QPAD MK-90 RGB Gaming Keyboard Review


QPAD MK90 Gaming Keyboard Review


The downside to there being so many mechanical gaming keyboards on the market is that you need to get almost everything right to stand out from the pack. It's so competitive out there that a single weakness might be enough to leave a particular model on the shelf.

First impressions of the MK90 keyboard are that it looks a little cheap and plasticky for the hefty price-tag, and we're not wholly convinced that the rev counters on the numpad - used for adjusting the repeat speed on the fly - are the classiest way of showing this. However that's a matter of personal taste. Perhaps you like tacky things. However the steel core means that it's extremely solid despite this average exterior.

When plugged in there is no doubt that the lighting is the star of the show. There are a multitude of options available in how the keyboard lights up, the colours that you use, and how it reacts to profile changes or key presses. The colours are richly saturated too, and there is genuinely a raft of colour choices, rather than the "only four or five are clearly different" that you can get. It's disappointing that the lock LEDs don't adjust to the keys and so you're stuck with blue lights regardless of your key colours.

We know that at no point do QPAD claim that the switches on the MK-90 are Cherry MX ones, and so to find the Kailh switches underneath the key caps shouldn't be considered a negative. However, they have insinuated as heavily as possible without explicitly saying that they are. The specifications list "Gaming grade mechanical switch"; the box lists "Red Linear" switches; even their shop states the switches are "MX Red". There comes a point when something is so heavily implied that it might almost stand up in court. The switch fiasco leaves a very bitter taste in the mouth and is even less understandable when you remember the MK-80 has Cherry MX switches installed.

Of course if the Kailh switches were a perfect copy of the Cherry MX then perhaps this wouldn't be an issue. If the typing experience is the same then there is no reason to complain. Two things are the last nail in the coffin. Firstly, and most importantly, these definitely don't feel like Cherry MX Red switches. They are more akin to the black ones if anything, and even then they are lacking the crisp rebound that we're used to. So as a copy they aren't very good. Secondly you're not actually saving any money by getting a keyboard with alternative switches. Current street price for the MK90 is £110, and we can think of a dozen keyboards off the top of our head that have better build quality and usability. In its current state the MK-90 requires either a redesign to make it more deserving of its price-tag or significant price drop to be worthy of recommendation. Stick to the MK-80 if you must have a QPAD keyboard.

Thanks to QPAD for supplying the MK-90 for today's review. Discuss it in our OC3D Forums.

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