When it comes to gaming keyboards, there is so much choice out there. Do you want a full sized one? Would a 60% sized one be better for you? Is RGB lighting that important? Is mechanical the way forward? That’s a lot of questions already, and there are a multitude more that you could ask on top. So let’s check out one of the latest on the market, Genesis’ RX85 RGB mechanical keyboard and see what it has to offer.
We’ve been impressed with Genesis’ products in the past, I reviewed their Thor 420 RGB not too long ago, and it was great. It had a slimline profile, but over time, keys have become a little less responsive. I’d have to hit the same button multiple times for it to register. So how would the RX85 RGB keyboard compare?
Well, to make sure, I’ve tested this one out over a longer period of time, and given it a bit more heavy use, writing articles and playing games. From my time so far it has been a stellar performance. But let’s start from the beginning, from when we opened the box to unveil the RX85 RGB.
BUILD QUALITY & DESIGN
The RX85 is a high profile keyboard that comes in two parts out of the box. The core keyboard itself and the detachable wrist rest. Let’s start briefly with the attachment; there are no fiddly parts to assemble, it all works with magnets, just line up and POOF! as if by magic it’ll snap itself onto the keyboard. It’s made from a cheap plastic, with rubber coating and some small rubber feet underneath to stop it slipping around and give it some support. And I have to say it’s very comfortable to use, and better for you ergonomically having the support. The only downside is there is nowhere to store it, unlike Sandberg’s FireStorm keyboard that tucks away.
Moving onto the core part of the RX85, it too has a cheap plastic base and sides, with a nylon braided cable out the rear, and a brushed steel effect plate on top, resting just below the keys. The keys themselves are double injection keycaps, meaning your keys won’t wear down over time so you can’t tell what is what. But what I like most about them is the font used for the letters, numbers and symbols is a little funkier than you’d probably be used to, but it looks great. What makes them stand out is the RGB lighting underneath, with each key’s character being seethrough to really let the light shine through.
The final part of the design is found on the top right of the keyboard, where you’ll find two additional buttons and a small knob. This knob is used for volume control. Which means you no longer have to hold down function keys to adjust it, but that also makes it slightly odd that the function keys for controlling volume are still there as well. As for the two buttons, one allows you to switch through light settings, and the other, well, seems to activate Winlock, which makes no sense as the letter on the key is a G. It may do something else, but I can’t find anything that would suggest what it is.
FEATURES & FUNCTIONALITY
Let’s start with the one feature we’ve already mentioned, the RGB lighting. The lighting is enhanced with PRISMO effect but in addition to that. the RX85 offers 20 lighting modes: 8 default, as many as 10 dedicated to games, and 2 custom ones. And you can set up to three profiles to suit your various needs using Genesis’ software (you can download that HERE) which will also allow you to program macros too, and reassign keys.
The software is very easy to use and very basic. Could it have more features? Yes! But it has the essentials there to allow you to customise your keyboard nicely, and you can apply any changes instantly once made. Sadly though, my favourite lighting effect, the ripple, isn’t available. Which is strange, as the previous Genesis keyboards we’ve all had at FULLSYNC did have this same effect available on their respective software.
Moving on to the keys, whilst this is a mechanical keyboard, it may not be like the ones you know. Fitted with Kailh Brown switches, the RX85 is able to deliver rapid responses with their palpable trigger point, whilst also being able to dampen down the loud clicky sound you associate with mechanical keyboards. That’s not to say they’re silent, but they are certainly much quieter than those I am used to.
The RX85 is also fitted with N-key Rollover, an anti-ghosting functionality for all keys, making the keyboard an unfailing weapon. What does this mean in plain English? Well, essentially, it recognises every keypress so that the press of one key is not blocked by another, allowing you to combine button combinations in games. For example, when using the W, A, S, and D keys for the movement you can move diagonally by holding two directions down at the same time.
VALUE FOR MONEY
As per usual, finding the RX85 much like all Genesis products is a tough task in the UK. And when you do find one, the price is usually inflated. As of right now, we can’t find any stock at all, and the one place that has kept their price up despite no stock is a seller on eBay, where it was selling for £132.29. Quite an extortionate price considering the hardware, and the price of the competition.
Looking at other keyboards with a built-in wrist rest and brown switches, although they do use MX Cherry ones as opposed to the Kailh, the RX85 is much more expensive. Let’s start with FNATIC’s G1 RUSH Pro Gaming Keyboard, it is sold out everywhere, but prices were £69.99 and you can pick them up second hand for around £49.99. Moving on to the GSKILL Ripjaws KM780, these are more expensive selling for around £96.00, but still much cheaper than the RX85. The only one that is more expensive is the Corsair K70 RGB MK.2 currently £149.98 on Amazon, but it does look a lot more professional and is built with higher quality materials.
Genesis RX85 RGB overall thoughts
This is another solid product from Genisis but the RX85 isn’t without its flaws. I do like the overall design, but the plastic base of the wrist rest and keyboard does feel a little cheap, even if the brushed steel effect plate on top does look quite nice. Add to that the clever magnetic key wrest, which sadly has nowhere for storage, so if you don’t use it will take up extra space around your desk or in your drawers. It’s like this keyboard is almost there, but not quite. There is definitely still more to be done.
Then you look at the usual issues we have with Genesis products, the availability and price. What the actual cost is, well, that’s unknown, but there are cheaper out there with the same features and similar brown switches for a lot cheaper. And the one that is more expensive, the Corsair keyboard, well, it just looks straight away like it is worth more. If this was more widely available at a fairer price, it’d probably score more highly. But as it stands, it does feel a little cheap, although performs better than it looks, and you’ll struggle to find them, so our score has to be based on that.
The Genesis RX85 RGB is out now, but very hard to come by. But you can find more information on the official website HERE. In the meantime, why not check out more of our hardware reviews by clicking HERE.