Review Index:

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

Manufacturer: Rosewill

Rosewill RK-9000 v1 Mini-Review

This keyboard has been discontinued and replaced with the second generation RK-9000 product line. This mini-review is not designed to guide your purchase, because it is unlikely that you can purchase it unused. This is designed to show you what has changed for the better and what has changed for the worse through Rosewill’s iteration. I believe for something as subjective as a keyboard it is as important as ever to get that perspective.

The RK-9000 was Rosewill’s first mechanical keyboard. Manufactured by CoStar, the RK-9000 was essentially a rebranded Filco Majestouch keyboard. With a retail value of $99 USD it is substantially cheaper than its Filco alternative which could retail just under twice as much or more in North America.

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Despite the reduced cost, even the Rosewill will induce sticker shock for most computer users as a $20 USD keyboard at your local department store is the norm. Even worse, there is no feature you can easily point to as justification: there is no backlighting, media keys, macro keys, wrist rest, etc. The actual reason for the cost is the lack of quality that drove the decline in prices of the other keyboards. Other keyboards have cheaper switches, shared circuitry between keys which lead to errors such as ghosting and jamming, and much less care in all-around durability and quality.

While an expensive mechanical keyboard might be worth the extra cost -- is the first generation RK-9000? In short, if you do not need bells and whistles and that style of keyboard suits you, it is extremely well worth the money.

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The design of the keyboard is extremely simple. It has none of the features like backlighting or media keys as listed above. The keyboard itself is quite heavy which is likely due to the mechanical switches as well as the metal plate they are attached to. This is bludgeoning potential which would make Kevin Rose smile. The keyboard is quite steady due to this weight as well as the rubber tips on the riser feet.

A common complained about the Rosewill RK-9000 is the lack of an included PS/2 adapter for a keyboard capable of full n-key rollover (NKRO) over PS/2. This is a minor albeit frequent complaint as it is not too difficult to acquire a USB to PS/2 adapter. I had one lying around the house. At the same point, it should have also been a fairly obvious and minor addition on Rosewill’s part that just stands out when not included.

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Typing on the keyboard is very pleasant. If you have fond memories of older keyboards, this keyboard will draw those to the surface. During the writing of this review, a co-worker of mine became very interested in purchasing a mechanical keyboard. With just a couple of minutes of usage he immediately stated how much he was reminded of when he was a PC Gamer back in the late 90’s. While he was not sure, from discussion I believe he was remembering using an IBM Model M.

When testing the actual performance: the keyboard supports NKRO over PS/2 as advertised and it responds excellently when face with a series of very rapid inputs. The actual benchmarks are available during the roundup portions of the review.

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For a short time I experienced an issue with my original RK-9000. While I have not seen the problem in several months, shortly after purchasing the keyboard I noticed it would occasionally double-register certain keystrokes here or there. As stated, it appears to have cleared up and also could be related to being accidentally dropped once a couple of days after I purchased it.

Ultimately, at the time the RK-9000 was well worth the money. It was superbly build and did what it set out to do very well. If you wanted extra features or the Cherry MX Blue switches did not suit your needs then you would obviously need to keep looking. If on the other hand the RK-9000 did sate all the essential boxes on your checklist then you will not be disappointed. You are pretty much assured that whatever your computer receives from your keyboard is whatever you gave it.

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
"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?

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

If you want a full mechanical keyboard you should check out they have a few one them on their site.

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