To test this gaming keyboard, I used it over a few weeks playing various games, typing on it as well as doing this review. It’s a tough job being a reviewer, but someone’s got to do it.
The games used were:
- Space Marine
- League of Legends
- Rise of Flight – wow is this impossible with a keyboard
- Grim Fandango
- Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2
Since this is a gaming keyboard, you’d probably feel somewhat cheated if it wasn’t a good match for whatever your latest title was. Fortunately you won’t be dissapointed. The MK-85 is well suited to gaming in a variety of genres. It works fine for shooters and twitch based games thanks to its low reaction threshold and while its lower actuation force does take a little getting used to – you might tap a bit harder than necessary initially – it means you get far less finger fatigue in games that require a lot of keyboard interaction.
One of the common problems with mechanical keyboards is their lack of macro and remappable keys, leaving MMO gamers somewhat left out. However, due to the software bundled with this one and its built in memory, you can take the Mk-85 with you wherever you go and bring your macros as well. The inclusion of upto 10 remppable keys and 5 gaming profiles mean while this keyboard doesn’t have the most customisation out there, for a mechanical it’s quite impressive.
Typing on mechanicals is almost always a lovely experience as they clack away quite nicely and feel responsive and fluid. However, some boards that include MX black switches can actually tire your hands and wrists out quite quickly due to the exra force required to press upon them. Fortunately with MX red switches that isn’t the case. I still prefer MX Brown when given the choice, but actually quite prefer these to the MX blue ones found in the MK-80. It’s personal preference and there’s not much in it, but this is a board that’s great to type on as well as game.
For a quick comparison, here’s what I achieved on the speed typing test with the other gamer switch, the Cherry MX Blacks (using a Steeleries 7G).
Qpad Mk-85: 117
Steelseries 7G: 110
Not a lot in it, but the red switches take it.
Thanks to the smooth plastic used on both the wrist rest and keyboard body, this is a lovely board to tap away on – whether you’re gaming or typing. The only real improvement I’d like to see is a slightly bigger wrist rest that extends a bit further. In a game that requires the usage of the arrow keys or if your hand happens to relax a little, you do find half your wrist on the board and half on the tabletop. This is fine, but if space is limiting this can be a problem. The disparity in temperature between the board and table can also be noticeable – but that’s pretty nitpicky.