Roccat Suora FX Frameless Keyboard Review
There is an awful lot to like with the Suora FX, a couple of minor niggles and one giant one.
Unquestionably the frameless design is the star of the show. The base of the Suora FX as a whole looks fantastic with the textured finish backing up crisp fonts. Around the back it is almost piano black with the Roccat identification text making it obvious to passers by which keyboard you're running, and the underside lets you place the cable wherever you wish, something more manufacturers should offer.
Lighting options are plentiful with the Suora FX living up to the FX billing. You have full RGB control, as well as multiple 'fancy' modes such as fireworks, colour scroll, colour cycle etc. The ones that look amazing to show off to your friends but you wouldn't actually use day to day. You know the ones. Additionally though the combination of the Suora FX and the Swarm software allow you to have profiles for individual titles, a boon if you want dedicated key maps and lighting for each genre. If you're the type of person who plays lots of different games rather than becoming godlike at one then it really helps as a memory aid, particularly in the more complicated titles. The lighting reproduces colours well, although like so many RGB options there are always a few shades that can cause it problems and with the Roccat Suora FX it is the regular band of subtle shades, but curiously including yellow into that mix which always seemed under saturated, particularly in light of the outstanding purples and blues. Few RGB options can do purple without making it seem pink, but the Suora FX has no such problems.
A keyboard lives and dies by the typing experience and here it is obvious that the TTC switches are a clone of a better switch. They aren't bad per se, but neither do they have the crisp response and fast rebound that you would find on genuine Cherry MX switches. All adjectives are relative, so although the TTC switches are slightly squidgy, that is only in comparison to other mechanical switches, all of which - these included - are much crisper than a membrane or similar designed keyboard. If you've always found the rebound spring in the Cherrys to be slightly too sprightly for your taste then you'll be at home with the TTCs in the Suora FX.
As always there is a something to critique, and in the case of the Suora FX it is the keycap stems. This is by no means the first frameless keyboard we've reviewed, nor the first in which the keys sit proud above a thin base. It is, however, the first keyboard in which we knocked keycaps off the board just by taking it out of the box, and more than once a top row key fell off when moving it about the desk, purely by the pressure the pad on our fingers exerted on the underside of the cap. We didn't even need our keycap puller to show you the switches. If you plan to just put the Suora FX down on your desk and never move it, this wont be a problem. If you're constantly moving your keyboard around then either glue them down or be prepared to do a lot of picking up of keycaps.
Lastly, and unfortunately for us what is the deal-breaker, is that price tag. When you're making a mechanical keyboard you use Cherry MX switches to get the best combination of lighting and typing feel, and if utilising them makes the keyboard too expensive then you switch to a clone brand to save money. The Suora FX has clone switches that struggle with certain lighting combinations, haven't got quite the crisp response of a Cherry and have the key cap stem being slightly too short, or narrow, problem we outlined in the previous paragraph, yet it is still a whopping £130. It's the worst of both worlds, hugely expensive and yet using more 'affordable' parts.
In a market place bulging at the seams with full-RGB mechanical keyboards the Suora FX needed to make a bold statement either in quality or competitive pricing, and it seems to sit on the fence in both camps and thus will get lost in the shuffle. Only for the Roccat completionist.