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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  • Beenthere - Monday, November 26, 2012 - link

    I went to Newegg to take a look at these mechanical mobos and no matter what Rosewill model I looked at, the reviews all said that the mini USB port on the keybord where the cable plugs in, fails after about 6 months. There is one review after another with the identical defect/failure on multiple models.

    I'm wondering if the RK-9000I and RK-9100BR have this same mini USB port issue?
  • Impulses - Wednesday, November 28, 2012 - link

    I haven't had an issue with mine but it never moves so there's no way the port could fail... I've heard it's actually fairly easy to fix if it's out of warranty tho, at least if you're handy with a soldering iron.
  • Beenthere - Wednesday, November 28, 2012 - link

    Actually several reviews by people who never move their mobo have reported the Rosewill mini USB port on the mechanical keyboards failing, which is why I asked because this is a serious design flaw.
  • Purpose - Monday, November 26, 2012 - link

    Cherry MX Blue switches require less force to depress than browns because there is no resistance from the leaf spring encountered until the actuation point, unlike browns, which have a near linear resistance.

    That's the primary difference between browns and blues. Blues are easier to depress until the actuation point, then you get noticeable resistance, and once the switch is activated, the resistance of blue switches decreases dramatically.

    Browns on the other hand are slightly harder to depress due to the near linear nature, but require less force at the actual activation point.

    Shame, shame for the obviously horrible research done prior to writing this article.
  • Pheesh - Tuesday, November 27, 2012 - link

    I'm not sure why the reviewer thinks brown's are not ideal for gaming. In the large fps gaming community that I follow gamers prefer either brown's or red's. (seems to be mostly browns, actually). Black switches are somewhat despised.
  • LintMan - Thursday, November 29, 2012 - link

    I have a Steelseries keyboard with MX Black keys and found that while it was fine for FPS-type games where you're holding down the keys for movement, it was not so great for games where you are quickly just tapping keys, and it was especially bad for "double-tapping"; I had a very hard time reliably getting a double-tap response because it's not very clear where the actuation/release points are without the tactile feedback of the click point.

    Similarly, I had problems with typing - the number of typos I was producing shot up compared to how I do on typical non-mechanical keyboards or on the RK-9000 MX Brown I replaced my Steelseries with. It was such a relief going from the MX Blacks to the MX Browns.
  • McFoozle - Sunday, December 2, 2012 - link

    IBM Selectric was genius in that the keyboard was concave which reduced the amount of distance your fingers had to reach to get from Home Row to the other rows. Why can't anybody make a proper keyboard even after I explain it to them? I want a concave design split into two halves which are angled outward kind of like the GoldTouchApple but with palm rests.

    Every single damn tech thing I buy or look at isn't the way I want it. I totally understand why Steve Jobs used the "F" word so much.
  • Beenthere - Wednesday, December 5, 2012 - link

    While the Rosewill mechanical keyboards seem to be a decent product they are way over priced, IMO. I don't see how they can justify a ~$100 price tag for any of the mechanical keyboard models.
  • batguiide - Sunday, December 9, 2012 - link

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