So recently, we’ve looked at a couple boards from bigger gaming brands that, for various reasons, were a bit of a letdown, and i mentioned that keycron is a brand. You want to keep an eye on, particularly if you like unique form factors, mac, os compatibility, bluetooth, wireless and hot, swap, which to me, is becoming more and more of a must, have top tier feature, especially if you’re still trying to figure out what switches you like. So today i have their k8, which is their tkl wireless version, but they also have a 65 and a 75 layout that, according to a recent twitter poll, are dominating in the enthusiast space right now, we’re gon na look at the stock experience today and we’ll. Do some basic mods to see if we can really level up the performance of this board? You ready let’s go Music. So, as i said, kikron offers a ton of different configurations, features and price points. What we have here today is the ka tkl wireless rgb version with the aluminum case, it’s priced as shown at like 99 us and that’s, not a bare bones. That’S switches and caps included for transparency. Kikron did send this unit out for review. As always, there was no other compensation involved, it doesn’t affect anything i have to say about it and they didn’t get to hear or see any aspect of this review. It’S also important for me to know today that i’ve had this in house for about six months.
Now so it’s entirely possible that they’ve revised or corrected some of the opportunities that i’m gon na point out right off the rip. The aluminum version here is less of a chassis and more of like a wrap around aluminum frame. It creates a tray like situation on the top where the edges are sort of high profile, but the spacing in between the key groups are still recessed. The underside is pretty simple: with dual height flip down feet and plastic, you attach cables at the top left corner of the board on the side, which is weird, but it is usbc. The included cable is a right angle, which is nice, but if you’re going to use a custom, you’ll want to use a right angle, adapter off that usbc i’ll link a couple cheap options down in the description. You also have a couple switches here to toggle between android, slash, pc and mac os, and you have a power toggle for cable, bluetooth and off this power switch is somehow both mushy and stiff. At the same time, doesn’t really inspire confidence overall it’s, a pretty clean, aesthetic out of the box. The caps are oem profile and they’re abs. They don’t capture fingerprints as bad as i thought they would and that two tone gray with the orange accent, is a clean. Look, i feel like this works well in a lot of different setups. They do kind of have like a sticky chalky feeling to them for a little bit until you break them in sort of like the old thai house inside the box, you’ll find additional modifier keys to support either mac or pc, and a couple additional escape cap options.
One being stock gray, if that, like pop of orange isn’t, your thing there’s, a cheap oem cat puller and switch puller in there as well. They are shine through, which was pretty surprising, not because they’re abs, mostly because the font is so minimal, clean and small – that the last thing i expected the legends to be was backlit. I will say the back lighting is not super bright here, i’m sure that’s in an effort to save battery life, but it’s worth pointing out, of course, with the standard layout. You can replace these with any keycaps you like and with tkl being a standard size. Just about any keycap set you find, regardless of price, will work just fine when you get into the more specialized layouts like 65 and 75. You’Ll need to go with more specific and often higher priced keycap options just pointing out too that my right bracket key came with the top corner, sheared completely off, which was super weird. Underneath those caps, this board came with gatoron reds, but the big highlight here is that the board is hot, swap these are north facing, for you shine through keycap fans out there, and they have five pin supports. So no clipping your precious switches pcb is black as well, which i really like the stabilizers here are plate mounted. Unfortunately they seem to be a cherry clone. You can see that they’re lubed from the factory but it’s pretty inconsistent. What i mean is that there’s, a thin lube in the housing, that’s pretty sparse and then like a dot of heavy grease on the wire when you look at them from the underside, the wire looks like it’s, actually lubed pretty well with what appears to be dielectric.
Grease being hot swap, these are easy to access and mod, which would be the bare minimum for these at least a good clip and a lube, which i did opt to do here. If you want, you can replace these as well with options from cherry durock or novel keys on the top side of the pcb they’ve included. These colored zones that happen to make it really helpful if you’re trying to position band aid, mods or stat pads overall, the out of the box typing experience, is probably not going to blow you away. The bluetooth has actually been really reliable. It’S fast it’s solid, the board connects to the pc really fast as well when you power it on. I have no issues with that at all it. Just doesn’t sound like a nice board and the stem wobble is really apparent, so it doesn’t really feel like a premium typing experience either add in some stabilizer rattle some ping from the switches and some case resonance and you’ve got a recipe for a board that just Doesn’T sound great out of the box, so keeping in mind that this is a complete board at 99 it’s, not a premium stock experience, but it’s not priced as one either. I like what they’re doing over at kikron it’s really interesting times right now, because we have many more affordable options entering the market. The only players that seem to be missing the mark completely are those big box, gaming brands that’s.
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You shouldn’t big thanks to curiositystream for sponsoring today, and thank you for your time. I really appreciate it so luckily, the flexible nature of this board does allow for modding, so let’s do exactly that. First thing is some new switches. These are the everglide aqua king v3 linears. These are really heavily lubed from the factory and, in my opinion, these stock linear. To look for, if you don’t want to go through the trouble of lubing your own switches, these do feel a little sluggish or over lubed at first, but you break these in. For a while and they’re great, pretty top tier, sound right out of the box as well, no ping no spring crunch they’re higher pitched than like ink, blacks or h1s, not as high pitched as like a tangent, i went with the lighter spring weight here as well. I really really like these shout out to prevail kiko for these they’re about 67 bucks for a 90 pack or 50 bucks for a 70 pack that will cover your 60 or 65 builds. I did opt to both clip and lube. These stabs 205 grade 0 on the housing and dielectric grease on the wire, and i did use stab pads as well and we’ll need to do something about the case interior because there’s zero sound dampening material in there at all and it’s gon na amplify all the Sounds we don’t, like you, can attack this a few different ways with the cheapest and easiest way, just being some packing foam that works i use sorbethane, sometimes on these it’s, like 25, a sheet, though, on amazon this time i opted to go with a simple silicone.
Mod after i saw a daily setup text, video on the board he did for mkbhd. I grabbed this off amazon for, like 16 bucks, you just level the board, you seal all the openings mix and let it sit there for like an hour or so and you’re good to go after getting all the mix in here, it’s pretty clear that i could Have used about 50 more to avoid like that ice cube, tray effect, but that would have driven the cost of the dampener well above the amount we’d have paid for sorba thing. I did have to leave the battery in here, so i wouldn’t have to trim around it. It’S a big boy too it’s, like 4 000 milliamp hours, so battery life is never really an issue with this. They do list it at 15 hours with rgb off outside of a little leakage. On the case, this worked like a charm, took about an hour and a half. The only thing i will caution you about using silicone with this board is that the aluminum case version is not really an aluminum case, like i said so, you’re not going to get the ping that normally comes with an aluminum case, it’s. Essentially, an all plastic tray mount using silicone will absorb the negative sound, but it also may absorb some of the sonic character from your switches that you like, as well, set a different way. If you have switches that you already really like the sound of and you’ve done, the necessary mods to your stabilizers here, you may prefer to not have any sound dampening inside here.
Acoustics is all about tuning the board to your preference, so this board transformed into a really decent board for around 185 bucks, with the bulk of the upgrade cost being the switches. If that doesn’t sound budget. Given the recent release of the gmmk pro just remember that you’re starting at 170 dollars for a bare bones and then you’re adding switches and caps on top of that, so a fully built out gm mmk pro can still get up there in price point here we Have a bluetooth wireless tkl with backlighting that feels sounds and looks great. You can take the same approach that we use today and apply it to any board in keychron’s lineup and come away with similar results. For me, i would go with the k6, their wireless 65. The only factor there being that it will require more specialized keycap sets, keep in mind too that aluminum, full rgb, wireless and hot swap all add to the cost of the base board itself before mods. So you technically could come in at a much lower price point. Like their newer c1 tkl, it’s hot swap it’s no wireless with a white backlight you can get in for, like 55 bucks it’s an easy recommend, i’m. A fan of what key cron is doing at the budget. End of the spectrum. You could definitely go with cheaper switches than we used today. You could even go with the stock switches and do stabilizer mods and some noise dampening and still come away with a really solid budget board, as always links down in the description for everything that we talked about today.
Any questions hit me in the comments and that’s.