Get the Pictek TKL on Amazon
The Pictek TKL is a super budget mech that comes in at only $25, making it one of the cheapest mechanical keyboards you can find. The board has rainbow backlighting with five fixed lighting zones: red, yellow, green, blue and purple. There are over 20 lighting modes, including 3 customisable lighting profiles. The keyboard has full anti-ghosting and 12 shortcut keys on the F row.
So the Pictek TKL comes with blue switches, which means it is a clicky keyboard. I wasn’t sure what switches we would get here, as it wasn’t specified on the product specs. So these are Jixian switches, and pardon the pronunciation. You also find this switch on some Motospeed and Royal Kludge boards. First time using these, and they feel very similar to Outemus or Content switches that you typically find on these budget boards. I’m very satisfied with the performance, and the Jixians have a nice tactile feel with that clicky feedback. The actuation force feels around 60g, and they are rated for 10 million keypresses. At $25 I don’t have unrealistic expectations as far as stabilisers go, and the bigger keys have a lot of rattle. But the important thing is that it doesn’t really influence usability. And taking into consideration that many people will be getting this as their first or second mech, it’s not that big of a deal really as they probably won’t even be aware of it. With that being said though, better stabs would go a long way in improving the overall experience, and making this keyboard stand out in the lower price bracket.
The typing experience is good – we get that nice clicky sound, and the metal pinging isn’t bad at all. I averaged around 120 on the Aesop typing test, which is what I get with most clicky keyboards. Nothing funky happened like letters being swapped around or input not registering, and this is actually something I’m worried about with these budget boards. So that box is ticked and you don’t have to worry about any glitches. The gaming experience was good too, and I enjoyed using this board in CSGO and Valorant. Personally I prefer linear switches, but it’s always fun to game with clicky keyboards every now and then.
The keycaps are 0.8mm ABS, so not the greatest quality, but they are double shot so the legends won’t fade over time. Watch out for these keycaps developing shine though. I like the compact frame design and it gives the keyboard a sleek and modern look. Minimal branding, with only the Pictek logo placed between the arrow keys and nav cluster. I also like the medium and more neutral font, as I’m not a big fan of those blocky stylized fonts. The backlighting looks decent, not the most vibrant I’ve ever seen, but it gets the job done. They could’ve maybe gone for a brighter yellow, as the yellow colour zone looks pale in comparison to the other. So when Caps Lock is off, its backlighting is also off. I don’t quite understand this, as Caps Lock is off 99% of the time. I can think of a few better solutions, for example doing it the other way around, where the backlighting is off only when Caps Lock is on, but it doesn’t stand out too much so not the end of the world. You can access your different lighting modes via Fn and the Nav cluster. All the usual candidates are present, such as static, wave, breathing and reactive modes. The backlighting consists of five fixed zones, so from left to right we have red, yellow, green, blue and purple. You can control the speed and direction of some lighting modes, and there are 5 different brightness levels.
In addition to the lighting modes accessed via the Nav cluster, there are also a few other modes. On 5 and 6 you have your FPS and RTS lighting modes, and there is even a mode on 7 where only the letters are illuminated, so I guess it’s quite nice for typing. There are also three customisable lighting profiles, where you can record your own static colour modes. So you start by selecting any one of these three profiles, then hit Fn + Esc to start recording. Once finished, hit Fn + Esc again to save. On the F row we have our shortcut functionality. So there is multimedia control, and quick access to This PC, your default browser, default email client and the calculator. Also a Windows lock option to guard against accidental presses during gaming sessions.
The Pictek TKL has a full plastic build, so the frame is a bit bendy. There is also a bit of inward bend if you apply downward pressure, but I had to use quite a lot of force, so not that bad. Unless you are extremely heavy handed, the build should hold up just fine. Unsurprisingly the keyboard is very light too. We have two rubber feet and two fold outs on the bottom. The keyboard does slide around fairly easily, especially on the right, but during general use it was fine for me. The cable is non detachable and 1.50i metres.
So for $25 I think the Pictek TKL is a decent buy. The performance is just fine with no glitches, and it offers a pretty satisfying clicky typing experience. The keyboard is a little lightweight and bendy, but it should hold up if taken care of. Some nice extra functionality such as customisable lighting profiles and Fn shortcuts on the F row. I can think of many worse keyboards at 20-30 dollars, so I think this is a decent buy at this price point.