The Swedish manufacturer Xtrfy has introduced with the K3 an impressive gaming keyboard, which was designed together with the CSGO professionals of the ninjas in pyjamas. The most interesting main features can be found in the Hybrid Mechanical Switches as well as a complete RGB LED illumination. This and much more you get at a very good price point, which is far away from real mechanical keyboards. How the K3 can keep up with the competition and what it still has to offer, you will find out in this test.
|Dimensions||444 x 137 x 43 mm (W x H x D)|
|Keycap Layout||Step Scalpture2|
|LED illumination||RGB (6 zones, multiple modes)|
|USB polling rate||1,000 Hz|
|Cable||1x Standard USB 2.0|
|Cable length||1.8 m|
|Price||€ 71.36 *|
Design & Workmanship of the Xtrfy K3
The design of the K3 is kept simple and without much bells and whistles. This makes it less inviting and concentrates on the essentials. We like that, because modern keyboards are getting bigger and bigger and have gimmicks that nobody really uses intensively. The housing is made of deformation-resistant plastic, inside which a stable metal plate provides torsional stiffness. Due to this solid base, we could not detect any creaking or wobbling during our test. The key caps have easy-to-read symbols that also allow sufficient light for the LED lighting to pass through.
If you turn the keyboard over, you can recognize several rubber feet directly, which provides an absolutely secure hold. Feet for two different installation angles provide for the optimal inclination angle of the keyboard and are also provided with rubber pads. As if that weren’t enough, the 1.8-metre-long, fabric-sheathed USB cable can be routed through a cable duct to the outside so that it doesn’t get in the way. So someone really thought about this.
Buttons & Switches
The K3 has a total of 105 keys and is equipped with a 19-key rollover. This means that up to 19 keys can be pressed simultaneously and none of the entries are lost. So only very few users should reach their limits here. In addition, the dust and splash water resistance of the keyboard ensures an increased level of security and longevity.
As you can already read from the title of this review, Xtrfy opted for a slightly different key switch for the K3. Neither the typical mechanical nor rubber dome switches are used. “Xtrfy calls “mem-chanical switches” the built-in switches, which are in principle a hybrid of the two techniques mentioned above. The aim is to combine the writing feel of mechanical keyboards with the structure of membrane switches. Our test shows that the typing feel is actually very close to that of a real mechanical keyboard and feels good. However, there is no typical click feedback, as with blue Cherry-MX switches, for example. But in our subjective opinion the keystroke is quite loud, which can be a blessing or a curse depending on the application.
In comparison to conventional rubber dome keyboards, the key pressure of 65 grams is quite low, because normally this value is about 80 grams. The release of the keys is thus made very easy and fluent typing and fast reactions in games are possible without problems. With a life span of 20 million keystrokes (according to Xtrfy), the keys should be able to withstand a lot of use and still provide pleasure in the long run.
RGB LED Illumination
A big advantage of the Xtrfy K3 is that all functions and settings can be made directly via the keyboard thanks to the OnBoard memory and therefore no software is necessary. Simply connect and get started. This is particularly beneficial for RGB LED lighting, whose modes, brightness and speed are controlled by double key assignments. The K3 has a total of six lighting zones and four different effect modes. Breathing-, Wave-, Typing- or Custom-mode can be chosen and easily adjusted to the user’s favourite colours.
In our opinion, the three status LEDs for NUM, CAPS and SCROLL are the smaller but only damper. If these are activated, they really shine very brightly and also fall from the corner of the eye very strongly into the eye. Some users may want exactly this, but we found it a little annoying. Here, one could have also liked to weaken the lighting a little.
Conclusion on the Xtrfy K3 Review
With the K3, Xtrfy delivers a very good gaming keyboard that can certainly compete with its mechanical brothers. We particularly liked the cleanly finished housing, the integrated RGB LED lighting and the hybrid switches used. The effects of the LED lighting look really good and can also be configured quickly and easily. The keystroke is very similar to that of a mechanical keyboard and for the price of almost 80 € quite satisfactory. A small drop of bitterness is a missing wrist-rest and the partly quite loud switches. The input on real mechanical keyboards feels a bit better after all. But if you’re looking for a cheap gaming keyboard with RGB lighting and don’t want to do without the feeling of mechanical switches, the K3 from Xtrfy is a very good choice.