Hey guys, today we have not one but two keyboards from Drevo to review. Drevo continue to develop and update their peripheral range at a steady pace. Their products cover a wide range of price points and take a particular aim at the gaming market with some productivity added for when it’s needed, and we will be looking at the Tyrfing V2 and Durendal to see what gamers (and others) can expect from these two keyboards.
I will start the review separating the two keyboards, then bring them together when we get to the verdict.
Drevo Tyrfing V2 Specifications & Features
|System Requirements||Windows 7,8,10|
Drevo Tyrfing V2 Closer Look
The Tyrfing V2 is no stranger to us here at Play3r, previously reviewed in it’s tenkeyless design Drevo have released a full 104 Key version for those that prefer a numeric keypad included. The box is quite unassuming and functional, aside from the striking logos.
Oops it seems when sending out for the packaging for the full size keyboard, the edge information was not updated.
Luckily the focus was brought to the underside of the box where plenty of detail about the keyboard is included alongside a wireframe illustration of the keyboard.
Unpacking the contents from the mostly cardboard packaging there was no unnecessary plastic use (just a plastic bag for the keyboard and the replacement switches), although an alternative for the bags would be great. We get the keyboard with the removable braided cable attached, a like/dislike booklet to prompt you to leave feedback, a wire keycap puller, replacement switches all the same Red’s as included with the keyboard, a user manual and a sticker.
Giving the keyboard a brushed metal top plate really gives it a pleasant appearance and a feeling of a quality build.
Underneath the keyboard, we have the always welcome removable cable with the great plastic securing clip that came with the TKL version, the cable channel also gives you the option of three routes for the cable. Rubber feet at the front to cater for both flat and angled typing modes, sturdy rubber tipped legs allow for an angled typing profile and should these not be needed they are flanked by two more rubber stuck on feet for keeping the keyboard still on the desk.
I do like a good steep typing profile, here we see the legs in action providing a comfortable angle for those that prefer the keys tilted upwards towards the back. Here we first see the switches mounted directly onto the top plate which helps keep the keyboard overall size quite minimal.
Popping off a keycap we get a good look at the Outemu switches used on this board, in this case I have been provided with red switches which should behave similarly to their Cherry counterparts. But this is not all, we can go deeper.
Ok, I have to admit at this stage, I am a little apprehensive about the rather crude and simple tool provided for the next level of keyboard surgery, the quite rare, replaceable switch.
Clamping the metal claw onto the top and bottom of the switch a firm pull upwards releases it from the circuit board. Normally these would be soldered in place, this serves a couple of purposes, faulty or worn out switches can be replaced which is fantastic, secondly they can be replaced with a different switch type such as Blue or Brown switches. Drevo do advise that they cannot guarantee compatibility with any switches not purchased from them, so that should be checked before grabbing anything different.
And here we have the Tyrfing V2 powered on in all it’s glory, the black top plate soaking up a fair bit of the light bleeding to give the keyboard a premium appearance, the RGB looking bright. The key top legends are a little strange and a somewhat gamer design, however using normal Cherry compatible caps these can also be changed to taste.
As with their other keyboards, Drevo supply configuration software offering a fair bit of customisation including individual key assignment. Multiple profiles can be saved for those that like custom layouts for different tasks.
Programmable macros are always a welcome sight, these can ease tasks in more than just games, repetitive administration and development tasks can be assigned a single key to cut down on time wasting.
An RGB keyboard wouldn’t be complete without a lighting configuration tool with lots of colour options and lighting modes.
So there we have the Drevo Tyrfing V2 104 Key keyboard, now we move onto the Durendal.
Drevo Durendal Specifications & Features
Drevo Durendal Closer Look
For the Durendal we again have a functional box, this time though more attention has been paid to advertising the actual product on the box with a full colour photo showing exactly what is inside.
Underneath the extra detail continues with another photo of the keyboard instead of a wireframe image, details in various languages to help inform anyone picking the box up of what to expect.
Drevo have again used mostly cardboard packaging, in the box we have a key cap puller a manual, a feedback booklet and of course the keyboard itself with a permanently attached wrist rest.
Underneath we have quite a snazzy design accompanying the more useful features. The unbraided cable has routing channels however this cable is not removable, which is a shame. The profile feet are sturdy and rubber tipped and there are several pads around the keyboard and on the wrist rest to stop it sliding around the desk. The wrist rest itself is actually part of the top place and is not removable with the plastic wrist rest area screwed onto the metal plate from the bottom.
The angled typing profile is not as steep as the Tyrfing, leaving less difference between flat and angled. Here we can also see how thick the plastic top covering is on the wrist rest which doesn’t raise up very high considering it’s proximity to the main keyboard. My typing style may not be able to make use of the wrist rest or the profile.
The Durendal has been provided with brown switches and although they are mounted onto the top plate, they don’t appear to be removable. The top plate is also more of a plain metal appearance so would suit anyone not wishing for a brushed finish.
Plugged in and lit up, we again have great RGB and minimal light bleed. This keyboard is definitely not for minimalist fans, it is a fair bit bigger around the edges and the non removable wrist rest means this keyboard commands a fair amount of desktop real estate.
Curiously Drevo supplies different software packages for their keyboards with only a few sharing the same system. The Durendal shares a software platform with the Blade Master despite having more similarities to the Tyrfing V2. I must note that when launching the Statistics reporting module which works with the Blade Master I found it unsupported on the Durendal.
Everything else is supported though, even the batch processing manager.
We still get a great Macro manager too.
Multiple profiles are again available on the Durendal.
Finally we have the RGB Configuration screen which links back to other profile and management screens to help choose colour layouts to accompany them.
The Drevo Tyrfing V2 and Durendal 104 Key Keyboard Review: The Verdict
It has been interesting to review these two keyboards side by side, they should be incredible at a technological level but come with some striking differences.
The Tyrfing V2 104 key is of course an expanded version of the tenkeyless model which might explain the different software. It does however have some very desirable features not included in the Durendal offers access to a more up to date software solution although it lacks some features available for other models.
- Very competitively priced proper mechanical keyboards
- Great build quality on both
- Removable switches on the Tyrfing V2
- Outemu switches can feel a little mushy compared to the competition
- Typing angle not great on the Durendal
- Fixed wrist rest not adjustable on the Durendal
- Mainly cardboard packaging is a plus.
- An alternative to the plastic bags used would be welcome, but any reduction to plastic waste is a step in the right direction.
Both keyboards at the time of writing are available for around £55 which is great value for a full mechanical keyboard. Being a budget model the switches are always going to be a cheaper type and the Outemu switches on both can feel a little mushy but are definitely better than non mechanical switches. The rest of the parts are fantastic quality though, very solid build along with strong keycaps, the legend fonts are maybe not the best but they are legible.
The differences between the two make me want to recommend the Tyrfing V2 over the Durendal, mainly due to having replaceable switches, a technology normally reserved for premium priced keyboards, it will be fun finding out if different branded switches could fit. Interestingly the original Tyrfing V2 TKL edition did not have replaceable switches. I have to ask why they haven’t included this features on both keyboards.
The design of the Durendal did not suit me very well, I would want the wrist rest to at least be adjustable, if not detachable. A replaceable cable would also benefit this keyboard greatly. Finally the typing angle didn’t go steep enough for me to be comfortable.
The software differences between the keyboards is also puzzling leading me to feel Drevo could consolidate the keyboard chipsets to allow even better value for money.
With the differences between the keyboards I have to award differently so firstly the Tyrfing V2 104 Key Keyboard grabs itself a Gold award and a Design award, the minimalist design and the removable switches gives the keyboard a possible longevity not seen at this price point.
The Durendal grabs a bronze award for it’s good value and great build quality, however it is missing some features that would make it stand out as much as the Tyrfing V2.
Thanks to Drevo for sending a sample of the Tyrfing V2 and Durendal 104 Key Keyboards in for review.