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The Best Budget Mechanical Keyboard

We all know mechanical keyboards can be expensive. As someone who types and games on a tight budget, I was astonished to see the soaring, $150+ prices of keyboards like the Steelseries Apex Pro - it's so expensive it has a pay-by-month financial plan! I was wondering how I could get my hands on a mechanical keyboard without blowing off piles of cash. Then, I stumbled upon the promised keyboard - fully mechanical, over 6,500 reviews averaging 4.5 stars, and only $36 ($26 for no backlight). After reading through countless sarcastic reviews and obscure tech blog pages, I finally decided to replace my old membrane keyboard with the Kumara. When it arrived, I was pleasantly suprised.


There are 6 lighting configurations on the kumara, my two favorites being color cycling and "splash" effect - when you type a key waves of purple-white light emanate from that key outwards across the rest of the keyboard. The keyboard is completely, genuinely mechanical, with removable double-shot keycaps and hot-swappable outemu blue switches. Outemu blue switches are a Chinese variant of Cherry MX blue switches. The reason I say a Chinese variant instead of knockoff is that the outemu blue switches actually feel almost identical to cherry MX blues. They are quite sturdy and produce a satisfying click as well as a minute tactile bump. Another great thing about this keyboard is the durability- to quote an amazon review, this keyboard feels "built like a tank". It's very sturdy, and has a comfortable amount of weight. This coordinates well with the rubber-treaded flip out feet to make sure the keyboard never slides on your desk while you are typing or playing games. The last thing I love about this keyboard is that it's tkl (no number pad). I like a clean desk and the extra 5 inches really helps. Plus, I never had a use for the numberpad anyway, similar to most people.


Now, to get to the nitpicking. Although it is hard to find fault with this masterpiece of a keyboard, there are a few issues. Redragon has terrible customer service, and the majority of the negative reviews for this keyboard is that a switch or something like that snapped off and redragon did not send them another keyboard. While this is annoying, as long as the product is not defective (Amazon will replace it if so), damage to your keyboard is preventable simply being gentle with it. I know this keyboard is durable, but many snapped switches seem like the result of someone trying to pull them off sideways. The other main source of negative reviews is the hollow ringing sound that occurs when you tap a key. Many people attested that this was extremely annoying, but when I type on it, the slight ringing sound is drowned out by the sound of the switches themselves. The last and most important flaw to this keyboard is that it is only available with blue switches. Although blue switches are ideal for typing, many people prefer red or brown switches for intense gaming. Even though you could hot-swap all the switches to outemu reds/browns, at ~50 cents each, this would cost more then the whole keyboard did originally.


Overall, I think redragon has done an amazing job in creating an affordable, durable, effective mechanical keyboard. The only reason you shouldn't buy it is if you really despise blue switches, but hopefully redragon will come out with a red/brown version soon. It's at a ridiculously low price point considering the quality of the switches and just the keyboard itself. If you're on a tight budget and looking to get the most bang for your buck, I encourage you to spend it on this keyboard.


Key Specs:

Tenkeyless

Outemu Blue Switches

Double-shot keycaps

RGB lighting with 6 modes

~$40 on Amazon ($35 when on sale)


Overall rating: 9/10


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