[Review] Thermaltake Level 20 Gaming Peripheral Lineup: Keyboard, Mouse, Mousepad
If you're a fan of matchy-matchy gaming peripherals, here's a lineup for you to consider: the Thermaltake Level 20 series peripherals, which consists of a keyboard, mouse, and mouse pad.
These are touted as Thermaltake's top-end gear, so be prepared to pay flagship prices for flagship performance. They have kindly sent a full set over for us to test out, so we'll take you through a brief overview of what to expect from each item.
Level 20 RGB Gaming Keyboard
The Level 20 Keyboard is a massive boi, measuring in at a whopping 186mm long and weighing in at 1.5kg. That's a good inch or so longer than Corsair's K95 series keyboards - and those have an extra row of macro switches on the side.
It's definitely not something you'd enjoy lugging around to LAN parties, but for home use, you'll really appreciate how solid and immovable it feels on your desk. Heck, the 2mm thick aluminium top plate would be perfect to bash in the heads of intruders if the need ever arose.
Enough waffling, here are some vital stats:
Hardwired 1.8m braided cable
1,000Hz polling rate
Razer Green switches (also available in Cherry MX Blue and Speed Silver)
5 dedicated multimedia keys + volume wheel
USB and audio pass-throughs
16.8 million different colour options
TT RGB Plus and iTake Gaming Engine software (supports Razer Chroma too)
Dimensions: 482 x 182.96 x 43.93mm
Appearance-wise, the keyboard is certainly striking, from the matte black finish, thick frame and ample RGB lighting. One design cue that sets it apart from other RGB gaming keyboards in the market is the RGB-lit cleft going down the middle of the keyboard. It's further accentuated by another strip of RGB lighting continuing up the chassis. Apart from that, a milky white border loops the entire chassis, through the RGB lighting emanates softly.
It's not just a looker either, typing on it feels nice and solid thanks to the Razer Green switches. Although the frame is very big, the keys are well-spaced and felt very natural to type on. If you like to type on an incline, you can flip out the feet on the bottom which can be adjusted to 2 different heights to suit your taste. If the heft of the keyboard wasn't enough to keep it from sliding around the surface of your table, the rubber feet on the bottom certainly will.
One thing to note however, is that the keyboard is pretty thick, so a wrist rest is definitely recommended to prevent fatigue. Sadly, there isn't one included in the package, but Thermaltake does sell one separately if you wish to buy one.
Even without installing any software, the keyboard already comes with a wide array of settings that you can change on the fly. Apart from being able to choose from a shocking amount of lighting options, the function keys also come pre-bound to shortcuts like home, email, calculator, and more. On a side note, I also liked the simple font used on the keycaps, which look clean and understated, unlike some other gaming brands which tend to lean towards 'edgier' font choices.
A set of dedicated media keys allows you to control your music without having to tab out from whatever you're doing. The volume wheel is a nice nod to competitor Corsair's signature media key layout, but takes it an additional step by being notched, allowing you to adjust the volume in steady increments instead of a smooth roll.
There are also USB and audio bypass ports, so you can easily plug in your headset and one additional USB device if you wish.
In the box, you'll find a keycap puller along with a set of red keycaps to further customise your keyboard. Thermaltake has thoughtfully included 'WASD' and 'QWER' keycaps for both FPS and MOBA gamers, as well as '1234' keys for whoever who wants to use 'em.
Overall, the Thermaltake Level 20 gaming keyboard is built like a beast. It's aesthetically pleasing and the keys are a joy to type on - and you can always opt for the Cherry MX switches if you prefer those.
Of course, you'll be paying a pretty penny as this keyboard is positioned to compete against other flagship keyboards like Razer's Blackwidow series and Corsair's K70 series. That said, you can rest assured that your money will be well spent as Thermaltake's own offering definitely does not skimp on quality, despite being a less mainstream peripheral brand than its competitors.
Thermaltake Level 20 RGB Gaming Mouse
Now, moving onto the tikus. The Thermaltake Level 20 mouse boasts a high-performance Pixart PMW-3389 sensor which is used in other notable mice such as the Razer Deathadder Elite, so you already have a rough idea of the quality you're gonna get.
The first thing to note is that this is an ambidextrous mouse, which means that it is symmetrical for both left- and right-handed usage. While this is great for lefties who are generally starved for mice that suit their dominant hand, right-handed people like myself are used to ergonomic curves that ambidextrous mice lack by nature.
That said, the mice has many redeeming qualities apart from its excellent sensor. It has has a nice matte finish with comfortably curved left and right click buttons, and the thumb grip has a very nice textured plastic finish in lieu of the usual rubber material that starts to erode after a while, especially for people with long nails. The 1.8m-long cable is braided while the USB header has the TT logo etched into it, which is a nice touch.
Shape-wise, it is more suited to claw or fingertip grips as the body is rather flat - a palm grip is still feasible, although you may find your ring and pinky fingers dragging along the mousepad at times.
RGB lovers will be delighted to find that this mouse comes with 4 lighting zones that not only includes the typical logo and scroll wheel, but edge lighting that wraps all the way around to the top, providing enough lighting to make up for any lack in gaming skills.
Users fond of having a ton of buttons to bind macros to will have their needs satisfied with a total of 8 programmable buttons. True to its ambidextrous design, the buttons are distributed in a perfectly symmetrical fashion on both sides, allowing lefties to enjoy 2 thumb-operated buttons as well. I do wish the actuation force was higher though, as I tended to press the buttons on the other side by mistake pretty frequently - however, this could be due to the fact that I wasn't used to the button layout yet.
The higher side button is transparent instead of black to allow the RGB lighting to shine through, which is a nice touch. It is placed a tad too far up for my liking, though still perfectly reachable with minor repositioning of my thumb.
On the bottom, you'll find two huge feet instead of the usual three or four found on most other mice. This helped the mouse glide smoothly on most surfaces with no snags.
Durability is not an issue either, as the mouse sports Omron switches rated up to 50 million clicks, meaning you can spam ping your teammates for years without worrying about your mouse buttons failing halfway through a raging session.
Overall, it's a decent little package, with attractive RGB lighting and features. Its ambidextrous design is a plus point for south paws, though right-handed people may prefer a more ergonomic fit. In the end, it all comes down to your personal preference - if you like mice with ample buttons and RGB lighting to go around, the Thermaltake Level 20 Gaming Mouse is definitely an option worth considering.
Thermaltake Level 20 Gaming Mousepad
You might be thinking: 'it's just a mouse pad - what's there to say about it?' Well, not much when compared to more 'important' peripherals such as a keyboard and mouse, but a decent mouse pad does go a long way in terms of comfort and performance.
First up, this is a hard mousepad, which can be an acquired taste. The solid surface is more conducive to speed than control, which again, is up to your personal preference. One clear advantage of a hard surface is of course its ease of cleaning. Unlike cloth or soft mousepads which require thorough washing (which might not even be feasible for hardwired RGB ones), hard mousepads can be easily wiped down if it ever gets dirty.
Features-wise, the clear standout is of course the RGB lighting. The Level 20 mousepad has 8 different presets, which can be further customised through software.
Design-wise, there are really no flaws to talk about. The surface is perfectly smooth and bump-free, enabling precise mouse tracking. The RGB TT logo is not raised and blends in seamlessly with the flat surface, while the cable is tucked neatly on the left side instead of the collision-prone top edge favoured by certain brands.
The edges are smoothly beveled and flush with the surface pad for a perfect fit, while the rubber grip on the bottom is practically immovable on my table surface (do note that this may vary depending on the material of the surface you're gaming on).
If I tried really hard to find something to nitpick about, I'd say that I would have preferred a braided cable with a built-in rubber tie like the one on the mouse. Apart from that, I think this is a perfectly designed product that will suit fans of hard mousepads.
Overall, I think that Thermaltake has produced an impressive set of gaming peripherals that gamers will enjoy. Design-wise, the keyboard and mousepad are outstanding - the keyboard for its uniqueness and the mousepad for its perfectly functional simplicity. The mouse is also a decent unit, but lacks the ergonomic shape that facilitates comfort over long periods of gaming.
All of them are compatible with TT RGB Plus and iTAKE software, allowing you to sync them with other compatible hardware across the TT ecosystem. They are also compatible with Razer Chroma software, as well as Amazon Alexa.
If you're interested, the prices are as follows:
Thermaltake Level 20 Gaming Keyboard: RM589
Thermaltake Level 20 Gaming Mouse: RM289
Thermaltake Level 20 Gaming Mousepad: RM299
If you're interested in purchasing the Level 20 Keyboard and Level 20 Mouse together as a bundle, you can purchase it here for only RM686 - you'll save RM192, which can pay for 2/3 of the mousepad already ;)
For more info, you can check out Thermaltake's official website here.
You can also check out our hands-on video here: