i-Rocks K10 Keyboard Review
i-Rocks maybe a new company that you’ve probably not heard of, but after checking out this review you will probably remember their name, why? Well they are the company behind the new i-Rocks K10 keyboard, a psedo mechanical keyboard based on membrane technology. What does that mean, well I’ll let i-Rocks explain…
To meet the standards of hardcore gamers, the demand of gaming keyboards is on the rise. Without compromising the tactile feel of the high-end mechanical keyboards, we found a sweet spot, a balance point between the experience of a mechanical keyboard and an affordable price.
To the enthusiast, one of the most important aspects of a keyboard is the typing touch and feel, which a tactile touch from the keyboard brings a lot more enjoyment in daily usage. The K10’s POM key switches brings a whole new level of tactile feedback compared to conventional membrane keyboards.
The K10 comes equipped with durable PBT reinforced keycaps that endures millions of strokes no matter how gamers rough it out.
The i-Rocks K10 came in a smart black and green (we’ve seen these colours before!) box with a large Rock Series logo in the centre. To the left of this is a see through plastic window allowing you to see the keyboard within. Highlighted on the right of the box are the K10’s main features:
The back of the box list various features and specifications (see below) of the K10 and also goes on to explain the technology behind the switches and various other features.
Opening the box we can see that the keyboard is relatively well packaged, although I feel the keyboard could do with a little more support as it’s quite heavy.
Within the box we find nothing other than the K10 keyboard and a Quick Installation Guide.
At the time of writing the i-Rocks K10 keyboard is retailing on Amazon for approximately £22 (yes that’s right £22, that makes it the cheapest keyboard we have ever tested!) and comes with a 2 year warranty.
courtesy of i-Rocks
Interface: Full Speed USB
Polling Rate: 1000 Hz
Key number: 104 keys (by language)
Key stroke: 3.8±0.5mm
Key force: 55±15g
Switch life: about 20 million life cycles
Cable length: 180cm
Dimensions: 448 (L) x 148 (W) x 34(H) mm
Product weight: about 1.2kg
N-key Rollover with 30 keys trigger capability
Membrane key-switches with plunged key structure
First impressions of the i-Rocks K10 is, damn it’s heavy! Heavy in a good way that is, this keyboard is really well built and feels really sturdy and solid. The build quality is far better than the price tag would suggest for sure. The keyboard looks good too, in that kind of subtle, understated way. I like it, so far…
The most important aspect of the i-Rocks K10 is its clever POM switches, a kind of mechanical/membrane hybrid, would probably be the best way to describe it. It certainly looks like a mechanical keyboard, and first impressions suggest that it even feels like a mechanical keyboard too! The keyboard has a nice simple QWERTY layout, with no odd keys in funny places. Which is always nice to see.
In the top right corner we find four LED (green) indicators, the normal Number Lock, Caps Lock and Scroll Lock, followed by a Windows Key Lock (activated by pressing both Windows keys for 2 seconds).
Around the outside of the K10 there’s a red strip, that looks like it might illuminate, sadly it doesn’t (come on what were you expecting for £20!?). 😉
But talking of lighting, what’s that on the right side of the space bar, that looks like it might illuminate…
Looking at the back of the keyboard we can see that there’s cable routing allowing the main cable to be routed either left/right or centrally. This is a feature that I rather like as my monitor stand is central to me so being able to route around it is most useful. The K10 also features four main rubber feet, and an additional pair of rear legs, again nicely equipped with rubber feet. All of this rubber is a good thing and with the added weight of the K10, this keyboard’s not going anywhere while Gaming.
Overall, a great first impression for the i-Rocks K10, to be honest you’d never believe the price tag, it looks and feels far more expensive than it is. Let’s now see how it performs and let the Games commence…
The i-Rocks K10 keyboard is a simple Plug and Play USB keyboard and no driver is required for operation. The K10 was simply connected to a spare USB port on the back of the MSI Z87 G45 GAMING motherboard.
The i-Rocks K10 was tested on my Intel Test Rig, no fresh install of Windows 7 was performed as there is no driver, or associated software for the K10. Simple Plug and Play!
The following games were used during testing:
- Battlefield 4: Hard Line (BETA)
- Survarium (BETA)
- Splinter Cell: Black List
With the i-Rocks K10 powered up and Plug and Play working beautifully, it was time to play, Games that is. While Gaming the K10 performed extremely well for what is effectively a membrane keyboard. Although it certainly doesn’t feel like one, performing and feeling more like a mechanical, very clever indeed! The actuation of each key-press is good too requiring a certain amount of force to depress, but once moving the key is activated almost immediately, it seems perfectly weighted for Gaming. It is very difficult to praise this keyboard enough, but I’ll share a couple of stories that just may help…
There’s another pretender to this throne and that’s the Corsair K40; now while I haven’t reviewed it, I have used one for a couple of weeks. Now that keyboard tries to mimic a mechanical keyboard to some degree also, and at the time I thought it had done a decent job, until now that is. The K10 does a far better job of behaving more like a mechanical keyboard and it’s half the price of the Corsair K40! The K40 may have illuminated keys, but I know which one I prefer to Game on…
Normally when typing reviews I never use my Gaming keyboard, as I’ve never got on with typing on them (as they’re normally mechanical). You know what I’m going to say next, don’t you? Until now that is (yes I’m using the K10 to type this review) and I love it. I have never done this in the three years of running pcG, to say I like the switch action of the keyboard would be an understatement.
All of the above coupled with N-Key Rollover support and the keyboards 1000Hz Polling Rate, helps the i-Rocks K10 put in a great performance. What i-Rocks seem to have done with this POM switch is effectively create a new keyboard genre, and I for one am a big fan, and cant wait to see what other keyboards are on the way from i-Rocks (add in illumination, USB hub and software, and well you get the idea)…
It’s great when a new product comes in, you never know what to expect, but of course you have preconceptions. With the i-Rocks K10 I was thinking cheap, mechanical, pretender, a bit like the Corsair K40, just cheaper! Boy was I wrong! This feeling is one of the best feelings you can get as a reviewer; when a product comes in and frankly just blows your preconceptions clean out of the water…
The K10 came well packaged in smart black ‘n green box, there’s not much in the box but at this price point that’s fine. Once out of the box you begin to appreciate not only the high level of quality on offer but also the sheer weight of the thing, the K10 weighs in at a whopping 1170 grams. That’s no bad thing as with its rubber feet, this helps to stop the keyboard moving around during those frantic moments.
The i-Rocks K10 even kind of looks good, in that cool, understated way, with the illuminated (green) i-Rocks logo on the space bar giving that extra bit of bling!
What’s really rather shocking is just how good the K10 feels in use. The mechanical/membrane hybrid POM switches work extremely well, you’d almost think it was a mechanical keyboard. Key-presses feel positive and tactile with just a short throw to activate, not too dissimilar to a Cherry Red and there’s no click either, just a very positive thud if you bottom out the key. Couple this with its N-Key Rollover support and 1000Hz Polling Rate and you’ve got a great Gaming keyboard for sure. What’s even more impressive is that I’m typing this review using the K10, something I never done in three years of running pcG. I normally switch from my Gaming keyboard to a membrane one for typing reviews. Well not any more, as not only is the K10 good for Gaming but it’s good for typing too!
There’s no doubt in my mind that the i-Rocks K10 is a great keyboard, I have really enjoyed using it, so much so that I think I may just carry on using it for both Gaming and Reviews for the foreseeable future.
The real icing on the cake for the K10 though is not the fact that it’s a well made, well engineered keyboard, it’s the price! At around £22 at the time of review it’s easily one of the best keyboards we have seen here at pcG. We don’t give these away easily, but the i-Rocks K10 deserves our top accolade for sure…
UPDATE: If you’re struggling to get hold of the i-Rocks K10, Scan now have it in stock (http://www.scan.co.uk/products/i-rocks-rock-series-k10-gaming-usb-keyboard-with-anti-ghosting)
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Where possible we always use Amazon’s price for Value…
Many thanks to i-Rocks for providing this sample for review