Redragon Kumara K552 Mechanical Keyboard
At the price it's hard to fault anything about this keyboard. The build and quality of the product make it feel like a premium offering. The only things holding it back is the lack of a braided USB cable and the one color LEDs.
- Quality of materials used
- Good feel that is consistent throughout all keys
- Bottom feet raise keyboard almost perfect ergonomic angle without the need for a wrist rest.
- Font used on keys makes some characters hard to read
- No braided USB cable
- Keys are set to one color LED with no options of RGB
- No included wrist rest
In the box
The box the product comes in is not suitable for shipping without an outer box, but for a product like this that is expected. Inside the keyboard is adequately packed and wrapped. Included in the box with the keyboard is a user manual, Redragon logo sticker, and most surprisingly, a keycap puller.
Probably the second most important thing to get out of the way is the lighting. There appear to be different variants of this keyboard, white and black case plus different colors of lighting. The rainbow version I purchased is not RGB. Each row is set to a specific color. I was aware of this when I bought it but did it purposely to see if the colors could be changed. Skip to the bottom if that is the information you are after. If this had been a personal purchase I would have purchased a solid color keyboard instead.
That being said the lighting is done well, with the keys diffusing the light enough, and the light showing under the keys without it being overbearing, even in low light as shown above. The brightness can also be adjusted on the keyboard.
There are also some preset lighting modes like raindrops reacting to keystrokes and overall breathing effects. Even some game modes for certain genre/games, lighting only the keys that would normally be used in that game. Refer to the manual for more information on how to cycle through those.
Size, Keys, and Build
The size of the keyboard is what I would consider to be full sized. The key switches are meant to emulate Cherry MX Reds, and if I were to rate that I would give it a easy 9/10. The feel and sound is very similar, quieter than Blues without the tactile bump. But louder than my preferred Silvers with more resistance in the spring. The only thing that concerns me is how long will they last, and there is no way for me to adequately test that. If I have not updated this review with issues assume this is still working as it is going to live on one of the computers used for schoolwork in our house.
Typing is a good experience, one of the things that really surprised me was how consistent the keys were across the entire keyboard. As well as how well supported the larger keys like “Space” and “Backspace” are. This was always a fault in the earlier knock off mechanical keyboards. I was curious how they accomplished it, and when I pulled off the keycaps and saw the supports I was surprised how well they worked. They keys actually friction fit into the supports like they do the switch to help prevent bounce and keep the key even.
The unit sits in a metal tray that gives the keyboard a good amount of weight and rigidity. One of the most surprising things I like about the keyboard is the feet on the bottom of the keyboard. They are capped with rubber, providing a great non slip surface for people who place their keyboard directly on a desk with no pad underneath.
Speaking of the bottom feet, they hold the keyboard up at what is to me a great angle. I have large hands, and the angle they keyboard sits at with the feet down is very comfortable for me to type and game at. This is good considering the keyboard comes with no kind of wrist rest. But smaller hands may end up wishing there was a wrist rest included.
Taking it apart
Part of my review was going to be taking the keyboard apart. One to see how it was built, but second, to see if it would be possible to change the colors of the LEDs. The only two screws on the bottom are to remove the cable strain relief built into the keyboard, and not necessary for disassembly.
First thing you need to do is to remove all of the keycaps. I did this with the included keycap puller just to see if it would hold up to removing every key, and it did. Once the keycaps are off you can see all of the small Philips head screws holding the top and bottom together, remove them.
Once the screws are out you can pull the top tray holding the PCB out from the bottom tray. This was as far into the disassembly as I needed to go, but if you needed the PCB free from the top tray to replace a switch you would just start undoing the plastic clips holding them together.
Rainbow for Life
It was at this point that I found out that the colored LEDs used in the keyboard are single color LEDs, and the only way to ever get them to change colors would be to replace them with different color LEDs. Since the purpose of buying this keyboard would be to save money, it would not make sense to buy this keyboard and spend the time and money to purchase new LEDs and solder them in.
That being said for the current $34.99 the keyboard costs on Amazon it is a great deal for a mechanical keyboard. Especially if you have never used one and are not sure if it is for you. If that is the case Red switches are a great transition to go to from membrane keyboards as well. If your looking for different case or LED colors they are available, just typically a touch more expensive at $39.99.
I asked my fiancé to write a paragraph about the keyboard since this lives on the desk she does schoolwork on, this is what she wrote:
“The Redragon keyboard is different than any keyboard I have used before. I love the chatter from the actuation of the keys because I can continue typing with confidence that the keystrokes are successful. Minimal key actuation force is required, which decreases the number of missed keystrokes while typing at accelerated speeds. These functions in combination are the solution for accidental repeat and missed keys, with regular keyboard use, and have assisted me with more efficient typing. The backlighting uses a vibrant array of LED colors to illuminate the keycap legends which really makes each key standout. The font used for the legends in number/symbol row initially made some keys difficult for quick distinction, but after a week of use, I have them memorized. I have big hands with long fingers, so I ran into a couple of issues with this small, compact keyboard. I tend to hit surrounding keys periodically which can be quite frustrating. I prefer more pronounced fingertip slopes on the keycaps, and/or the keycaps slightly more spaced apart than they are on this keyboard. Overall, I enjoy the use of this keyboard and do not want to go back to an ordinary keyboard!” – Melinda