ARMAGGEDDON Kalashnikov AK-555i gaming keyboard review
+ Refreshed design looks better than its predecessor's
+ "Gamer" design
+ Non-glossy plastic material, not a fingerprint magnet
+ Spill proof design
+ Backlight is evenly spread
+ Decent typing experience
- Removal of application key
- Unusual keyboard layout
- Only come in two colour options
- Footprint is rather large
The last time I reviewed an ARMAGGEDDON keyboard was the ARMAGGEDDON MKA-11R RGB Raptor and it left a positive impression on me towards their products. For the last few weeks I was using another keyboard from the Singaporean company, but instead of a mechanical keyboard, this is a membrane keyboard. Here’s is my review of the ARMAGGEDDON Kalashnikov AK-555i.
The ARMAGGEDDON Kalashnikov AK-555i is a refreshed model of the AK-550i. It still maintains the membrane keyboard technology and spill proof design, but sports a newer design. I don’t have the AK-550i to make a quick comparison but by comparing it to images of the older model on the Internet, I do prefer the revised design.
So let’s begin from the packaging. The usual black and yellow scheme from ARMAGGEDDON is present here. I honestly like the box’s appearance but ARMAGGEDDON product naming scheme is pretty confusing to me. On top we have the main features highlighted as well as a product image.
Over on the bottom we have more detailed information about the keyboard. The ARMAGGEDDON Kalashnikov AK-555i comes with 2 years of manufacturer warranty and that is pretty impressive for a mere membrane gaming keyboard.
The box opens up to the keyboard itself wrapped in a thin plastic bag. Our review sample came with no documentations at all.
|Body material||Full matte plastic body build|
|Keycap||Matte plastic keycap|
|Cable||1.5m, USB connector|
|Features||Basic backlight gaming keyboard with spill proof design|
|Backlight||Red or Blue|
My first impression of the ARMAGGEDDON Kalashnikov AK-555i was of the sandblasted plastic material. I prefer matte finishes over glossy because of two simple reasons, sweat and fingerprints. Non-glossy finishes also offer better comfort and grip compared to glossy surfaces.
The ARMAGGEDDON Kalashnikov AK-555i spill proof design is not something new but it still helps when in the event of an accident. Three drainage holes suffice to perform the function of channeling spilled liquids away from its internal circuits.
The backlight is evenly distributed across the keyboard. You don’t get RGB lighting here though. You are limited to a single colour but that’s what you get for this price. The lighting options are sparse, as you are only able to turn the illumination on and off and set the brightness using keyboard’s shortcuts.
Aside from the key lighting, the ARMAGGEDDON Kalashnikov AK-555i also features a few extra lighting bars at the top of the keyboard and on the sides. They improve the overall look of the keyboard, but may be a bane to users with small desks as it increases the footprint of the keyboard.
Overall, the ARMAGGEDDON Kalashnikov AK-555i design is okay. The non-detachable USB cable is not an issue at this price range. However the body is made entirely of plastic, and I am pretty confident that I could it break it quite easily if I tried.
To submit a fair opinion of a membrane keyboard, first I needed to get a membrane keyboard to compare it against. Since I have used mechanical keyboards for quite some time already, comparing the ARMAGGEDDON Kalashnikov AK-555i against my past keyboards would be very unfair. I do have the Logitech K200 membrane keyboard here with me, so here goes.
Typing on the ARMAGGEDDON Kalashnikov AK-555i was a decent experience. Nothing to hype about it if we were to compare it to mechanical keyboards, but the ARMAGGEDDON Kalashnikov AK-555i will surely fit any gamers on a budget.
The only thing that bugged me was the non-standard keyboard layout. Not really a big deal as you will get used to it in time, but it is something to note. If you haven’t noticed it, the Enter key is longer than usual, forcing the backslash key to be relocated to beside the Enter key.
Another issue I faced with the ARMAGGEDDON Kalashnikov AK-555i is the missing application key, or what some people call the Menu key. It may not be of importance to most gamers but for me it still an important key. Instead of sacrificing the application key, ARMAGGEDDON should have assigned the illumination controls to another key.
Am I going to put the ARMAGGEDDON Kalashnikov AK-555i on my keyboard recommendation list? Actually it’s hard when you have become a die-hard fan of mechanical keyboards. But at the price of around RM69 at online retailers, it does sort of redeem itself.
Integrated Fn key offering up to 12 functions, spill proof design, even backlighting and also a nice matte finishing. All these features actually meet my “requirements” for an average budget-oriented gaming peripheral. However the ARMAGGEDDON Kalashnikov AK-555i doesn’t meet the requirement for a Pokdeward. That doesn’t mean it sucks though.
If you have a budget of around RM150, you might get a great deal when you get the ARMAGGEDDON Kalashnikov AK-555i in a combo with other ARMAGGEDDON products, such as the ARMAGGEDDON Molotov 5 (actually you can purchase the ARMAGGEDDON Kalashnikov AK-555i along with the ARMAGGEDDON Molotov 5 at an online retailer for an even better deal). If you ask if the keyboard is worth the asking price, I would say yes.