The CK61 offers an awesome clicky typing experience at a very budget friendly price
Get the Motospeed CK61 on Banggood
The Motospeed CK61 is a 60% board featuring Kailh Box White switches. I was really excited to review this board, as Kailh Box Whites are one of my favourite clicky switches. The CK61 comes with double shot ABS keycaps and full RGB backlighting featuring 14 colour modes. The board has NKRO and comes with a USB-C connection. It’s currently on special for $52 on Banggood, so very budget friendly.
In comparison to more traditional clicky switches, Kailh Box Whites have a lighter actuation force of 50g and a lower actuation point of 1.8mm. Being a linear switch user, these are just the kind of specs that I’m looking for: light keypresses with low travel. These switches are fast, and I can easily attain the same speed as with linears. Kailh Box switches also use a different mechanism, namely a click bar, versus the click jacket you find on Cherry MX. This results in less rattle and sharper tactility. The Box Whites have a very crisp and clean sound, and they are fairly high pitched due to the thin click bar. If you want to go down the rabbit hole, there are a few variations of these Kailh Box switches, for example the Navys are heavier with stronger tactility.
The box shape also means less key wobble and these switches are IP56 water and dustproof. The click bar mechanism gives you a sharp tactile feel, and it’s definitely less mushy than conventional clicky switches. I really enjoyed the lightness and tactility when typing on this keyboard. With these switches I don’t lose any speed, and I also don’t experience any fatigue during longer typing sessions. The stabilisers are decent, and the rattle on the bigger keys is average to low. They’re not factory lubed, so it might help to apply some dielectric grease. Unless you’re going to be desoldering, you cannot remove these stabs, so you’ll need to use a different method. Overall a very enjoyable and satisfying typing experience, and the keyboard has a clean and crisp sound.
The CK61 doesn’t work like a typical 60% board where you hold Fn to gain access to the Fn layer. To use the F-row, Nav Cluster and arrow keys, you have to activate different layers. For example, if you want to use the Nav Cluster, you need to press Fn + 2 to activate that layer. So now you have dedicated Nav Cluster keys. Once finished, you press Fn + 2 again to deactivate that layer and revert back to the standard layer. In the same way you can gain access to the F-row and arrow keys. It is also possible to have more than one layer activated at a time.
This design feels a little clunky for me. Instead of just holding Fn and pressing a key, you need to activate the required layer, use the Fn key, and then deactivate that layer again. That’s three separate steps. For video editing it was okay, as I could just keep the Nav Cluster activated permanently, but for coding it became unwieldy as I had to constantly go back and forth between layers. I wouldn’t really recommend this keyboard for productivity, however it should be okay for some light word processing or spreadsheet work. The ideal scenario is going to be if you just need something for gaming and general use. With that being said, it still felt a kind of clunky doing simple things like Delete, Prt Scr and Alt F4.
The RGB is nice and bright as the keyboard has a medium font that lets plenty of light through. On some of the legends it doesn’t shine through very clearly on the edges, but you’re only going to notice this from up close. The mounting plate is dark gray, so there isn’t really a strong underglow effect here. There are 14 RGB modes, and you can cycle through these with Fn + Menu. You can also set seven single colours with Fn + Right Ctrl (it’s possible to do this on most of the modes). Then there is also brightness, speed and direction control, provided that the selected mode supports it.
The RGB controls don’t work like the rest of the Fn layer. For these you just have to hold Fn, so no layer switching is necessary. Barring the slight unevenness on the edges, the RGB looks really good. I love the Starry Point colour mode on this board – looks like liquorice. The CK61 has ABS keycaps, and they have that frosted, grainy surface, which means they are more resistant to shine and fingermarks. We have the standard ANSI layout and OEM profile, so keycap customisation will be easy. As always, I couldn’t resist throwing on the HyperX White Puddings, and they looked pretty sick on here. It’s very easy to remove the keycaps from the Box White stems, so putting on new keycaps was easy.
The software is barebones, with some basic key remapping functionality, including single key, macros and media. There is a macro editor as well if you want to record macros. Something wasn’t quite right with the RGB controls, as I got completely different modes from the ones I chose on the software. Unless you need to do remapping and macros, the software isn’t really worth downloading. We have a full plastic enclosure, and the case feels strong with minimal bend. This is not a hotswap board, as the switches are soldered to the PCB. We have four fixed rubber feet the bottom, and I like the circular design as opposed to the rectangular ones. The case has an ergonomic angle and was was comfortable during extended use. The USB-C port sits in the middle on the back, which is quite odd but it didn’t bother me.
The CK61 offers an awesome clicky typing experience at a very budget friendly price, and I really had fun with this review. The biggest drawback for me was the Fn layer design, but a lot of users will only be using this for gaming and some general use, so I’m not going to be overly critical. If you’re in the market for a Kailh clicky board, this is a great entry-level option that won’t break the bank.