After a long period of silence around QPAD, the e-sports brand returned in 2019 with new peripherals. Under new management and as part of Darfon Electronics, the brand wants to build on what it used to be known for throughout the scene: functional, high-quality, fast and robust keyboards and mice that can decide games.
The result is a keyboard with optical switches called QPAD MK95. What makes this model special is the possibility to switch between blue and red switches. The shape of the case is also striking at first glance.
To what extent the MK95 is worth its 200 euro purchase price, it can tie in with the company’s old successes and what else it has going for it other than switching switch properties, we have checked in detail.
|Keyboard size||Full-size with numeric keypad|
|Key switch||Optical Q Switches with two features|
|Durability||60 million clicks|
|Sampling rate||1000 Hz|
|Rollover technology||100% anti-ghosting|
|Lighting||RGB, 16.8 million colors|
|Cable length||1.8 m|
|Multimedia buttons||About FN key|
|Dimensions||45.6 x 15.1 x 4.0 cm|
|Dimension (support)||45.0 x 8.8 x 2.2 cm|
|Material (overlay)||Plastic, synthetic leather|
Well packaged it is already
Appropriate to the price range, the QPAD MK95 is delivered in a classy made-up cardboard box. The images already give an idea that it has a lot going for it. It is embedded in a cardboard frame. Besides the keyboard, the palm rest, 6 keycaps and a remover are included. With this, keycaps can be easily removed or exchanged later for cleaning.
The QPAD M95 is thus quickly unpacked and ready for use. Time to see how the materials are processed and how the keyboard looks like.
Unusual looks meet high-quality materials
In any case, the design chosen by QPAD for the MK95 is remarkable. Instead of an often common angular case, round shapes were prioritized for this keyboard. The edge has been covered with black plastic, while the surface is purely mottled aluminum. Although the MK95’s looks are a matter of taste, we have to praise the sturdy and well-made materials. In our humble opinion, you’ll get something out of the keyboard for a very long time. Also, when we look under the keycaps, we notice that the key switches have been used optimally.
On the back, two feet fold out to elevate the keyboard. There are also a total of six rubber pads that make it almost impossible to slip on the desk.
For more comfort, the QPAD MK95 has been given a wrist rest that can be magnetically attached. This is padded with foam, which is embedded in a plastic frame. The whole thing is covered with imitation leather, which gives the whole look of the keyboard something high-end in combination with the aluminum. The QPAD logo has been immortalized twice on the keyboard: once embossed into the leatherette of the pad and once above the arrow keys as a white imprint.
All in all, we give the Swedish manufacturer an A with asterisks at this point: Materials, workmanship and ergonomics are optimal.
Two in one
But now for the most exciting part of this review. The MK95 comes with a feature that has never been seen before on the keyboard market: The built-in switches have alternatively the characteristics of red and blue switches. This makes the keyboard interesting for two target groups.
In plain language, this means that the switches can either give a linear or a tactile feedback – either quiet and without resistance or a click with resistance. You can switch between the switch properties mechanically with the aluminum switch on the keyboard’s upper right. When the switch is in the 11 o’clock position, the switches behave linearly; when it’s in the 9 o’clock position, they behave tactilely, as a small metal pin is raised in each switch, which then causes the click sound and applies the resistance. Visual feedback is provided by the LED illumination underneath the plastic ring: this glows red or blue depending on the setting.
The key switches come from QPAD’s own production and are absolutely impressive in terms of construction, innovation and workmanship. The fact that the Swedes didn’t bring in a third party for this shows that they want to continue their earlier history and create high-quality, but especially for e-sportsmen and gamers functional keyboards from A to Z themselves.
QPAD has also opted for optical switches, providing gamers with a faster response time than if purely mechanical switches were used. The difference: optical switches break through an infrared light barrier, which registers a key press much faster, while mechanical switches require a circuit to be closed, which means nothing happens until a key is pressed deeply enough.
We think this hybrid solution in a single optical switch is ingenious and will make buying a new keyboard a lot easier. The question of what features a switch should have is at least decimated for some here. Of course, there are still too many other types of switches for the question to become completely superfluous, but it’s a start. This part definitely earns QPAD’s MK95 another A, especially since testing with both switch settings went flawlessly. While the click is relatively quiet, along with the increased pressure point, the whole thing comes pretty close to blue switches.