Rosewill NEON K81 RGB Gaming Keyboard Review


While you can make adjustments to the NEON K81 on the keyboard directly, Rosewill also provides an application for further customization of the keyboard. We do like the inclusion of on-board adjustments, but it can be confusing at times to figure out exactly which key combination changes what, so we really like that Rosewill has provided a software application. Not only does the program allow you to fine tune your lighting, it also lets you create macros and set up multiple profiles for different use cases. After a quick download and install, we were presented with a very basic looking application window featuring four major sections: Customize, Lighting, Gaming Mode, and Macro. There is also a Profile section that allows you to save different profiles for different uses.

In the Customize portion of the application, you can adjust the function of every key, giving way to some pretty cool custom functions. For example, the key in the upper-right corner of the keyboard is labeled “Cal”, and by default will open the Calculator application in Windows. We used the option of “Run Program” to reconfigure the key to open up Google Chrome and take us to YouTube. There are multiple options available for each key, and you can even disable keys if you want.

The Lighting section lets you adjust not only the RGB switch lighting, but the rim lighting as well. Rosewill has provided 19 options for switch lighting right out of the box, and six rim lighting options. You can also create a custom layout with the “UserDefine” option, and nearly every one of the premade settings can be adjusted with regards to color, direction, speed, and brightness. You can also use a simple slider to disable all lighting. One thing we found odd was that there was only a single color available in the “Rim Static” and “Rim Breathing” modes. With either of these options selected, the rim is only allowed to illuminate in a light blue color. This seems like a bit of an oversight, as we think you should be able to set the static color to whatever you like. We would have also liked to see the ability to adjust each rim LED individually to give a custom look.

Below are a few examples of some of the lighting modes that you can find on the NEON K81.

The options available in the Gaming Mode area are quite limited, but powerful in their use. It is here that you can enable or disable Game Mode, which then allows you to disable a few key combinations that might get in the way when gaming. These include Alt + Tab, Alt + F4, and the Windows key. Each of these options can be selected individually, and we were happy to see options other than just disabling the Windows key for Gaming Mode.

Macro configuration is available in the Macro section of the K81’s application, and it allows you to record both key and mouse events that can then be assigned to keys for use later on. This can be quite handy when using an application or doing work that requires a repetitive combination of keystrokes; simply record a macro for your function, assign it to a key, and away you go. Just keep in mind that the use of macros is considered to be cheating in many online games, so use these with caution when gaming.