ARMAGGEDDON MKA-5R RGB Hornet mechanical keyboard review
+ Compact size allow for a more ergonomic posture
+ Small footprint saves some precious space on small desks
+ Better value for money, if you do not use the numpad
+ Updated driver software is stable and responsive
+ Kailh Blue switches offer nice clicky tactile and audible feedback
- Not suitable for those who use the numpad frequently
- Non-detachable cable
- Cable routing channels are result in the cable exiting at the top edge of the keyboard
After reviewing the ARMAGGEDDON MKA-11R RGB Raptor mechanical keyboard, it changed my perception towards China-made mechanical switches, particularly Kailh ones. The ARMAGGEDDON MKA-5R RGB Hornet uses similar switches, but tosses the numpad away to be smaller than the MKA-11R RGB Raptor. This is my review on the MKA-5R RGB Hornet, a TKL keyboard with Kailh Blue mechanical switches.
I really dig the black and yellow colour scheme. The ARMAGGEDDON MKA-5R RGB-Hornet’s box features the same black and yellow theme as its bigger full length brethren, and by extension, almost every ARMAGGEDDON product.
Detailed information of the MKA-5R RGB Hornet is found on the back of the packaging, as well a little graphical comparison of each kind of mechanical switch options available.
With the flip cover, we can take a proper look at the keyboard. The MKA-5R RGB Hornet sports a 87-key layout, or better known as a tenkeyless layout. The unit I received comes with Kailh Blue mechanical switches. The MKA-11R RGB Raptor I reviewed also came with Kailh Blue switches, so at least I have a rough idea of what to expect from this keyboard.
Inside the box, we have the MKA-5R itself, a key-cap puller, user manual and also a driver CD.
THe MKA-5R RGB Hornet is a pretty compact keyboard. It features no bezels to speak of, with the keyboard taking up only as much space as the keys do.
The ARMAGGEDDON MKA-5R RGB Hornet and MKA-11R Raptor are similar in the way that they feature an exposed backplate. The only different between the MKA-5R and the MKA-11R is the numbers of keys. It still keeps the clean look which also makes it easier to clean the keyboard.
Braided cables are a nice touch, as they help to improve the durability. At least you won’t have to worry of flaking cables after a year or so.
Cable routing channels are cut into the underside of the keyboard. I do find them quite pointless since they all exit the body from the top edge, but oh well. The flippy feet offer a single level of tilt, or none at all.
Essentially a MKA-11R Raptor with the numpad chopped off, the MKA-5R Hornet is understandably lighter. In fact, it is one of the lighter keyboards that I have ever used. My sample here is still using the same Kailh Blue RGB mechanical switches as the MKA-11R Raptor I reviewed before this.
|Body material||Brushed aluminium top, plastic base, TKL form factor|
|USB report rate||125/250/500/1000 Hz|
|Switch type||Kailh Blue RGB|
|Cable||1.8m, non-detachable, sleeved, gold plated USB connector|
With the shorter length, it actually allows me to postion both my hands closer on the keyboard and mouse. One more thing which I noticed is the small form factor actually allows for a more comfortable typing experience. The TKL layout resulted in me positioning my hands much better. I know TKL keyboards are supposed to be better for ergonomics, but I didn’t really expect such a difference. However, if you frequently use the numpad, you will be seriously annoyed when you use a TKL keyboard. My daily routine does not only involve reviewing components, but also quite a lot of data entry. As expected, the numpad is utilized quite a lot when doing data entry, thus causing me to seriously miss my usual full length keyboards despite the extra comfort of using TKL keyboards like the MKA-5R RGB Hornet.
Although it using similar mechanical switches, the form factor has made some changes in way I’m typing. While it hard for me when I needed the numpad, but it really helps a lot when me typing an articles. About the switches, I really like the Blue Kailh switches, as it feels very much like Cherry MX Brown mechanical switches but with more “clickiness”. As I have mention before in the MKA-11R RGB Raptor review, I really like the Kailh Blue switches and it is still one of my favorites.
When I reviewed the MKA-11R RGB, I was bitching about the software that crashed so frequently it should never learn to drive. But this time it never even crashed once. It looks like ARMAGGEDDON has fixed the issue and I hope that they will keep on improving it. The software interface is similar to the MKA-11R’s driver software too, but is now more stable and responsive. It look like there are more customization options and effects available in the latest software compared to the prior version.
I kept the review short as there is really not much to talk about. The ARMAGGEDDON MKA-5R RGB Hornet has its own pros and cons when compared with the MKA-11R RGB Raptor. It still uses the same mechanical switches but the form factor of MKA-5R RGB Hornet really brings a new experience when typing. For me if you rarely use the numpad, the MKA-5R RGB Hornet is the one you should get. If you do, then get the full length version, the MKA-11R RGB Raptor, instead.
The ARMAGGEDDON MKA-5R RGB Hornet is perfect for those who spend a lot of time typing text. With a cheaper price compared to the MKA-11R RGB Raptor, I found that the MKA-5R is more value for money if you’re spend more time on typing text and gaming. I awarded the ARMAGGEDDON MKA-5R RGB Hornet a Silver Pokdeward for the great typing experience. You can get this TKL keyboard from online retailers, priced at around RM370, with two years manufacturer warranty.
p/s: After so long working with ARMAGGEDDON, I finally managed to spell it correctly in this review. No more ARMMAGEDDON OR AMMAGEDDON after this :-)