I have never owned a mechanical keyboard, but Leapfroglobal reached out to me to review MKA-61C “Psychstarling”, which is a 60% mechanical keyboard, which means that the keyboard is 60% of the standard keyboard. Anyway, most gamers would be familiar with mechanical keyboards, so if you are one of them, you may skip this review. But for many of us who are normal computer users, you may be wondering what makes mechanical keyboards appealing and whether you too should get one.
One of the biggest appeals of mechanical keyboards are the RGB lighting, but actually they don’t always go together. The reason for manufacturers combining these features together is that most mechanical keyboard owners are gamers. In any case, there are plenty of mechanical keyboards without the fanciful lights, although I must admit, the lights kind of make the keyboards cool.
The MKA-61C features fixed RGB back-lighting on each key – the colours do not change on each key. There are 18 preset backlight effects: some effects are looped patterns while others react as you type. For instance, “click to on” pattern will light up every key that you hit, while “Rippling” will trigger a light-wave when you hit the key. You can easily switch the preset by press Fn2+9 key.
Modular Mechanical Switches
The other appealing feature with mechanical keyboards are the key switches and the ability to swap them, either due to wear replacement or for visual aesthetics. The MKA-61C uses Outemu modular blue mechanical switches that are rated with a lifespan of 50 million keystrokes and cycles. Different switch colours have different performance characteristics, and blue switches are known for their clicky noise. Definitely not ideal for office purpose or telecommuting, as they would be easily picked up by the microphones.
One phenomenon on keyboard is that they keys fade and the coating peels, which is a sign of incessant contact and pounding on the key surface. The MKA-61C is coated with KevlarTech and lifetime fade proof warranty. None of my keyboards remain fade proof, so I’ll have to see if the MKA-61C lives up to their name. Check back on this page after a year.
Full N-Key Rollover and Anti-Ghosting
These are features that improve keystroke accuracy when it comes to hitting several keys at the same time. Full N-key rollover means you can hit unlimited number of keys to be pressed at the same time, somewhat similar to musical keyboard polyphony. Anti-ghosting is a feature to prevent triggering of an incorrect key due to combinations of keys pressed together.
The first immediate improvement I felt when using the MKA-61C is that my keystrokes are less sticky. I am able to consistently capitalise only the first letter instead of often sticking to the second letter of the word. Also, due to the tactile response, I feel that I can hit the keys more accurately. It is kind of like playing a musical keyboard: you can hear whether you are playing the notes correctly because each note produces a sound. If I could not hear any sound when playing on the keyboard, I would not know if my playing is accurate until I see the character appear on the screen.
The major drawback is the limited keys on the keyboard. The MKA-61C is the most compact mechanical keyboard currently on the Armaggeddon catalog, but it lacks essential dedicated keys like arrow, home/end, page up/down, insert/delete. To use these keys, I have to combine with Fn1 button.
The Armaggeddon MKA-61C is a well-built mechanical keyboard with sturdy base and does not feel cheap. The silicone legs keep the keyboard on the surface withous slipping. The detachable USB-C connector allows the keyboard to be transported without dangling wires.
Should you get a mechanical keyboard? Yes I would highly recommend if you find yourself not typing accurately at higher speeds and you do not know why. You can do more research and determine the best type of keyboards to fit your needs. The Armaggeddon MKA-61C retails at S$49.90 with 2-year warranty, and comes in black or white.
- More accurate typing experience
- Fun RGB effects
- Compact and well-built
- Noisy, not suited for office use
- Only 61 keys