QPAD MK-95 Opto Q-Mechanical Keyboard Review




/ 6 months ago

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A Closer Look & Performance

QPAD has been making mechanical keyboards for many years now. In fact, some of my earliest reviews at eTeknix were QPAD keyboards! However, as good as they were back in the day, their quality is nothing like what I have in front of me today. A full aluminium exterior top plate is a welcome addition.

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It has been lightly textured with a sandblasted finished. It actually looks like it was cast, and overall, I absolutely love it. It’s a little matte and muted, but still reflects light in a diffused pattern, which will no doubt look amazing with the RGB on.

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The bezel around the edge is a good size, not too big to get in the way, but big enough to add to the overall durability of the keyboard. The rolled edges look fantastic, nothing aggressive about it, just a smooth and clean design.

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There are no outlandish graphics here either, it’s a clean looking setup that would look just as good in the office as it would as part of a gaming setup. No doubt the dual switch idea is part of that dual-use idea too.

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For a little added control, you’ll find a load of cool built-in features too. There are basic lighting brightness and rotation controls on the F1-F3 keys. There’s even an on-the-fly macro-control here. Sure, you can do all this in the software, but for quick changes, it’s just an Fn-Shift away.

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If you’re like me and almost constantly have music playing, you’ll be glad to see some multimedia controls. I do prefer dedicated controls, but it’s hardly a deal-breaker. Either way, for skipping songs while I’m playing Elder Scrolls Online, they do the job perfectly.

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There are also volume controls here too, but erm, I’m not sure why because there is a volume wheel too. I dunno, never hurts to have a second set I guess. It’s like having electric windows and a window winder.

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The branding is kept pretty minimal on this keyboard, which I really like. There’s just a stylish QPAD logo above the arrow keys.

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Obviously, being a full-size keyboard, there’s a full number pad too. Overall, it’s pretty clean and simple this keyboard. Everything is where you expect it to be. Of course, there’s that thing in the top corner, what is that!?

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It looks like someone took George Jetsons car and stuck it on the keyboard. I mean, I’m totally cool with that, it looks amazing. Well, it’s two things really, the bottom disc can be turned independently, allowing you to adjust your system volume. As I said, this keyboard has TWO volume controls.

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However, that top fin has two positions. When you turn it, it’s quite stiff, but it snaps and clunks into position like a bolt action rifle. It’s immensely satisfying to change the locking position on this thing. It’s a heavy chunk of metal too, not some plastic knob that’s going to break in five minutes. It feels properly robust.

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In position one, your keyboard is a clicky Blue switch keyboard. In position two, your keyboard is a linear Red switch keyboard. How does it do this? Well, we don’t know. I’ve looked, zoomed in on the switches, and scratched my head, and concluded that it is a form of magic.

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The switches themselves don’t look like anything crazy either. They’re very similar to Cherry MX switches in their core design.

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They do have a ring around the stem, but that’s something we’ve seen from other brands, as it gives the key cap a more stable mount.

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Also included in the box, a full-size magnetic wrist rest. It just snaps onto the front of the keyboard and it’s ready to rock. Again, it just has a single QPAD logo on the padded top. It’s a great size too, which should be fantastic for long term comfort.

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Powered up, the keyboard sparks to life with a rainbow of colours. I mean, find me a keyboard that doesn’t do that these days. As with any high-end RGB product these days, you can use the software to dial in per-key lighting. For me, I just set everything to red or purple and leave it. Of course, that’s the joy of RGB, you can do whatever you want. I know everyone thinks it’s all rainbows and flashing lights, but who seriously leaves it on that mode all day?

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Honestly, I’m tempted to march down to QPAD HQ and having them burnt for practising magic in the kingdom. The switches on this keyboard utterly unlike anything I’ve ever used before. Actually, that’s not entirely true. They feel exactly as good as Cherry MX Blue. The motion, the click response, the sound of them, it’s absolutely perfect. Of course, that’s only in one mode.

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Flick the switch and get that big “clunk” as you change gears and what do you know, it’s a Cherry MX Red keyboard! I know it’s not Cherry, but it’s the easiest comparison to make here. It is instant too, and it’s a mechanical change, not an electronic one, as you can do it with the keyboard unplugged from the computer.

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There’s an LED light around the dial too showing you red or blue. What’s really neat is that when you turn it to Blue switch mode, the whole keyboard washes over in blue light before going back to your RGB profile. The same again when you switch to Red switch mode, you get a wave of red light, then back to your normal light profile. I may have done that a few dozen times just to amuse myself.

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I really don’t know what else to say, I’m blown away by this keyboard. It’s TWO mechanical keyboards in one… I mean, come on, that’s impressive!

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