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DREVO Durendal: An Affordable and Effective Mechanical Keyboard

By Paul Eno on January 09, 2019 | Hardware Reviews | Comments

DREVO Durendal: An Affordable and Effective Mechanical Keyboard

Mechanical keyboards have become an almost essential part of a PC gamer’s equipment and experience in both function and visual aesthetics. Of course, that means that the variety, quality, and pricing of these peripherals make up a very large spectrum of products designed to cater to as many gamers as possible. Most of us are not wealthy and cannot afford to pay exorbitant prices for elite and high-end gear; fortunately, DREVO has designed an effective and attractive alternative for those working on a budget.

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Specifications

  • Price: $64.99 USD on Amazon.com
  • 104-Key full-size keyboard for different demands
  • Integrated style palm rest with firm support to prevent wrist complications
  • Black anodized aluminum alloy panel and suspended keycaps design
  • 16.8 million colors RGB backlight; 13 different backlit effects with 8 colors, 5 preset but customizable gaming backlit modes
  • DREVO Power Console Software
  • N-Key Rollover and Anti-Ghosting
  • OUTEMU switch: red, brown, black, blue (This model uses red)
  • ABS Doubleshot key caps guarantee long-lasting, durable key legends
  • Foldable, durable rubber feet
  • R1-R4 different keycap heights
  • Ergonomic form factor
  • USB 1000Hz
  • Macro Keys
  • Media Keys
  • Windows Lock
  • Key Assignment

The Durendal, despite being a less expensive keyboard, has been a surprisingly adequate piece of equipment. As mentioned in the specs, this board came with OUTEMU red switches that I found to be of more than passable quality. Coming from the experience of using blue (Kailh) switches, I found that I enjoyed the quality feel even as the switches seemed to make my fingers almost dance across the keys with an unexpected lightness that comes with the linear, low resistance. The sound, too, evoked a lightness that appealed to me during rapid typing sessions, or even when gaming. The low resistance of the switches affected the rapidity of my gaming responses, and I felt as though I was putting significantly less effort into pushing the keys in while receiving quick and accurate responses. If red switches and their specific functionality are not your bag, no worries, the Durendal comes with your choice of red, blue, black, and brown.

I experienced no issues in regard to the N-Key Rollover or the Anti-Ghosting during even my most intense gaming sessions, meaning that all the keys I tapped registered, even when I didn’t want them to (yeah, mistakes were made) and regardless of how many keys I was holding down simultaneously. With such sustained key cap usage, ABS Doubleshot Key Caps are a must for anyone, whether gaming or working. I myself have completely defaced numerous keys on keyboards before acquiring one with the kind of durability offered by these caps. Of course, PBT caps are available on the DREVO website if you prefer.

The aluminum alloy panel is at once attractive and sturdy, and the suspended keycap design adds to the aesthetics. My original response to the white housings for the switches was not very positive but as the RGBs kicked in and I played with various presets and colors, I found that the white helped highlight the RGB lighting, reinforcing the “floating” look that the suspended key design evokes.

The palm rest was both a good and a bad thing for me, as it is a solid, undetachable and unadjustable part of the keyboard panel. When using the foldable feet, which I usually prefer to do, the palm rest becomes uncomfortable to the point of possibly inciting the complications it is supposed to help prevent. Not using the feet made a large difference and after a couple days of working with it like that, any wrist discomfort seemed to diminish. Still, not being able to adjust or even remove the palm rest detracted from its value in my estimation.

DREVO also provides downloadable software to ease interaction and use of the keyboard, and having fiddled with it quite a bit, I have to say it’s a strong point for the product. The DREVO Power Console (DPC) is an all-in-one software package that can be used with all their peripherals, so if you have multiple DREVO items, say a mouse, keyboard, and mousepad, you have a quick, one-stop app with which to adjust them all. The 13 different preset effects for the backlit RGB offer a quick way to customize your look and can be specifically customized key by key in most cases. The software is also where you can use various functions such as programming any macros that you might want to use, allows the input of batch files for any prebatched macros, lets you set up and keep track of gaming statistics, and even allows you to set up different profiles for multiple users. Don’t like how your sibling or significant other has the keyboard set up? Set up your own profile just how you like it. If, however, you prefer not to use the software, all functions are accessible from the keyboard functions. Personally, I really liked the options and ease offered by the DPC.

There was one other aspect that nagged at me and is most likely more of a personal preference than an actual problem, but I was a little let down by the cord. Over time, I’ve come to expect my wired peripherals to have braided cord sleeves on the USB cord. The Durendal lacks this. Yeah, I’m spoiled, and this is a less expensive piece of hardware. The rubber cord sleeve it does have appears to be plenty thick and may last as long as you have the keyboard, I’m just finicky.

Final Thoughts

The Durendal is an exceptional piece of hardware for the price, coming with a variety of functionality and appearance options out of the box. Functionally, I felt it was well within acceptable parameters whether as a gaming peripheral or a work keyboard and performed better than well enough to satisfy me. This is definitely a solid buy for a starter keyboard if you’re looking to try out mechanical switches, or as a casual gamer who wants to add a little pizzaz to their desktop, and DREVO Power Console is a good utility for refining your personal touch.

Pros

  • Choice of different switch types (Red, Blue, Black, Brown)
  • DREVO Power Console
  • Affordability
  • Sturdy and good quality for the price
  • Fully customizable RGB backlighting
  • Sleek aesthetics with suspended key design

Cons

  • Palm rest is non-adjustable and non-detachable
  • Simple rubber USB cord sleeve

The product discussed in this article was provided by the manufacturer for the purpose of review.

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