TAIPEI, Taiwan -- It's easy to find a mechanical keyboard with snappy keys and anti-ghosting capability, but input devices with eye-popping style and powerful features don't come out every day. First shown at CES 2015, and highlighted here at Computex, Rosewill's new RGB100 keyboard offers keys that light up in more than 16 million colors, provide custom animations and allow you to adjust their sensitivity for work or play.
I spent a few minutes with the RGB100 and was pleased with its versatile customization software, snappy key feel and promised sensitivity adjustment feature. The keyboard has five different color profiles you can activate by hitting the function button and F1 to F5. On our test unit, the first profile showed a "wave" animation pattern where rainbow colors appeared to wash over the keys from left to right. Other profiles showed each key with a different stationary color or other animations. For instance, one gives the appearance of the color brightness rising and falling like a person breathing.
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The control software gives users a lot of flexibility in deciding what profiles will show which colors. To assign custom shades to individual keys, I simply selected "Customize" as the type of lighting configuration, chose a color, clicked a key on the application's key map and hit apply. Within a few seconds, the key would change color. You can make every one of the device's keys a different color or create patterns. One of the sample profiles I saw had all the keys in pastel colors that reminded me of Easter candy. In addition to the wave and breath animations, there's a neat trigger effect that only lights up a key after you've pressed it and then lets it fade away after a second or two.
After you've gotten the light profiles set up to your liking, you'll want to check out the RGB100's sensitivity settings. Though this feature wasn't working on our demo unit, a Rosewill rep told us that it would change the actuation point of the keys so that gamers can get many strokes with a light touch. Typists won't end up with double or triple letter errors. Users will be able to access this feature with simple key combination.
The RGB100 also makes it easy to attach additional peripherals with two USB pass through ports and separate 3.5mm jacks for microphones and speakers. Like most keyboards, it connects to your computer via USB, but unlike some other Rosewill keyboards, the USB cable is not removable. A Rosewill rep said that having a built-in cord is more durable.
To ensure your typing comfort the RGB100 will come with either blue or brown switches under the keys. Those keys will have a similar feel to ones with genuine Cherry MX Switches, which are made by Khale. The blue switches on the demo unit I tried had excellent tactile feedback and made a very pleasant clicky sound. A detachable wrist rest adds additional creature comforts.
Though the RGB100 has been shown before, it still hasn't shipped. A Rosewill rep said the keyboard will ship closer to the holidays and start at an MSRP of $169.99.