Glorious PC Gaming Race Keyboard Review
Hello everyone; welcome to Rhinofeed! Today I'm going to be taking a look at a brand new keyboard from Glorious PC Gaming Race. It's the first keyboard on the market to include modular, hot-swappable switches!
Included in the box you'll find the keyboard itself, a user guide, a how to replace switches guide, a key puller, tweezers, switch remover, a sticker, and an extra escape key. In my case, I also received a sampling of the various Gateron switches.
As I pointed out right away in my intro, what's unique about this keyboard is the fact that it is modular! Every individual switch is completely hot-swappable. This means that you can remove a switch just as you would remove a keycap (with a slightly different tool), even while the keyboard is plugged into your computer. Any plate mounted Cherry style switches are compatible. To name a few: Cherry, Gateron, Kailh, and Zealios. However, I am sure there are more that can be listed. The keyboard comes with Gateron Brown switches, but they also offer Gateron switch packs in other varieties for around $30. They have Gateron Black, Blue, Brown, Clear, Green, and Red.
These Gateron Browns are 45g with a tactile bump, much like Cherry MX Browns. I don't have a lot of experience with Gateron switches, but these Gateron Browns feel slightly smoother with a higher actuation point than Cherry MX Browns. They also present a fantastic value. $30 for a whole new set of switches for your keyboard is certainly much cheaper than buying an entirely new keyboard.
You'll also want to make sure to use SMD-LED compatible switches (switches with a clear housing) unless you don't care to see the backlighting. Cherry switches with the standard black housing don't let any light through them, and you won't see any backlighting effect.
You do want to be careful when removing the switches, as it could be easy to scratch up the back plate with the metal tool. All you need to do is pinch in the two small tabs on the switch and pull up. It's not quite as easy as pulling off a keycap, but it's way faster than re-soldering everything.
Each switch has two small pins which you'll want to check to make sure they are straight and not bent. If they are, you can use the included tweezers to carefully bend them back. Not a big deal. It happens in shipping. I've had to do it before when I built the WhiteFox keyboard.
For this price point, the build quality is right where I would expect. The base is plastic, but they do include a matte black sandblasted aluminum plate that gives it a slightly more premium feel. It has a low profile "floating-key" design, which a lot of people love, and no branding (THANK YOU)! They also added a chrome finish to the edge of the case to give it a little bit of bling. I've had wires or cables snag under the keycaps occasionally, but I still would keep the design the way it is. It looks really nice, and I'm sure it's also much easier to replace switches without a bulky case in the way.
On the bottom of the case, there are cable management routes, a keycap puller storage spot, rubber feet, and flip-out feet with rubber ends.
The cable is non-removable, but making it non-removable has provided them the opportunity to give us a really sleek gold-plated braided USB cable that looks really durable.
This keyboard has a standard 104-Key ANSI layout. As this is their first debut into mechanical keyboards, I understand why they started with this layout. I would love to see a TKL and 60% in the future!
The dimensions are 5" x 17 1/4" x 7/8". With the feet, it's 1 1/4" tall. The keyboard weighs just 30.5oz. To put that into perspective, the Ducky Zero weighs 42oz. For it's size, this keyboard is quite light.
I don't want to be too harsh because they aren't that bad, but the keycaps are probably my least favorite aspect of the keyboard. They are double-shot ABS, but they use a gamer-centric font that's kind of tacky in my opinion. The sides of the keycaps are also glossy, which I'm not a fan of, and could get scratched easily when removing them. I would never use the plastic keycap puller that's included if you want to prevent that from happening. Wire key pullers are worth the investment.
OTHER NOTABLE THINGS
The keyboard includes red SMD-LED backlighting, which goes nicely with the black and red theme they have going with the included Ascend escape key and small indicator LEDs in the top right. The backlighting has 7 modes, but no brightness adjustment. The modes are the following:
WASD and ←↑→↓
I made up the names, so hopefully those make sense. You can check out my full video review to see what they look like.
There are also quite a few media keys underneath your F1-F11 keys. Windows Explorer, Web, Calculator, Music; Rewind, Forward, Play/Pause, Stop; and Mute, Volume Down, Volume Up.
I think this keyboard is great for people who want to try new switches without amassing a huge collection of more and more keyboards. Hence, on their product page, Glorious PC has stated: "This will be the last keyboard you will ever buy." We all know, for a lot of us, that it won't be. However, for those who haven't fallen into the mechanical keyboard addiction too far already, this could be a great keyboard to start and end with.