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

Manufacturer: Rosewill

Introduction

Rosewill produces a whole lineup of products with seemingly incongruous variety. You can get matching brands for your blood pressure monitor, your wine opener, your DSLR bag, and your computer power supply. The vast majority of Rosewill's distribution flows through Newegg.

Their RK-9000 mechanical keyboard was manufactured by CoStar under the Rosewill branding. With that product, they brought a high quality mechanical keyboard to North America for a very decent price of just under a hundred dollars. For what might as well be considered a Filco keyboard, that is an outstanding price. It did not have media keys; it did not have backlighting; but it was a solid keyboard which felt great to type on and had outstanding performance.

Check out our video review of the Rosewill RK-9000 second generation and read on for the written review

At some point Rosewill decided to discontinue the RK-9000 without an official announcement. Beyond a sudden and sustained drop in availability, there was no evidence that the keyboard was no longer produced. A few silent months went by until Rosewill officially announced a second generation of RK-9000 mechanical keyboards. It was then clear why the RK-9000 was discontinued: it was being replaced and updated.

We were approached by the company to conduct a review of their recently released mechanical keyboards. Included was not just the Cherry MX Blue switched RK-9000, but also its three newly introduced siblings: the MX Brown switched RK-9000BR, the MX Black switched RK-9000BL, and the MX Red switched RK-9000RE. A little under three months ago we have received the review units and have been in the process of testing them ever since.

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What Rosewill was unaware of was that I am a proud owner of the original RK-9000 keyboard. This review is more than a review of Rosewill’s new products, but also will be a comparison between the new product and their original offering. Despite sharing a Newegg product page with its ancestor, the new keyboard is not identical. For good measure, I also have a Razer BlackWidow Ultimate lying around -- slightly dilute the oversaturation of the letter R in tested product names… albeit, not the company names.

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A new contender has enterkeyed.

If you happen to have an original RK-9000, is it time for an upgrade? If you are interested in all of the hoopla about mechanical keyboards, is this the correct time and place to dive in?

Check out our meticulous review of the new Rosewill RK-9000 mechanical keyboards.

All keyboards, with the exception of really funky ones like laser grids or touch screens, consist of a keycap which presses down upon some mechanism that signals a key press. The majority of keyboards are designed around a membrane that is pressed down upon and connects an electrical circuit. These keyboards can be very cheap to produce and are part of the reason for the revolution of cheap and disposable keyboards over the last couple of decades.

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A scissor-switch keyboard connects the keycap to the mechanism by two pieces of plastic which form a crisscross with each other for a very thin travel distance. A scissor-switch key is also very likely non-removable, so do not break your laptop by trying to pick off a key. Scissor-switch keyboards are also relatively quiet, and tend to have a long lifespan; they are also more expensive than a membrane keyboard.

So stop picking keys off your laptop! I can't put them back on!

A mechanical keyboard differs in that each mechanical key has a full mechanical switch beneath it. For those mechanical switches, you have several choices depending on what your personal requirements are.

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?

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.

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