Kinesis Gaming TKO Tournament Keyboard Review 2

Kinesis Gaming TKO Tournament Keyboard Review



Kinesis Gaming Logo

Kinesis, and in particular Kinesis Gaming, is not new to TechPowerUp. We covered the launch product of the ergonomically-driven gaming peripheral brand, the Freestyle Edge, nearly three years ago, and they have since come out with an RGB version of the same that may well get a review here soon depending on my schedule. Established in 2016, the brand has gotten into eSports sponsorship as well with Team Kinesis and released a mouse and mouse pad to complement their product range. Today, they release an all-new keyboard that is a departure from their split keyboard forte but retains the parent company's emphasis on ergonomics all the same. Enter the TKO Tournament keyboard, and thanks again to the company for sending a review sample to TechPowerUp!

The Kinesis Gaming TKO Tournament (henceforth only Kinesis Gaming TKO in this review for convenience) is a 60% keyboard named after the technical knock out result in combat sports and employed in certain video games, as well as a reference to TenKeyless 0 (zero) to indicate it is smaller than TKL. The competitive gaming world especially has been getting into smaller form factor keyboards of late, with a few mainstream brands getting into them as well. It makes sense given the portable nature of the product coupled with only needing a specific, often smaller number of dedicated keys for gaming. With the TKO, Kinesis Gaming aims to offer their take on the smaller form factor, which includes a few ergonomic tweaks you won't really see elsewhere. We will cover all this and more in this review that begins with a look at the specifications below.


Kinesis Gaming TKO Tournament Keyboard
Layout:60% form factor in a modified US ANSI layout, other language support dependent on your region
Material:ABS plastic case, PBT plastic keycaps, and aluminium frame
Macro Support:Yes
Weight (total):0.55 kg/1.2 lbs.
Wrist Rest:No
Anti-ghosting:Full N-Key rollover USB available
Media Keys:Available as a layered function
Dimensions:114 (L) x 295 (W) x 33 (H) mm
Cable Length:6 ft/1.8 m
Switch Type:Choice of Kailh BOX Red, Brown, or White RGB switch
Backlighting:Yes, per-key 16.8 M RGB
Warranty:One year

Packaging and Accessories

In a normal world, Kinesis Gaming operates a web shop as well, so taking a look at the shipping packaging makes sense. We see the use of an aptly sized cardboard box with plenty of packing peanuts all around the product packaging itself, so this checks all the boxes on my list. Note that as of the time of this review, the Kinesis Gaming store is closed due to COVID-19, but their products still ship from e-tailers, including Amazon. Hopefully, it is not too long before this section is relevant again!

The product box comes in a plastic wrap to keep things clean, and removing it, we see a departure from the colorful black and blue aesthetics employed on the Kinesis Gaming Freestyle Edge box. Indeed, we have a mostly black, extremely minimalist design with "TKO" and "Tournament Keyboard" written on the front in the center and a sketch of the keyboard on the back. It is on the side where we see the Kinesis Gaming logo and inventory badges that tell you more about the specific keyboard inside, including layout and switch type.

There is a single seal in the middle, and side flaps keep the contents inside in place during transit. Opening the box, we see more cardboard packaging separating an inner bag as well as accessories that come with the keyboard and are individually packed in plastic bags. This includes a full size space bar with Cherry-style stabilizers pre-installed for safe-keeping during shipping, two "switch covers" we will get to in due time, and a replacement Menu keycap that is made out of thick PBT plastic with doubleshot injected legends that are backlighting compatible.

Kinesis Gaming also includes possibly the best-feeling keycap and switch puller combo unit I have had to date. The logo is in the middle, and either end is taken up by a puller tool. We see a near-perfect wire keycap puller with thick enough wires that are perfectly held in place to remove keycaps and not bend outwards. The other side has a switch puller, which tells us that the TKO likely employs hot-swappable switches. Kinesis Gaming also included a set of four Kailh BOX Red (linear) and BOX White (tactile+clicky) switches each to show off the other options.

I was not expecting to see this! Inside the product box is a fantastic travel case, well built with attention to detail, including the subtle logo upfront and the TKO on the zippers. Inside is a sturdy mold shaped to fit the keyboard and the cable very well, and the carry handle makes it comfortable to pack and carry around in a complementary addition to the tournament keyboard marketing here.

Underneath the keyboard is a very handy quick start guide (online version here) which goes through all the salient features and is packed with details on all sides. I highly recommend keeping it close, at least until you have the TKO completely configured to your needs given the extreme nature of plug, configure, and play employed here. The keyboard cable is detachable, well built, and with nice black sleeving and protectors on each connector. The cable goes from a male USB Type A connector on one end to a male USB Type-C connector on the other, hinting towards the use of Type-C connectivity on the keyboard itself.
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Jun 29th, 2022 08:02 EDT change timezone

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