The Blitzwolf BW-KB1 offers a good typing experience and stunning backlighting with a wide selection of modes
Get the Blitzwolf BW-KB1 on Banggood
The BlitzWolf BW-KB1 is a budget mech that is going for $50 on Banggood. You might recognise this productivity-focused layout from the Dierya DK63. It features a 1.75U right Shift that is pushed left to make room for dedicated arrow keys, and the forward slash key is moved to the far right. This board is available in black and white, and comes with the trusty Gateron switches. You can run the BW-KB1 wirelessly with Bluetooth 5.0 and it has a 1900mAh battery. It comes with double-shot ABS keycaps and full RGB backlighting.
You can save a whopping five devices on the keyboard, which is more than the usual three you get on most Bluetooth boards. To connect to Bluetooth, start by flipping the switch on the bottom, then press Fn + Tab to switch to Bluetooth mode. Now hold Fn + Q (or any of the other profiles) for 3 seconds. Once Q starts flashing, you can go ahead and pair your device. You’ll get around 20 hours of battery life with the backlighting on, and up to 10 days if you turn the backlighting off. The LEDs will automatically go off after 1 minute of idle time, and the keyboard will go into deep sleep after 30 minutes. The Bluetooth felt snappy and I didn’t experience any major latency issues, although I wouldn’t recommend it for competitive game modes. There is a green light under space bar which indicates the battery is charging, and once the battery is fully charged it will go off. The LED under Fn will start flashing when the battery gets low.
The BW-KB1 has a very compact case, and it also has a raised key profile which is quite uncommon on 60% boards. We have a full plastic enclosure and a metal mounting plate. The case feels strong and will only bend when applying above average force. The bottom features six rubber feet, and you will definitely not have any problems with this keyboard sliding around. The fold outs give the keyboard a steep angle, and I didn’t end up using them.
So the 63-key layout is great for productivity as it features dedicated arrow keys, and you’ll notice a few differences in comparison to the conventional 61-key arrangement. If you’re used to the standard layout, this might feel awkward initially, but I got used to it after a few days. At first I kept missing right Shift on the right side, hitting up arrow instead, as my fingers are used to Shift being in that area. I actually ended up using my thumb for right Shift most of the time. You’ll just need to develop new muscle memory. I usually remap dedicated arrows on the standard 61-key layout, buy I like the 1U arrows on the 63-key as it feels more natural. The BW-KB1 features a pretty standard Fn layer. We have the expected F-row and Nav cluster, then you also have RGB controls that include cycling, speed and brightness adjustment. I love my media controls, so a bit of a letdown to see no media controls on the Fn layer. I guess it isn’t essential, but extremely convenient when it is there. You’ll find a few more key combinations in the manual.
I was happy to see that the BW-KB1 comes with Gaterons, as a lot of these budget boards tend to have off-brand switches. Gateron Reds are buttery smooth and one of my favourite budget switches. They have an actuation force of 45g with a total travel of 4mm. This board is not hot-swappable as the switches are soldered to the PCB. The typing experience is very good and the stabilisers are excellent; only the space bar stabs are pre-lubed. The compact case design gives this keyboard a distinct sound, and it’s fairly loud for a linear board. Personally I wouldn’t say the sound is as satisfying as something like the SnowFox, Anne Pro 2 or Ducky, but these are of course more expensive boards. It’s a little more high pitched, and it does sound somewhat thin with those 1.1mm ABS caps. Very low metal ping which is always nice. This board worked great for faster typing, and I reached a top speed of 134WPM on the 1-minute Aesop typing test.
The RGB looks absolutely sick here. The light shines through very evenly and the diffusion is silky smooth. The white mounting plate creates a very vibrant underglow effect, and the keyboard looks awesome in the dark. I have no problem with the medium font. I like the fact that it allows more lighting to shine through, but doesn’t look overly stylised and is still elegant. The size of the font is also consistent on the bigger keys, which looks good. There is a wide variety of RGB modes with a total of 19. As mentioned, you can cycle through the modes, then also set the speed and choose from 5 brightness levels. As you would expect at this price point, the keycaps are double-shot ABS. Not the thickest ever at 1.1mm but the quality is decent.
To download the companion software, head over to this page on BlitzWolf’s website. Do a search for “BlitzWolf BW-KB1” in the search bar on the right. With the software you can do key remapping, including multimedia and macros. Unfortunately it’s not possible to edit the Fn layer, so I couldn’t add any media controls. You also have your RGB controls, and there is a user-defined mode that allows you to record you own static colour scheme. You can finetune the behaviour of the gaming mode, and then you can also record your own macros.
The BW-KB1 is a very solid budget 60% board. It offers a good typing experience and stunning backlighting with a wide selection of modes. The Bluetooth feature is nice, especially if you plan on using this with a laptop or tablet. On top of that, it has the 63-key layout so it’s going to be great not only for gaming but also productivity.