The RK61 has been a widely recommended 60% gaming keyboard for the past several years now, with its affordable price tag and reliable no-frills design. It has been the go-to for many gamers looking for their first mini keyboard, especially for FPS games. Royal Kludge has taken that RK61 design and upgraded it with more features, better sound, and did it at a similar price point. It’s about $10 more for all the extra features.
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The Main Takeaways
The RK61 Plus now no longer needs to be modded to get a pretty decent sound and typing and gaming experience out of the box. In addition, it also has a new aesthetic as well instead of just being an all white case with white keycaps. This makes it the new recommendation for people wanting to get their first 60% gaming keyboard.August 2023, Switch and Click
General Usage: 60% keyboards are notoriously small. You don’t get arrow keys, navigational keys, or the function row. If you get used to using the FN button and secondary layers, the RK61 Plus wouldn’t be bad for general usage. However, if you find yourself using those missing keys often, this keyboard isn’t recommended. It sounds great out of the box. However, the size definitely doesn’t make up for that.
Typing: For just typing and not doing any work, it is a typical tray-mounted keyboard. It does come with prelubed switches, which are smooth to type on. No more at the days where you need to take out your switches and lube them by hand. The stabilizers are also tuned. With the linear switches, there’s barely any extra sounds. And inside the case are several layers of sound dampening foam as well for enhanced acoustics.
Gaming: This keyboard is perfect for gaming, but preferably in wired mode. Although it has Bluetooth and 2.4Ghz connectivity, the latency would still be too high for competitive gaming. The 60% size makes it so you have ample room for your mouse to move around in competitive FPS games. For other games, such as RPGs, where you might want the function row, the size of this keyboard would get in the way.
Programming: Similar to general usage, I wouldn’t recommend this keyboard for programming unless you go used to the secondary layers. It’s also not as easily programmable, because it has its own proprietary software instead of using open-source stuff like QMK and VIA. It’s possible to use it for programming, it probably just wouldn’t be the most efficient. But if you mostly game and do some programming on the side, it’s not a huge deal.
In The Box
Parts In Box:
- Extra switches
- Straight USB-C to USB-C cable with an adapter for USB-C
- Combined keycap and switch puller
- 2.4Ghz dongle, that attaches magnetically to the case
The accessories are minimal, but this is a good thing. It’s what you expect out of a budget keyboard. Besides, there really is no need for more things. I usually lose extra accessories anyways. I’m glad they give you more switches in case something does break. I had the version with SkyCyan linear switches, so I got 4 extras of those.
Typing Angle: Unknown
Kickstands: Not adjustable
Power Cable: Rubber cable
The case is entirely made out of plastic, the bottom and the top. There are 4 rubber feet on the back and a slot to hold your 2.4Ghz dongle, but other than that, that’s it. There are additional USB-C and USB-A slots for USB passthrough, and this only works in wired mode.
Layout and Size
Length: 11.65 inches
Width: 4.17 inches
Thickness: 1.57 inches
Weight: 1.34 pounds
The 60% compact layout makes it perfect for gaming. In addition, it has a standard bottom row and shift, so any keycap set you find online is most likely going to be compatible with the RK61 Plus keyboard. Despite being so small, because of the additional battery and sound dampening layers, the keyboard is heavier than expected.
Keycap Material: ABS
Standard Bottom Row: Yes
Aftermarket Keycaps: Yes
For the keycaps, you get a variety of different color options. There is Black, White, Grey, and Green. Each keycap design comes with a different case accent color to match the aesthetic. I have the White design, which looks fantastic with the blue and gold keycaps. The top legends are doubleshot, whereas the sides are printed on. It’s unlikely those will wear down because your fingertips won’t be touching them. Despite them being ABS, they have yet to gather any fingerprints, although they are very smooth feeling keycaps.
Type: RK Mechanical Switches with a winglatch style design
Options: SkyCyan, Veridian, and Pale Green
Hot-Swappable: Universal 5-pin hotswap sockets
Lifespan: 50 million keystrokes
Actuation Distance: 4mm+/-0.4mm
Travel Distance: 2mm+/-0.6mm
Actuation Force: Bottom Force of 60g
The RK switches are pre-lubed and feel great. If they weren’t prelubed, they would be a pain in the butt to open up and hand-lube. But thank goodness that’s not necessary. They are 5-pin switches. The SkyCyan feel very similar to Gateron Yellow switches, with a similar bottom out force. I have not tried the Linear Veridians or the Tactile Pale Greens, but it’s cool they give you an option between linear and tactile.
There are no complains with the stabilizers out of the box. Even the spacebar has no ticking at all. The reviews on Amazon also say they have encountered minimal issues as well, although some people recommend doing minor modifications to the keyboard such as more dielectric grease and a tape mod. I would recommend some type of spacebar foam, since the spacebar sounds much more hollow than the other keys.
LED Location: North-facing
Change Lighting Effects: Yes, via software of onboard effects
Change Brightness: Yes
The RGB shines brightly against the white plate. The switches also let light through, although they are not entirely clear switches. RGB looks fantastic, but you do not get shinethrough legends because the keycaps do not allow that. That might make it difficult to see at night if you are an avid night time gamer who likes the room lights off to not bother other people. There are many onboard effects you can cycle through and increase or decrease speed and brightness as you see fit.
Name: RK software
Compatibility: Windows only
Per-Key Lighting: Yes
Remap Keys: Yes
Onboard Memory: Yes
Profiles: 1 profile
The software can be downloaded here bit.ly/RKRGBSOFT and only works with Windows currently. It will have to be connected via wired first, and after that, the changes will be saved onto your keyboard for you to use wirelessly.
Port Type: USB-C
Wireless: Bluetooth and 2.4Ghz
Compatibility: Windows and Mac
Number of Devices: 3 for BT, 1 for everything else
Cable Length: Unknown
USB Passthrough: USB-C and USB-A, must be in wired mode
Connectivity works great with all the options. The latency of the wireless modes are unknown, but gaming is recommended in wired mode anyways.
The Full Video Review
Video coming soon to Switch and Click YouTube channel.
The RK61 Plus is an upgrade done right. It is only $10 more at around $60 total, and it comes with way more features. The best part is that it’s budget-friendly, but it also is nice out-of-the-box. If you are into modding keyboards, it’s perfect for doing things such as a tape mod, PE foam mod, various case foams, and a spacebar foam mod as well. You could change the switches since it is a hot-swappable keyboard. And keycap options are easy to find with the 60% standard layout.