Rosewill NEON K81 RGB Gaming Keyboard Review

Usage

With our lighting all set, it was time to put the NEON K81 to the test. Since it is billed as a gaming keyboard, that is the first place we headed. For the last nine months or so, Fortnite Battle Royale has been our go-to to get our gaming fix. With the additional input needs of the game’s building mechanics, Fortnite was a great test to really see how the K81 performed. And while, it is my preference to use Red or Brown mechanical switches for gaming and general use, the Kailh Blue switches on the NEON K81 performed just fine for us after a bit of adjustment to their operation. General use of the keyboard, including the writing of a few of our latest reviews, is quite pleasing once you get past the extra noise associated with Blue-style switches. The distinct tactile feedback of the keyboard is great for typing, and the key cap sizes and layout had us feeling right a home the entire time.

The only real issue we had with the NEON K81 was with the wrist rest. Sure, it is nice that Rosewill included a wrist rest, it’s just unfortunate that it is of such poor execution. The fact that the wrist rest doesn’t attach to the keyboard itself, means that it must rely on its base to stay in place. Unfortunately, the textured base didn’t really stay put on any of the surfaces we tested it on. Add to it the fact that the rest is still bowed up on the ends at the end of our review period, and it might have been best to just leave the wrist rest out of the box.

Final Thoughts

Our time with the Rosewill NEON K81 RGB Gaming Keyboard has been a mostly positive experience. This is a keyboard with many great features, and only one real downside, in our opinion. With per-key RGB LED lighting, and a customizable RGB LED lighting rim, the K81 provides plenty of options for gamers looking to color coordinate their keyboard with the rest of their rig. With many pre-programmed lighting modes, and the ability to customize the lighting to your liking, the possibilities are nearly endless.

The build quality of the NEON K81 is amazing, with the top and bottom plates of the keyboard being made of metal. The choice to go with a mostly metal base resulted in a solid keyboard, with no flexing that we could find. With the option of either Kailh Blue or Brown switches, the K81 will suit the needs of most users, and we have really been impressed with all of the keyboards we have reviewed lately that use the Kailh switches.

While Rosewill may not be the first name that comes to mind when starting your search for gaming keyboards, we think they still deserve a look. And making the NEON K81 even more enticing is its price; currently $79.99 on Amazon. At that price, it becomes a much more attractive option, considering you will typically be at the $100 point for a similar keyboard from other manufacturers. Overall, ThinkComputers gives the Rosewill NEON K81 an 8 out of 10.

Pros

  • Solid build
  • Per-key RGB lighting
  • RGB LED rim

Cons

  • Awful wrist rest
  • No USB pass-through