Gaming keyboards are dominated by mechanical and linear switches. Giving clicky, precise key presses. The Rhod 500 is more like the keyboards we’re all used to from school or work. It’s a membrane keyboard, which uses a rubber membrane beneath the keys and delivers what is a much softer (quieter!) experience, but without a doubt, a less direct, less responsive gaming peripheral.
How does the Rhod 500 keyboard hold up in the gaming arena? Is it a worthy addition to the gaming keyboard pantheon? Genesis has always been really solid in my experience, so my hopes are high!
One of the most important features of a keyboard is the build. Can it withstand hours of gaming and typing? Will it hold up when you’re in the zone and possible hitting keys harder or softer in response to what’s going on, on-screen?
The Rhod 500 is a little too much plastic for my liking if I’m honest. With a thin sheet of aluminium on the face to make it look a little more premium. It works visually, but I found the fitting of it to be a little loose, and it wasn’t adding to the build-in in any significant way.
Sturdy? Absolutely, the Rhod 500 may be mostly plastic, but it’s solid as a rock and has a good pair of legs to give it a solid base. Of course, being membrane, you get the more “squishy” feel on the keys, but they’re perfectly responsive and comfortable. I’ve certainly used worse for work!
At the price point (approximately £25), it’s pretty decent, to be honest. The Rhod 500 isn’t pretending to be something that it isn’t. It’s got the features you want (more on that shortly) in a gaming keyboard, but the manufacturing was clearly geared towards the budget-conscious. That’s no bad thing! It just pretty much does exactly what it says on the tin.
Style and features
I think the Rhod 500 looks great. Although the build quality and finish were a little rough on my unit. It’s a perfectly serviceable keyboard and looks great all lit-up and active.
Featuring a 7-zone RGB background, you have some nice room to customise colours and lighting. Let’s be fair, finding a backlit keyboard at this price, is worth the cost alone! But manageable (both through the keyboard and Genesis software) with minimal effort really put you and your rig in the mood.
Anti-ghosting on the 19 most heavily used keys (so there’s not a programmed limit on simultaneous key presses!) means you can game safe in the knowledge that you’re going to be stuck with weird input issues. And the built-in memory will hold your configurations for lighting.
You’re getting plenty for your money here in terms of features, and it looks better than a lot of budget keyboards. The Rhod 500 is putting itself out there as a “gaming” device. Such a saturated market! But Genesis knows their niche, and they’re delivering.
Gaming keyboard or no?
If you’re on a budget and let’s be fair, mechanical keyboards are bloody expensive! The membrane is your way forwards, right?
The gaming space is filled with shiny, cheap plastic crap and thankfully for us, companies like Genesis actually care about this area of the market. Delivering better products and evidently caring about the audience, not just capitalising off of it.
The Rhod 500 isn’t premium, but it’s not as nasty as some of the competition.
Plenty of features, decent build, nice RGB lighting and a company that I know and trust. The keys are fine, and responsive enough to help play whatever you’re looking at getting into. You might not get that tactile response you’d get on a mechanical board, but at £25, you’re getting more than you’re paying for.
It’s a perfectly serviceable gaming option, and in the Rhod 500, you’ll get a trusty little workhorse. I’d recommend it if you can’t hold on to save for something mechanical. If you shop around, you might find a mechanical keyboard at a good price, and that would be a better option.
Genesis is good at what they do, and this is more proof of that.