The Rosewill RK-9100 illuminated mechanical gaming keyboard is based on a very simple design which hardly differentiates it from generic keyboards; from a distance, it would take an experienced eye to identify that this keyboard is nothing alike a cheap $10 product, yet physical contact with it makes it very obvious that the RK-9100 is nothing alike a generic keyboard. At 1325gr, the weight alone betrays the quality and ruggedness of the RK-9100. The plastic frame of the keyboard is very thick and solid, while the inner frame and plate holding the keys is metallic, which explains the massive weight of the RK-9100.
Instead of being entirely flat, each keys row is slightly tilted towards the center of the keyboard, creating a concaved design. While this appears to be an insignificant design upgrade, it actually does help if the keyboard is being used for typing, especially for professional users.
A metallic plate with the company logo can be seen at the uppermost right side of the keyboard. There are no lock key LEDs there, as Rosewill moved those on the keys themselves.
The keys of the RK-9100 are laser etched, not painted, and therefore it should take many years before they start to fade, even after heavy usage. They are plastic but have been treated so that their surface would feel soft and lean to the touch. Rosewill placed a "window" of sorts on the three lock keys (CAPS, NUM and SCR lock) which lights up green if the key is pressed, as we will later see.
The twelve function (F##) keys double as multimedia keys when the Fn key is held pressed. There are keys for a quick browser Home and e-mail client shortcuts, media control keys, sound volume control (which are strangely reversed) and mute keys and, finally, the four keys which control the lighting mode and brightness level of the blue illuminated keys.
As we mentioned before, we received the RK-9100 version featuring the Cherry MX Brown keys. The keys are very well mounted on a black metallic plate (the red plate of the RK-9000 was quite distinctive but would not match the blue lighting) and all have a LED installed above the switch, with the exception of the space key (no LED) and the lock keys (all three have a green LED placed below the switch).
The force/travel diagram of the Cherry MX Brown key can be seen above. The Brown switches are similar to the Blue switches, just slightly softer, requiring less pressure to actuate, and virtually silent, without the "clicking" noise which the Blue switch generates.