ROYAL KLUDGE RK61 Keyboard Review

Tested using Methodology v1.0
Reviewed Oct 18, 2021 at 09:59 am
ROYAL KLUDGE RK61 Picture
7.3
Gaming
8.0
Mobile/Tablet
6.9
Office
7.0
Programming
6.3
Entertainment / HTPC
Connectivity Wireless
Size
Compact (60%)
Mechanical
Yes

The ROYAL KLUDGE RK61 is a compact 60% mechanical keyboard. It's a wireless model with multi-device pairing with up to three devices at once via Bluetooth. It works with any desktop or mobile operating system, but some hotkeys don't work on certain devices. Since it's a compact keyboard that only has the necessary alphanumeric keys, it's easy to carry around, but some people may not be a fan of the lack of dedicated arrow keys. You can get it with three types of mechanical RK switches, and it's hot-swappable, so you can use any three or five-pin switch you like. There's dedicated software for it, but unfortunately, it didn't work for us, so we couldn't reprogram any keys or set macros.

Our Verdict

7.3 Gaming

The ROYAL KLUDGE RK61 is decent for gaming. It's limited in gaming features as we couldn't set macros because the software wasn't working during testing. Also, its latency is too high for competitive gaming. Still, the RK Brown switches are light to press, and the keyboard is hot-swappable, so you can use whichever switches you prefer.

Pros
  • Blue backlighting.
  • RK Brown switches are light to press.
Cons
  • Software doesn't work; can't set macros.
  • High latency for competitive gamers.
8.0 Mobile/Tablet

The ROYAL KLUDGE RK61 is great for mobile use. It's a compact keyboard that should fit into most bags, and it has good build quality. It has multi-device pairing with up to three devices over Bluetooth, and there's blue backlighting in case you need to use it in a dark environment. Unfortunately, it has a high profile, so typing on it may feel tiring because it doesn't have a wrist rest.

Pros
  • Compact design.
  • Bluetooth support with up to three devices at once.
  • Solid plastic frame.
Cons
  • No wrist rest; typing may feel tiring.
6.9 Office

The ROYAL KLUDGE RK61 is okay for office use. It's a wireless keyboard with Bluetooth support, and you can connect with up to three devices at once. Despite its compact size, typing feels decent, but you may feel some fatigue because it doesn't come with a wrist rest. The RK Brown switches on our unit are quiet and light to press, but you can use any switch because it's hot-swappable.

Pros
  • RK Brown switches are light to press.
  • Bluetooth support with up to three devices at once.
Cons
  • No wrist rest; typing may feel tiring.
  • No dedicated arrow keys.
7.0 Programming

The ROYAL KLUDGE RK61 is decent for programming. It has blue backlighting so you can see the keys easier in a dark environment. You can also connect it with up to three devices at once via Bluetooth. Typing feels decent, but its ergonomics are mediocre, and it doesn't come with a wrist rest. Also, we couldn't reprogram any key because the software wasn't working, which may disappoint some programmers.

Pros
  • Blue backlighting.
  • Bluetooth support with up to three devices at once.
Cons
  • Software doesn't work; can't set macros.
  • No wrist rest; typing may feel tiring.
6.3 Entertainment / HTPC

The ROYAL KLUDGE RK61 isn't bad for home theater PCs, but it's not designed for this use. It has Bluetooth support, making it easy to connect with your smart TV, and the blue backlighting allows you to see the keys in the dark. However, it lacks a dedicated trackpad, so you'll still need to use a mouse.

Pros
  • Blue backlighting.
  • Bluetooth support with up to three devices at once.
Cons
  • No trackpad.
  • Lack of volume wheel.
  • 7.3 Gaming
  • 8.0 Mobile/Tablet
  • 6.9 Office
  • 7.0 Programming
  • 6.3 Entertainment / HTPC
  1. Updated Oct 18, 2021: Review published.
  2. Updated Oct 13, 2021: Early access published.

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
Design
Dimensions
Height
1.6" (4.1 cm)
Width 11.5" (29.1 cm)
Depth
4.0" (10.1 cm)
Depth With Wrist Rest
N/A
Weight
1.28 lbs (0.579 kg)

As this is a compact 60% keyboard, it's very small and doesn't take up much space. It's even lighter than other compact mechanical keyboards we've tested, like the Obinslab Anne Pro 2.

7.5
Design
Build Quality
Keycap Material ABS

The build quality is good. This variant has a plastic frame with a metal base plate that feels solid, and there's a variant with an aluminum frame. They advertise the ABS keycaps as doubleshot, but only the top of the keycaps seems to be doubleshot while the sides aren't, and they flex a lot. There are four rubber feet underneath the keyboard that do a decent job at holding it in place during regular use. Sadly, the keys wobble easily, and it's noticeable while typing. It's solid overall, but the cheap-feeling keycaps and wobbly keys keep it from having a more premium build.

6.0
Design
Ergonomics
Board Design
Straight
Minimum Incline
6.5°
Medium Incline
N/A
Maximum Incline
N/A
Wrist Rest No

The ROYAL KLUDGE RK61 has mediocre ergonomics. It's a simple straight keyboard without a wrist rest, but it would benefit from having one because it has a high profile, causing some strain on the wrists.

8.0
Design
Backlighting
Backlighting Yes
Color
Blue
Individually Backlit Keys
Yes
Color Mixing
Blue Only
Effects
Yes
Programmable
No

The white variant of the ROYAL KLUDGE RK61 uses blue backlighting with individually lit keys that get bright. The black variant of the wireless version has orange backlighting, and there are other versions with RGB backlighting.

Design
Cable & Connector
Detachable
Yes (Wired Mode and Charge)
Length 5.8 ft (1.8 m)
Connector (Keyboard side)
USB type-C

The ROYAL KLUDGE RK61 comes with a basic USB-C to USB-A rubber cable that retains kinks from packaging, but you can easily replace it with any cable you prefer. It's a wireless keyboard that you can use wired too.

10
Design
Wireless Versatility
Bluetooth
Yes
Bluetooth Multi-Device Pairing
3
Proprietary Receiver
No
Battery Type
Rechargeable

The wireless version we tested has multi-device pairing with up to three devices over Bluetooth, and the 2.4 GHz version also comes with a receiver. ROYAL KLUDGE advertises that it has a 1450 mAh battery which should last up to 10 hours.

Design
Extra Features
Media Keys
Hot Keys
Macro Programmable Keys
No
Trackpad / Trackball No
Wheel No
USB Passthrough
No
Numpad No
Windows Key Lock
Yes
Lock Indicator No Indicator

The ROYAL KLUDGE RK61 has a few extra features to improve the user experience. All customization is done using the hotkeys, including the backlight and brightness settings. You can switch between Mac and Windows modes, and we found the only difference is that the Mac mode disables the F1-F6 alternate functions. There's a switch underneath to turn the wireless connection on and off.

Note: The dedicated software wasn't working during testing, so we couldn't reprogram or set macros to any key.

Design
In The Box

  • ROYAL KLUDGE RK61 keyboard
  • USB-C cable
  • Keycap puller
  • Switch puller
  • 4x extra switches
  • Hotkey guide
  • User manual

Typing Experience
Typing Experience
Keystrokes
Key Switches
RK Brown
Feel
Tactile
Operating Force
55 gf
Actuation Force
48 gf
Pre-Travel
2.3 mm
Total Travel
4.1 mm

Our unit of the ROYAL KLUDGE RK61 comes with tactile RK Brown switches, and you can also get it with clicky RK Blue or linear RK Red switches. The keyboard is hot-swappable, meaning you can use any three or five-pin switch. These Brown switches are light to press, and they offer good tactile feedback. During testing, we noticed that the pre-travel distance wasn't consistent with half of the eight keys we tested, with half measuring around 2.3 mm, and the other half ranging from 1.9 to 2.6 mm.

7.0
Typing Experience
Typing Quality

The ROYAL KLUDGE RK61 has decent typing quality. The RK Brown switches on our unit offer good tactile feedback, and even though typing feels a bit slower compared to other mechanical keyboards, it's still fine. Despite being a compact keyboard, the key spacing feels standard, and you won't feel cramped. Unfortunately, the difference between this keyboard and one with good typing quality is that all keys feel wobbly, which is noticeable while typing. Also, there's no wrist rest, and it has a high profile, meaning you may feel some fatigue in the wrists during long typing sessions.

Typing Experience
Typing Noise
Noise
Quiet

The RK Brown switches on our unit are quiet, but the typing noise will change depending on which switches you use.

7.2
Typing Experience
Latency
Latency Wired
12.2 ms
Latency Receiver
N/A
Latency Bluetooth
21.1 ms

Sadly, the latency is a bit too high for competitive gamers, even with the wired connection. However, you shouldn't notice a delay when typing.

Software and Operating System
0
Software and Operating System
Software & Programming
Software Name No Software
Account Required
No Software
Profiles
No Profile
Onboard Memory
No
Cloud Sync
No
Macro Programming
No
Ease Of Use
No Software
Software Windows Compatible
No
Software macOS Compatible
No

Unfortunately, the dedicated software wasn't working properly, so we couldn't test to see which customization settings it has. After downloading the software from the ROYAL KLUDGE website, it only showed a picture of the keyboard with a link to their Chinese online store, as you can see in this screenshot. Even after restarting our PC and redownloading the software, we experienced the issue again. We read reports online of users having the same problem, and some people fixed it by downloading software for other ROYAL KLUDGE keyboards, but the RK68 and RK71 software didn't work for us either. Let us know if you get the software to work with your RK61.

8.5
Software and Operating System
Keyboard Compatibility
Windows Full
macOS Partial
Linux Partial
Android Partial
iOS Partial
iPadOS Partial

The ROYAL KLUDGE RK61 works with any of the common operating systems, except for a few keys. The Pause Break and Scroll Lock hotkeys don't work on macOS, iOS, or iPadOS, and Print Screen and Insert don't work on iOS and iPadOS either. Only the Calculator and Mail hotkeys don't work on Linux. Everything works on Windows, and the hotkeys on the Function row don't work on Android.

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

We tested the wireless version of the ROYAL KLUDGE RK61 with blue backlighting and hot-swappable RK Brown switches. There are a few different versions available, and you can see the list of them below. The results are valid for the wireless variant only, but besides the connection type, we expect the other variants to perform similarly.

Name Color Backlighting Frame Material  RK Switches Connection Type Notes
RK61 Wireless White, Black Blue, Orange Plastic Red, Blue, Brown Bluetooth, Wired  Blue backlighting for white keyboard, orange for black variant
RK61 Wireless  Black Red Plastic Brown Bluetooth, Wired Switches aren't hot-swappable
RK61 2.4 GHz White, Black  RGB Plastic Red, Blue, Brown Receiver, Bluetooth, Wired  
RK61 Wired White, Black  RGB Plastic Red, Blue, Brown Wired  
RK61 Pro  White RGB Aluminum Red, Blue, Brown Bluetooth, Wired  

If you have a variant of this keyboard that doesn't correspond to our review, let us know in the discussions, and we'll update it. You can see our unit's label here.

Compared To Other Keyboards

The ROYAL KLUDGE RK61 is a basic wireless keyboard that doesn't have anything to stand out from the competition. It's a nice cheap option if you need something small for the office or use on the go, but it's not a good choice for gaming. It's a bonus that it's hot-swappable, so you can get whichever switches and keycaps you want.

Also see our recommendations for the best cheap mechanical keyboards, the best gaming keyboards, and the best keyboards for typing.

Keychron K2

The ROYAL KLUDGE RK61 and the Keychron K2 are both compact, wireless keyboards emphasizing mobile use. The Keychron is slightly bigger because it has a function row, navigation buttons, and dedicated arrow keys, but that means the ROYAL KLUDGE is smaller to carry around. The Keychron has RGB backlighting, and while the version of the ROYAL KLUDGE that we tested has blue backlighting, there's an RGB variant. Typing feels better on the Keychron because the keys are more stable, but since you can get each keyboard in a variety of switches, the typing quality depends on the ones you get.

Logitech G613 LIGHTSPEED

The Logitech G613 LIGHTSPEED and the ROYAL KLUDGE RK61 are different types of wireless keyboards. The Logitech is a full-size keyboard, while the ROYAL KLUDGE is a compact 60% size keyboard. The Logitech is better for gaming because it has macro-programmable keys and lower latency, but it doesn't have backlighting like the ROYAL KLUDGE. On the other hand, the ROYAL KLUDGE is better for mobile use because it has multi-device pairing with up to three devices at once over Bluetooth, it's easier to carry around, and it has a cable to charge it in case it runs out of battery. The ROYAL KLUDGE is also available in a few different switch types, and it's hot-swappable, but the Logitech is only available in one type of tactile switch.

Razer Huntsman Mini

The Razer Huntsman Mini and the ROYAL KLUDGE RK61 are compact keyboards designed for different uses. The Razer is a wired-only gaming keyboard with RGB backlighting, lower latency, and macro-programmable keys. The Razer also feels better built because it has PBT keycaps as opposed to ABS keycaps on the RK61. On the other hand, the RK61 is meant for mobile use because it has Bluetooth support and multi-device pairing. It's also hot-swappable, so you can use any switch you want.

Keychron K6

The Keychron K6 and the ROYAL KLUDGE RK61 are both very good compact keyboards for mobile use. The Keychron is slightly bigger at a 65% size because it has a few extra keys, including dedicated arrow keys, but the ROYAL KLUDGE is lighter. They're each available in different switches, but the Gateron Brown switches on our unit of the Keychron offer better typing quality than the RK Brown switches because the keys feel more stable. The Keychron also has RGB backlighting, while the ROYAL KLUDGE has blue backlighting, but it's also available in RGB.

Obinslab Anne Pro 2

The Obinslab Anne Pro 2 and the ROYAL KLUDGE RK61 are both very good mobile compact keyboards, but the Obinslab is much more versatile for other uses. The Obinslab is much better for gaming because it has much lower latency, and we were able to set macros, which we couldn't do with the RK61. The Obinslab also has RGB backlighting and much better typing quality because the PBT keycaps are more stable. On the other hand, the RK61 is hot-swappable, so you can use any switch you like.

HyperX Alloy Origins 60

The HyperX Alloy Origins 60 is much better for gaming than the ROYAL KLUDGE RK61, but they're designed for different uses. The HyperX has much lower latency and has macro-programmable keys, which the ROYAL KLUDGE doesn't have, making it a better gaming keyboard. It also has RGB backlighting, but the ROYAL KLUDGE has an RGB variant too. The ROYAL KLUDGE is better for mobile use because it's wireless, meaning you can connect with up to three devices at once over Bluetooth, and it's lighter. The ROYAL KLUDGE is also available in different switch types, while the HyperX is just available with HyperX Red switches.

Dierya x KEMOVE DK61 Pro

The Dierya x KEMOVE DK61 Pro and the ROYAL KLUDGE RK61 are both great mobile keyboards, but the Dierya is much better for gaming. The Dierya has customizable RGB backlighting, while the ROYAL KLUDGE is limited to just the color blue. We were able to set macros to any key on the Dierya, which we weren't able to do with the ROYAL KLUDGE. Typing feels better on the Dierya because the PBT keys are more stable, but the ROYAL KLUDGE is hot-swappable, so you can use whichever switches and keycaps you prefer.

Keychron K4

The Keychron K4 and the ROYAL KLUDGE RK61 are different types of wireless mechanical keyboards. The Keychron is a 96% keyboard, so it has most keys compared to a full-size one, including a numpad and dedicated arrow keys, which the 60% RK61 doesn't have. The Keychron is better for office use because typing feels better with the LK Optical Brown switches, but the RK61 is better for mobile use because it's smaller. The Keychron is available in a variety of switches, but the RK61 is hot-swappable, so you can use whichever switches you prefer.

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