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Redragon K552 KUMARA RGB Keyboard Review

Tested using Methodology v1.3.1
Reviewed Jan 30, 2020 at 07:49 am
Latest change: Test bench update Nov 29, 2023 at 09:32 am
Redragon K552 KUMARA RGB Picture
7.3
Gaming
5.8
Office
1.9
Mobile/Tablet
6.9
Programming
2.3
Entertainment / HTPC
6.5
Raw Performance

The Redragon K552 KUMARA RGB is a good mechanical gaming keyboard with clicky tactile switches and a TenKeyLess design that's simple and functional. Its impressive build quality and superb RGB lighting with individually-backlit keys competes with keyboards at twice its price. Unfortunately, the keyboard is pretty barebones when it comes to extra features, and the clicky Outema Blue switches are loud and may not be the best choice for quiet offices. However, given its budget price, it's still a good option for those looking for a basic mechanical keyboard with admirable performance.

Our Verdict

7.3 Gaming

The Redragon K552 is a good gaming keyboard. The clicky Outemu Blue switches are satisfying and responsive, and they have a short pre-travel distance. Unfortunately, the latency is only mediocre, and without software support, gamers won't be able to set macros or reprogram keys. The full RGB backlighting is good for gaming in dark rooms, but it doesn't offer the same customization as a keyboard with companion software.

Pros
  • Build quality feels great.
  • Low pre-travel distance.
  • Full RGB lighting with Individially-backlit keys.
Cons
  • No customization software.
  • Mediocre latency.
5.8 Office

The Redragon K552 is a decent keyboard for office use. The keyboard feels light to type on, and it's not fatiguing, but noise can be an issue if you work in a quiet office. Unfortunately, its ergonomics are only mediocre as it has a high profile, and it doesn't include a wrist rest. Thankfully, the keyboard has good compatibility with most desktop operating systems, though some keys may not work on macOS.

Pros
  • Build quality feels great.
  • Compatible with both Windows and macOS.
Cons
  • Ergonomics are mediocre.
  • Clicky switches may be too loud for some office environments.
1.9 Mobile/Tablet

The Redragon K552 can't be used with mobile devices.

6.9 Programming

The Redragon K552 is a reasonable keyboard for programming. It has clicky Outemu Blue switches that offer a light typing experience, an impressive overall build quality, and excellent full RGB backlighting. Unfortunately, there isn't any companion software, so lighting is customized directly on the board, and the keys aren't programmable, which may be a dealbreaker for some.

Pros
  • Build quality feels great.
  • Fully compatible with Windows and Linux.
Cons
  • No customization software.
  • Ergonomics are mediocre.
2.3 Entertainment / HTPC

The Redragon K552 is not suitable for entertainment or home theater PC use. You can't use it wirelessly, so you'll need to be seated within cable range, and it doesn't have a trackpad, so you'll likely need a mouse as well to navigate menus. On the bright side, it has media hotkeys and superb full RGB backlighting, but it has no companion software for customization.

Pros
  • Full RGB lighting with Individially-backlit keys.
Cons
  • No trackpad.
  • Wired-only
  • No customization software.
6.5 Raw Performance
  • 7.3 Gaming
  • 5.8 Office
  • 1.9 Mobile/Tablet
  • 6.9 Programming
  • 2.3 Entertainment / HTPC
  • 6.5 Raw Performance
  1. Updated Nov 29, 2023: We've concerted this review to Test Bench 1.3.1, which adds a new estimated PCB latency test to the Single-Key Latency section and a new Analog test to the Switches section of this review. You can see the full changelog here.
  2. Updated Oct 27, 2023: We've converted this review to Test Bench 1.3, which overhauls how key input is evaluated. We've added new tests for Single Key Latency, Multi Key Latency, Data Transmission, and Chord Split. We've also introduced a new Raw Performance usage and adjusted how the Gaming and Office usage scores are calculated. You can see the full changelog here.
  3. Updated Jun 20, 2023: We've corrected an error in the result of the Switch PCB Socket test in the Hardware Customizability section of this review. The result has been changed from 3-pin Cherry to Non-Cherry Pinout since the PCB has Outemu sockets. We've also added explanatory text to this test box.
  4. Updated Jun 15, 2023: We've converted this review to Test Bench 1.2. This update introduces new Backlight Features and Backlight Clarity test boxes. We've also added a new Switches test box, added additional test comparisons to our Hardware Customizability test box that we introduced with our last Test Bench. For an in-depth look at our changes, you can see our full changelog here.
  5. Updated Jun 08, 2023: We've fixed an error in the Hardware Customization section of this review. We've corrected the result for the Hot-Swappable Switches test from No to Yes and the Switch PCB Socket result from Non-Customizable Design to 3-Pin. We've also updated the photo for this test box, showing one of the keyboard's switches removed.
  6. Updated May 19, 2023: We've converted this review to Test Bench 1.1. This update adds several new tests addressing Hardware Customization, Macro Keys And Programming, and Wireless Mobile Compatibility. We've also added new objective evaluations to the Typing Noise test, and we've simplified several tests and removed several others that were no longer relevant. For an in-depth look at all our changes, you can see our full changelog here.
  7. Updated Oct 29, 2021: Tried to see if the new software works.
  8. Updated Feb 04, 2021: Converted to Test Bench 1.0.
  9. Updated Jan 30, 2020: Review published.
  10. Updated Jan 24, 2020: Early access published.
  11. Updated Jan 24, 2020: Our testers have started testing this product.
  12. Updated Jan 21, 2020: The product has arrived in our lab, and our testers will start evaluating it soon.

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

We tested the Redragon K552 KUMARA, but there are 8 variants of this keyboard with various color and backlight options. With the exception of backlight customization, we expect our results are applicable to the other variants as well.

Model Color Backlight
Redragon K552-RGB Black RGB
Redragon K552 Black Red
Redragon K552-R Black RGB Rainbow
Redragon K552-N Black None
Redragon K552W-RGB White RGB
Redragon K552W White Red
Redragon K552W-R White RGB Rainbow
Redragon K552W-N White None

Compared To Other Keyboards

The Redragon K552 KUMARA is an entry-level mechanical gaming keyboard with a great build quality, especially at its price point.
Unfortunately, it lacks certain features common with more premium mechanical keyboards, such as companion software that allows you to program keys, set macros, and more precisely adjust RGB lighting settings. You may find it to be a good budget choice if you're new to mechanical gaming keyboards or prefer a gaming keyboard with a more limited set of features. For other options, check out our recommendations for the best gaming keyboards, the best mechanical keyboards, and the best RGB keyboards.

Redragon Dragonborn K630 RGB

The Redragon Dragonborn K630 RGB and the Redragon K552 KUMARA RGB are both inexpensive, wired mechanical keyboards with hot-swappable switches. The K630 is a compact 60% board, so it lacks the dedicated navigation and arrow keys that the K552 has. However, the K630 has lower latency, and it has dedicated software to set macros and customize the RGB backlighting. On the other hand, the K552 feels much better built since its keys don't wobble nearly as much.

Redragon K582 SURARA RGB

The Redragon K582 SURARA RGB and the Redragon K552 KUMARA RGB are similar gaming boards with hot-swappable switches, but they come in different sizes. The K582 is a full-size board and comes in more switch types, including linear, clicky, and tactile switches. You can set macros to any key, save settings to the onboard memory, and customize the backlighting. On the other hand, the K552 is a TKL board, so it doesn't have a numpad. Also, the software we tested for the K552 doesn't open, and you can't set macros or reprogram keys without it.

SteelSeries Apex 3

The SteelSeries Apex 3 and the Redragon K552 KUMARA RGB are very different keyboards. The SteelSeries is a full-size membrane keyboard, while the Redragon is a TKL mechanical keyboard. The SteelSeries is more comfortable to type on because it has a lower profile and comes with a wrist rest. The typing experience is also very different. The SteelSeries' rubber dome switches feel a bit mushy, and the tactile feedback doesn't feel as distinct as on the Redragon's Outemu Blue switches. The Outemu switches have a shorter pre-travel distance but require more force to actuate. While the SteelSeries has lower latency, it's still relatively high for a wired keyboard and might not be ideal for serious gamers. You can't program any macros on the Redragon, and customizing the RGB backlight can be somewhat complicated because there's no software.

HyperX Alloy Core RGB

The Redragon K552 KUMARA RGB is a much better keyboard than the HyperX Alloy Core RGB. The Redragon has mechanical switches that provide a better typing experience, though the clicky switches may be bothersome for some. The Redragon has a significantly better build quality, and its RGB backlighting has more customization options; however, it may not be the best choice if you like having a NumPad, as the Redragon is a tenkeyless keyboard.

HyperX Alloy FPS Pro

The Redragon K552 KUMARA RGB and the HyperX Alloy FPS Pro are good TenKeyLess gaming keyboards with great build qualities. The Redragon has full RGB lighting, 18 lighting effects, and you can set colors for individual keys. It comes with clicky Outemu Blue switches and doesn't have any other switch types available. On the other hand, the HyperX has significantly better latency, a better-feeling typing quality, and although it has backlighting, it's only in red and only has six lighting effects. Our unit has linear Cherry MX Red switches, but it’s also available with clicky Cherry MX Blue switches.

AUKEY KM-G9

The Redragon K552 KUMARA RGB is almost identical to the AUKEY KM-G9, although it's slightly better as it features full RGB lighting, while the AUKEY doesn't have any backlight. Other than that, these two keyboards are pretty much the same.

NPET K20

The Redragon K552 KUMARA RGB and the NPET K20 are both good entry-level gaming keyboards. The NPET is available with tactile, linear, and clicky switches, while the Redragon is only available with clicky switches, so the typing noise is louder. The Redragon features full RGB backlighting, while the NPET is multi-colored.

Vortex Race 3

The Redragon K552 KUMARA RGB and the Vortex Race 3 are both TenKeyLess mechanical keyboards with significant differences. The Redragon has clicky Outemu Blue switches and full RGB backlighting, which the variant of the Vortex we tested lacks, although there's a variant with RGB lighting available. The Vortex has a non-typical TKL layout that's similar to the size of a 60% keyboard but with several more keys. It also has significantly lower latency, more solid-feeling build quality, and better typing quality. Our version has Cherry MX Brown switches, but it’s also available with a range of other Cherry MX switches, including Red, Blue, Black, Silent Red, Silver Speed, and Clear, as well as Silent Black, specifically available for the RGB variant.

ROCCAT Vulcan TKL

The ROCCAT Vulcan TKL and Redragon K552 KUMARA RGB are TenKeyLess gaming keyboards, but the ROCCAT is a better keyboard overall. The ROCCAT has a detachable USB-C cable and companion software that offers plenty of customization. You can also set macros using the companion software, though you can only set them to alphanumeric keys on the left side of the board. It's available with either ROCCAT Titan tactile or linear switches. On the other hand, the Redragon has significantly higher latency, no companion software, none of its keys are macro-programmable, and it's only available with clicky Outemu Blue switches.

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Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
Design
Dimensions
Size
TenKeyLess (80%)
Height
1.4" (3.6 cm)
Width 14.0" (35.5 cm)
Depth
4.8" (12.3 cm)
Depth With Wrist Rest
N/A
Weight
1.76 lbs (0.800 kg)

This is a TenKeyLess keyboard and has a fairly small footprint. If you prefer an even more compact model, check out the Redragon Dragonborn K630 RGB.

8.0
Design
Build Quality
Keycap Material ABS

The Redragon K552 has a great build quality. It's a mix of hard plastic and metal, and the keyboard feels heavy and robust, with no signs of flex. The keycaps are doubleshot ABS, and the keys are stable, but the spacebar has a slight wobble to it.

6.0
Design
Ergonomics
Curved/Angled
No
Split Keyboard
No
Key Alignment
Staggered
Minimum Incline
Medium Incline
N/A
Maximum Incline
Home Row Height
30.9 mm (1.2")

It has mediocre ergonomics. It has one incline setting, and the keyboard has a fairly tall profile, which may require a wrist rest for optimal comfort; however, it doesn't come with one.

8.2
Design
Hardware Customizability
Replaceable Cherry Stabilizers
Yes
Stabilizer Fixation
Plate-Mounted
Spacebar Stabilizer Size
6.25u
Size Of Right Mod Keys
1.25u
Hot-Swappable Switches
Yes
Switch Stem Shape
Cherry MX Style
Switch PCB Socket
Non-Cherry Pinout
North-Facing Cherry MX Interference
Yes

This keyboard has a hot-swappable PCB compatible with Outemu switches. Many users have indicated that the PCB sockets are also compatible with Akko switches, although the tolerances are quite tight.

10
Design
Backlight Features
Backlighting Yes
RGB
Yes
Per-Key Backlighting
Yes
Effects
Yes
Software Controllable
Yes

This keyboard has full RGB backlighting, unlike the near-identical AUKEY KM-G9. However, since there's no official software support at this time, customization is done on the keyboard itself. You can cycle through 18 lighting effects and set individual key colors.

8.0
Design
Backlight Clarity

Unfortunately, the color mixing is poor, so there's a fair amount of color bleed between keys, and when set to white-only, the backlighting appears pinkish or purple.

Design
Cable & Connector
Connectivity Wired
Detachable
No
Length 6.2 ft (1.9 m)
Connector (Keyboard side)
Not Detachable

The cable is rubberized and feels strong, but it's not detachable.

0
Design
Wireless Versatility
Bluetooth
No
Bluetooth Multi-Device Pairing
No
Proprietary Receiver
No
Battery Type
No Batteries

The Redragon K552 is a wired-only keyboard.

0
Design
Macro Keys And Programming
Dedicated Macro Keys Count 0
Onboard Macro Programming
No
Macro Programming With Software
No
Design
Extra Features
Media Keys
Non-Dedicated
Trackpad / Trackball No
Scroll Wheel
No
Control Knob
No
USB Passthrough
No
Numpad No
Windows Key Lock
Yes
Lock Indicator Caps & Scroll Lock

This keyboard has very few features available. There are hotkeys for media control and a Windows key lock hotkey to prevent accidentally minimizing your game.

Design
In The Box

  • Redragon K552 keyboard
  • Keycap remover
  • User guide
  • Sticker

Typing Experience
7.0
Typing Experience
Typing Quality
Key Spacing
19.0 mm (0.748")

Typing quality is decent. While the click of the tactile feedback feels satisfying, it feels a little out of place, as the click doesn't quite line up with the actuation. It isn't unpleasant, but enthusiasts of Cherry MX Blues may find it a bit odd. That said, the typing experience remains light and shouldn't be fatiguing over time. The keycaps feel nice to the touch and are very stable, though the spacebar has a slight wobble.

3.5
Typing Experience
Typing Noise
Average Loudness
59.9 dBA
High Pitch Clicks
Yes

Typing noise on this keyboard is fairly loud and may not be suitable for use in a noise-sensitive environment. If you want something available with different switches, including quieter ones, look into the NPET K20.

Typing Experience
Switches
Switch Name
Outemu Blue
Switch Type
Mechanical
Feel
Clicky
Analog
No
Typing Experience
Keystrokes
Operating Force
61 gf
Actuation Force
45 gf
Pre-Travel
2.0 mm
Total Travel
3.8 mm

It uses clicky Outemu Blue switches that are similar to Cherry MX Blues. The operating force required is fairly low, but there's still a tactile bump to overcome, providing feedback and an audible click when a keypress is registered. If you're looking for a TKL gaming keyboard that's available with tactile or linear switches, check out the ROCCAT Vulcan TKL.

Performance
6.6
Performance
Single-Key Latency
Best Connection
28.7 ms
Best Connection Std Dev ±1.3 ms
Wired
28.7 ms
Receiver
N/A
Bluetooth
N/A
PCB (Estimated)
26.7 ms

The latency is only mediocre, and it's very high for a gaming keyboard. It may not be suitable for competitive, reaction-based games, but it shouldn't pose problems for more casual gaming. If you want a TKL board with a much lower latency, have a look at the Fnatic miniSTREAK.

5.8
Performance
Multi-Key Latency
Connection Evaluated Wired
Key Press
28.7 ms
Key Release
31.9 ms
7.5
Performance
Data Transmission
Connection Evaluated Wired
USB Polling Rate
1,000 Hz
Effective Update Rate
250 Hz
N-Key Rollover (NKRO)
Yes
Multiple Keys Per USB Report
Yes
6.8
Performance
Chord Split
4 Chord Split Delay
9.1 ms
8 Chord Split Delay
10.7 ms
Software and Operating System
Software and Operating System
Configuration Software
Software Name No Software
Software Windows Compatible
No
Software macOS Compatible
No
Onboard Memory
No
Profiles
No Profile

Update 10/29/2021: We found that there's software you can download through Redragon's English website for this keyboard. However, it doesn't seem to work properly as the software doesn't open. We read reports of users saying the Brazilian version works, so we downloaded it, and this time we were able to get it going. We could customize the RGB and not the macros, and we couldn't change the language to English. Other users online said that downloading the English software for the K353-KR works, so we also tried that out. We were only able to customize the RGB again. We're leaving this as 'No' because there's no English software that works.

There's no English software that properly works from Redragon's website for this keyboard. The backlight can be customized using hotkeys. There are 18 lighting effects to choose from, and you can also customize each key individually, though the keyboard can only hold one custom profile.

10
Software and Operating System
Computer Compatibility
Windows
Fully Compatible
macOS
Fully Compatible
Linux (Ubuntu 22)
Fully Compatible
Media Key Compatibility
Windows, MacOS & Linux

It has good compatibility with most desktop operating systems. All keys and features work on Windows and Linux, but Scroll Lock, Pause, and some of the hotkeys don't work on macOS.

0
Software and Operating System
Wireless Mobile Compatibility
Android
Not Compatible
iOS
Not Compatible
iPadOS
Not Compatible
Media Key Compatibility
Not Compatible