ADATA sent us a rather quirky gaming keyboard. It is the INFAREX K10, featuring a what they call “mem-chanical” switches inside. This keyboard basically houses membrane domes inside with a housing and Cherry MX compatible stems imitating the feel of a true mechanical keyboard.
The ADATA XPG INFAREX K10 features a 104-key layout andan aluminum plate on top of its frameless design. This is a 1698 Peso value gaming keyboard with RGB lightning in tow.
|Cable Length||1.8 meters|
PACKAGING AND ACCESORIES:
ADATA XPG went basic with the packaging of the INFAREX K10. Nothing is particular premium about it which is a good indication that quality should be invested to what is inside.
Aside from the keyboard itself, you’d get a cap for the USB and a small manual on how to use the gaming keyboard.
DESIGN, LAYOUT AND BUILD QUALITY:
The ADATA XPG INFAREX K10 is a subtle frameless 104 key mechanical keyboard. Build quality also appears more than decent, with little flex and the 1000 gram weight to back it up.
The back side on the other hand features the extended footing and the rubber pads to keep the keyboard in place. Interesting enough, there are four rectangular holes here resembling the form from spill resistant keyboards. There’s also a what appears to be a mount for a wrist rest. I am not entirely sure if this is a spill resistant keyboard, but if it is, ADATA should add it to the list of features.
The key profile is sculpted from top to bottom, accentuated by the freameless design. The aluminum plate also made the keyboard look a lot sturdier and more premium like.
Connectivity is provided by a braided 1.8 meter cable although I wouldn’t mind a non-braided solution. A cable tie is also in place just to keep things tidy enough.
TEST SETUP AND METHODOLOGY:
Testing a keyboard is not that difficult, but it is mostly subjective; similar to testing head gears in a sense. That said, no keyboard is perfect and the verdict usually depends on personal preferences. With that in mind our methodology is overhauled to follow the key pointers that should matter the most. That includes how good the switches are, the quality of keycap and its profile plus the comfort.
|Games||Overwatch, Battlefield 4, DOTA 2|
|Polling Rate||1000Hz, If possible|
|Software||EliteKeyboards Switch Hitter|
PHYSICAL LAYOUT, FUNCTIONALITY AND ERGONOMICS:
Keyboards are generally categorized in 4 standard sizes or layouts: Full Size, TKL, Compact 75% and 60% layouts. These standard layouts had drastic effects on the functionality and ergonomics of the keyboard. Generally, compact layouts allows for better ergonomics; whereas full layouts offers 100% functionality.
The ADATA XPG INFAREX K10 features a traditional 104 key layout. That said, it isn’t the best when it comes to ergonomics. It is a bit slimmer than your normal 100% layout though due to the nature of its frameless design.
As for functionality, there’s more to say about the ADATA XPG INFAREX K10. The top row for an instance houses the media keys and app shortcuts. The second and third row on the other hand houses the lighting options. The bottom row are for the modifiers. Edit: The highlight on the ALT key should be on the Windows key instead. My bad folks.
Dear me is again, lazy enough to jot everything out so check out a copy of the INFAREX K10’s manual below for reference.
KEYCAP PROFILE, PRINTING AND MATERIAL:
The keycap profile is often overlooked when it comes to keyboards. It shouldn’t be, considering that the profile usually makes or breaks a portion of keyboard’s ergonomic and feel. The DCS family is the most common one here, with Cherry and OEM profile slotted beneath it. On the other hand, profiles such as the DSA and SA profiles are mostly found on higher end mechanical keyboards.
Keycap printing method is also an important aspect we should look into. Pad printing is the most common one here, while dye sublimation and double shot injection being the more premium ones due to their printing quality and durability.
Keycap materials are important too in selecting a mechanical keyboard; though it is common to see keyboards shipped with either ABS and PVC keycaps. These materials do however shine faster than other materials and quality is generally not the best. PBT doesn’t shine as fast compared to these keycaps and are highly regarded for their quality and distinct texture. POM on the other hand is also a durable material but they are rarely found as aftermarket options.
Keycap profile is under the DCS family, more specifically the OEM profile; a comparable profile to Cherry’s own.
Printing on the other hand is courtesy of your usual UV coated ABS plastic. Legends though are excellent. They are crisp, even better prints compared to higher end mechanical keyboards.
Material used for the shell is again ABS plastic. Thickness is decent, but forgive ADATA for the nub marks.
MECHANICAL SWITCHES AND STABILIZERS:
The mechanical switches makes up the reason why mechanical keyboards are called “mechanical keyboards” in the first place. There are tons of switches out there but Cherry MX switches are the most popular of them all; setting a standard for the rest. They have clicky, linear and bumpy switches; all with their own mixture of actuation forces and actuation points.
The ADATA XPG INFAREX K10 features mem-chanical switches inside. Technically, this setup is a combination of rubber dome foundation, a transparent housing and a Cherry MX style stem. Though lacking in tactility, the mem-chanical swicthes are linear – friction-less even. I’m not sure about the required force to actuate the thing, but it has a 4mm of actuation from top to bottom. Speaking, to actuate the switches, you have to bottom it out. Such is the nature of rubber domes.
Stabilizers are present on most keys that requires them. Stems are Cherry MX inspired with a design similar to that of FILCO’s. Overall, the experience I had with the ADATA XPG INFAREX K10 for a month is subjectively good. It almost felt like my trusty old Logitech G613’s Romer-G switches with a longer travel time.
KEY ROLLOVER, CHATTER AND GHOSTING:
EliteKeyboard’s Switch Hitter is an excellent freeware to test key rollover, chatter and ghosting. Key rollover is basically the number of keys the keyboard could register, while chatter is multiple registered inputs with a single press of a key. Ghosting on the other hand is the unwanted input registration when several keys are pressed together.
The ADATA XPG INFAREX K10 passed with flying colors on our rollover, chatter and ghosting tests. This should be the case, especially with a marketed 26-key anti-ghosting.
SOFTWARE, LIGHTING AND SPECIAL FEATURES:
The ADATA XPG INFAREX K10 doesn’t come with its own software and although it doesn’t need it, I felt like something that could enhance its attributes could help increase its value. To begin with, this keyboard doesn’t come with macros and or profiles.
Lighting for the most part is excellent. A courtesy of the translucent housing and Cherry MX style stems. Although to be fair, there’s no way to make the RGB lighting static. A fair trade perhaps.
The ADATA XPG INFAREX K10 RGB is a mixed bag of mostly great things. It is cheap at around $25 USD, has RGB lighting and a robust build quality paired with mem-chanical keys that doesn’t suck.
Of course, the INFAREX K10 is not perfect. The keycaps could use better stabilizers, a utility software is a must and RGB lighting though good for the most part is not really addressable to an extent. These are of course nitpicks to an already affordable gaming keyboard but it takes more than lighting to make one product a true game changing experience.
Value wise, we are still looking at a great middle ground between a rubber dome keyboard and a mechanical based one. That’s with a Cherry MX keycap compatibility in mind.
ADATA XPG INFAREX K10 RGB Gaming Keyboard Review
PERFORMANCE - 7/10
BUILD QUALITY - 8/10
FEATURES - 7/10
AESTHETICS - 9/10
VALUE - 9/10
Value wise, the ADATA XPG INFAREX K10 is great middle ground between a rubber dome keyboard and a mechanical based one. That’s with a Cherry MX keycap compatibility in mind.