Royal Kludge RK71 is a great budget compact keyboard with dedicated navigation keys, multimedia support, bright colors, and Bluetooth wireless connectivity.
- Ergonomic design
- Dedicated arrow keys and media buttons
- RGB lighting
- Shorter USB cable
- Red LED charging indicator while charging
RK61 is a 60% RGB mechanical keyboard, it’s a really great alternative over the other premium 60% keyboards like Ane Pro 2 and the Ducky One 2 Mini. But, Royal Kludge made a newer version of that keyboard, called RK71, and in this review, we’ll see how it turned out.
|Connection Mode||1. Bluetooth|
2. Wired-USB (Type-C)
|Keycap Material||ABS Double-Shot with Sweat-Proof Coating|
|Dimension||329 mm x 102 mm x 39 mm|
|Cable Length||1.5 m|
|Battery Life||1. Up to 360 Hours (Standby)|
2. Up to 24 hours (Active Usage)
|Function||Full Keys Anti-Ghosting|
|Key Lifespan||50 million times|
|Backlit Color||RGB (16.8 Million Colors)|
|Compatibility||Windows / macOS / Linux / iOS / Android / PS4 / XBOX One|
|Charging Time||3 Hours|
|Bluetooth devices||Up to 5 devices|
A First look
Royal Kludge RK71 is designed and compatible with both macOS and Windows. You can easily switch between them with a combination of Fn+S keys (to switch to Mac Mode) and Fn+A keys (to switch to Windows mode). It has universal function and shortcuts keys, such as application switch and brightness adjustment. While pressing FN+Left control, you can swap between function keys and number keys. Also, you can press FN + Left Alt to interchange Left Alt key and Windows key, while pressing FN + Capslock will interchange Caps lock and Left control.
There are some improvements over the RK61:
- Addition of the multimedia buttons.
- Via Bluetooth, you can connect up to five devices instead of three. You can do that holding down the function and pressing either of the QWERT keys. It’s a nice feature to not have to constantly pair and unpaired with different devices. Just select the profile and type away.
- Dual system and footpad included
The first difference between RK61 and this keyboard is size. It’s slightly bigger than RK61. The keyboard has the same thin bezels all around. It has 71 keys compact layout, so it can save a lot of space on your desk.
It’s really solid built, the top plate is made of aluminum, the lower plate is made of plastic. The keycaps don’t have any noticeable wobble. Despite RK61, RK71 has a dedicated arrow key included.
Also, they have two magnetic rubber feet for extra lift. The detachable cable is USB, and it’s shorter by an inch coming from the RK61. It can be an issue if your PC is far from your keyboard, but you can always pick up an extension cable so that’s not a huge problem.
The font on the keycaps is really nice, but it has a flat matte anti-slip coating, which doesn’t feel as smooth as the RK61. Bad thing is that they can pick up finger oils easily. That’s because this is a first-generation keyboard. The second generation has new ABS keycaps, the quality and feel are the same as PBT.
Keycaps are a single shot injection using white ABS plastic and they are just painted over it with black oil paint. That’s why it feels different than the RK61. If you don’t like them, you can swap them with any PBT or equivalent keycaps.
The typing experience is great, because of ergonomic design that eliminates the need for a kickstand. It’s always comfortable, for intense gaming marathons or long typing sessions. You will be used to typing on it really quickly with your usual typing speed. If you want to know how to improve your typing speed, check our tutorial here.
This keyboard only comes with 2 switch options: blue and brown switches. The total travel is 4.0 mm, and the work travel is 2.0±0.6 mm.
- Brown switch is a mix of typing and gaming switch. It is easier to trigger and slightly quieter than the blue switch. That enables you to double tap faster and it’s good for typists because they have good tactile feedback.
- Blue switches felt lighter and more satisfying to use. They requiring an actuation force of 60 grams. It has a similar feel as Cherry blues when typing, while they using 50 grams of actuation force.
The RGB lighting is one of the best features of this keyboard, just like in RK61. It has 5 full-color backlight, 18 RGB backlight modes, and 8 monochrome backlight modes. If that isn’t enough for you, then I don’t know what else to say…
Changing brightness is possible with FN + Down and FN + Up arrow keys and the animation speed with FN + Left and FN + right arrow keys. You can fully customize each individual key using software or select a wide variety of effects from a menu. But to use this software, first, you need to install firmware here.
Royal Kludge RK71 has really cool accent lighting on the sides, giving your desk a bit of ambiance. You can control that by holding down the function and insert key. You can set one of six static colors or breathing effect that cycles through all the colors.
All of these modes are very nice at night when you gaming or typing. It’s very useful because that makes it very easy to locate while approaching the desk in the dark. Also, you can turn that off.
The battery life is pretty good. It has a 1000mAh battery built-in, so it can last full week with on and off use. But if you’re using the keyboard constantly with the RGB feature you can get up to 5 days of use from a full charge. There is one battery saving feature, the lights are shutting off after a minute of inactivity.
There is just one small bad thing, the LED charging indicator on the space bar. While charging it’s always red, which will throw off the rest of the colors. But that light will shut off when your keyboard is fully charged.
As it comes to gaming, it’s recommended to play wired for competitive gameplay, because Bluetooth have small latency. You wouldn’t even notice that if you’re playing casually or just typing.
Some people like clicky switches, so they can feel every keypress while gaming. Instead of them, some prefer linear switches, so they can focus on game sounds. But, that is subjective. I think that it is more important to focus on the game, instead of thinking about how keyboard sounds. You can always use a pair of headphones, to eliminate that sounds.
This is the only keyboard that not only satisfies the Windows customer base but Mac users as well.
Overall, this keyboard is a great value for what you get. The price is competitive, so we can say that this is a stunning budget mechanical keyboard.
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