Introduction

Rosewill is a known brand name in the North American markets. Although they started as a small company mainly focused on marketing budget-friendly products, today they have a large selection of technology-related products, including products that have been designed with advanced users in mind. One such example is their mechanical keyboard series, which stands out from the many non-mechanical keyboards that they also offer. In this capsule review, we will look at the Apollo RK-9100 and the RGB80, two of their most recent mechanical keyboards. Are they worthy successors of the famed RK-9000? We are about to find out.

Rosewill Apollo RK-9100 - Key features and specifications

  • 100% Cherry MX Blue Mechanical Key Switches
  • Custom Programmable Keyboard
  • Five Profiles with Quick Switch Keys
  • Up to 50 Marco keys
  • Individually LED Backlit Keys (Red or Blue LEDs, depending on the model)
  • Three Levels of Brightness Control: 0, 1, Breathing Mode
  • N-Key Rollover
  • Built in Headphone & Microphone Pass-Through Jacks
  • Two Built-in High-Speed USB 2.0 Ports
  • Detachable Wrist Rest for Maximum Support and Comfort
  • Gold-Plated Connectors to Reduce Latency
  • Includes Eight Orange Gaming Keys with Key Puller
  • Multimedia Keys with Gaming Mode
  • High Quality Braided Fiber Cable
  • Soft Rubberized Surface

Rosewill RGB80 - Key features and specifications

  • Customizable RGB LED Backlighting
  • Six Backlighting modes
  • Five Profiles with Quick Switch Keys
  • Multimedia Keys
  • Gaming Mode
  • 6-Key or Full-N Key Rollover Modes
  • 100% Mechanical Key Switches
  • 512KB Onboard Memory

The lists above display some of the advantages of these two keyboards but reveal some of their weaknesses as well. For example, Rosewill makes clear mention of the Cherry MX switches of the RK-9100 but hardly mentions the mechanical switches in the features list of the RGB80 at all, hinting that the RGB80 is not using Cherry MX switches. We'll discuss the above in more detail on the following pages.

Rosewill Apollo RK-9100
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  • Spoogie - Wednesday, September 17, 2014 - link

    Someone serious about a mechanical keyboard and spending this kind of coin will hardly find this few tedious. The author was remiss. Get over it. Reply
  • E.Fyll - Thursday, September 18, 2014 - link

    My apologies but I really fail to realize your logic. If the keys, backlight colors, macro options, prices, and warranties are "minor differences", then the RK-9100 is "identical" to about 100 keyboards sold worldwide.

    I have zero experience with Monoprice products, they are no even being sold on this side of the planet. However, by your post, it is a similarly priced keyboard with different switches and no programmability (which means that it has an entirely different processor to begin with). It is not nearly the same thing, even if it looks similar.

    Furthermore, if I were to look around, I bet that I could find visually similar keyboards under at least 10 brand names. Do you think that there are no similar products in China, Russia or France? Many companies are using the same OEM, not just Rosewill and Monoprice. Requesting to recite every single keyboard that simply looks like another in a capsule review is somewhat...useless.
    Reply
  • Spoogie - Friday, September 19, 2014 - link

    The keyboards aren't just "visually similar." Scroll up. Their innards are identical.

    And since Monoprice isn't sold worldwide, I guess this info shouldn't be posted for the millions of North Americans that would benefit. And never mind that several other brands were posted.

    Good grief. Get a grip already.
    Reply
  • jonjonjonj - Thursday, September 18, 2014 - link

    i wouldnt touch a corsiar keyboard. go look at their forum. its just non stop problems. Reply
  • tyman4752000 - Tuesday, September 16, 2014 - link

    The Corsair RGB K70 is available?
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N8...

    But where is the K95....
    Reply
  • Sttm - Tuesday, September 16, 2014 - link

    I hate this keyboard setup. It confounds me why it has become the standard. Entirely because "Multimedia Keys with Gaming Mode" is total bullshit. There are no real multimedia keys. There are F-Keys, with a modifier where left Alt would be. Which means to skip a track, adjust the volume, or stop the music you have to take your left hand off WASD, hold down the modifier, and tap the media key, which on some of these keyboards is so far to the right you need to use your mouse hand as well. Which is horrible, just horrible, to have to do mid game.

    Luckily Logitech and Corsair make mechanical keyboards with actual media keys. Allowing you to quickly tap a single key.
    Reply
  • Impulses - Tuesday, September 16, 2014 - link

    Agreed, the only place where using a modifier for media keys makes sense is on compact TKL boards, but otherwise I want dedicated media keys on a so called gaming keyboard. The volume roller or drum on the Corsairs is particularly nice IMO. Reply
  • PICman - Tuesday, September 16, 2014 - link

    Nice review. I like that you took it apart to reveal the Freescale microcontroller.

    I've got an early model Rosewill with Cherry 'red' keys at home. It was a 'splurge' (>$100), but it was money well-spent. I've got a cheapie keyboard at work, and it's a constant reminder of how much better mechanical keys are.
    Reply
  • MadMan007 - Tuesday, September 16, 2014 - link

    "Gold-Plated Connectors to Reduce Latency"

    ...
    Reply
  • wetwareinterface - Tuesday, September 16, 2014 - link

    it sounds stupid at first but...
    the more solid the connection made the cleaner the value output the faster the microcontroller can determine which key was presssed the lower the latency

    it can be argued that gold plating the connector will cause less corrosion and therefore make for a more reliable over time resitance value, which means you can tune the microcontroller's debounce routine to a lower time value which would get you lower latency
    Reply

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