Royal Kludge is a peripheral manufacturer that recently has focused on making value prebuilt keyboards. With their RK84 Pro, they provide quality materials at a competitive price point.
The Royal Kludge RK84 Pro is a 75% mechanical keyboard that offers an aluminum case, wireless connectivity, and a hotswap PCB for modability.
So if the RK84 Pro sounds interesting to you, keep reading to see if this board could be the right one for you.
The Royal Kludge RK84 Pro is a 75% mechanical keyboard that comes with an all-aluminum case, a hotswap PCB, wireless connectivity, bright backlighting, software support, and MacOS support. You get all this for a competitive price that makes the RK84 Pro a star option to consider in this price bracket.
Regardless of if you want to use this keyboard for gaming, at the office, or as a way to get into the mechanical keyboard hobby, the RK84 Pro is a solid choice. The only potential downsides are the under-lubed stabilizers and lack of PBT keycaps.
If you want a board with a ton of features, a solid build, and incredible value, the Royal Kludge RK84 Pro is certainly a good option to go with.
In The Box
In the box with the RK84 Pro, you will receive a few extra items to add to your overall experience.
USB-C Cable: This is just your standard rubberized cable. This is mostly useful for gaming or charging due to the wireless connectivity of the board. The cable also is about 6 feet long.
Keycap and Switch Puller: You get a keycap and switch puller in one. It is not the best one that I have seen included in the box but certainly isn’t the worst. It gets the job done without issues.
Extra Switches: Some extra switches are included in case a switch ever breaks. They will match the switches in your board.
Add-on Feet: If you would like to raise the level of height on the board, some feet are included that magnetically attach to the bottom of the board.
Documentation: There is a sheet to explain macro functions and answer any basic questions you may have about how to use your board.
There is nothing to complain about on the packaging front and everything is organized nicely.
The factor that gives the RK84 Pro the pro name is its build. The RK84 Pro comes with an all-aluminum case with thin bezels and a silver look.
The board feels quite hefty at comes in at 1.08 kg (2.37 lbs). You get a rigid build and an audible thunk when you place this board down on your desk. If a plastic build would be adequate for you then you can save about $20 and opt for the standard RK84.
On the bottom of the board are 4 large rubber strips to keep to board from sliding around. There are no flip-out feet but there are magnetically attached feet included in the box. The stock typing angle is pretty comfortable so for most people you won’t need any feet.
The RK84 Pro has a left-mounted USB-C connection. On the bottom of the board are two switches. One to turn on the board and the other to switch between 2.4GHz and Bluetooth wireless.
At this price point, the RK84 Pro has one of the best builds of any prebuilt keyboard. If you want something more refined then you will want to go the custom keyboard route, but compared to Keychron or gaming brands, the RK is a solid option.
The RK84 Pro comes with the same white ABS shine-through keycaps that are on its non-pro counterpart. These keycaps are in the OEM profile and feature a slight sculpt that makes them more natural to type on than laptop keyboards. They also offer sub-legends to show the secondary functions of the keys.
The keycaps allow a decent amount of light to come through, while the double-shot legends mean the letters will not fade away. The legends look clean and don’t have any gamery font. This means the RK84 Pro can go in a setup for work or gaming.
The caps are about what I would expect on a pre-build keyboard of this price. In my experience, they did not develop shine, but for most people, you may find shine developing after a few months. These keycaps feel and sound pretty average but they are better than some budget ABS sets from Logitech and Keychron.
The Switches and Stabilizers
The only choice you make when buying the RK84 Pro is what switch to put in your board. You can get either a linear, tactile, or clicky switch.
|RK Red||A light-weight linear switch with a smooth travel|
|RK Brown||A medium-weight tactile switch with a light tactile bump|
|RK Blue||A medium-weight clicky switch. It has a loud sound and sharp tactility|
Royal Kludge’s RK switches may not be from a large switch manufacturer, however, having tried all three, they are pretty decent considering this price point. The RK Red switches aren’t the smoothest red switch I have tried but also not the worst. Also, the brown switches actually have a noticeable bump compared to Gateron and Cherry Browns. Their blues feel just about the same as any other blue switch.
When compared to after-market switches, the RK switches are no competition but they are a good stock offering at this price point. The inclusion of plate foam makes the board not sound too hollow or pingy either. That being said, the RK84 Pro has audible ping compared to its plastic case counterparts.
For stabilizers, Royal Kludge offers slightly lubed stock stabs. They have some rattle stock but they aren’t unbearable and certainly ok if this is your first mechanical keyboard.
If you are willing to lube the switches or stabilizers, the RK84 Pro actually has a decent amount of potential. The stock sound may be the weakest aspect to a keyboard enthusiast but it is still more than passable.
The RK84 Pro features a hotswap PCB that supports both 3-pin and 5-pin switches. This means that almost all mechanical switches will fit in this board.
The sockets come in a north-facing configuration. That means cherry profile keycaps will face an issue called interference. Although switches will still activate, when pressing down on cherry profile keycaps, they will make contact with the housing of the switch before they bottom out. What that means is if you plan to use cherry profile keycaps, you may lose out on some of the satisfaction of a mechanical keyboard.
Overall a hotswap PCB is a great feature for anyone that wants to mod their keyboard or try out different switches. If you would like to tune your stabilizers or play around with the foam in the board then you can do so too.
Like the Royal Kludge RK96 or RK84, the RK84 Pro allows for three options of connectivity. In addition to the wired connection, you can use the included dongle for the 2.4GHz connection or connect to up to three devices via Bluetooth 5.0. I would recommend using the 2.4 GHz connection over Bluetooth as it is faster and seemed to have similar performance to a wired connection.
The dongle for the 2.4GHz connection is magnetically attached to the bottom of the board so you don’t have to worry about losing it when on the go. It is nice that you have so many options for connectivity with this board so you can create a clean wireless setup.
The RK 84 Pro includes a 3750mAH rechargeable lithium-ion battery that is rated for up to 200 hours with lighting off. I found that I was still able to get about two weeks of usage with lighting, which is quite respectable. It takes about six hours to fully charge the board from empty.
To conserve battery, the RK84 Pro will go to sleep when you are not using the board. However, the board will wake up instantly when you start using it again.
If you are a Mac user then the RK84 Pro will still work with your board. Just switch the board’s mode with the function and s keys.
If you want to use this board with a tablet or phone, you may not get all the onboard functions but the board will still work like a regular keyboard.
Backlighting and Software Support
Royal Kludge’s RK84 Pro offers bright RGB lighting. The lighting can be controlled both through software and with onboard presets. If you want a cleaner look you can change the lighting to an all-white look or just turn the lighting off because the keycaps are easy to read even without lighting.
Compared to other options at the same price, the RK84 Pro is brighter than the Keychron K6 but about the same as the Epomaker GK68XS.
The software does the job. It is not as simple to use or clean looking as Razer Synapse or VIA but it has all the needed functions. You can change between lighting effects, create macros, and switch profiles. The software can also save a profile to the board so you can keep your settings on different systems.
Royal Kludge’s RK84 Pro is a solid competitor in the $80 to $120 price bracket. With various options from Keychron, Vissles, Epomaker, and new custom keyboard options, the RK84 Pro delivers a variety of features that make the board a great option for a variety of audiences.
The wireless connectivity and sleek design make the board a great option for the office. The RGB lighting and software support might make this a good option for a gaming setup. For those that want to modify their keyboard, the hotswap PCB makes this board very easy to change switches and make changes.
It would be nice to see better-lubed stock stabilizers and PBT keycaps but if you would like to modify your keyboard then you will end up replacing these components anyway.
We hope that you enjoyed this article and you find the right keyboard for your setup. Thanks for reading and check out some of our other keyboard reviews for more content.
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