Royal Kludge RK61 Review

Get the Royal Kludge RK61 on Amazon or Banggood

The RK61 is a budget keyboard from HK Gaming. I’ve looked at quite a few similarly priced boards recently, including the GK61, DK63 and K530. There are a lot of options at the 50 to 60 dollar price range, and it can be tricky choosing the right one. The RK61 comes with a white USB-C cable and wire keycap puller. It is available in black and white, and you can choose between blue, brown and red switches.

Out of all the budget boards I’ve tried, the typing experience has been hot and cold. You run into problems like excessive rattle, metal ping or cheap off-brand switches. The RK61 made a very good first impression with its typing experience. The board makes a pleasantly soft sound with almost no metal ping, and the bigger keys have minimal rattle. The stabilisers are factory lubed, and they did a pretty good job with it. The out of the box performance was very impressive, especially for a budget board. This keyboard features TTC switches, which you find on some Roccat boards. I couldn’t find the official specs, but the actuation force feels around 45g. These switches were surprisingly good, and have a very similar feel to Cherry MX brown. They are rated for 50M keypresses and have a nice sharp tactile bump. I was able to match my PB of 140 on the Aesop typing test. That’s also the fastest I’ve ever gone with a tactile board, so pretty cool.

These white boards have really grown on me, and the RK61 is another very good looking white keyboard. There are a total 19 RGB modes, which is a lot more than you find on most competing boards, and there’s actually some awesome looking presets here. You can also choose between 9 colours on some modes like static and breathing. The backlighting just looks so soft and smooth underneath the creamy white keycaps. Also a big fan of the thinner font on this board; the RGB still looks vibrant and is helped by a white mounting plate. The font size is consistent on the bigger keys, which adds to the elegant look. The keycaps are ABS and 1mm in thickness, so not the greatest quality, but this is one of few compromises, and I guess it is to be expected from a budget board. We have a standard bottom row, so keycap customisation is a breeze. It’s super easy to remove the keycaps from the TTC stems, which is an added bonus. This board is not hot swappable, and the switches are soldered to the PCB.

The RK61 has everything you would expect on the Fn layer: so we have the F1-12 row and nav cluster, and there is comprehensive RGB control. You can switch between the different modes, and have control over the speed and brightness. As mentioned before, you can also change the colour on some of the backlighting modes. The arrow keys can easily be accessed with one hand, as Fn is in the bottom right corner. You can however turn these into dedicated arrow keys by pressing Fn + Enter. So you just sacrifice some of the the modifier keys on the bottom right, which I don’t use anyways, and you have to use Fn for forward slash. I really like this arrangement, especially because it leaves right Shift untouched. Right Shift is just a key I cannot go without. For example on the Kemove SnowFox and Ducky boards my remapping is a little awkward, because I try to leave right Shift open. However what’s nice with those arrangements is that the arrow keys are on the bottom right, so they’re very easy to find without looking down at the board. Unfortunately there are no media controls on the Fn layer, and it is not possible to modify the Fn layer with the software. The Anne Pro 2 is still one of few boards that allows this.

The software was a bit of a mission to install. I had no success with the download from RK Gaming’s website, but eventually I found a Google Drive link with working software. Just be sure to check your keyboard’s PID before choosing a version to install. So the software is pretty straightforward. There is some basic key remapping that you can do, and also macro recording capability. You can change the RGB mode and create your own static mode. Then you can finetune the behaviour of the gaming mode, which is activated by pressing Fn + Windows button.

The RK61 is definitely one of my favourite budget 60% boards. The typing experience is very good, and the RGB is really extensive. It is a good looking and good sounding keyboard, and features a strong case with an ergonomic angle. Also very rare to find such good stabilisers on a budget board. My only nitpicks would be the cheaper keycaps and lack of media controls on the Fn layer, but this is still one of my top recommendations in the 50-60 dollar price bracket.

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