In a world of gaming where winning is measured in milliseconds, peripheral companies are always searching for an edge over the competition. Bloody Gaming has come a long way in delivering player’s that competitive edge. It seems like just last year I was hearing about this company for the first time, and then I was fortunate enough to spend some time with the B820R Light Strike Board. I was impressed with everything that the B820 had to offer and it made a great first impression to the brand.
Enter: 2018, and Bloody is a solid contender for peripheral dominance. I’ve spent the last week with their new B930 Light Strike RGB Mechanical Gaming Keyboard and have to say, they’ve achieved a whole new level of design and implementation. Everything from the basic board design to the new keycaps seem to have been overhauled to better suit gamers needs. So grab that coffee and get ready for our review of the B930 Light Strike RGB Mechanical Gaming Keyboard.
- MSRP: $139.99
- Connector: USB
- Key Switches: LK Orange Switch (test), LK Brown Switch
- Key Style: Optical switch
- Key Lifetime: Up to 100 million keystrokes
- Key Response 0.2ms
- Key Travel: 3mm
- Anti-Ghosting Key: 100% Anti-ghosting key
- Gaming Keycaps: 8 silicon Coated keycaps (QWER ASDF), 8 Transparent Keycaps (QWER ASDF)
- Hotkey: Multimedia Hotkey
- Backlit: Customize RGB Animation
- Backlit Brightness: Adjustable
- Space-Bar: Duel springs, Screw enhanced space-bar
- Memory Backlight: 6 Free driver RGB lighting modes
- Water Resistant: Spill-Resistant Nano-Coating
Even if you’re fairly new to the world of gaming peripherals, I’m sure you have heard of some of the larger companies out there. I have to say, after reviewing several pieces of hardware over the years, Bloody is a name you should familiarize yourself with. Their unique key switch design and use of optical sensors to register clicks creates an insanely fast response rate to give you the edge.
The spec sheet boasts a .2ms response time per keystroke and after playing several titles, writing several articles and researching online for hours, I can attest to this board's responsiveness. While gaming and even mashing several buttons at the same time, I never ran into any issue with ghosting (an issue that occurs when your keyboard cannot register multiple keystrokes at a time). This is due to the inclusion of n-key rollover, which ensures it’s able to register all of the keystrokes you can throw at it. I was doubly impressed as the NKRO support even registered modifier keys (such as shift or control) without hesitation.
The use of full optical switches with a built in stabilizer bar on each key allows for consistent keystrokes no matter how you hit the key and less wobble. Traditional mechanical boards rely on each key’s metallic contact points to register presses and, when a board is new, this isn’t ever really a problem. However as the contact points age and oxidize or get grimy with dust, these contacts can become less responsive.
The Light Strike 3 switches (also known as LK Libra switches), by contrast, use an optical sensor to achieve the same response. This allows the keys to respond much faster, with less electrical interference and debounce. The LK3 switches also include a built-in stabilizer bar, which takes the need for consistent finger positioning out of the hands of the user and puts it on the switch itself. In other words, no matter where you strike the key, the optical sensor is able to register it and input it to the board itself. This creates a much more consistent gaming experience even over the long haul and also reduces the physical wear and tear on the board.
These switches are also closer to “speed switches” than a more traditional key. They activate a full 25% faster and have a 3mm travel distance versus the usual 4mm. This makes them more sensitive and reactive under the fingers. They feel great to type on.
The aesthetic of the build has seen some improvements since last year’s model too. Please don’t misunderstand, the B820R was a fine board and solid build but it lacked a certain refinement I appreciate about the B930.
The board itself has a metallic Aluminum alloy surface, is splash resistant and has a nice chrome colored trim. Four hex head screws accent the board in each corner. The base is semi-transparent allowing for the RGB lighting to create an underglow effect that is eye catching. A small Bloody logo is purchased just about the arrow keys and offers the only real source of branding on the keyboard.
The B930 comes with 16 extra keycaps (8 silicon coated and 8 transparent) to allow for additional customization. Top this all off with a discreet black braided USB cable and 6 preloaded, driverless RGB modes and you have a slick looking gaming keyboard. The board tenkeyless, which means it lacks the additional number pad of a full-size keyboard, giving it a smart compact layout that saves desk space. Overall, the Bloody 930 is a slick looking compact gaming keyboard that manages to fit form, function and fashion into a nice, clean package.
As with other Bloody RGB keyboards, the 930 lighting is controlled with their in-house software package, Key Dominator2. If I had one real critique of this board it would have to be this software. Where the design of the board feels elegant and user friendly, the software still feels somewhat confusing. More than once I struggled to set up my own lighting presets and found myself running back to the dominator help files. That being said, the Dominator2 software is usable if not the most intuitive.
When I worked with my first Bloody keyboard last year, I was impressed. It offered a lot of promise and was offering an innovative approach to the way we use keyboards. After spending a week with the new B930 I’m blown away by just how far Bloody has come. The B930 Light Strike RGB Gaming Keyboard is an incredible package at a great price point. This keyboard offers everything the other guys do and more. If your in the market for a new gaming board, I’d encourage you to check out the B930 from Bloody.
Editor's Note: In reading through this review, I wanted to take an extra moment to talk about form factor. Daily readers will know that we recently covered the B975 keyboard, also from Bloody Gaming. The B930 and B975 share the new Light Strike 3 switches, but where the B975 is a full-size keyboard, the B930 is a tenkeyless or TKL.
Why does this matter? The biggest benefit is being able to have more space for your mouse hand. A full-size keyboard by nature encroaches on your mousing space, which can be limiting, especially if you play shooters with low DPI; professional CS:GO players use sweeping motions with their mice to land their kill shots. A TKL is a perfect fit for this playstyle.
If you're not a shooter fan, there's another reason to go for a TKL and it's probably the most basic for all of us: desk space. Having a number pad along the right is a "must have" for some of us, but the days of games demanding these extra keys are gone. Even MMOs are more about movement than rows and rows of action bars. If you don't need the number pad, a TKL provides a smaller form factor that, as in this case, can have its own unique look.
Most importantly, why pay for something you don't need?
Thanks for reading our review, and hopefully that helps answer the question of why Bloody Gaming is offering a smaller version of an already excellent set of keys.
- New key switches are excellent to work with
- Clean, elegant design is a huge improvement visually
- Anti-ghosting works incredibly well
- Key Dominator 2 software could be more user friendly
This product was provided by the manufacturer for the purpose of review.