Hi everyone, welcome to my first keyboard review in quite a while, this time DeepCool are looking to get Play3r’s views on their latest offering.
DeepCool really are broadening their product range, well known for cases and cooling, we now get peripherals from a well established parts company.
The KB500 RGB Mechanical Keyboard is an Outemu switched setup, lets see how it stacks up against the competition.
DeepCool KB500 RGB Mechanical Keyboard Specifications & Features
Keyboard Type – Mechanical Keyboard
Keyboard Switch Type – Outemu Red Linear
Keyswitch Lifespan – 50 Million Keypresses
Keyswitch Response – 12MS
Polling Rate – 1000Hz
Keyboard Keycap Type – ABS Keycaps
Keyboard Materials – Black/Chrome Aluminium Top Plate and Black ABS Plastic
Keyboard Lighting – Full RGB
Custom and Media Keys – FN Key for activation
Onboard Memory – 32KB
Connector – Gold Plated USB
Cable – 1.8M Braided
DeepCool KB500 RGB Mechanical Keyboard Closer Look
Outer packaging for the KB500 is neat and straight to the point, we have the name top left, a picture of the keyboard itself lit up in the current DeepCool turquoise along with a turquoise line and a DeepCool logo. The size of the box showing that they haven’t included an excess of packaging.
Underneath the box DeepCool have used a mid to light grey for the text, this is actually pretty difficult to read, it includes specifications and capabilities of the keyboard.
Happily, on unpacking the box, the contents are not wrapped up in lots of plastic packaging, a little protective foam sleeve for the keyboard which is quite re-usable, and the cardboard is of course recyclable. In the box we get the keyboard, a small keypuller and a manual.
Taking a look at the keyboard itself, we have a tenkeyless unit so no number pad. The design is almost minimalist with a narrow bezel around the key structure. The materials feel well put together and of high quality, the DeepCool logo is understated to give the keyboard unlit a uniform appearance. I am surprised the logo is not in the DeepCool turquoise. The keycaps feel well made however the chosen font is not the clearest with gaps in some letters and numbers. The cable is hardwired into the back and is not routable around the underneath as it is with some competing keyboards.
So here’s the turquoise, underneath the keyboard we have some stickers in the middle with various product details and certifications. Four rubber feet if you want to lay the keyboard flat to stop it sliding around and two rubber tipped legs to raise the keyboard angle. The bottom does not have the aluminium materials used on the top but then again it isn’t something that you would have on show or change the feel of the keyboard.
Taking a look at the left hand profile we get a good look at the polished aluminium edging which is the only real garnish that this keyboard has, other than the RGB lighting of course. It does look very smart and the legs give the keyboard a decent height for those that like to type on a raised keyboard.
Around the back there isn’t much to talk about, the key switches are surface mounted on the metal plate which should help with cleaning.
Over on the right hand side we can see the DeepCool logo more clearly, the smooth texture making it stand out from the textured paint on the aluminium.
Front view lets us see the polished edging going all the way around. The mounted switches are more visible here too.
Popping off a keycap, we can see the red Outemu switch, while it looks very non standard the cross stem in the middle does actually take other Cherry keycaps that I have so compatibility is mostly there. The switch has a clear casing to allow the light to shine around the switch.
The Supplied keycaps have a white inside which helps dissipate the light from the LED evenly. Other keycaps may not have this and would result in a different illumination effect.
The cable is braided with cord and is quite flexible enabling easy routing around the desk, we get a gold plated standard style USB connector which does look good but I have not seen any performance difference between gold or other metals on the USB connector.
By default, when powered on, the keyboard lights up in DeepCool turquoise which actually looks pretty good, the lights are strong and easy to see in a dark room, the keycap font could be better however and some of the legends actually make it look like the lighting is sub par.
Using the FN key and keys on the right hand side of the keyboard gives access to various lighting configurations, Brightness, RGB and Zones. All without the need for any additional control software.
Now with the keyboard powered on, taking the keycap off shows the LED sits in the top side of the switch above the stem, lighting will be improved if the insides of the keycap are white helping reflect the light around the switch.
The DeepCool KB500 RGB Mechanical Keyboard Review: The Verdict
The DeepCool KB500 feels like a well built mechanical keyboard, there is quite a lot of competition at this price point in the market, so it is down to the little extras that can set these things apart. The design is quite minimalist and understated making this keyboard easy to blend into just about any desktop setup.
The Outemu switches are an equivalent to Cherry Red with a linear switch, this provides a very-easy-to-bottom-out keypress which is to be expected. The switches do feel solid and the keycaps have a pleasant textured surface and do not feel cheap and thin like some can.
The legends on the keycaps are using a font that I am personally not fond of as they are not very clear. One thing is that the Outemu stems do take some other keycaps so these can be changed. When selecting keycaps do look for a white inside so that the lighting from the LED’s doesn’t suffer.
Gaming performance is very good, with the 1000Hz polling rate and 12Ms response time I found the keyboard responded well to my keypresses in first person shooters, keypress accuracy was also very good when playing RTS titles. It is a good all rounder.
- Attractive design
- Keyswitches feel solid with even travel
- Good configuration options
- Well priced
- Keycap font is not the best
- Cable is not replaceable
DeepCool have put out an elegant and desirable keyboard at a decent upper budget price point. Savings have been made with the cable mounting and the plastic base, but the rest of the keyboard has used great materials that feel of a high quality. It is pleasant to type on and is customisable via different keycaps and of course its RGB capability.
The RRP at the time of writing is £59.99 which is quite a reasonable price for this TKL unit, other units may also have flashy capabilities but at this price quite often have inferior switches and materials. DeepCool’s sensible packaging certainly adds to the attraction this is definitely worthy of your consideration.
With it’s great looks and quality at this price point I am happy to award DeepCool both the Design Award and Silver Award for their KB500 Mechanical Keyboard.
Thanks to DeepCool for sending a sample of the KB500 RGB Mechanical Keyboard in for review.