Rosewill NEON K81 Overview
Being a full 108-key layout, the K81 gives access to a full 10-key layout, along with a few dedicated multimedia keys. As with most keyboards that allow for on-board customization, the K81 makes use of an FN key to allow certain keys to pull double-duty. These key combinations can be used to adjust the lighting effects of not only the switches, but the illuminated outer rim as well.
With the K81 out of the box, the first thing we noticed was the heft of the keyboard. A metal base and top plate add a good deal of weight to the keyboard, which lends the K81 to feeling very solid, a feature we love to find on keyboards. Sandwiched between these metal layers is a plastic light rim that has a frosted texture that gives off a matte lighting effect when the LEDs behind it are illuminated. This rim makes its way around the entire keyboard, providing smooth, rounded edges at each corner.
The black top plate has a nice satin finish to it, and the only visible branding is a very subtle black Rosewill nameplate above the arrow keys.
The side profile of the K81 shows a curved keytop layout, a quite common feature. It is at this angle that you can clearly see the light rim just beneath the polished edge of the top plate. The Kailh Blue switches that our review sample came with can be seen sitting atop the top plate in this view as well.
Rosewill offers the NEON K81 in two Kailh mechanical switch types; Blue and Brown. While we were a bit surprised that Rosewill chose Brown instead of Red, we are glad that they offer two types of tactile feelings. With 4.0mm of travel, our K81’s Kailh Blue switches provide a distinguished sound and feel when in use. After removing the ABS keycaps, we can clearly see the blue switch stems, along with some of the internal copper mechanics.
Providing connectivity between the K81 and your PC is a 5.9ft braided USB cable. Exiting the keyboard from the center, the braided cable is quite flexible compared to some keyboards we have encountered. We really like this small difference, as it makes moving the keyboard around a much smoother process, and the flexibility makes cable management that much easier.
The bottom base of the K81 is about as plain as can be. Aside from a few rubber pads and two adjustable feet, the only other items of note are the standard product sticker and a QC label.