Rosewill NEON K85 RGB Keyboard Review 3

Rosewill NEON K85 RGB Keyboard Review

Disassembly »

Closer Examination

Taking the NEON K85 RGB out of the sleeve, we find that it suddenly has a wrist rest that is just as long as itself. A modified 104+4 key US ANSI layout greets us here, and there are no other layout options available. There is an aluminum frame on the keyboard, although the wrist rest itself is a hard matte plastic in finish. A traditional black color scheme with white legends greets us, and the only real marking is the subtle Rosewill logo on the wrist rest which, along with the keyboard's clean design, gives us the option to use it in any environment.

Three of the four extra keys present in the top-right corner as seen from the front are for volume control, and the fourth opens the calculator in Windows - an odd choice, but fair enough. The Num Pad has secondary legends printed alongside the primary ones, which would be good for uniform backlighting, but also means you are cramped for space, especially on keys such as 9/Pg Up. Legend placement is top-center for all keycaps, so we see more of the same in the alphanumeric section as well. There are some keyboard-specific sets of secondary legends that are located below the primary legends, so this may impact backlighting uniformity. There is a silver trim of the edges to add some flair to the keyboard as well.

Aha, the mystery of that wrist rest is solved now. Rosewill provides us with a foldable wrist rest here, and when folded, it ends up propping the keyboard flat too. In fact, I would say go ahead and try the keyboard both ways to see which configuration you prefer. Having such a design allows for a smaller package and also makes it more convenient to transport if need be.

On the back, we see two latches which help with the folding of the wrist rest. You can thus also unscrew the latch to completely remove said writs rest. There is a QC sticker next to a label in the middle with the certification stickers, company logo, and unit's serial number, and cutouts in the ABS plastic bottom panel allow for cable routing with three options to choose from. This is good to see and will help account for cable management on a desk with other items around the keyboard, and there are nubs on the routing options off to the sides to help keep the cable in place too. The keyboard has four rubber pads on its corners and, also given its size, is not going to budge at all on your average desk surface. There are also two case feet that can be raised to elevate the keyboard if need be, and we see that these feet have rubber pads to prevent scratches and provide more friction when used.

The keyboard's cable is non-detachable and comes out of a cutout in the middle of the top by default, although it can be routed elsewhere as seen above. The cable terminates in a standard male USB Type-A connector. USB 3.0 (3.1 Gen 1) is recommended so as to be well above the current-draw requirements for all the RGB LEDs here, which should not be a concern for the intended audience today. I would have liked to see a USB pass-through or hub on this keyboard, but the lack of one is not a deal breaker by any means.

Taking a look from the side, we see side plates with the Rosewill logo, and here is also where we can get a better look at the wrist rest in action and when folded to see how it affects the keyboard's profile. The keycaps follow an OEM profile with the usual sculpted rows as seen in the images above. They are made out of ABS plastic (average wall thickness of 1.14 mm here), and as the typeface indicated, the primary and secondary (generic ones) legends are doubleshot injected. This is great in that they will not wear off anytime soon, although the keyboard-specific secondary legends being laser etched does take away from this in that they will wear off sooner rather than later. Their placement below the primary legends also means they do not get backlit as well. There is one more thing to point out here - the sides of the keycaps have a glossy finish. Rosewill says this to be on purpose as it helps reflect backlighting further since a floating keycap design is used, and it works alright in practice, but not to where I can see a change vs. all matte keycaps. That said, the bottom row is "standard" in that you have a lot of replacement keycap sets to choose from if you so desire.

As mentioned before, the NEON K85 RGB uses Kailh switches, and I have here one of each type with the Kailh Blue and the Kailh Brown switch. Both have a translucent housing with an opening at the top, wherein the LED under the switch shines through and the housing further diffuses light in other directions. The larger switches have Cherry-style stabilizers, and this and the floating keycap design do make removing and installing them easier. No rattling on either sample here, although the mushy feeling on the space bar remains as a result of the stabilizer design.
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