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ENHANCE & THEOREM Mechanical Keyboards: Can ENHANCE’s Desktop Duo Bring Quality Mechanical at Consumer Price Points?

By Damien Gula on July 19, 2018 | Hardware Reviews | Comments

ENHANCE & THEOREM Mechanical Keyboards: Can ENHANCE’s Desktop Duo Bring Quality Mechanical at Consumer Price Points?

Here at MMORPG.com, when it comes to mechanical keyboards, we have seen some things. In the last six months alone, we have reviewed ten different boards with some interesting variations - everything from the optical mechanic AORUS K9 to the PUBG-themed Varmilo “Chicken Dinner;” each with their promises of higher response times and technical advantages… with the price tags to match.

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We have read your comments on each of these keyboards and there is a consistent thread: Why would I spend that kind of money on a product like this? This is an incredibly fair question and one that peripheral producer ENHANCE Gaming has made it their mission to make to answer with a new line of budget-conscious mechanical keyboards, lowering the buy-in without scrimping on features.

After releasing a few keyboards prior, ENHANCE Gaming went back to the drawing board to refresh on their mechanical keyboard line up with the MMO/MOBA-geared THEOREM and the FPS-tuned SCORIA. We got our hands on this pair in order to answer a simple question which has fallen in like with yours: Can ENHANCE get the precision of mechanical keyboards onto more desks with their track record of affordability and options? 

Specifications

  • MSRP: $59.99 (THEOREM) / $49.99 (SCORIA)       
  • Switches: Gateron Blue (THEOREM) / Gateron Red (SCORIA)
  • Lighting: 16.8 Million programable RGB with 13 lighting effects (THEOREM) / Rainbow LED with 10 LED color settings (SCORIA),
  • Aluminum base
  • Full-sized keyboards with keypad
  • N-Key rollover, Media control keys, Windows-key locking, anti-ghosting
  • Double shot injected key caps with UV protection
  • MSRP: $59.99 (THEOREM) and $49.99 (SCORIA)
  • 3 Year Warrantee

The metaphoric mechanical keyboard pool is a tough one to jump into (and a painful one if you are jumping into a literal pool filled with keyboards), but it is also a costly one if you choose poorly. If you interested in a more in-depth look at mechanical keyboards and their functions, you can check out our Beginner’s Introduction to Mechanical Keyboards to better inform your personal research and to further explain some of the terms found within this review.

Now, about ENHANCE’s keyboards.

THEOREM: More Than An Afterthought

With its programable macros and high customization (not to mention full 16.8 million color RGB range), ENHANCE’s THEOREM line is geared toward the MMO and MOBA player-base on form and function. Its sleek, black aluminum design matches aesthetics with the series’ multi-button mouse for a pair that match in their quality and performance, pricing in at under $100 USD for the pair.

In order to achieve this, ENHANCE opted to use Gateron switches versus the ubiquitous Cherry MX switches found in many high end mechanical keyboards. While they stick to a similar coloring convention when it comes to their feel, the major difference better the two switches is found in the weight actuation. Where the Cherry MX Blue switches require 50g of force to activate, the Gateron variety require 55g. Not much too much of a difference, but at around $.25 USD per switch versus $.50 USD or more, the Gateron switches give a similar enough feel at a fraction of the price.

While an enthusiast might argue the supremacy of the Cherry MX switches, this keyboard, much like ENHANCE’s other offerings, is an entry point into what would be considered “high-end" gaming peripherals. In this case, it is mechanical keyboards. ENHANCE tries to do this by making sure that their products are cost effective without feeling cheap.

That being said the construction is fairly solid with nice touches like the black aluminum top and braided USB cable, but it falls into a similar pitfall as its competitors: software.

I noted in my review of ENHANCE’s THEOREM gaming mouse that it looked like ENHANCE used a generic software application that allowed them to brand the product as though it were their own. With a simple Amazon search, I could find other entry-level gear that used the same controller. It isn’t terrible software, just unremarkable.

In the case of the THEOREM keyboard, it does not share the same application as the gaming mouse within the same family of products. While some functions can be controlled from the keyboard itself, it requires this software to manage your macros and to the deep customization that this keyboard is capable of. If ENHANCE is going to continue making strides into the world of gaming peripherals, they need to establish a unified controller for their gear.

To be fair: ENHANCE not alone in this. RGB controller software seems to be a bit of an afterthought for a number of manufacturers. But, there is more to talk about.

SCORIA: Same Family, Different Face

Following a similar design pattern as the THEOREM keyboard, the SCORIA, too, has ENHANCE’s redesigned form factor, aluminum top, and braided cabling.But that is about as far as the similarities go.

Intended as an eSport and FPS geared keyboard, the SCORIA has a silver aluminum top and uses Gateron Red switches for faster response times than their Blue counterparts (45g versus 55g). This response time matters when in games requiring a bit more twitch reaction to your surroundings.

Many of the core functions of the keyboard, such as N-key rollover, anti-ghosting, and multimedia shortcuts carry over from the THEOREM, making the SCORIA a formidable addition to those looking for an extra edge to “risk-it-for-the-biscuit” in your favorite shooter.

In order to cut the price even lower than the THEOREM’s $59.99 USD, the SCORIA has set coloring for its keys (a rainbow-style LED with multiple lighting patterns to choose from) and it does not have any software support. While it, like the THEOREM, allows you to control the lighting patterns via the keyboard, there isn’t much customization available beyond that. However, these paired down features come with a lower price: $49.99 USD.

As far as entry-level keyboards go, there really aren’t a lot on the market within this price range that are using the quality parts that ENHANCE is using. The SCORIA has a special place in the arena as a keyboard with a little bit of flare contending where it matters most: overall function.

Final Thoughts

I do have some critiques for these two keyboards. By presenting them here, I hope that ENHANCE will continue their quest to improve what they are building. The biggest point of improvement would be the need for a software suite for all of their gear. Maybe I am the only one here that thinks this way, but I am over having a single application for each peripheral I want to control!

Aside from the software, there are some small design details that need to be shored up in future iterations. Some of the larger keys are a bit wobbly, needing further stabilization. While stabilizer bars are present, I did accidentally pop the enter key when removing the THEOREM from its box. Another design issue (and this is just me being picky), is that they each have their name printed on the space bar instead of being a transparent window in the key. It just feels texturally weird to me. With being such a highly used key, the branding placement feels like it is trying to continually remind it of its name.

While the SCORIA keyboard might seem like a budget THEOREM - an already budget-conscious keyboard, let’s keep in perspective what we are talking about here: mechanical keyboards. The price point is comparable to brands within their weight-class like ROSEWILL and Redragon, but it is the little touches like the Gateron switches, braided cabling, and clean design that set ENHANCE apart from the pack.

If you are looking for a keyboard that you can customizes the full array of lights and create game-specific marcos, the ENHANCE THEOREM is hard to beat for the dollar. However, if you are looking for something a little more paired down, but still want to get the mechanical keyboard experience, the SCORIA is worth a second look. Both keyboard are a fantastic entry point into the world of mechanical keyboard and they achieve that role remarkably.

Pros

  • The price point of each board
  • Overall build quality
  • Robust features and control via software (THEOREM)

Cons

  • ENHANCE needs to bring there software controllers together into a single application.
  • The price-point of the SCORIA makes it a very hard sell in comparison to the options available on the THEOREM.
  • Branding on the space feels uncharacteristic from the rest of the design.

The products discussed in this article were provided by ENHANCE Gaming for the purposes of review.