There’s something extremely satisfying about typing on the Rosewill RGB80 that you don’t quite get with your standard membrane switch keyboards. You’ve probably heard the telltale clickity clack that accompanies most mechanical keyboards and wondered, what’s the difference between this and the normal keyboard I already own? It’s simply one of those things that you need to experience, it’s like trying to explain the difference between 1080p and 4K, sure I can tell you all about how great it is, but it won’t mean too much until you get your hands on it and see the difference. This goes the same way for mechanical keyboards.
So you might not be familiar with Rosewill, and don’t worry not too many are which has kept a lot of their products like the RGB80 under the radar which is a shame because it’s a really great keyboard. The RGB80 comes in at what I’d consider the sweet spot for a mechanical keyboard, at just $99. It comes with 100% mechanical switches which are called Kailh switches they are similar to Cherry MX Blue switches, customizable RGB LED backlighting with up to 16.8 Million colors (after a future software update), as well as 6 different lighting modes, and fully programmable keys.
One of the first things you might notice is that it’s a very short keyboard and that’s because it’s a 10-keyless keyboard which means that it doesn’t have the number pad. You might be concerned, but you’d be surprised how little you actually use it, especially when gaming. This is great because it has such a small footprint which is perfect for those with smaller desks and limited space or even those who want more space for their mouse and mouse pad. The RGB80 also features a removable braided USB cable which is a great touch and isn’t common for keyboards in this price range. On the back of the keyboard you’ll notice that there are built in channels along the left, middle, and right sides that allows you to route the braided USB cable in three different positions. This is great for when you want to clean up the cabling on the top of your desk. These channels hold the braided USB cable gently so it doesn’t damage them, but I feel it should hold them a little tighter so it doesn’t just come out if you move your keyboard a little, this is an issue I encountered quite often. But if you don’t move your keyboard you should be fine because otherwise the keyboard is very solid.
It has four thick rubber strips that keep the RGB80 in place even through the most rigorous typing sessions as well as two fold out legs with rubberized feet that can keep the back of the keyboard propped up if you like that sort of thing. The entirety of the keyboard has that rubberized texture which gives it a nice feel when you’re transporting it around and also gives it a very uniform and minimalist look. Along the top of the keyboard sit the function keys which actually serve a dual purpose because they are very similar to a laptop keyboard specifically because of the addition of a Function button. This gives you access to the media buttons, volume control, as well as the six profiles which default to six different colors as well as a few different settings including a “Gaming/FPS” mode which lights up only WASD and the numbers as well as a few different ones that can change the brightness or turn off the backlighting entirely. There is a little bit of physical customization that is offered by the RGB80. Included in the box are ten clear keycaps and a small tool that help you replace the Q,W,E,A,S,D and UP, Down, Left, and Right arrow keys. The software customization options contrast what you see on the box which shows the keyboard being lit up using a few different colors at the same time and unfortunately that’s just not possible. The keyboard must be entirely one color. Maybe this will change when they update the software, but as it currently sits you must choose one color per profile.
Moving on to the software, the RGB80 comes included with some software that is definitely the most disappointing feature of this keyboard. The “TenKeyless” software is the most basic form of software possible with a very limited option for customization. You can select each key and assign a macro, or different key assignment, you can choose to launch a program or even disable the key entirely. Now with a keyboard without any additional keys I would find it difficult to assign macros to anything other than the F1-F12 buttons as all other keys are necessary with the normal use of a keyboard. While the box may make it seem like there’s quite a bit of customization to be had, it’s actually pretty barebones. Hopefully this software will transform into something much better down the line but currently you’re limited to 228 colors.
Despite all of the negatives in the software, I’m not entirely sure it even matters because you can always update bad software. The main point of a keyboard is to type and Rosewill’s RGB80 delivers an extremely enjoyable typing experience. The keys don’t get in your way when typing so you’re able to type without tripping over the keys. The Kailh switches give a great click and clack sound and the backlights are very simple which is how I like them to be. Don’t get me wrong, I love choice, but I’m more of a solid blue type person. I love the minimalist design as well as being a ten keyless keyboard it gives you much more room on your desk while looking simple and professional. It’s great while playing games as well as typing things up but I can’t recommend this for people who share a room with someone because by nature, Switches like this are really loud and can be quite annoying if you’re not the one hitting the keys. The LED backlighting is one of the big positive points here with clear and bright colored lights shining through every key you can be sure your keyboard will look great so long as you only want one color at a time. So for $99 you can get your hands on a high quality minimalist mechanical gaming keyboard that has solid performance, great build quality, and that sweet click and clack that the best mechanical gaming keyboards have.
Rosewill RGB80 Mechanical Gaming Keyboard
Build Quality & Design9.5
Ergonomics & Comfort9.5
Configurability & Software4.0
Unacceptable |Not Recommended | Acceptable| Recommended | Highly Recommended
The Rosewill RGB80 Mechanical Gaming Keyboard was reviewed using a review unit provided by Rosewill.