If you can look past the rattly space bar, the Marvo KG901 offers incredible value at $30
Today we’re having a look at another super-budget offering from Marvo, the KG901. This board is going for only $30 right now, making it one of the cheapest mechs alongside the KG909. The KG901 comes with Content Blue switches and features 6-colour rainbow backlighting. Gamers will be pleased to know that it has full anti-ghosting and N-key rollover. I was quite impressed by the KG909 that I reviewed recently, especially considering its $20 price tag, so let’s see if the KG901 has the same bang for buck.
The build is actually quite good and took me by surprise. It’s a full plastic enclosure with a metal mounting plate. Minimal frame bend and the keyboard feels weighty and sturdy. From an aesthetic perspective, the frame does look unnecessarily big and personally I prefer the frameless design, but I am being nitpicky here. On the bottom we have four rubber feet and rubber tipped fold outs. This keyboard will not slide around easily. There are also three openings for cable routing, which is a nice touch.
The KG901 features the OEM profile, however the bottom row keys have an outward curve. For me it didn’t really have a noticeable impact on the ergonomics of the keyboard. It does feel different than the normal OEM bottom row, but is very comfortable once you get used to it.
The KG901 has the standard ANSI layout and the Content switches are compatible with any Cherry MX style keycaps. I popped on the HyperX White Pudding set, and it looked pretty good considering we only have 6-colour rainbow backlighting here. There are some useful Fn functions on the F-Row, including media controls and quick access to the browser and calculator. You can choose from about 20 colour modes by pressing Fn + A1-A6. You can also record your own static colour mode, and this is accessed via A5. Then we have the usual brightness, speed and direction controls that sit on the Fn layer.
The KG901 has ABS keycaps, which is expected at this price range. They feel pretty good with a slightly textured surface. The font isn’t overly stylised and looks tasteful. We have the Marvo slogan on the space bar, and another Marvo logo on the top plate. The backlighting looks good, but you are obviously limited to 6-colour rainbow, so not nearly as nice as full RGB. Overall it’s an attractive keyboard, but I would’ve liked a compact frame and more subtle branding.
The KG901 features the clicky Content Blue switches, which you find on a lot of cheaper boards. They feel very similar to Outemu Blues and are quite satisfying to type on. These switches are rated for 50M keypresses with an actuation force of 60g. The typing experience isn’t bad here, and more than adequate for an entry-level mech. The stabilisers were one of the few letdowns on the KG901, and there is substantial rattle on the bigger keys. The space bar is the biggest culprit, and the stock performance was very underwhelming.
The keyboard is definitely still usable, and if you’re just getting into mechanical keyboards you may not even notice it. Having used higher end keyboards, I immediately noticed the sub-par stablisers though. I like my linear switches, so unsurprisingly I found the Content Blues a bit heavy, as I am a lighthanded typist. I reached a max speed of 120WPM on the Aesop test and averaged around 80 on typeracer. This is about the usual speeds I get with clicky keyboards, so it’s not like the board slowed me down.
The KG901 offers a surprisingly sturdy build and is just a solid keyboard across the board. If you can look past the rattly space bar, this board offers incredible value at $30.