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Rosewill Apollo RK-9100 review

apollo 9100

Rosewill Apollo RK-9100 review

Rosewill Apollo RK-9100

Rosewill Apollo RK-9100
8.82

Build Quality

9/10

    Switches

    10/10

      LEDs

      8/10

        Keycaps

        9/10

          Overall Aesthetic

          9/10

            Pros

            • Cherry MX switches
            • USB hub and mic/audio pass-throughs
            • Capable of storing 50 different macros at once.
            • LEDs have a great range of brightness.
            • Detachable wrist-rest included.

            Cons

            • NumsLock/CapsLock/Game-Mode indicator LED always on High brightness.
            • Software not as customizable as competitors.
            • Gaming keys

             

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            Rosewill Apollo RK-9100 Features Overview

            • Cherry MX Blue switches (also available with Brown) with Blue LED backlighting (also available with Red LEDs).
            • Nkey rollover over USB.
            • Full form factor.
            • Media function keys.
            • Onboard memory to save settings.
            • Gaming mode that disables Windows key.
            • Two USB2.0 ports and mic/headphone pass-through.
            • Detachable wrist-rest included.

            The Rosewill Apollo RK-9100 line of mechanical keyboards are a line of budget-friendly keyboards aimed towards PC gamers. In this review, I’ll give you a hands-on look at the RK-9100xB, which has Cherry MX Blue switches and Blue LED backlights. The RK-9100 line is also available with Cherry MX Brown switches, and Red LED lights if that fits your PC better.

            There’s a lot of great features to cover for this keyboard, and I’ll go over them as I give you a closer look at the Apollo RK-9100xB.

             

            Rosewill Apollo RK-9100xB Unboxing

            rosewill apollo rk-9100 box

            The Cherry MX switches and LED backlighting choices are made very apparent on the box.

            rosewill apollo 9100 2

            The contents are securely packaged and well protected.

            rosewill apollo 9100 everything

            With everything unpacked, here are all the components. The Apollo RK-9100 mechanical keyboard, the plastic detachable wrist-rest, 8 gaming keys, 1 keycap puller, a CD for software and drivers, and a user manual.

            apollo gaming keycaps

            The gaming keys that come with the Apollo RK-9100 leave something to be desired. The letters are not translucent, so the LED light doesn’t shine through the keycap. It also looks like the the lettering is just printed on these caps, so I suspect they would wear off with heavy gaming use.

            rosewill apollo 9100 side

            The Apollo RK-9100 has a pretty sleek side-profile. It’s very think around the edges as to not take up more room than required. The material of both the case and the wrist-rest is a soft, rubberized-plastic that has a great feel to it.

            rosewill apollo 9100 bottom

            The bottom of the keyboard, seen with the wrist-rest attached. It’s a nice touch to have 3 rubber feet on the wrist-rest alone so the plastic doesn’t scrape or move around while gaming.

            rosewill apollo 9100 hub

            At the top-right of the keyboard is the media hub. Here you can see the two USB2.0 ports, as well as the mic and headphone pass-through inputs.

            rosewill apollo 9100 ports

            It’s nice to have the placement of the ports on the back of the keyboard rather than the side, as it should avoid things from getting in the way of your mouse. You may also notice the stub of the keyboard’s cable. It’s made of a nice braided material, but it’s a bit bulky and non-detachable. This is because it’s not only encasing the USB cable, but the mic and headphone pass-through cables as well.

            rosewill apollo 9100 cable ends

            In this photo you can see the thickness of the base cable (the thicker one, beneath the plug-ends) and how it splits into three separate plugs for the keyboard and mic/audio inputs.

             

            Rosewill Apollo RK-9100xB Blue Backlights

            One main feature you’ll want to know more about is the blue LED backlights. They are placed behind every key on the keyboard, and have 5 different settings – Off, Low, Medium, High, and “Breathing”, which pulses between High and Off.

            The nice thing about these backlights is they get very bright on the High setting. Even better though in my opinion, is on the Low setting they a perfect level of brightness that won’t distract or overpower your eyes, but will let you see the keys in a dark room. The Low setting being too bright was one of my criticisms of the Rosewill RGB80, so it’s nice to see that the problem didn’t persist on this keyboard as well.

            rosewill apollo 9100 blue led

            Some things to note with the backlights on – the media and profile lettering are nicely faded on the F1-F12 keys to indicate they must be pressed in conjunction with the Fn key.

            One negative though that will annoy those who are somewhere on the OCD spectrum – the NumLock, CapsLock, and Game-Mode indicator LEDs on the top-right of the keyboard do not adjust their brightness with the rest of the keys. This means when the rest of the keys are on the Low setting, the indicator lights are constantly on High. The indicator LEDs also don’t pulse with the other keys when in the Breathing mode. It’s a small detail, but one that would have been really great to nail.

            rosewill apollo 9100 9

             

            Rosewill Apollo RK-9100 Software

            Similar to the software for the RGB80, the software here wasn’t a crowning achievement, but it was actually much more straightforward and intuitive to use. You can switch between the 5 macro profiles available, then select a key and assign to a function. There are some built-in functions like copy, paste, save, etc or you can record your own as seen in the screenshot below.

            rosewill apollo software

             

            Cherry MX Blue Switches

            Cherry MX Blue switches are the most widely used switches by mechanical keyboard manufacturers, so these Blue switches were no stranger to me. Blue switches are quite loud and clicky, which many enthusiasts love. However, if you’re going to be using your keyboard in the office or a shared room, consider looking for a quieter mechanical keyboard switch.

            rosewill apollo 9100 blue cherry

            If you want to hear this keyboard in action, here’s a video of a 1-minute typing test to give you a feel for the sound of the keys.

            Rosewill Apollo RK-9100 Overall Verdict

            Overall, I highly recommend the Rosewill Apollo RK-9100 mechanical keyboard for any PC gamer on a budget. You’d be unlikely to find a comparable keyboard with Cherry MX switches and all the extra features you see here for the price.

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            About The Author
            Peter Nivison
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