The QPAD MK-85 mechanical keyboard ships in a huge cardboard box. The keyboard is securely fastened inside the box with two pieces of foam. Given the durable nature of the keyboard and the well-padded box I think it is pretty safe to say that no harm will come to the keyboard during shipping. That the keyboard is feature packed is highlighted on the front of the box.
The bundle for the QPAD MK-85 is pretty much the same as that of the MK-80. There is one big new addition and that is the inclusion of a driver suite intended for gamers who want to do custom functions and macros. You also get a key-cap remover and four bright orange keys.
Appearance wise not much has changed from the MK-80 to the MK-85. The only noticeable change besides the backlighting color is the G/PC LED in the top right corner.
Like its predecessor, QPAD have stuck with the soft-touch key-tops. These feel really good to touch, grippy and smooth, and judging from the MK-80 which has been through a lot since its review it is a surprisingly durable finish. The lettering on the keyboards is transparent. When used in daylight the lettering still retains a good amount of visibility without turning on the lights. For use in dim rooms the lighting feature makes sense.
QPAD offers the MK-85 keyboard with a lot of different switches from Cherry. The one we got for review features the Cherry MX Red keys. The keys have roughly half the actuation force compared to the Cherry MX Blacks which makes them slightly more comfortable to use in games. Some say that the lower actuation force yields more typing errors. This claim is probably true, coming from a Cherry MX Brown keyboard you definitely feel yourself making more errors. However the keyboard feels slightly more comfortable to type on once you are used to it. The error rate will probably go down as your fingers learn the keyboard. The acclimatization period will vary depending on how accustomed you are to typing on mechanical keyboards.
Cable quality wise the QPAD MK-85 is very good. Everything seems well engineered and the strain relief and braid quality is very high.
The connectors on the MK-85 are of a very high quality.
All twelve function keys have alternate functions that can be enabled by holding down the Fn key. The G/PC switch allows you to disable the Windows-keys even without the driver installed. The media keys work driverless as well.
QPAD have ditched the scroll-lock indicator LED in favor of adding one that indicates which mode the keyboard is in (Gaming/PC).
The frame of the keyboard is carried on from the MK-80 which is a good thing because it worked pretty well on that model. The USB and audio connectors are conveniently located on the top right side of the keyboard, close to the cable entry.
QPAD still ships a giant wrist rest with their gaming keyboards. The wrist rest works alright but it is still very ugly.
Like we saw on the MK-80, the MK-85 has a small ridge running around the keyboard.
The elevation system gives you three options: flat, slightly raised, fully raised. A neat little feature that helps you tailor the ergonomics to your liking.
The four intensity light system works well. It is just a shame that the lock-keys are not hooked up to the dimming system.