PerformancePSU Verdict: 4.8/5
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From the Reviewer
This keyboard is a price-point winner. The Xtrfy K5 RGB Compact brings hot-swappable switches, pre-lubed stabilizers, amazing typing sound and vibrant RGB lighting making this a killer gaming keyboard for anyone who is response rate conscious but also wants sick aesthetics too. This keyboard is so good that we had to revise ratings on our other reviews because the bar was just raised.
- Vibrant RGB Lighting
- Hot-swappable Switches
- Beautiful Sound
- Lubed Stabilisers
Recently, we did some research on the best keyboards used by professional gamers and it has been a big success, grabbing a lot of attention. Off the back of that, I managed to secure a few of the keyboards on the list directly from the manufacturers so I can take a closer look at what the eSports gamers are using in tournaments and such.
Today, we are taking a look at one of those gaming keyboards, Xtrfy – K5 RGB Compact, which is a 65% mechanical keyboard, made in Sweden and endorsed by TenZ.
This keyboard which costs £129 (or $129 for those in the US), boasts a huge amount of neat features which we will get onto shortly.
Before we dive into this review, I would like to thank Xtrfy for providing this sample for a keyboard review. I would like to also state that this does not impact how I approach our review. We do not give manufacturers any chance to review our work before it is published. We remain neutral in our approach.
Without further ado, let us get on with our Xtrfy K5 RGB Compact 65% mechanical keyboard review.
Some of the biggest standout features for the Xtrfy K5 keyboard, for me, have to be the pre-lubed PCB-mounted stabilisers, hot-swappable switches and double-layered sound insulation foam, but, see for yourself in the keyboards spec sheet below.
|Xtrfy K5 RGB Compact Specifications
|Hot-swappable Kalih Red Linear
|Yes via shortcut
|Wired (USB-C) via 2m braided, detachable USB-C to USB-A
|Nordic, UK, US, German, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Russian
|Black, White, Transparent White
|325 x 110 x 37 mm
|$129.99 in the USA or £119 in the UK
Most keyboards on the market come with just a few configuration options. They come as is with just a few switch options for you to choose from.
Xtrfy took it a step further with the K5 65% gaming keyboard. They built an entire custom keyboard configurator where you can customise almost every aspect of your new keyboard from the base, keycaps, keyboard frame and even options to build it yourself or have someone do it for you.
Switch choices are impressive bringing a healthy selection of brands and even variants to choose from such as:
- Cherry MX
Things don’t stop there either, you can choose different frame colours too. So, if you like the transparent jelly version we are reviewing you can select that but there is also 10 other colour options to choose from. Alongside that and many other helps customisation features is something I am happy to see – cable configuration options.
For those of you that love a braided and coiled keyboard cable, there is 11 different variations, all designed specifically to match the keyboard frame colours. Overall, the XTRFY K5 Configurator provides one of the most versatile custom keyboard builders around.
Out of all the keyboards for gamers I have reviewed so far, unboxing the Xtrfy was the best experience. Upon opening the box you are greeted by a welcome card that tells you how to get the most out of your RGB keyboard lighting as well as the keyboard which is protected with black plastic foam.
Upon removing the protective foam, you are presented with the keyboard wrapped in opaque white tissue paper, adding to the unboxing suspense. A little stab of the space bar through the tissue paper reveals nice resistance when pressed.
Once I had got the keyboard out of the box and unwrapped it, my initial thought was; “Boy it is weighty – This definitely doesn’t feel cheap unlike other keyboards I have tested in the past”.
Another aspect which I wasn’t quite prepared for was its size. I thought a ten-keyless (TKL) keyboard was small but this is on another level – A gaming keyboard for the pure minimalist.
No fluff, just a quality RGB gaming keyboard with one goal in mind – gaming domination.
Other things you get in the box include; 1 x White USB-c cable, 2 x Spare Kalih Red Linear Hot Swap Mechanical Switches, A 2 in 1 tool that enables you to both remove the keycaps and the switches from the board as well as a few informational leaflets.
The Xtrfy K5 Compact (65% Mechanical Keyboard) is available in three different variations; the one sent to us for review is the transparent jelly white version which is simply beautiful once you get the animation settings and brightness setup correctly.
To the rear, you have an offset USB type-c connector. I’m personally not a big fan of the offset connectors, I much prefer everything centred. I think with any offset wired keyboard a coiled cable should come as standard – even if that does mean a slightly higher price however, with that being said, they do offer a slightly more expensive version than this one that does indeed come with a coiled cable out of the box as well as PBT keycaps for an extra 30 £/$.
Not sure if this magnetised logo is an intentional engineering choice, but, it’s my new favourite fidget toy when I am waiting and procrastinating – nice job Xtrfy! It’s a little plate that is attached via a magnet and is great to mess around and fiddle with.
As an off-the-shelf gaming keyboard experience, initially, I am impressed with the quality of what’s on offer, but, there are some inconsistencies which do let it down, but it is not all bad, bare with me – they can be fixed.
Let’s start with what I love about the K5 mechanical keyboard by Xtrfy;
I love the weighted case; while made of plastic, The K5 keyboard does not feel cheap. When coupled with the rubberised adjustable feet, it is enough to stop the keyboard from sliding while in use. If you really try to push it about, of course, it will move but not under general usage.
The RGB Lighting is some of the best I have seen yet. Yes, I said that about the Roccat Vulcan TKL Pro and the SteelSeries before that too, but trust me, I’ll be revising both keyboard reviews based on my experience with this one.
Yes, Xtrfy’s RGB keyboard lighting really is that good. It’s a good mix of vibrancy and configuration that helps it stand out despite not having any software configuration options. It has a variety of lighting configurations and settings for you to mess around with via keyboard shortcuts.
This is a creamy-sounding keyboard out of the box. My first introduction to mechanical keyboards was the SteelSeries APEX TKL Pro which, while it is a very good keyboard, I have come to realise with experience – The Apex TKL Pro is not the most refined experience when typing or hammering away at an article or game – you can hear it a mile away.
The K5 RGB Compact I have here for review has a lovely deep, creamy, dampened sound – something I’ve not experienced before but definitely something I will be seeking in the future.
Hot-swappable switches. Yup, that’s right, these switches are not soldered to the board meaning you can easily customise this mechanical keyboard to your exact needs and specifications or, if the worst happens, swap out a switch mid-game because it died!
So, what don’t I like about the Xtrfy K5 gaming keyboard?
The resistance between letters, enter, spacing and backspace all feel different which is definitely a unique typing experience out-of-the-box. I found that removing the keycaps and cleaning up some of the excess lube around the stabilizers helped to solve the issue and make the typing experience feel more consistent.
I mentioned already that the sound was something I was quite impressed with. I’m not just a gamer, I am also the editor for this blog and I am a programmer by day so my time spent typing at a keyboard is extensive on a day-to-day basis. I would argue I spent more time a year at a keyboard typing in some form than I do any other activity.
As you can hear from our Xtrfy K5 RGB Compact typing test on YouTube, it has a very deep thock to it and definitely sounds dampened as the specification state on their website. There is no ‘reverb’ or ‘echo’ like I have experienced with the previous keyboards I have looked at before.
There are more things to love about the K5 RGB compact mechanical keyboard than hate. The response rates are as good as you are going to get from a wired keyboard for those clutch gaming moments yet, despite being marketed at ‘gamers’, offers quite a refined typing experience. With that being said, I’m not a keyboard enthusiast and have never used a higher-tier, enthusiast-grade mechanical keyboard that runs in the hundreds of $/£.
For a keyboard that costs £129 (Also, $129 USD via their website), it’s a solid package offering pre-lubed PCB-mounted stabilisers, super scan technology for instant response times, hot-swappable Kalih red linear switches and some of the best RGB lighting to boot.
Is there likely a better keyboard out there? absolutely, but, from my experience testing a variety of different brands and models, I can safely say, this is amongst the best for overall comfort and quality. I would be happy to spend my own hard-earned money on this gaming-focused keyboard.
This keyboard impressed us so much, we’ve had to revise our old reviews as the bar has risen. For the price, when compared to other keyboards in the bracket purely on the experience such as the SteelSeries APEX TKL, Roccat Vulcan TKL PRO or the cheaper Coolermaster CK352 – this is a tough cookie to top.
We would recommend this keyboard for that one that wants a refined typing or gaming experience without spending high-end keyboard enthusiast money in the process. Unless something better crops up, I suspect this will become my new daily keyboard for both productivity and gaming – for that reason, The K5 gets the PerformancePSU slot as one of the best gaming keyboards of 2023.