebring
Published Mon, Apr 9 2018 10:00 AM CDT   |   Updated Thu, Jul 30 2020 4:20 PM CDT
Rating: 99%Manufacturer: Thermaltake

Introduction, Specifications, and Pricing

Now that Thermaltake has the TT Premium brand, it appears that they are moving into other products besides cases and gaming chairs. We have seen peripherals from the Thermaltake brand in the past, as well as products from the Tt eSports moniker, but this is the first TT Premium branded keyboard we have seen.

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VIEW GALLERY - 34 IMAGES

Judging by the name of the brand alone, we would expect this line to offer the best of the best. Not something with the average set of features and capabilities, but something that should make buyers stop and take notice. Otherwise, why not just keep peripherals in the other two product lines, and call it a day?

There are many features which will draw in the masses. Use of Cherry MX switches is a good start, and many adore exposed switch keyboards. Lighting is also a big hit, and the fact that this keyboard is RGB backlit makes it all that much better. The ability to customize not only the lighting but all aspects of the keyboard, delivering it in a solid frame, adding in a wrist rest and optional FPS keycaps, all of these are great to have too. Along with all of the things many companies are offering, this new TT Premium keyboard offers an app as well, but just for iPhones.

Within this app you can create Macros on-the-fly, you can also adjust the lighting and remap keys, but the one thing that takes it over the top is that Thermaltake allows you to speak to the keyboard through your phone now too. While we have not seen any products like this from the TT Premium brand, things are looking good for their premier entry into the peripherals game. The Thermaltake TT Premium X1 RGB Gaming mechanical keyboard includes all of the bells and whistles one would need, and also offers thing which you have never thought about.

For those looking for the upper echelon of keyboards in regards to what is the latest and greatest of its time, we feel that the TT Premium X1 RGB has surpassed what has been seen in the past, and ventures into new territory with everything they have to offer in the mechanical gaming keyboard.

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The chart provided by Thermaltake is all over the place when it comes to providing information, so bear with us as we try to make sense of it all. The TT Premium X1 RGB is black, the bottom half of the frame is plastic, and the top is textured plastic.

This is a 104-key layout keyboard, which uses either Cherry MX Blue or Silver switches. With the wrist rest not added into the measurements, the X1 RGB is 464mm from side to side, 170mm from front to back, it stands 40.39mm tall without the feet extended, and weighs in at a hefty 1598 grams. Many of the features are covered in this charts as well. Things like the lack of dedicated Macro keys, the fact that there are six profiles to use, there is software control, and the RGB LEDs deliver 16.8 million colors to select, as well as twelve pre-defined modes to use. Connectivity to the PC is done via USB 2.0 with a gold connection for both the keyboard functions as well as another for the USB pass-through port.

There is also an audio pass-through port, and it too is a gold plated connection. The length of the cable is standard, at 1.8 meters. The X1 RGB provides anti-ghosting and NKRO support, a detachable magnetic wrist rest, multimedia keys, and each of the switches has a fifty million-click lifespan. There is a 32-bit MCU inside of the keyboard, which offers some onboard memory to house your custom profiles, and the default polling rate is set to 1000Hz.

Prices vary from location to location, and we also see price varies by the type of switch offered. For those hunting down the version we have with silver switches, the best deal currently is through Newegg, where it is listed at $127.41. Amazon wants $139.99 for the same thing. If blue switches are more your thing, the only listing we found was on Amazon, but they require only $121.03 for it. While there is no real reason for the price change to occur between versions, the fact remains that unless you are set on having silent linear fast actuating switches, going with blue switches is the more affordable option, even if you have to deal with more noise.

At $139.99, the TT Premium X1 RGB Mechanical gaming keyboard comes in below average in cost, and there is quite a bit to be had with the investment.

Chad's Peripherals Test System Specifications

Packaging, Accessories, and Documentation

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The packaging is intended to attract attention, using a large image of the keyboard, all lit up and looking good. On the left side of the box, we find the manufacturer name and logo, mentions of Cherry MX Speed switches, the RGB nature of the lights, and the X1 RGB model name at the bottom.

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One of the longer side panels explains two things. The first is that this is a professional gaming keyboard, and the second is the list of nine specifications offers at the bottom.

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Both of the smaller panels on either end of the box are identical. Both of them show an image of the keyboard along with the X1 RGB naming, and the TT Premium logo.

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If you were uncertain of who makes the keyboard, all you have to do is glance at the second long side panel. It is used for the sole purpose of displaying the company logo and name.

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On the back, we again see an image of the keyboard, but this time there are notations to the RGB lighting, the game mode and Macro record button, the Windows lock, and the magnetically detachable wrist rest.

To the right we see some of the programmed LED modes, the multimedia keys, the pass-through ports, and even an actuation diagram showing the benefit to MX Speed switches.

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The keyboard is wrapped in a thin foam bag for protection, and our keyboard is in excellent condition. Under the keyboard, you will locate the wrist rest and the paperwork, while at the back edge, the cable, optional keycaps, and the keycap puller are found.

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In this image, we have all of the additional parts. The wrist rest is contoured, sloping to a thin front edge, it is textured on the top, and with the use of two tabs, is magnetically attached to the front edge of the X1 RGB. In front of it, we have the keycap puller and the eight red keys for gamers.

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The manual is multi-lingual, but it does show us how to connect the device, how it works, and where to get the software. There is also another insert which notes what Thermaltake will cover, should anything go wrong with the product.

Thermaltake Premium X1 RGB Mechanical Gaming Keyboard

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Viewing the X1 RGB from the left side, we can see the lower part of the frame is slightly smaller than the top cover. We also see that the keys are not at the best angle for long-term use without strain.

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The seventy-four keys laid out here are what we typically see. While the bulk of the keys are used for a single task, we can see that the F-keys are marked for dual functionality. We also like the font used, it is easy to read and looks more professional this way.

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The escape key will reset the X1 RGB to defaults, in case you need that function in a hurry. F1 is used to bring up a mail handler, F2 will open your browsers home page, F3 opens "This PC" in a window, and F4 will open the calculator.

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F5 brings up "My Music," while the F6 should change lighting modes, but does nothing by default. F7 and F8 should adjust the speed of the RGB LED modes, but again we see nothing happen when using it.

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F9 should add red to the lights, F10 adds green, F11 adds blue, and F12 is intended to set the keyboard into dual lighting mode. It appears all of this must be set in software, as these do nothing fresh out of the box either.

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The right end of the keyboard offers a bit more than the standard thirty-key layout we are used to seeing. Some of the command keys are used for switching profiles, there are arrows in the number pad, and we also see a whole other group of buttons at the top.

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The print screen button is also the Macro record button for on-the-fly programming. Scroll lock is said to change light modes, and pause break is assumingly how one adjusts the LED intensity. Above them are the game mode button, a button with a light bulb icon, and Window lock button.

X1 RGB Continued

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We also wanted to show off the multimedia keys. In the top right comer, by the lock indicator LEDs, we find the scroll wheel for volume and a mute button to the right of it. The bottom row delivers stop, back track, play and pause, and forward track functions.

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With the larger of the two options of feet extended, we can see the angle of attack has increased, and with the wrist rest attached, the X1 RGB is ready for hours of ergonomic usage. The frame is the same as what was seen on the other end, just textured plastic with a gentle curve at the front edge.

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The USB cable is centered in the back edge of the keyboard, and just to the left of it are the pass-through ports. There is the USB 2.0 port for anything other than fast charging a device, and next to it is the stereo audio and voice pass-through port for closer headset connectivity.

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As the USB cable leaves the keyboard, it is thick, the entire thing is covered in braided cloth, and is bound with a Velcro strap. The wires pass through a Ferrite choke before being broken up within the chunky cover. It is then which all three lines go their separate ways, and all three terminate with connections which are lightly gold plated.

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The bottom of the keyboard is flat, it uses five rubber pads to secure it on the desk, and has flip out feet at the back. At the front there are two notches, and these are where the tabs on the wrist rest magnetically attach to the keyboard.

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What we do not typically see is a keyboard with optional height adjustments. You can use the shorter feet, which have rubber on the ends. If that isn't enough of an angle, flip out the longer set, which is also rubber coated, so that grip on the desk is never an issue.

Inside the X1 RGB

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We like to visually verify we have the switches we are said to have. To do this, we removed five keycaps to expose Cherry MX Speed, Silver switches. Other things we notice are the clear switch bodies, as the LEDs are inside, not exposed, and we also see that the torsion bars are not fully exposed.

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Whether looking at the default black keycaps, or the optional red ones, we can see that they are all painted. All of the keycaps are shot in white, which allows light to pass through, but are then painted, leaving the legends exposed.

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After removing roughly a dozen screws from the bottom of the keyboard, we were then able to pry apart the two parts of the frame. In the lower section, we can see the USB cables path as well as the PCB for the pass-through ports. The top half has the membrane switch pads in place, which are under the buttons for multimedia and the locks.

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Randomly selecting an area on the PCB to assess what level of quality control is going on, we find nothing out of the ordinary. With virtually no residue present and clean solder joints for the switches and the LEDs, we can say someone took their time to do things right.

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32-bit MCUs seem to be what we see more and more, especially as the list of features increases. Used in the X1 RGB is the Holtek HT32F1775 ARM Cortex M3 processor, which is more than capable of handling what the keyboard offers.

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Since they came in the box, we took the time to install them and see how they look. The optional keycaps are for the QWER and ASDF keys; they contrast highly against the sea of black, they are smooth, but have no added texture to find your way by feel in the dark.

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The intensity of the RGB LEDs in this keyboard does not show well under the lighting used for our images, but once in a normal amount of light, the TT Premium X1 RGB really shines. Even the logo and all of the multimedia keys change with the rest of the keyboard.

Software

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Once downloaded, the software first does a software and firmware check, and we took an update to both before we saw this window. Once it is open, the keyboard tab is clicked, and we are in customize mode. This is where you can add profiles, name them, assign them, and even remap the entire 104-key layout, excluding any of the membrane switches.

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When it comes to remapping the keyboard, there are a few options to go to. They can be assigned to Macros, media, key functions, launching applications, swapping profiles, or disable a key. Sadly, we do not see an easy way for mouse functions, unless you use a Macro to do so.

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Speaking of Macros, we have now entered the Macro Editor section. Select a profile you want the Macro on, describe it, name it, import, export, it's all there.

Delays are another option to choose, and once ready click on the record button. Enter the commands, and they will show in the black box. Once done click stop, and afterward, there are options to edit the Macro if need be.

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Even with the lighting changes, you will want to pick a profile to apply it to first, and you can also name the color profile. The image of the keyboard displays settings in real-time when using solid colors, or one of the twelve various RGB LED modes offered in the drop-down box.

Some of the modes allow for customization, and the image of the keyboard becomes the selection tool as to what color is applied where. At the bottom, there are all of the options one could need to make an RGB LED profile precisely what you were looking for.

Gaming and General Impressions

DOOM & PUBG

As with any keyboard, when it comes to gaming, it is mostly about movement and weapons switching, maybe even casting a spell or two too. What we noticed immediately was the lack of noise coming from the keyboard.

Also keep in mind that the Cherry XM Speed switches are some of the softest switches out there, and with no tactile bump to help stop the shortened travel, it is easy to rest your hands and start to move around.

The unintended key pressing does lessen over time, but not mashing the keys does take longer. Used to the typical switch travel, we did tend to bottom out all of the time in the beginning, but our hand adjusted since, and we are floating though FPS titles with near effortless ease now.

Being able to swap profiles and set up lighting displays for any game is also a plus. You can layout the keyboard in multiple colors, or illuminate the ones you use, and you can even color match the keyboard to the game if so inclined.

Windows and Productivity

It took us about three to four days before getting proficient with the X1 RGB, as we are used to using keyboards with tougher springs in the switches.

After the break-in period was over, we could feel an increase in speed to our typing, which is because when typing many words per minute, when you can eliminate forty percent of the time pushing switches, it does add up in the larger scope.

What we also find handy is being able to quickly open things like the Chrome homepage and not need to grab for the mouse, opening the file browser, and even accessing the calculator. All of which is handy will shorten productivity time, and with Macro capabilities, this is just the tip of the iceberg.

We do feel that we would have enjoyed the blue switch version of the X. RGB a tad more, but since using the ZX1 RGB more, we have grown accustomed to it, and rather like it too.

Final Thoughts

What haven't we said about the X1 RGB already. It is jam-packed with features, can be remapped to do whatever you want, can accommodate Macros, it has LED profiles and the ability to be customized, there is software control to make life easier; honestly, the list goes on and on.

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What we haven't covered, as we do not have an Apple product to run it on, is that fact that there is an app for this keyboard as well. So not only do you get everything we have been boasting about, with this app you hardly even need to go back to the software suite. You can program Macros through the app, you can change lighting, and what is coolest of it all, is that you can also talk to your phone with a proper sequence, and the keyboard will make the changes for you. While we do wish that this also applied to Android devices, it is still something that we have not seen, to this extent, before.

After some fiddling around, selecting different things, and resetting the keyboard via software, all of the buttons which did not function earlier do come to life. That is huge, as we were going to have to knock the X1 RGB down a peg had this not happened. Everything with the keyboard works, we have no complaints about that. The keyboard is solid, with the slightest ability to be flexed due to the plastic frame, but we do not notice vibrations when in use.

With the X1 RGB, it takes a bit of digging to see what all it has to offer, but once you wrap your head around what is going on, you are hard-pressed to find a keyboard as feature rich and as fundamentally sound as what Thermaltake is offering here. Considering that if you are willing to shop around, you can have the TT Premium X1 RGB right around $130, it takes very little effort to see how good this is. Anything we have seen with software control via a mobile device has been much closer to $200, and the reality is that at $130, it puts many standard RGB keyboards with fewer features to shame.

This is a product that will forever change our minds when it comes to bang for the buck, as Thermaltake has options to suit any users preference, it won't break the bank, and there is no chance of buyer's remorse when it comes to the X1 RGB. This mechanical gaming keyboard has everything somebody could ever want, and at its heart, is still a very functional product for gamers or those who want to type for hours.

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Chad's Peripherals Test System Specifications

TweakTown award
Performance100%
Quality97%
Features100%
Value100%
Overall99%

The Bottom Line: At this price, you will not find a better equipped option on the market today. The TT Premium X1 RGB keyboard is sleek looking, it is solid, it is comfortable to use, the level of customization is superb, and on top of all of that, there is voice control too!

PRICING: You can find products similar to this one for sale below.

USUnited States: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon.com

UKUnited Kingdom: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon.co.uk

AUAustralia: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon.com.au

CACanada: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon.ca

DEDeutschland: Finde andere Technik- und Computerprodukte wie dieses auf Amazon.de

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.

We openly invite the companies who provide us with review samples / who are mentioned or discussed to express their opinion. If any company representative wishes to respond, we will publish the response here. Please contact us if you wish to respond.

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