Review Index:
Feedback

Rosewill Second Generation Mechanical Keyboard Review: RK-9000, RK-9000BR, RK-9000BL, RK-9000RE

Manufacturer: Rosewill

Mechanical Keymodule Producers: Debate and Switch

There are a few types of mechanical switches in existence with the overwhelming majority of designs from ZF Electronics (owners of Cherry Corp.), or Alps Electric. It is actually debatable whether most alternative designs are even mechanical switches rather than specialized versions of other types such as capacitive or membrane. Of course a keyboard such as a buckling-spring Model M might perform as good as or better than a mechanical keyboard, but I would not necessarily call it one.

ALPS Switches

View Full Size

There are several types of ALPS mechanical switches for keyboards. Unfortunately for anyone attempting to create a guide for them, there is no set specification for their products. ALPS switch designs have changed over time, have been cloned by others, and a categorized by color codes which seem more like a rough set of guidelines contaminated with exceptions.

You could have still used an ALPS switch at some point, however. Guitar Hero controllers have used ALPS-style switches for their strumming mechanism. If you have heard a Guitar Hero controller click at some point, the presence of a mechanical switch should not surprise you. The other popular place to have experienced an ALPS switch is in the old Apple Extended Keyboard before it was cancelled in 1990.

Cherry Corp. Switches

View Full Size

Cherry Corp. has a product line that is very static and very well documented. Their product catalog has nearly complete information about each switch; each switch has a color and style code that is strictly adhered to; and each product has a defined purpose. ZF Electronics even goes to the effort to publish a curve for each switch to state how many centinewtons of resistance you will feel with each fraction of a millimeter the plunger has traveled. It is obvious that Cherry has the advantage in documentation especially when contrasted to Alps.

There are two categories of mechanical switches: the MX full-sized keymodule line, and the ML thin-form keymodule line. The MX line comes in many colors: some are great for certain keyboards, some are designed for space bars; some are common, some are extremely rare and costly. The ML line only has one product, often called the Cherry ML Black keymodule as a result of its black colored key plunger. The ML Black is the switch of choice for the Optimus Maximus keyboard, that keyboard you keep seeing pictures of with OLED screens for every keycap.

Yes I know about the Cherry MY switches...

I consider those membrane switches, not mechanical switches.

The second generation Rosewill RK-9000 offers the choice between the Cherry MX Blue, Cherry MX Brown, Cherry MX Black, and Cherry MX Red.

February 14, 2012 | 03:09 PM - Posted by Eggrenade

No input lag test? With high speed cameras as cheap as they are today? For shame.

February 15, 2012 | 11:37 AM - Posted by ToiT (not verified)

Great review Scott, thanks & keep up the good work!

February 16, 2012 | 08:22 PM - Posted by tigerbalm

$99.99...really? I bought the Corsair K90 for $99 at Fry's and it is far superior to the cheap Rosewill in every way! The Corsair is like an Audi, while the Rosewill is like driving a Hyundai. I thought the Rosewill would be $50, considering it offers nothing other than mechanical keys! The Corsair K90 is the best looking, aluminum chassis, MMo buttons, blue backlit keys, USB port, wrist support, etc. it just looks awesome! Not sure if the Rosewill is even worth more than $40, IMO...when compared to Razer, Corsair, etc. Rosewill doesn't look like it offers any features or creative design value for the money. Sorry for the harsh opinions, Rosewill, but you have to a LOT better and think outside the box!

March 23, 2012 | 09:18 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Unfortunately the corsair IS NOT fully mechanical.

October 14, 2012 | 08:22 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Don't listen to this guy people. For one thing, are you a gamer? If you are, then by all means... Razer and Corsair will offer you more features because they are geared towards you! However, if you are not a gamer, but a serious workaholic, like me, who has a bit of money to splurge on a superior, serious looking keyboard than the Rosewill fits your niche. The Rosewill is an excellent keyboard in every way and on top of not making you look like a 16 year old, it comes with Newegg's excellent warranty as well as superior internals, in my opinion, and better construction. The Rosewill has a very excellent red back plate that makes that occasional deep cleaning much easier. To each his own, but I say that keyboards like Rosewill RK 9000 are what seperate the keyboard enthusiast men from boys. The men can truly see and appreciate the engineering and aesthetic behind Rosewill's design instead of just looking at how many backlit LEDs and Macro keys your keyboard has. To each his own.

February 23, 2012 | 06:47 PM - Posted by TinkerToyTech

great animated GIFS! Great breakdown of what eash swtich is and how they work

April 17, 2012 | 03:08 PM - Posted by MeNotYou (not verified)

Great review

April 17, 2012 | 03:16 PM - Posted by tater2sacks (not verified)

Would love to Win one
How?
"Join us as we rattle away on the lovely mechanical keyswitches of Corsair's aluminum-clad Vengeance K60 and K90 keyboards."

April 21, 2012 | 02:15 PM - Posted by Scott Michaud

... what?

October 27, 2014 | 07:53 AM - Posted by Ollie (not verified)

However, there will be an HTC shop opening soon at the Panthip Plaza if you're looking for
some Windows Phone 7 or Android goodness in your life. Like Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai town is home to numerous temples or 'Wat'.
This is a somewhat expensive place but you can get some delightful items that
are worth the expense.

My web-site - ที่ท่องเที่ยวจังหวัดเชียงใหม่

April 22, 2012 | 12:55 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

I would have loved to see a new IBM type M keyboard (they are still made by Unicomp) as a compairison in this test as well. Those are the keyboards that all other "clicky" keyboards are measured by.

December 30, 2013 | 09:34 AM - Posted by Allthunbs

I grew up with the IBM keyboards. They weren't that fantastic. I did use a sponge pad keyboard for a while until it burned out and found it to be the fastest and most accurate keyboard I'd ever used. They had to be cleaned periodically so that made them unpopular. They were also huge, heavy, ugly but they worked like a charm. They are no longer available and not compatible with any of the PC/Mac/Unix worlds of today.

I'm having a huge problem and would welcome comments by anyone:

I'm looking for a production level dual-detent keyboard. It used to be available with hall effect switches but I cannot find that configuration any more either. The problem with the cherry switches is that the detent happens before the character is registered. I used to use the detent to register the character and then began to withdraw my finger. I can't do that with the cherry switches. The only thing I can do with them is use an "o"ring. The action would then be depress, detent would pull the key away but that would not signal my finger to withdraw so I'd have to use the o-ring for resistance but that's too strong so it becomes an effective bottoming out.

I'm also thinking that I add a foam pad under the keycap to replace the O-ring and that would serve as the soft bottom but if I'm thinking about it, surely someone has already done it so I'm wondering how that's working out?

Any other suggestions/comments?

January 31, 2014 | 11:31 PM - Posted by Georgetta (not verified)

Wow that was unusual. I just wrote an really long comment but after
I clicked submit my comment didn't show up. Grrrr... well I'm not writing all that over again.
Anyways, just wanted to say great blog!

Review my webpage: seo

August 15, 2013 | 01:14 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

If you want a full mechanical keyboard you should check out http://www.dsi-keyboards.com/mechanical-switch-keyboards.aspx they have a few one them on their site.

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd> <blockquote><p><br>
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.

More information about formatting options

By submitting this form, you accept the Mollom privacy policy.