Redragon Horus K618: The Best Value Low-Profile Keyboard

Redragon Horus K618 low profile keyboard on a desk
Redragon is a keyboard manufacturer that is no stranger to making value-focused mechanical keyboards.

The Redragon Horus K618 is a low-profile keyboard providing a solid experience at a competitive price. The Horus K618 offers wireless connectivity, macro keys, and a variety of other features to make it a good option for anyone who is looking for a full-size mechanical keyboard.

Today we are going to take a look at Redragon’s Horus K618 and see if this low-profile board is the one for you.

The Verdict

A comparison between the board lubed and unlubed

Rating: 4 out of 5.

The Redragon Horus K618 is a low-profile, wireless mechanical keyboard that is perfect for those looking for value. Redragon features Bluetooth and 2.4ghz connectivity, RGB lighting, dedicated media keys, a dial, and a hotswap PCB.

A low-profile keyboard is often found to be more comfortable. With the K618, Redragon is delivering a lot of what the competition offers at a lower price point.

For the price, Redragon gives a lot of features and a pretty solid build. For the gamer who wants a low-profile board that will give them a solid experience all while not breaking the bank, the Horus K618 has a lot of potential. Furthermore, if you want to get a screwdriver out, the K618 is not too difficult to mod if you are interested in a more satisfying sound and feel.


In The Box

Unboxing of Redragon Horus K618 low profile keyboard

Inside the box, Redragon gives you everything you need and more.

Keyboard: The keyboard comes in a sleeve of protective foam to protect it while in transit.

USB-C Cable: You get a braided cable with a 90-degree angle so it can be nicely plugged into the side of the keyboard.

Switch Puller: A metal switch puller is included in case you ever need to replace a switch or if you want to mod this board. The puller isn’t anything too fancy but it does the job.

Wire Keycap Puller: Along with the switch puller you get a decent quality wire keycap puller. This is a nice inclusion as taking off your keycaps is essential if you are cleaning or modding your keyboard. Often companies included a cheap plastic puller that may scratch your keycaps or don’t include one at all.

Extra Switches: If any switch ever breaks, eight extra switches are included in the box.

Sticker and Documentation: You are given a sticker with the Redragon logo along with any documentation that you may need for the board.

Overall everything is packed quite nicely and it is good to see that Redragon gives you quite decent extras to go along with the board.

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Build Quality

Angled view of Redragon Horus K618 low profile keyboard

For the Horus K618, Redragon elected to go with a plastic case and thin aluminum top piece. The rubber media keys are made of rubber and the scroll wheel is also made of aluminum. The board comes in at about 700g (about 1.5 lbs) in a full-size form factor. It looks to be about the height of most modern membrane keyboards at around 2cm tall or just under an inch. If this is too big for your desk then Redragon also offers a tenkeyless variant.

The K618 feels pretty solid and this choice in material is not bad for the price. If an aluminum case is important to you then I would suggest spending a bit more for the Keychron K1 which offers an aluminum build and hotswappable PCB.

On the bottom of the board are four rubber feet. Two of which flip out for additional height adjustment. On the side of the board are a power switch and the USB-C port. The side placement of the port is not ideal but since this board is wireless I rarely used the board wired anyway so it was not much of an issue. Additionally, the wire given with, a 90-degree angle, remedies this issue.

Overall the build is decent for the price and the design is quite nice.

The Keycaps

Close up of Redragon Horus K618 mechanical keyboard

On the Horus K618 you get low-profile ABS keycaps that feature doubleshot legends. This means that the main legends are permanent. For the secondary functions printed in white, those are pad printed so that could become an issue later down the line after extensive use.

The ABS keycaps feel smooth and are what you would expect for a gaming keyboard. The only flaw with the keycaps is the legends. Although the legends while not wear off, they don’t look that great. They have this sort of gamer font with some letters not having connected parts of the letter like on the A or the O keys.

That being said the legends are a good size so they are easy to read and they let a decent amount of RGB lighting through. Also unlike most low-profile mechanical keyboards, the Redragon Horus K618 has switches with cherry-style stems. This means that if you ever wanted to change the keycaps you actually could.

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The Switches and Stabilizers

Mechanical keyboard switch next to a low-profile switch

Redragon offers one switch option with the K618 with their low-profile red switches made by Outemu. Weirdly these switches have a different pin layout than the regular low-profile Outemu switches. These switches look to be about half the height of a regular key switch. The low-profile reds are a linear switch with an actuation force of 45g.

The low-profile reds are about what I would expect from other low-profile mechanical keyboards. They feel pretty decent for the average gamer and they were comfortable to type on for extended periods.

The switches are on a hotswap PCB meaning typically you would be able to replace the switches with other types of switches. However, the nonstandard pin placement means you cannot actually replace them with other switches. Honestly, this is one of my least favorite things about the board but the fact that this is even offered for the price is nice. You are still able to easily replace a switch if it is broken and mod the keyboard pretty easily because of the hotswappable PCB.

The stabilizers on this board are cherry-style plate mount stabs. They were alright. They were better than most gaming keyboards I have had experience with from the likes of Logitech or Razer however they were nothing crazy. Luckily because the board is hotswap I was able to put some dielectric grease onto the stabilizer wires and they sounded much better afterward. Overall the stabs are fine for most people.

RGB Back Lighting and Software

RGB on the Redragon Horus K618 mechanical keyboard

Redragon’s Horus K618 features RGB lighting. The lighting is pretty bright and definitely better than some of the competition. There are a few onboard presets that can be cycled through without using any software. If you want a clean look you can change the lighting all to white.

The software lets you control the lighting, change mappings, and a few other basic things. It is not as good as VIA, arguably the best keyboard software, or even Corsair iCue but it is better than having nothing. Many keyboards even from companies like Keychron have no official software support this is nice to see.

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Wireless Connectivity

Buttons on Redragon Horus K618 mechanical keyboard

Aside from the option for a wired connection, Redragon gives you two other options for this board. Connection via a 2.4ghz USB dongle or Bluetooth 5.0. You can connect up to 3 devices with Bluetooth 5.0.

The dongle is stored magnetically at the bottom of the board which is nice so you don’t lose it if you aren’t using it.

Personally, I used the dongle the most. It requires no setup and delivers a connection with less latency than Bluetooth. Although I would recommend a wired connection when gaming, I found that using the 2.4Ghz connection was pretty solid. I never felt like it was ruining my experience during single-player or even casual multiplayer gameplay.

The K618 features a 1900mAh battery that Redragon states should last for up to 30 hours. With white LEDs and the 2.4Ghz connection, I was able to get around 25 hours of use. If you use the RGB lighting you might get a little less and with lighting turned off you would probably get more. It also depends how much you are actually typing on the board in a day. You could probably go three to five days with this board.

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When the board is not being used, after a minute, it will go into a sleep state to conserve battery. If you start typing on it though it will start typing almost immediately. This is better than my experience on a lot of other wireless boards like on Keychron boards. Also when you are running low on battery the board wi

Overall wireless connectivity makes the experience of using this board very enjoyable. It is well implemented and I don’t feel like they cheaped out at all.

Media and Macro Keys

Media keys on Redragon Horus K618 mechanical keyboard

Media and macro keys are always a nice to have. Before I had a dedicated macropad they were a must for me.

The media keys work well. They feel slightly mushy but have a tactile response when you press them down. There are also secondary functions for some keys which can do things like open the calculator app.

The scroll wheel allows you to either change the brightness of the lighting or volume. I found that it doesn’t make much of an impact in changing volume. You have to scroll it all the way down just to go down 2 percent. To me, it isn’t that great for changing volume on the fly. Also, I wish the macro keys had dedicated backlighting at all times too.

Conclusion

Top view of Redragon Horus K618 mechanical keyboard on desk

Overall what would bring the Redragon Horus K618 to 5 stars for me is if it had the same pin placement for regular outemu hotswap, nicer keycap legends, and an aluminum frame. That being said the K618 delivers a solid build and plenty of features that make this a very enjoyable experience.

If you want an aluminum build, compatibility with different types of switches, and dedicated mac support then Keychron’s low profile offerings like the K1 may be a better option for you. However, if you want a better wireless experience, brighter lighting, macro keys, and software then get then the K618 is the one for you.

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I also found that it is easy to compare the K618 to the Logitech G915. You get most of what the G915 has with the Horus K618. If you are willing to pay extra though, for over double the price, the G915 offers better software, a low latency lightspeed wireless connection, and slightly better-looking keycaps.

All this being said I still think that the Redragon Horus K618 is the best value low-profile keyboard that you can buy today.

So if you would like the Redragon Horus K618, check it out here at the Redragon store.

Thanks for reading and if you would like to see more keyboard content, check out our keeb reviews or the sound tests on my YouTube channel.

Redragon K530 Review: Too Good To Be True?

When I was looking for a cheap and decent 60% board with hotswap capabilities, the Redragon K530 caught my eye. But when I received the K530 in the mail I was very disappointed for two reasons.

The Verdict

Redrapon K530 mechanical keyboard on grass

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

The Redragon K530 is an entry-level budget mechanical keyboard with a 60% layout. It’s Redragon’s first attempt at a 60% keyboard dating back to January of 2020. It delivers shockingly good Bluetooth and hotswap at a decent price with some caveats.

You get a nice simple, solid plastic case in either black or white. It also features one level of height adjustment with some rubber-tipped flip-out feet.

Unfortunately, it only comes with 2 switch options. Either linear reds or tactile browns, more on this later. Lastly, and one of the more important and eye-catching features is the hotswap capabilities or lack thereof.

If you want awesome Bluetooth capabilities and a decent case then this board is prefect for you.


In The Box

In the box you receive quite a bit especially at this price point.

  • The Keyboard: Obviously.
  • Plastic Keycap Puller: Its a standard red puller you will get with most prebuilts. Its not very good and will scratch up your keycaps. We recommend getting a metal one from amazon.
  • Tiny Metal Switch Puller: If you do choose to remove the switches use this. Its not very good for ergonomics but it gets the job done. By the time your finished with all the switches you will question why you even started taking the switches out because of how painful it is.
  • USB Cable: Right angle on the keyboard side to incorporate the USB connector on the side of the keyboard. Not braided but doesn’t develop any kinks, not the greatest cable either.
  • Extra Switches: This is pretty cool, it comes with an extra brown switch, but also comes with an extra Red (Linear but quite light), Black (Linear but heavier then red), and Blue (Clicky with the same weighting as browns.) This is pretty cool if you wanna try out different switches and how they feel.
  • Redragon Sticker: Tacky little sticker with the Redragon logo for people who want to rep the Redragon brand.
  • Documentation: Boring boring boring, except for the manual with all the key bindings and layers, that’s quite useful.
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Build Quality

K530 features a fully rectangular case. No weird shapes like the Keychron K6 or slots for aluminum panels. The case is solid and has barely any flex. On the back, there is a pair of kick-up feet with only 1 level of elevation and a label with some information and branding. Personally, I like it using it without the kick-up feet which makes it has about a 5-degree typing angle but with the feet, it will get up to about 8 degrees.

On the left side, there is a switch for Bluetooth on and off and a 3-way switch to change between Bluetooth modes with an RGB led next to it so show what mode you are on. Another LED is also there to show the battery and when you enter pairing mode.

Buttons on Redragon K530 keyboard

The USB port is on the side, which is a downside for many people. It basically cuts the use of any custom cables and can be negative towards cable management depending on how your setup looks.

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Stock Keycaps

The K530 comes with a set of ABS, double-shot keycaps. These keycaps don’t look very good with a significant and undesirable gamerey font. Speaking of the font it is also very inconsistent where the same letters look different on keys. While this may not be a bad thing the stock keycaps also have shiny and smooth sides which can be prone to scratching and fingerprints.

They are low-quality ABS which means they will shine up very easily and don’t feel very good when typing. Depending on how much you sweat and how much use the keyboard it will shine up in a couple months due to the natural oils and greases produced by your hands.

The keycaps are OEM profile which is common throughout prebuilt keyboards as such. The keycaps are sculpted in a way to hold your hands in place. Refer to the infographic below to see various keycap profiles and their height.

Comparison of different keycap profiles
Via Reddit: u/gtderEvan

The keycaps are either full black or full white. No accents or MAC extras. The sub legends are printed on the side of the keycaps that face you for ease of access.

The Stabilizers

This board features cherry-style plate mount stabilizers that could use some work. They are neither pre-clipped nor pre-lubed but since this keyboard is hotswap both can be done very easily.

Generally, every stabilizer set needs to be lubed for a good experience so if you would like to lube your stabilizers check out this guide by keyboard enthusiast Taeha Types.

Hotswap

PCB of Redragon K530 keyboard

One of the defining factors of this board is that it is hotswap, meaning that you can change the switches without soldering. While this is a welcome feature in most keyboards it is most welcome if it is done correctly.

Most hotswap boards use sockets from Gateron, Kailh, and Outemu. Some higher-end boards will use millmax sockets but usually, those are the only boards that you have to build and solder yourself. This keyboard uses Outemu hotswap sockets which is a huge problem with this board and is the main reason I haven’t recommended it to many people. Outemu hotswap sockets mean that only outemu switches can be used with the PCB since outemu switches have pins that are slightly less thick compared to other switches like Gateron and JWK.

Furthermore, its only 3 pin hotswap. Meaning PCB mount switches like Boba U4 or U4ts wont work without clipping the legs. This is an easy mod that can be done with a nail cutter but is still not favored by many people since its permanently modifying your switches.

Another problem that directly affects the hotswap is the way the LEDs are mounted. Instead of being mounted flush with the PCB, the LEDs protrude a bit as shown.

This can cause switches that don’t have a SMD cutout to not fit properly. Some examples would be Cherry MX Switches with the black housings and most JWK switches.

To conclude, this keyboard has hotswap capabilities but is limited by the fact it only accepts Outemu switches. Outemu switches aren’t the greatest but they definitely aren’t the worst and Outemu manufacturers many switches that are very good like Boba U4 and U4T. Lastly, the SMD issue limits use with even more switches. For this reason, we can’t recommend this keyboard for people looking for hotswap capabilities.

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Wireless

Wireless is where this board shines, it sports Bluetooth 5.0 flawless connecting, a giant battery, and its super easy to connect. It has 2 switches on the side to manage Bluetooth. One for turning the board of and on, and one for changing what device the Bluetooth connects to, and lastly it has a layered button on the keyboard to turn on pairing mode.

Wireless capabilities is definitely where this board shines as it has everything you could possibly need for connecting via bluetooth

Switches

Outemu brown switches

The version of the K530 that we have on hand is the black one with brown switches. These switches are meant to be tactile switches, tactile switches are a mix between linear and clicky; they have the bump of a clicky switch but also aren’t as loud as clickies.

Most brown switches in the keyboard community are known to not have the best tactility. But when I tried these switches I was pleasantly surprised with the amount of tactility they carried.

Redragon K530 with Brown Switches

While the tactility is pretty decent, the spring ping is terrible. The scratchiness and housing and stem wobble is also considerable. The switch uses the Kailh style latches that are quite difficult to open compared to genuine Kailh switches like Box Jades or Box Blacks.

While these do feel better than your average brown switch in terms of tactility, they lose some points in the lack of smoothness and spring ping.

Software

The Redragon software isn’t great but it is something. It is straightforward in terms of lighting and keybinds but if you want to experiment with more layers it will be tough.

Redragon Draconic Software

RGB control is quite extensive and there are a plethora of effects. The RGB is quite bright and vibrant with very good color accuracy. While the RGB is quite bright it is not as bright as the Drop ALT but not as dim as the Keychron K6. If you are looking for a board for the main purpose of RGB i would recommend something like the Womier/GamaKay K66 or K61 since they are at a similar price point and are very RGB-centric boards.

Lighting controls on Redragon Draconic software
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Conclusion

Birds eye view of the Redragon K530
How my K530 looked after thorough modding

Looks can be deceiving and that is the case with the K530. While it is a keyboard that works you won’t be very happy with what you get. The hotswap incompatibilities and the led issues are just too much and outshine anything good with this keyboard.

All in all, I do not recommend this keyboard because of the hotswap and how it does not accept most traditional keyboard switches like Cherry and Gateron switches. The only time I would truly recommend this board is to someone looking for very good Bluetooth, wants a decent tactile experience out of the box, and does not care about hotswap.

Thanks for reading!

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Razer Viper Review: Your Next FPS Mouse?

The Razer Viper competes in a heavily saturated market of low-weight gaming mice with competitive prices. Razer delivers excellent performance alongside a shape that has allowed the Viper to become a very popular option.

Let’s take a closer look at the Razer Viper and see if it could be the right mouse for you.

The Verdict

Razer viper front view

Rating: 5 out of 5.

The Razer Viper is a gaming mouse featuring a lightweight, accurate sensor, and popular shape among many gamers.

Its shape and weight make it very popular for those who game often, especially those who play FPS titles. The light weight makes flicks easy with the shape with an ergonomic design that is friendly for claw and fingertip grips, grips often used for gaming.

The mouse features RGB, friendly software, and onboard memory to store presets. This makes the software customization pretty easy.

There are no major downsides with this mouse but the price is occasionally overpriced for a wired mouse. Paying $80 or over may not be worth it if you do care about wireless connectivity. Also, it is worth mentioning that due to the side buttons being on both sides you may find that distracting and have to adjust to it.

Overall Razer delivers a fantastic option for gamers if you think this mouse suits you then check out the Razer Viper on amazon.

In The Box

  • Manual: This tells you everything that you need to know to use the mouse and in case you run into any issues.
  • Razer Stickers: The stickers have the razer chroma lighting and look like something you would get with a CPU.
  • The Mouse: The mouse is packaged nicely with the cable tied to keep it all neat in the box.

Build Quality

Angled view of Razer Viper on wooden desk.

The Razer Viper has an exceptional, lightweight build, coming in at 69 grams. This is very light for a gaming mouse and it does so even without having holes. There are some slightly lighter options but those do have holes in their frame. So, if that bothers you, this is one of the best choices.

Mice with honeycomb shells often have issues in the long term with cleanliness as dust and dirt can get in and although no super common, can cause issues. It is nice to see that Razer didn’t opt for the honeycomb design.

The shell is made of high-quality black plastic with rubber for the sides providing additional grip. Mine has a little rattle when shook, however, I’ve owned mine for a long time. Although I have this issue it is common with many mice. This is because scroll wheels will often move around a bit.

The Viper has an amazing flexible cable that doesn’t slow the mouse down. It also has great feet with a smooth glide.

Overall the build is quite nice and delivers a standard experience among many high quality gaming mice.

Shape and Comfort

Razer Viper mouse on a deskpad.

The Viper is a medium-sized mouse with an ambidextrous shape. It is ideal for a fingertip grip as well as a claw grip. Palm grip works as well if you have smaller hands however, ambidextrous designs are better suited for the other grip styles.

The great compatibility with claw and palm grips makes this mouse a great option for gamers.

The sides have a rubber texture and are indented quite a bit making them easy to grip and it has a fairly large hump that does not get in the way when claw or figure gripping it but is comfortable when palm gripping. The shape works well for FPS games which require very precise aim.

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Switches and Scroll Wheel

The Razer Viper has optical switches that have a nice and satisfying click. Razer claims that these switches have lower actuation times and longer life spans. Also, they are meant to eliminate double clicking issues. In my experience, these are amazing switches but there has not been a perceivable difference compared to ordinary switches so I would not recommend buying this mouse based solely on that.

It also possesses side buttons on each side allowing you to use this mouse with either hand. These are smaller than most to avoid accidental clicks. I’ve gotten used to them however, I still prefer bigger side buttons on one side.

The scroll wheel also is top-notch with nice, tactile steps.

Additionally, to avoid accidental clicks, the DPI button is on the bottom. There is a light on the bottom of the mouse which changes color based on the sensitivity.

Sensor and Polling Rate

The Razer Viper utilizes the Razer 5G optical sensor with a DPI range of 16,000. You can change the DPI in increments of 50. Most people use a DPI of 1200 or lower, but the high range shows the great accuracy of this mouse.

The sensor is one of the most accurate ones in any gaming mouse at the moment. During my use, I have encountered no issues. It is very light too and helps the mouse achieve such a low weight.

As for the polling rate, the Viper supports the standard 1000Hz and you can change it for whatever reason in the software.

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Chroma RGB Lighting

One feature that the Razer Viper supports is their Chroma RGB lighting. The Razer logo lights up with decently bright RGB lighting. It also features a lot of customization.

It is quite bright, and you can choose the color and effect. The effects include breathing, spectrum cycling, reactive, audiometer, and static. Additionally, there are more advanced effects in Chroma Studio which allows you to customize the RGB more in-depth.

Useful Razer Synapse

Razer Synapse software being used to control Razer Viper mouse.

The Razer Viper utilizes Razer synapse which provides a deep level of customization. You can change the lighting of the Razer logo on the back, edit button mappings, change the sensitivity, and more.

The DPI can be changed be in increments of 50. Things like polling rate can be changed too.

Buttons can be remapped to do various functions. If you want to remap the side buttons to have different functions you have the option to do so. There are a total of 8 buttons and all remapabble.

You can set all your settings to various profiles. These changes will save to your system as well as the onboard memory of the mouse. If you make a synapse account, your profiles get saved to it so if you log in on another computer they will transfer. This is very useful if you use your mouse on multiple devices.

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Onboard Memory

The Razer Viper has onboard profiles that will allow you to save specific settings like lighting, sensitivity, and button mappings to the mouse.

The onboard memory is helpful if you use your device with multiple devices or take your mouse to different places. It also enables you to keep all of your settings without Synapse running.

If you don’t like to use software this is nice because you can quickly save your profiles and then uninstall or not run it in the background.

Conclusion: Is It Good For Gaming?

Front view of the Razer Viper

The Razer Viper is one of the mice for gaming, especially if you are interested in FPS games, requiring high precision. Its accurate sensor and responsive switches paired with its low weight and comfortable shape make this mouse solid in all kinds of gaming.

Even though the mouse may not be wireless, the cable is very light and flexible making it not have issues. The Viper also features things like RGB lighting, onboard memory, and Razer’s powerful synapse software.

The only issue that I faced was that the buttons are a bit small and are on both sides so that takes some time to get used to. Aside from that, the original price was a bit high but it has been on sale for quite some time, anywhere from 25 to 50% off.

If you think the Razer Viper suits what you want and the games you play, check it out for a great price on Amazon.

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