If you’ve never used a mechanical keyboard you owe it to yourself to experience the wonders that Cherry MX switches bring to PCs around the world. The Rosewill Illuminated Mechanical Gaming Keyboard RK-9100 with Cherry MX Blue Switch that we reviewed today runs $109.99 shipped. If you want to go with the Cherry MX Brown Switches you are looking at $129.99 plus $7.87 shipping. Both keyboards are identical other than the switches, so it is personal choice and a $28 price difference on what version of the RK-9100 to get. The Cherry MX blue switches have a click tactile feeling and the Cherry MX brown switches with soft tactile feeling in case you already forgot the differences. Right now both models are only available in black, buy we were told that an ‘ivory white’ version could be coming soon. Rosewill has been making mechanical keyboards since 2010 and the original RK-9000 with Cherry MX blue switches and no illumination runs $74.99 shipped. So, if you could care less about having a backlit keyboard you can go with that model and save yourself $35 bucks.
The individually backlit keys are very nicely done and the Cherry MX Blue switches make fun clicky sounds as you type away. Typing accuracy was very good on the RK-9100 and after some use you get used to the way the keys work. For example you don’t have to press them all the way down, so once you learn how the switch works you can really fly along. In games the keyboard was great and we loved the gaming mode that disabled the Windows and Application keys! Rosewill has done a very good job with the RK-9100 in terms of modes and we can’t wait to see what the next version will be able to do.
The only glaring issue with the Rosewill RK-9100 is that the Num Lock, Caps Lock and Scroll Lock keys are bright as heck and do not have a brightness adjustment. Who knows why Rosewill did this, but it was done and the product has been released. There is a saying that you should never release a perfect product as no one will buy the next, so maybe Rosewill had to leave something to improve upon. Regardless, the Rosewill RK-9100 is a great mechanical keyboard and we love the backlighting. We have been wanting an affordable keyboard with these features for years and now one is finally out!
The Rosewill RK-9100 keyboard series is backed by a 3-year warranty on parts and 1-year on labor. A keyboard is one of those items that usually breaks right away if there is a flaw or after many years of use, so this warranty period is sufficient.
At the end of the day the Rosewill RK-9100 isn’t perfect, but it is pretty darn close. The largest issue is the super bright and nonadjustable special keys and after that there are a few minor things that can be improved upon. For example it would be really nice if the keyboard remembered your mode and brightness settings. It would also be nice to see a high-end keyboard that supports USB 3.0 and has USB 3.0 hubs on it. Our dream mechanical gaming keyboard would also be washable, so one could easily clean it. Gamers love to eat and drink over the keyboard, so being able to keep it clean by a wash in the sink would be awesome.
The Rosewill RK-9100 Illuminated Mechanical Gaming Keyboard is the best backlit mechanical keyboard that we have ever seen and we highly recommend giving it a try. We’ve used mechanical keyboards for years here on our office and gaming PCs and we can tell you with certainty that this keyboard is a notch above the rest. That said, we cant wait to see what Rosewill will come out with next. It took two years to bring out a backlit version, so one can only hope we don’t have to wait two more years for the next!
Legit Bottom Line: Rosewill has come up with a real beauty with the RK-9100 series and if you like Cherry MX Blue or Brown switches you are in luck!