Mechanical keyboards are a dime a dozen these days it seems. No matter where you look there is a company making a newer type of keyboard with the latest and greatest in RGB and switches. Enter Drevo, a company who has the most backed keyboard ever funded through Kickstarter. Here is our review of the Drevo Blademaster TE Mechanical Keyboard.
- Price: $89.99 USD on Amazon.com
- Cord Length: 70.87 IN
- Connectivity: USB
- Switch: Gateron RGB switches(Black/Red/Brown/Blue) (reviewed switch: Black)
- Color: Black
- Layout: US/UK/DE/FR/IT/ES/KR/JP/ND
- Key Quantity: 87(ANSI US, KR), 88(ISO UK/FR/DE/IT/SP/ND), 91(ISO JP)
- Key Cap Material: ABS Plastic
- Legend: Laser etching
- Stabilizer: Cherry Plated-mounted
- Switch: Gateron KS-9 switch
- On-board Storage – 75 MHz Cortex Processor with 1ms polling rate, 16MB to store up to 3 profiles
- DIP switches
- N-key Rollover-- 100% Anti-ghosting with NKRO technology
- Included Accessories: Key Cap Puller, Cleaning Brush
- Dimensions: 14.53 IN x 5.35 IN x 1.77 IN
- Weight: 940g (without cable)
When you go hunting for a keyboard there are two things you are going to look for: how well can you type on it and how well can you game on it. Let’s start with typing. Equipped with the Gateron KS-9 Black switch you will notice just how smoothly the keys move for you. The Black switches, while smooth, have a slightly higher actuation force required to press them down. You will probably need to get used to the amount of force required over traditional red switches. There are, of course, other switch types available to suit your taste.
If you do opt for black switches, just be aware that the extra force could potentially slow you down in games while you learn the pressure curve. At the same time, you’re less likely to make a typo or accidentally pop up from cover since they’re not so light a switch when compared to Reds.
The Anti-Ghosting feature will also help in this area by making sure that if you do hit an incorrect key it will not cause you any ill fate in a fast-paced situation.
Red, Green, Blue – Oh My!
Equipping the Blademaster TE with RGB is a good way to grab people’s attention when they are looking at these keyboards for use. RGB is also a good way to coordinate every piece of your gaming setup. Currently, my desktop fans, my motherboard, my mouse and mousepad, and now my keyboard all have a rainbow theme. I like to see all the colors as they unite in harmony. One really cool feature of the RGB on this board is the 360 degree light strip around its base.
The Radi RGB Backlight offers you so much more than just simple lights glowing behind the keys. On Drevo’s board, you will notice the letters and numbers are also RGB. You see the effect everywhere you look except for the Genius Knob but this is ok for me. When you go into DREVO Power Console you will be able to change these lighting effects to one of nine pre-set color combinations including the rainbow one I am using. You are also given the ability to set up custom colors if you so choose.
What is a Genius Knob, Anyway?
One of the defining features of the Blademaster is the Genius Knob and it works pretty well for what it is. When you think of a knob like this on the keyboard you would normally think of it as a multimedia dial, and it would generally be placed above the number pad on your regular sized keyboards. On this TKL version of the keyboard there was no room above the number pad so Drevo placed it on the left-hand side of the device. Here it is as simple as a click or a turn to get it to work. There are many functions that can be used with this knob in conjunction with the keypad.
Using the function key with any number of keys will allow you to choose the lighting options, multimedia functions, and even scroll settings for your use. There are four ways to make the dial work for you, single click, double click, forward turn, and backward turns. You can also set the button to work in the game as well. For example, if you are playing PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds you can set a click on the wheel to use your energy drinks or a double-click to use medkits. This is one more way to keep your left hand near the movement keys so that you don’t have to worry about getting caught napping.
Likewise, the functions can also be customized for your different apps. Want to quickly scrub through a timeline in Adobe Premiere, have your brushes or zooms on a dial in Photoshop? It’s right there at your fingertips.
The DREVO Power Console is a helpful tool for all things Blademaster. With the ability to change your color profiles, to set up your controls for the Genius Knob, and other functions. You can change the report rate from 125Hz to 250Hz, 500Hz, and 1000Hz. You can disable keys like the Windows key, alt-tab, and alt-f4. There are other menu options for you to explore also.
The Profile Manager is where you will go to choose between one of three different profiles you may have set up for your keyboard. It is as simple as the click of a button to change from one to another.
The Macro Manager is where you can go to set up simple or complex macro keys for use in games, multimedia, and anything else you want to set up on your device.
The Drevo Blademaster has the highest backer numbers ever on Kickstarter for a reason. The keyboard is responsive and beautiful to look at. Having the number pad missing on this TKL keyboard was a learning curve for me but ultimately is a huge space saver when you are trying to fit your peripherals into a tight space on your desktop. The ability to change colors and settings on the fly or to go into the DREVO Power Console are game changers for keyboard fanatics who love control. With the price point of $89.99 USD, it is a very affordable price for budget gamers and high-end gamers alike. Compared to some of the other keyboards I have used this one is pretty good for the price.
- Affordable Price
- RGB Lighting Control
- Genius-Knob Settings
- Space Saver
- Can Use Custom Key Caps Matching The Switch Color
- Lack of the number pad
- Some actions will sometimes not work properly
The product discussed in this article was provided by the manufacturer for the purpose of review.