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ReviewKeyboards

Review: Xtrfy K2 RGB

1
We've taken a closer look at the all new K2 keyboard from the Swedish manufacturer Xtrfy. And It's a stripped down story still boasting lots of features.
XG-K2-R-RGB. That could have been a distance relative to the Star Wars characters C-3PO or R2-D2, and the name might have made more sence if that was the case. If there's something that the Swedish company Xtrfy isn't all that good with then it's giving their products fresh and easy names. Or, is there another side to the story? Xtrfy actually reached out to me, explaining the name a bit further which turned out to be pretty enlightening. K2 (or Keyboard 2) is the actually name of the keyboard, while the R stands for "Red" (stating what kind of switches being used) and the RGB part speaks for it self. Being fair and making it a whole lot easier we're just going to call it the K2. Simple and easy. But enough about the name already; how does this brand new keyboard feel? How does it match up its predecessor and with the competition spanning the same price level?

The test




Stripped down and compact. That's two words that fit perfectly with both the keyboard itself and the box that it's delivered in. It is a quite nice box using the Ninjas in Pyjamas team and brand on the front for advertising. However, the lineup shown on the box is the one the Swedish team ran with during 2015, with the Finnish veteran Aleksi "allu" Jalli on the team instead of the Swedish talent Jacob "pyth" Mourujärvi. But this is all kind of trivial and irrelevant. The top of the box has a kind of lid which can be opened, giving us a good look at the keyboard. Once flipped over, we're prompted with the more relevant information about the K2 and it's functions.

Once unboxed I'm struck with the plain look of the keyboard. No daring design and only boasting standard keys (the Win/Xtrfy and FN caps included). The keyboard chassi has a somewhat mat finish in comparison with the slightly shinier surface of the keycaps. The only ornament found on the keyboard is positioned above the arrow keys, in form of the Xtrfy logo. This is something that contrast alot from keyboards I've used for a while and it's something that I'm happy about.

The K2 offers a lot of features, hidden away under it's sleek surface. All of these features are configured directly through the keyboard, so there is no software available to provide a more graphic way to change the K2 according to your preferences. This might feel a bit difficult to begin with considering that there's lots of stuff to play around with, especially when it comes to the background ligthning. However, I do find this very convenient after having read the the manual a few times, together with just playing around with the settings for a while. And it sure is nice being able to bring the keyboard with me anywhere, to any computer, not having to install any software just so that I can re-program it, if needed. It's all saved in the keyboards built in memory. Neither will I ever need to install a software just so that I can access my macros, something that pro players should be able to benefit from.

Technical specifications:

Available layouts: Nordic, UK, German
Interface: USB, PS/2 (PS/2 adapter included)
Keys: Standard 105
Key cap layout: Step Scalpture2 Type
Anti-Ghosting: Unlimited USB & PS/2 N-Key Rollover
Switch: Mechanical Kaihl Red RGB
Special keys/shortcuts: Media controls, Gaming mode key, Macro keys, Illumination setting keys, Quick access to Google, Facebook, HLTV, Steam and other websites

Weight: 1.25 kg
Size: 440 x 140 x 35 mm
Cable: 170 cm, braided
Warranty: 1 year
Many of the functions featured on the K2 could be found with the earlier XG1-R LED model. Unlimited anti-ghosting, built in support for macros and an unnecessary amount of possibilites when it comes to the lightning. The keyboard is connected to your computer with a 1.7 meter braided cable, but the K2 doesn't feature a removable cable as the XG1-R LED does which actually can be a pretty neat feature. However, you are able to chose between three different canals on the bottom of the keyboard in which you can run the cable through, so that it fits your setup perfectly.

The K2 weigh 50 gram less than the XG1-R LED, giving it a total weight of 1.25 kg. This fact, together with the rubber feet, sees to it so that the K2 lay still both directly on your desk as well as on a desk size mouse pad.

For transparency, it should be mentioned that I now test my second K2. The reason for this was a sqeaky sound emerging from the left side of the spacebar on the first example. I contacted the distributor and asked if they had encountered the problem before, and after Xtrfy had been consulted, they wanted told me that they would want to take a closer look at the keyboard to see what might be wrong. This has not happened yet, so I can not give any direct answer. But the new keyboard I received instead works flawlessly. In other words, nothing to raise your eyebrows over. For the rest the keyboard feels solid. It has a sturdy built and it does deliver a great experience depsite its small size.

A new feature with the K2 are the switches. This time the classic MX switches from Cherry had to step aside, making room for switches of the model Red RGB from Kaihl. I have both read and heard some different opinions on the Kaihls switches, which are designed to directly mimic the Cherry. And if there's anything that might take with me from these opinions then it's the fact that the Kaihl switches might not be as long lived as its Cherry counterparts. Xtrfy does however offer a one year warranty for the keyboard. The manufacturer of the switches, Kaihl, does actually promise a lifespan of 60 million clicks, compared to 50 million for the Cherry MX ditto. But I wouldn't put too much credability in these claims, since they are after all made by the manufacturers themselves . I am however having a hard time spotting any difference between the two when compared side by side.

This new keyboard from Xtrfy also received a new, hefty price tag. It on the market for about 196 euro, which means that it's in the same price range as the Corsair K70 RGB, SteelSeries Apex M800 and Razer BlackWidow Chroma. In this comparison, K2 is by far the most compact, yet it offers basically the same features as the other.

All put together, this is a really nice keyboard, especially for those who do not want any extravagant design. It is also perfect for those who move around with their keyboard between multiple computers, given that all settings are controlled by, and stored on the keyboard. The same features can however be found somewhat deterrent to those who prefer accompanying softwares with a good, graphical interface. The fact that they have managed to squeeze in as much functionality in such a small product together with the good quality of previous Xtrfy keyboards still makes the K2 deserve an eight in score, together with a buy recommendation.

Positive:
  • Comprehensive macro function
  • The plain design
  • High build quality
  • An impressive LED backlight
  • Everything stored in the keyboard

Negativt:
  • Currently only available with red switches.
  • Might be tricky to learn in the beginning.
  • The price tag.
Price:
  • about 195 euro.

Score

8 / 10

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