Let me start off by saying I am a full size keyboard guy. I love the space provided by having a keyboard that looks more like a command console than one that looks like someone stole half of the keys. After having spent some time with Redragon’s K530 60% keyboard, I am learning that maybe change is good.
Redragon’s K530 keyboard, also named the Draconic, is a 60% size keyboard. Meaning, you lose all the “unnecessary” buttons on the side and along the time, and instead opt for the “Fn” (function) keys to gain access to everything that has been left behind. Let’s get started by seeing what you can expect to see when your unit arrives.
Packaging & Contents
One of the first things you will notice is the heft of this box. It is a diminutive box, but comes in at nearly two pounds packaged. Opening up the box presents a well taken care of keyboard. Nothing above and beyond, no stylish packaging with intricate foam compartments but simply a setup that locks the keyboard firmly in place for its travels to you.
Along the side is the USB cord to USB-C connector for the keyboard (pictured above) and a small box emblazoned with their logo. This box contains four of the replaceable switches for this keyboard which we will get into later. The keyboard comes with the brown keys, and there is an extra in this box along with samples of three other “feels” that are available.
Underneath the keyboard is a small plastic bag containing an instruction book, sticker, and the tools required to hot swap the mechanical keys. These tools will be important later to you if you decide that you wish to change out the buttons to suit your style, so be sure they are kept in a safe place.
The keyboard itself feels very solid, but at the same time a little cheap, but in a good way. Let me explain. It is a solidly constructed keyboard. You will not feel like you are going to drop it, or that you have been slighted in the way of materials.
However, you can tell it is plastic construction and not aircraft grade aluminum like some higher end keyboards. In my opinion, this is better. Considering the size of the keyboard, Redragon is assuming that people will carry this with them from place to place. Plastic that is thick enough is plenty strong and has the added ability to not show excessive scratches. To me, that is a big plus.
Setting up the keyboard is very simple to get up and running. Plug in the USB cord to the pc then to the keyboard. It should automatically connect. If you choose to use bluetooth, this keyboard supports up to bluetooth v5.0. It will connect to phones, tablets, and pc’s. To support the portability of this keyboard, there are three bluetooth device profiles that the keyboard saves. On the side of the keyboard there is a selector switch that reads B1, B2, B3. As you’d expect, each can be made to connect to different devices.
Out of the box, the keyboard is able to display 13 pre-programmed color cycles without any additional setup. Hold the FN2 key and press 9 and with each press of 9 you will cycle through the predetermined color patterns. FN2 and the 0 (zero) key will disable all lighting. This is the basic operation of the keyboard. With the software that is free to download, you can customize it to a great extent. Are you going to program ripple effects? No, but you can set up color profiles if you will.
In the software package, in addition to selecting the pre-programmed patterns, you can modify a few settings. The speed, direction, and brightness can all be adjusted. Each profile on the right will store the setting you make and allow you to switch between them. What I found especially useful was setting a profile up for FPS gaming by having the WASD keys lit in red, E and Q a purple shade, Z and C green. Even in the full dark of night I could see where my keys were. Setting color profiles is a nice touch for such a budget priced keyboard. Oh and sorry MAC users, as of this writing there are no software solutions for this keyboard.
As I mentioned earlier, the keys are swappable with other keystyles to better suit your needs. Included are brown keys. They are very tactile, soft, and make a subtle, but satisfying click when pressed. Do a quick search on the internet and you will find other options for your keys. Black keys are harder to press, and available to be silent. Red keys are a general use key which requires less force than black to operate and spring back fairly quick. The blue keys are louder keys, click style, that some may like, some may not.
The sample pack allows you to test each at least on one key and decide for yourself. The tools provided will make swapping the keys easy. One quick note: the instructions for key replacement and removal are on the small box that the samples are in, NOT in the small instruction book for some reason. Odd.
However, the brown keys that are installed are very quick to spring back into upright and have a great feel. Most users of this keyboard will be highly satisfied with the preinstalled keys.
This sucker packs a very, very large capacity Lithium Ion battery pack. The manual states 2400mah, the webpage states 3000mah. Either way, you are looking at more than 4 hours of continuous use WITH the lights on with this keyboard. Others I have seen run for two hours max. It might be where some of the heft of this keyboard comes from, but it is well deserved.
If I had one glaring critique, I would have liked to have seen a much more robust programming option. Designing key press effects, startup patterns, maybe even a remapping option for those who want to move key functions. These are being picky and do not distract from the use or fun of this keyboard.
Overall I find this keyboard to be quite amazing considering the price. It has a “wow” factor from thievery beginning when you turn it on and see the fantastic LED lights chase around the keys. It is solid without the need of exotic materials and metallic components. The Draconic 60% keyboard is an amazing value for those wanting a keyboard that shows itself off with colorful displays, gives some basic customization options, and has the feel of higher end keyboards. Absolutely you will not regret buying this product.
Written By Rob Manning