X-Bows Knight Plus Ergonomic Mechanical Keyboard review: Modularity Reigns
- Slim design
- Modern conveniences
- Detachable numbad
- High price
- Clunky software
- Difficulty curve
As far as ergonomic keyboards this one is hard to beat and a delight to use.
Price$ 299.00 (AUD)
Should you buy the X-Bows Knight Plus Ergonomic Mechanical Keyboard
X-Bows second ergonomic keyboard improves on the original in almost every way. It's a much more polished product that breathes new life into a familiar design. It’s slimmer, slicker and just plain better than its predecessor in all the aspects that count.
Price when reviewed
Picking up the X-Bows Knight Plus Ergonomic Mechanical Keyboard through the official website will cost you around US$299 plus shipping. You can find out more here.
Keyboard Type: Ergonomic, Mechanical
Key-switches: Gateron (Blue / Black / Red / Silver / Yellow)
Dimensions: 345mm x 137mm x 30mm
RGB Lighting Software: X-Bows Driver
USB Passthrough: No
Anti-ghosting: Full N-Key rollover
Design and Performance
Where the first X-Bow ergonomic gaming keyboard was an LED-laden effort with incredibly comfortable design and so-so material merits, the Knight Plus comes across as much more polished. It’s slimmer, with the aluminum chassis and superior material design lending towards a more professional aesthetic. This thing doesn’t nearly feel as cheap or plasticky to handle as the original.
Although the foundations of what’s on offer here do their best to echo the appeal of the original X-Bows keyboard, the Knight Plus puts a fresh twist on the formula in the form of modularity.
Out of the box, the keyboard features a numpad. However, if you don’t like it (or prefer to stick on the opposite end of the main layout), you can just snap it off at will. It’s satisfying, intuitive and a fun new take on the dilemma of whether it’s worth including a numpad at all. Ergonomics or no, I wish more keyboard tooks this approach.
Other improvements to the design here include the transition to relying on USB Type-C for power. This is a small update but a necessary one that makes the setup part of the experience feel a tad more modern.
As with the original, the X-Bows Knight Plus features Gateron mechanical key switches (available in Blue, Brown, Red and Black varieties) and customizable RGB Lighting with all the usual toggles. This is handled through X-Bows own software package. This is downloaded through a Google Drive link on the X-Bows website which, I think it's fair to say, is far from ideal.
Using the X-Bow’s Lighting Software, you’re able to do all the usual things. You can set up macros, you can customise the per-key RGB lighting and you can play around with the usual settings. This interface here is probably the biggest weakness involved. It feels much clunkier to customise than something from Razer or Logitech.
Still, in action, the X-Bows per-key lighting is a delight to behold. If you’re into that sort of thing anyway. If you’re an RBG-hater, the X-Bows Knight Plus is unlikely to convert you. Thankfully, you can always set
The Bottom Line
Compared to the other ergonomic options, the X-Bows Knight Plus Keyboard feels like it has it all. It’s more expensive than its predecessor but the improvements get most of the way towards making that added expense feel justified. It doesn't feel like you're bargain here but it does feel like you're getting what you're paying for.
Even if you don’t care about the gaming-related features like RGB lighting and N-Key rollover, you can just leave the lighting disabled and you’ll probably still have a great time with the X-Bows Knight Plus. It’s not going to win you over if you’re for the cheapest ergonomic option out there, however, as far as ergonomic keyboards go it’s hard to beat and a delight to use.
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