Earlier today, Armaggeddon has unveiled three new mechanical keyboards: the tenkeyless MKA-5 Black Hawk and the full-sized MKA-11 Spectral Hawk and MKA-13 Chroma Hawk keyboards. We were told these boards will be affordable, and if it’s true, mechanical keyboard lovers will want to give these a consideration.
For what it’s worth, I had a quick hands on session with these three keyboards, and I’m rather impressed.
First of all, let’s get this out of the way: if you’re a fan of mechanical keyboards, you’d want to know what switches these Armaggeddon keyboards use. The good news? All three boards will be available in blue, brown, black, and red switches. The “bad” news? These are Kailh switches, not the more popular and conventional Cherry MX switches.
Mechanical keyboard enthusiasts would argue that Cherry MX switches are superior to Kailh’s offerings, and for the most part, I agree. More likely than not, however, this stems from the fact that Kailh originates from China, while Cherry is a German company. Then again, Cherry has also been manufacturing switches for a much longer period of time than Kailh.
Opinions aside, just how different are Kailh’s switches from Cherry’s? Honestly, not much. All three Armaggeddon keyboards that I’ve tried are equipped with Kailh blue switches, and I personally use a keyboard with Cherry MX blue switches (it’s a Ducky Mini). The characteristic “click” of a blue switch is still present, and for the most part, it feels almost the same. That is, except for one thing: the Kailh switch seems to be “heavier”.
It’s heavier in the sense that I need to apply more pressure to the keys to actuate it. This is true for all three keyboards, although the MKA-13 Chroma Hawk felt slightly different. (Then again, I was told it’s not a finalised product yet unlike the other two keyboards). It could be a customisation done by Armaggeddon, but that’s how I felt after spending a brief period of time with these keyboards.
In terms of weight, the MKA-5 is without a doubt the lightest of the lot, seeing how it’s a tenkeyless board. Oddly enough, it’s even lighter than my Ducky Mini (and that’s a 60% keyboard). When i asked the staff as to why it is lighter than expected, I was told these keyboards are constructed with aluminium instead of metal, which reduces the overall weight of the keyboard.
In terms of construction, only the top section of the MKA-5 and MKA-11 are made out of aluminium, while the bottom is plastic. The MKA-13, on the other hand, is a little bit different with usage of metal and plastic throughout the design. All in all, these are pretty well-designed keyboards.
Of course, one of the main highlights of these Armaggeddon keyboards is the fact that these are RGB boards. At the event, the keyboards have the lighting mode set to “wave”, where the various colours cycle through the keys in a wave pattern. Don’t worry, that’s not the only mode; a representative of the company told me other lighting modes (akin to its competition) will be made available.
At the end of the day, the final retail price of these three Armaggeddon keyboards will determine if these will be attractive to consumers. The “switch” (sorry for the bad pun) to Kailh switches from Cherry’s could lower the price tag, but we’d only find out once these keyboards arrive in Malaysia in the coming months. Until then, feast your eyes on these shots of the Armaggeddon MKA-5, MKA-11 and MKA-13.