Kogan RGB Mechanical Keyboard Review
Kogan is an online-only retailer dating back to 2006 when it got started selling LCD televisions. The TVs were branded as Kogan assembled in Chinese factories and then shipped out to Australian customers. These TVs brought new features and tech to the masses at a fraction of the price of similarly specced TVs at the time. Since then Kogan has continued to expand not only its hardware range but also its services, no seriously you can get everything from Kogan Internet to Kogan Pet insurance. So you can see the Kogan brand certainly has some buying power behind it.
From their website, Kogan promises: “An unwavering commitment to provide Aussies with better value products and services.”
More and more Kogan are edging their way into the gaming market, so we thought now is the perfect time to take a look at some of their offerings.
Why this Keyboard?
OK so let me start this off by making one thing very clear, this is an entry-level Keyboard and will be judged in accordance to its price point. We managed to scoop this one up for a very reasonable $29 AUD (about $20 USD) which puts it against the $29.95 J.Burrows Wireless Bluetooth Keyboard from Officeworks and the Dell Multimedia Keyboard from JB HI-FI at $22.
The RGB Mechanical Keyboard is a super simple design and almost feels like the bare bones of a board, like a template a manufacturer would buy in bulk then skin later on. It’s a little less minimalistic and a little more… unfinished. The aluminium backplate is a nice surprise and the chrome border helps class it up just a little. It’s a full-sized Keyboard which means it includes a number pad as well.
The keyboard is significantly more sturdy than I was expecting which is another huge bonus. No noticeable board flex during everyday typing, and only marginal flex during heated combat.
Some notable features that are missing on the board include standalone multimedia keys, a volume knob or dial is a must for me these days, no wrist wrest and no cable management options. While these are all great to have some of these aren’t even present on much more expensive offerings from the bigger brands.
I gotta mention as well the font choice is crazy! In particular, the letter ‘B’ and the symbols that run across the top with the numbers, they all look just a little odd. Overall though I would say I was pleasantly surprised with the look and feel of the board keeping the price tag in mind.
Performance and Specs
The RGB Mechanical Keyboard boasts the following features:
- 9 LED backlight modes
- Mechanical brown switches
- 26-key anti-ghosting
- Metal top cover
- PVC USB cable with magnetic ring
- Windows key lock
Taking a closer look at some of the features is where the board gets a bit interesting. While yes, the board does have RGB lighting it’s customisation is limited to only 9 preset patterns. The RGB strips themselves are a single colour for each row, meaning row Q though P is always green, A through L is always blue and Z though M is Pink. You still have control over brightness and speed for the 9 modes but the colours will always remain the same.
The Brown switches are indeed Brown however just not cherry MX Brown. The switches still feel more than acceptable when typing or gaming and make a relatively satisfying, slightly muted, click.
The board claims 26-key anti-ghosting, while it doesn’t specify what keys those 26 are, from my testing it appears to favour the left side of the board and the directional keys. In testing I was able to register 15 simultaneous key presses on the left of the keyboard QWER, ASDF, ZXCV, Caps, Shift and Alt before I ran out of fingers, but on the right side of the board, I could only get UIOP and J before the board refused to register any further presses. I’m paying this in favour of Kogan here giving them the benefit of the doubt that this was a conscious design choice. The left side and directional keys are, of course, are primarily the ones used for gaming.
Although not mentioned on any of the documentation nor on the website, the keyboard does have the ability to disable the Windows Key functionality which is a super nice touch for gaming.
Who’s it for?
So who is the Kogan RGB Mechanical Keyboard for? Certainly not for a competitive esports gamer, nor an office worker. The Kogan RGB Mechanical Keyboard is for first-time PC builders on a budget. Or as a nice little upgrade for someone still stuck with a HP keyboard their parents brought home from work for you that one time…
Kogan RGB Mechanical Keyboard
- PERFORMANCE - 65%65%
- DESIGN - 60%60%
- QUALITY - 64%64%
- VALUE - 87%87%
The Kogan RGB Mechanical Keyboard has far more character than a generic low-end membrane board you’ll pick up from any big brand retail store at a similar price. While it has to be said that the Kogan RGB Mechanical Keyboard is far from perfect, the features it does manage to include making it a tempting offering for any young up-and-coming gamer on a budget.
For more on Kogan gaming products, check out our previous coverage.