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Updated December 20, 2022
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First introduced in mid-2017, the Royal Kludge RK61 is an entry-level mechanical keyboard with 61 keys. It is designed for gaming and has a 60% form factor, making it very compact. The keyboard measures around 11.5 by 4 inches and weighs only 1.28 pounds, it is very portable.

It has blue RGB lighting, which is very hard to find, even among the best keyboards in the industry. It also comes with a detachable cable that is 5.8ft long, and it allows for the keyboard to be used when it is charging. The RK61 also has a metal base plate that yields good build quality, and its Bluetooth connectivity allows it to pair with up to three devices. This is also in line with what most of the best wireless keyboards on the market are capable of.

Reasons to Buy

  • Compact and lightweight
  • Detachable cable
  • Multi-device Bluetooth connectivity
  • Cross-platform compatibility
  • Good build quality

Reasons to Not

  • Keys are not macro programmable
  • Mediocre ergonomics
  • High latency

Market Context

Compared to the same brand’s similar models: The only difference between the ROYAL KLUDGE RK61 and the ROYAL KLUDGE RK68 is in size. The RK61 is a compact (60%) keyboard, while the RK68 is a slightly bigger 65% keyboard.

Compared to other brand’s similar models: The Royal Kludge RK61 is a wireless keyboard, while the Razer Huntsman Mini is wired, and all the keys on the Huntsman Mini are programmable, while none can be programmed on the RK61. The key caps on the RK61 are made of ABS plastic, while those on the Huntsman Mini are made of PBT plastic, but the Huntsman Mini has RGB backlighting, while the RK61 only has blue backlighting. Lastly, the Huntsman Mini has an excellent latency of 3.5ms, much lower than the RK61’s 12.2ms.

The Royal Kludge RK61 has blue backlighting, while the Keychron K6 has RGB backlighting, and the K6 is slightly larger (65%) compared to the RK61 (60%). The 5.8ft cable on the RK61 is also longer than the 4ft cable on the K6, but the K6 has a lower latency of 7.7ms compared to the RK61’s 12.2ms.

Critic Consensus

The ROYAL KLUDGE RK61 was praised for how optimized it is for mobile use and its cross-platform compatibility. After their tests, product reviewers from Rtings confirmed that it could work across Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS, and iPad cases, such as the Belkin QODE, which we’ve covered in our Belkin QODE Ultimate keyboard case review. They liked that the keyboard could pair to 3 Bluetooth devices and that its battery could last 10 hours, even though the Microsoft Surface Keyboard’s battery lasts 12 months – more on that in our Microsoft Surface keyboard review. Testers also commended its low typing noise.

However, experts from Switch and Clicks were disappointed with its mediocre ergonomics. In contrast, the ROCCAT Vulcan TKL has two incline settings – check it out in our ROCCAT Vulcan TKL review. Testers also confirmed that its latency of 12.2ms was too high for competitive gaming and that its keys couldn’t be macro-programmed. See our SteelSeries Apex 5 Hybrid Mechanical Gaming Keyboard review if this is a priority for you.

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