Introducing Rosewill's RK-9000I and Illuminated Gaming Keyboard

One of the beautiful things about Rosewill's line of mechanical keyboards is that they're about as close to pure as you could conceivably get. They're not fancy, not tarted up by any stretch of the imagination, but instead simple, clean designs that afford the end user a tremendous amount of choice. Their basic RK-9000 series is available in four different varieties of Cherry MX switches, and today we round out our experiences with the different switches with the "special edition" RK-9000I with Cherry MX Blue switches and a white trim.

That said, if you want to go fancier, Rosewill has produced a remarkably stylish yet still fairly minimalistic keyboard in the form of the Illuminated Mechanical Gaming Keyboard, available with both Cherry MX Blue and Cherry MX Brown switches. This is a pricier product, but features mechanical switches and LED backlighting across the board along with a couple of other nifty features. At an MSRP of $119, though, it's contending with my personal favorite, the Corsair K90. Does Rosewill offer enough with this premium product, or did their reach exceed their grasp?

The RK-9000I In Brief

Rosewill sent me these two keyboards for review, and marketed the RK-9000I (and the whole I series) as special edition keyboards. That said, the RK-9000I is a Cherry MX Blue keyboard that features a white backplate and trim instead of the black one on their normal keyboards.

The I series, like the gaming keyboard I'll get to in a moment, only comes with two varieties of switches: Cherry MX Blue, and Cherry MX Brown. This is in contrast to their basic black mechanical keyboard that also comes with MX Reds or MX Blacks. However, because we've already reviewed their basic MX Blue keyboard, there isn't a whole lot to add here.

The only difference between this version and the previous one is the white trim; everything else is the same, including the keycaps. My experience was generally positive; I'm not convinced the lettering on the keycaps is particularly long-lasting, but the switches themselves should be. That said, I'm still of the opinion that Cherry MX Blues are pretty much strictly for typists and word processing. The way they actuate makes them unsuitable for doing double-taps or other fast inputs in more intense games.

Where I think Rosewill does bring excellent value (beyond the $65 asking price with promo code) is that this fairly basic keyboard includes detachable cables so that you can use either PS/2 or USB 2.0. The fact is that ghosting can still be an issue (it pops up irritatingly frequently with my K90), so the option to employ PS/2 is much appreciated.

The Rosewill Illuminated Gaming Keyboard RK-9100BR
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  • Torrijos - Sunday, November 25, 2012 - link

    Are we going to see comparisons with competing product like those from Razer?

    Also how is the support for other OS (Mac, Linux)?
  • kabbluyee - Sunday, November 25, 2012 - link

    support, hmmm, it's a basic keyboard
  • p05esto - Sunday, November 25, 2012 - link

    No real compute users use Macs, thats why it's not mentioned here. Duh.
  • Westicles - Monday, November 26, 2012 - link

    I have the Cherry MX Blue version of the illuminated keyboard and it works fine on my MacBook Pro, just the Windows keys dont work, but everything else does. I have yet to try the Brown version but the Blue version works very well and is definitely the best keyboard I've ever owned. I prefer no frills. And the Fn media keys work well with all my media programs so far. I got mine for $95 though, I got a 20% off all Rosewill keyboards coupon, Newegg runs sales on their Rosewill stuff fairly often.
  • jigglywiggly - Sunday, November 25, 2012 - link

    gotcha, still, I'll wait for a cherry mx red version. All the other ones slow you down, and I type 140wpm on general typing and 122 on typingtest's test instructions test.

    I just want a cherry mx red keyboard with media keys that isn't too expensive. I've yet to see one. I have the normal rosewill cherry mx red keyboard, but it has no media keys.

    I play bf3 quite a bit, and I use 3rvx to control my sound, and spotifyer for spotify hotkeys except punkbuster kicks you for both programs.
  • Dustin Sklavos - Sunday, November 25, 2012 - link

    Corsair K90. Something like $109 on sale right now at NewEgg. You're not going to do much better than that, and it's a fantastic keyboard.
  • DanNeely - Sunday, November 25, 2012 - link

    As a lefty mouser, the block of bogo keys on the left side is a bit of a turnoff. On the occasions when I'm using a right handed mouse the numberpad/arrows part of the keyboard is always annoyingly in my way; and I suspect the K90's extra keys would have the same problem .
  • ImSpartacus - Sunday, November 25, 2012 - link

    It may also be worth noting that Newegg is currently comboing just about every component with a 9100 or a 9100i for $5 off the combo.
  • HisDivineOrder - Sunday, November 25, 2012 - link

    ...Newegg? Seriously, we can't help it if we live in backward states with backward laws. Our state governments suck. Does that mean we can't have cheap, quality keyboards with backlighting?

    Yes, in this case, it does. This should not be glossed over.
  • ymrtech - Sunday, November 25, 2012 - link

    Yeah, there needs to be comparisons to Razor mechanical keyboards... they have a standard ones for as low as 65$ now and illuminated ones for 100-130... They even had "special edition" game ones that came in different LED colours in case you didn't like the default green colour.
    Not sure what switches they use, but i got to play with one at a local best buy and it feels awesome.

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