Last week, XPG dropped off a full set of peripherals at the Salty studio's doorstep for our enjoyment.
We really didn't know what to expect, as our only experience with XPG was limited to their range of PC components such as RAM and hard drives. Their peripherals were a whole new ball game to us - and thanks to the kind folks at XPG, we now we had a headset, keyboard, mouse, and mouse pad to play around with.
This multi-part series will break down the details of each item as we experienced them, and the first post will be entirely dedicated to the XPG Summoner RGB Gaming Keyboard. Let's go!
Sleek, High-Quality Design
One of the things we really like in a keyboard is a high-quality frame, and we were glad to find that the Summoner was built on a stunning sandblasted aluminium frame with a floating key design. Just running our fingertips over the cool metal made us appreciate how much sexier than a vanilla plastic frame it was.
We also applaud how they decided to forgo their usual red and black colour scheme in favour of a neutral gunmetal grey that would match any PC setup, and look great even in an office setting.
However, if you're still a fan of their signature red, they've provided 9 red keycaps to replace your WASD, window, and arrow keys for a more traditional gamer look. The key caps are laser-etched ABS, which is a shame - we'd much prefer double-shot PBT for its longevity, but since the keyboard comes with a standard layout, it shouldn't be a problem to find replacement keycaps of your choice.
Pulling off the keycaps will reveal Cherry MX switches. XPG has covered all popular choices by offering 3 different options to suit your preference. We received the Speed Silver switch, which incidentally is this writer's favourite (and current choice) to spam skills at a speed your girlfriend would envy.
If you prefer a longer actuation range or a tactile feeling, there are also Red and Blue switch options available.
The cable is thicc and braided (just the way we like it) but is non-detachable. Two foldable feet allow you to elevate your keyboard just a tiny bit.
Quality of Life Add-Ons
Another thing we expect in a high-tier gaming keyboard is a set of dedicated media switches - and the Summoner did not disappoint. The roller wheel is extremely solid, with a nice amount of resistance and notches for a tactile feeling. There's also a dedicated mute button to quickly mute your juicy hentai sound effects in case mum unexpectedly comes knocking at your door.
What we would have also liked would be a set of dedicated play / pause buttons. However, these controls have been integrated into the function keys, which while cumbersome, still gets the job done.
But that's alright, because XPG has included something that more than makes up for our perceived flaws in the package - a magnetic wrist rest that's so comfortable our hands could fall asleep on them.
The plush PU leather is smooth and buttery, and the cushion has just the right amount of thickness and bounciness to keep your wrist at an ideal height.
One minor gripe (and we're really nitpicking here) is that the wrist rest is not exactly the same length as the keyboard, which would definitely trigger OCD sufferers - but if that doesn't bother you, then this is definitely the best in-box wrist rest we've seen so far.
USB pass-through is also a plus, but we'd like to have seen USB3.0 instead of the Summoner's USB2.0 port.
Limited but Sufficient RGB Options
One thing to note about the Summoner keyboard is that it doesn't come with any software, which means that all RGB and Macro options are controlled via the keyboard itself.
For those who loathe additional software, this is a blessing, as the provided options are more than enough for basic users; but for those who desire endless customisability, this may be seen as a handicap.
For RGB, you can choose between 6 static colours and 5 additional RGB modes, which are accessible by pressing the function key + arrow keys:
Unless you're extremely anal about exactly which colour you want, the preset colours and modes should suffice for most users.
As there is no software to visualise your macro bindings, you'll have to manage the process via complicated set of key presses, which isn't ideal, but once again gets the job done.
All keys are 100% anti-ghosting, so you don't have to worry about losing any part of the angry wall of text that you're sending to your recalcitrant 0-15 teammate. :)
All in all, the Summoner gaming keyboard is a decent piece of hardware with a beautifully understated design. While not fully customisable due to the lack of software, it still provides a decent amount of options to satisfy most users.
You can pick one up at RM519 from their official Lazada store.
Thanks for reading til the end of part 1! Stay tuned for part 2, where we'll take a look at the XPG Precog Dual Driver Gaming Headset that we've heard SO much about. See ya! :)