Review: RK84 Wireless RGB Limited Edition Keyboard
As many of you might know, and for those of you that might have missed it, I reviewed the RoyalKludge RK84 Wireless Keyboard a few weeks ago. This was the regular edition/version of the keyboard, that's solid white and my version had red switches. This review is for the same keyboard, except it's a special edition colorway and has yellow switches. There are actually two colorways available for this limited edition, the Macchiato White and the Americano Black. The unit I got was the Macchiato White.
3750mAh Big Mac
84 Keys, Compact 75% layout
2x USB 2.0 passthrough
Diverse RGB Backlit
Three Modes Connectable Keyboard
DIY Software Supports
About The Rk84 Limited Edition
The RK84 Limited Edition is an 84 key keyboard in a compact 75% layout and uses RK’s hot-swappable yellow linear switches. It offers triple mode connectivity using USB-C cable (wired), or wireless operation via a 2.4GHz USB dongle or Bluetooth 5.0. It also comes with 20 dynamic RGB backlight modes, and a large 3750 mAh battery, which can last up to 1 week (200 hours).
According to RK, their hot-swappable yellow linear switches have similar feel to Gateron’s yellow switches, which are heavier and smoother than the red switch. They are all pre-lubed offering a buttery smooth typing experience and quick response.
The keyboard features 2 built-in USB-A pass-through ports and 1 Type-C Port. Use the included USB-C cable to charge the keyboard or connect it to a PC/laptop and use it as a wired keyboard.
Packaging And Contents
No fancy colors or branding on the box and packaging, just orange and black, which is perfectly fine as those things don't define if or how well a product works. Inside, you’ll find the keyboard, instruction manual, keycap/switch removal tool, 4 spare yellow switches, 2 magnetic footrests, and a USB-C cable.
One thing that strikes you, are the different colour-coded keycaps. The majority of the keys are in Macchiato White (off-white), with several grey and brown keys. Of course, every time I mention macchiato, I always think about my favorite iced coffee, which this keyboard has very similar colors of.
The keyboard comes with RK’s hot-swappable linear yellow switches which I think offer a buttery smooth typing experience and quick response. You can use the included keycap/switch removal tool to modify your keyboard to your liking.
Since the Royal Kludge RK84 Limited Edition is a wireless keyboard, it has a built-in 3,750mAh battery. This is the biggest capacity battery among Royal Kludge’s wireless offerings. Furthermore, it’s also the only one offering both Bluetooth and 2.4GHz connections.
Royal Kludge assures the keyboard will have up to 200 hours of battery life on 2.4GHz with no backlight, which is more than decent. Even if you’re typing or gaming eight hours a day, the keyboard will last for nearly a month before needing a recharge.
However, you can expect this to drop significantly when using the backlight, as LED lights consume a lot of power. Nevertheless, the lighting will automatically power off after five minutes when the keyboards not used.
Recharging the keyboard takes about six to seven hours via the USB-C port. But you can still use the device as you’re charging it, so you don’t lose functionality.
If you're looking for a quick and simple way to check the battery life of the keyboard, simply hit the FN button and the Enter button at the same time. You will see the number row light up according to the image below to tell you what the current status is of the battery.
I haven’t fully tested actual battery life compared to what Royal Kludge states how the battery should perform mainly because I do game from my PC, just as my wife does, and we much prefer to play with a wired keyboard.
With that said, I can tell you that we’ve used the keyboard in wireless mode, with backlighting enabled, and battery life seems really good. While I can’t provide an exact number, I feel it’s very comparable to most any other wireless keyboard when it comes to the battery life.
What's The Difference?
Many of you are likely wondering what the exact difference is between the RK84 Limited Edition and the RK84 regular edition that I reviewed several weeks ago.
The only real differences here are of course the special colorway that the Limited Edition has compared to just solid white, and the switches that the keyboard has. The regular edition is available with blue, brown and red switches. The RK84 Limited Edition is only available with yellow switches.
For me personally, I love red switches, but I also really like yellow switches too. They are two pretty different types of switches as the yellow switches will be smoother and a bit more quiet than red switches. Of course, this all comes down to personal preference and what works, feels and sounds best to you.
Royal Kludge Software
This is the biggest drawback of the RK84. While you can perfectly use the keyboard without downloading the app, you need it if you want to unlock custom key settings, macro commands, personalized lighting effects, and update your keyboard’s firmware.
The first significant issue is it doesn’t have a Mac app; you must have a Windows PC to run it. Another thing is the app itself doesn’t feel well built. It feels like a half-baked solution made just so that people can customize their devices. While there’s not necessarily anything wrong with this, for me personally I want a really nice looking, easy to work with piece of software that I can quickly go in and make any changes that I wish to make.
You also have to spend considerable time figuring your way around making macros, assigning custom functions, and even disabling keys. Furthermore, creating custom lighting effects isn’t easy to understand. It took me a lot of time to get my desired pattern through trial and error.
Thanks to the awesome folks over at Royal Kludge for allowing me to review this product and others that they have sent over in the past. They have also provided me with a special discount code that anyone can use to save a total of 10% off of your entire purchase across their site. So, if you’re interested in purchasing the Royal Kludge RK84 Limited Edition, you can manually input DECRYPTED as the code during check out and then you should see your 10% discount applied immediately.
The Royal Kludge RK84 Limited Edition stands up to some serious competition. While most established brands like Corsair and Logitech offer mechanical keyboards way above this price point, models from boutique brands like the Keychron K2 offer an almost similar alternative at the same price.
However, the RK84’s 2.4GHz wireless dongle, removable frame, and unique white design make it an excellent option. This is despite its customization software, which lacks polish and feels like a half-baked effort to have advanced features for keyboard enthusiasts and professionals.
At $89.99, you’re getting a fully featured 75% wireless mechanical keyboard with a load of customization options. Its low price lets you have extra cash to spend on custom switches, keycaps, and USB-C cables. This makes the Royal Kludge RK84 Limited Edition an excellent entry-level mechanical keyboard for those new to the bespoke keyboard hobby.