Royal Kludge RK68 Review: The Best Budget 65% Keyboard


Finding a mechanical keyboard that’s as value packed as the Royal Kludge RK68 is a difficult task.

Coming in a tight 65% layout, this keyboard over-delivers on the expectations you would expect for the low price point.

Let’s look at the RK68 and discuss the features, pricing, and why we think it’s such a great deal.

The Verdict

  • Budget-friendly
  • Efficient 65% layout
  • Wireless connectivity
  • Vibrant RGB lighting
  • No kickstand adjustments
  • ABS keycaps

Rating: 5 out of 5.

For a mechanical keyboard under $50, the Royal Kludge RK68 knocked my socks off.

Coming with real mechanical switches (and not that hybrid-mechanical junk), the RK68 feels like the real deal.

While there are other mechanical options in the same price range, this keyboard offers more functionality and a better layout option, coming in packed into an efficient 65% layout.

The fact that this keyboard is mechanical and offers wireless connectivity is quite impressive. Not to mention the whole unit is well-constructed with nice stabilizers, a decent case, and attractive keycaps.

If I had to choose a mechanical keyboard under $50 for general usage, this would be my number #1 choice by a longshot.

You can find the Royal Kludge RK68 on Amazon for a really good price.


In The Box

The RK68 comes packaged inside of a nice orange and black box which looks quite nice and offers some Halloween-esque vibes.

While the box is nothing too special, more effort is put into the packaging than most other keyboards and brands, which I definitely appreciate.

Inside the box, you get the keyboard itself wrapped inside a soft plastic wrapping paper. A keycap puller, power cable, and keycap puller are all tucked away underneath one of the cardboard folds inside the box.

Here’s a quick breakdown of all of the items:

Keyboard User Manual: This walks you through some of the basic functionality of the keyboard including the RGB lighting, macros, and keys on the lower layers. Very useful.

Detachable cable: The cable included in the box is used to charge the battery or operate the keyboard in wired mode. The style is USB-C to USB-A, so when you plug it into your keyboard the head is at least reversible. However, if you have a Mac computer, you might struggle to plug it in.

Wire Keycap Puller: This handy tool allows you to pull of the keycaps if you want to swap them out with another color or type. The wire design is great because it doesn’t scratch the sides of the keycaps like a plastic one does.

Build Quality

Looking at the keyboard itself, it looks quite aesthetic and pretty clean.

The case features a slightly angled design to help achieve a more ergonomic typing experience. There is a small recessed area along the sides to give the keyboard a more aggressive and aesthetic look.

The material is made from a slightly thick plastic which makes it sturdy and won’t be breaking easily. The Royal Kludge logo printed on the front side of the keyboard which looks pretty good.

To plug in the keyboard, there is a slightly recessed power port on the backside, directly in the middle. You should have no issue using a custom cable which is great.

On the backside of the keyboard, there are no kickstand adjustments, so you’re stuck typing with the flat style. This is a downside for those that enjoy a more aggressive typing angle.

Overall, the build quality is superb for such a budget option, with the only noticeable downside being the lack of kickstand adjustments.

For me personally, that’s not a big issue.

The Keycaps

The keycaps come in a white color and the legends are see-through to allow the RGB lighting to illuminate the letters so you can see them easier.

This style is called double-shot and is usually preferred for ease of use and visibility when typing at night.

The material of the keycaps is an ABS plastic which tends to wear down slowly over time. A PBT option would be much preferred.

You can read more about the differences between ABS and PBT, if you are interested.

Usually ABS keycaps will develop a greasy glare after typing, but this does not seem to be an issue with this keyboard. For being ABS, they feel higher quality than usual.

The shape of the keycaps follows the standard OEM profile, which is found on most keyboards. The angled tops allows for comfortable typing and you don’t need to stretch your fingers as far when entering keystrokes.

The keycaps also have sub-legends while display the function of certain keys that are placed on a lower layer. This is perfect for getting an idea of what these keys do without needing to reference the user manual.

The Switches

The switches are bit a strange point.

Usually with a budget keyboard you expect to get Gateron or Outemu switches, but in this case you actually get an less-known option, TTC.

With a brand such as TTC, you know very little about the actual quality and lifespan of the switches, not to mention they tend to be scratchier and more inconsistent switch-to-switch.

From my experience with the TTC Blue switches, they felt pretty clean and consistent, so no complaints on my part. The clicks were not too obnoxious.

I will say, not knowing how long they’ll the switches will last is a bit worrisome.

When I tested the RK61, a slightly smaller version of the RK68, they had Royal Kludge branded switches, so I wonder why they opted for a brand such as TTC.

If you want to check out the review of the Royal Kludge RK61, you can find it here.

The Stabilizers

With a budget keyboard, you can expect to get stabilizers that are rattily, creaky, and feel like 5.0 earthquake on the Richter scale.

Much to my relief, these stabilizers felt quite impressive.

Being relatively smooth and stable, the spacebar and larger keys were quite satisfying to press. It’s always nice when the stabilizers aren’t overlooked.

There is a small room for improvement, however, so if you want to lube the stabilizers, I would recommend applying some to the stabilizers to make them quieter and smoother.

It will require you to roll your sleeves up a bit, but that shouldn’t be an issue for the DIY masters out there.

Wireless Connectivity

One of the features that stands out the most on the RK68 is the wireless connectivity.

You can connect the keyboard through Bluetooth up to five different devices. That alone is pretty crazy.

Most higher-end keyboards only allow you to connect to three devices at once. The RK68 is five devices.

The battery life is nothing too amazing, you should be able to get a full workday worth of usage with the RGB turned on. Just simply plug it in before you go to bed every night.

I want to stress that getting a mechanical keyboard under $50 with wireless connectivity is quite rare to find.


Conclusion

  • Budget-friendly
  • Efficient 65% layout
  • Wireless connectivity
  • Vibrant RGB lighting
  • No kickstand adjustments
  • ABS keycaps

Rating: 5 out of 5.

There aren’t many budget-friendly 65% mechanical keyboards out there and the Royal Kludge RK68 cements itself as one of the best budget options out there.

With dedicated arrow keys and cutting out all of the fat including the function row, navigation cluster, and number pad – this keyboard is lean and mean.

The white design really makes the RGB pop in a vibrant way that is sure to impress onlookers.

Not to mention the wireless connectivity is quite unprecedented on such a cheap option.

Overall, the only upgrades that could really be made to this keyboard include adding a kickstand adjustment and using PBT keycaps instead of ABS.

That being said, this keyboard is packed with value, and if you’re looking for something in the $50 range, don’t overlook this option.

You can find the RK68 on Amazon with different switch options.

Good luck and happy typing!

Jake Harrington

Jake has been an avid mechanical keyboard user for the past six years. He has a background in Mechanical Engineering and wants to apply his expertise to break down how mechanical keyboards and other tech work to show the world all of the cool aspects of the hobby.

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