A lot of mainstream TKLs are overpriced, and the G87 offers very similar performance at a fraction of the price
Get the Royal Kludge G87 on Banggood
The Royal Kludge G87 is a budget TKL mech with Bluetooth connectivity. Wireless TKLs are curiously rare in the keyboard market, so the G87 finds itself in a little niche. This board comes with TTC switches, ABS keycaps and full RGB backlighting.
The G87 has an eye-catching case design featuring lighting zones on the sides, which can be set independently from the main RGB; colour modes include cycle, wave and static. The top bezel is rounded and a thin silver accent runs around the frame. There are four round rubber feet on the bottom, two of which are removable. The packaging includes an additional set of feet that will increase the tilt. The case also has cable routing on the bottom, so you can feed the cable left or right if the center positioning doesn’t match your setup. It’s a full plastic enclosure, but the case feels sturdy and doesn’t bend much.
The G87 uses the slightly outdated Bluetooth 3.0 protocol and comes with a 1680 mAh battery. To pair a device, start by flipping the switch on the bottom of the board. Then press Fn + Tab to switch to Bluetooth mode, and select one of the three profiles that are saved on Fn + Q, W and E. Finally you hold Fn + P to enter pairing mode. This process feels unnecessarily complicated, but you only have to do it once. When the battery is charging, the LED under space bar will turn red. I did experience a few issues with the Bluetooth: sometimes there was input lag, especially after waking the keyboard from sleep mode. Every now and then when hitting a key it kept outputting that key repeatedly. But when the Bluetooth actually worked, it was snappy.
The G87 offers a fairly good typing experience. I wouldn’t say these TTC Reds are as smooth as Gateron or Kailh, and the scratchiness is comparable to Outemu Red. According to specifications, the actuation force is 45g, however it felt more like 50g to me. The bigger keys are really good with minimal rattle, and I’ve been impressed with the stabs on all the Royal Kludge boards I’ve reviewed, including the RK61, RK71 and the G87. These stabilisers are factory lubed which gives you solid out of the box performance. I did however detect some rattle in the middle of space bar, but this can be fixed with a little bit of modding. Overall a good typing experience, especially considering the price of this keyboard.
I’m a big fan of thinner fonts on my keyboards, and the legends look very elegant on the G87. As expected from a budget board, we have ABS keycaps with a thickness of 1mm. The RGB looks good, but on some keys it doesn’t shine through evenly, and this is caused by some black marks inside the keycaps, but overall it’s not that noticeable. There is an impressive selection of RGB modes with 19 in total. You can cycle through these with Fn + Scr Lk, and Fn + Pause allows you to set single colours. The side lighting zones can be changed via Fn + Ins, and as mentioned you can choose from cycle, wave and static.
There are three customisable lighting profiles saved on Fn + 1-3. To record your own static colour mode, just press Fn + PrtSc to enter recording mode. Hit Fn + PrtSc again to confirm. If you mess up, you can revert back to factory default with Fn + Esc. You can also change the RGB speed and brightness via Fn and the arrow keys. The rest of the Fn layer is fairly standard: we have the expected media controls and quick app launch on the F-row, as well as a Windows lock option. Not sure why the volume controls are the wrong way around, but it didn’t bother me too much.
As far as software, I tried the Google Drive link on the Banggood listing page, and after installing I got a “no gaming device found” message when trying to run it. The same happened when trying the software from RK Gaming’s website. Little bit of a letdown that it’s so hard to find working software. You can pretty much do everything with the keyboard, but I would’ve liked to do some key remapping.
I think the G87 is a very good buy, especially considering its price tag. A lot of mainstream TKLs are grossly overpriced, and this board offers very similar performance at a fraction of the price. There are a few downsides, such as the erratic bluetooth and lack of working software, but these are not dealbreakers and won’t ruin the experience.