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We’ve known Armaggeddon for quite some time now – and yes, they currently hold the status for one of the best budget mechanical keyboard with RGB lighting out there – the MKA-11R, which we also reviewed it here. Personally I loved that keyboard way more than I should. That keyboard has aged, and it is now replaced by the brand new MKA-9C Psychraptor mechanical keyboard. How does it fare compared to that keyboard?

First and foremost – the packaging as usual. You can check out our triple-treat unboxing right here for that.

A quick rundown on what’s written on the box itself:

  • Kailh switches rated at 50 million keystrokes
  • 6 different backlight colours
  • 5 customizable light setting
  • Adjustable backlight effects on key button
  • Multimedia keys with built-in programming
  • Aluminium backplate
  • 1.8 meters braided cable

Inside the box there isn’t much to see at all. There is some nice foam around the keyboard itself for protection, Other than that, there aren’t any sort of paperwork except for one small piece of paper explaining on how to customize the backlight effects.

For the unit that I’ll be reviewing though is the Kailh Blue switch.

[nextpage title=”Design”]Firstly, I have to say that the MKA-9C Psychraptor opted for a rather nice black and grey look all around the keyboard. Silvery chassis with black accents and keycaps, including a black hard-plastic wrist rest. I have to say that the design itself is pretty streamlined all around.

MKA-9C

The entire keyboard is very solidly built, thanks to its hard metal plate right at the front. Side note here, the hard plate is very strong and that means the MKA-9C Psychraptor itself is not that light. Maybe a good kilogram or more. Definitely not the lightest, but at least the footprint itself is on the small side compared to something like the ASUS GK2000.

That said, the braided USB cable comes off right in the middle of the body, with no angling or any sort. I really hope that even though they opt not to have a removable cable, at least have drains for the USB cable to go left or right like the Ducky One series of keyboard we reviewed here and here.

[nextpage title=”Typing experience”]We’ll start off with the switch itself as usual. As stated on the box itself, MKA-9C Psychraptor is built with Kailh switches in its core. Not just any Kailh switches though – the RGB variants of the Kailh Blue switch. As far as I know, the MKA-9C Psychraptor is available in Kailh Black, Brown, Red, and Blue switches, depending on your preference.

In terms of the keycaps themselves though, the MKA-9C Psychraptor comes with smooth ABS plastic keycaps with a very smooth surface. The thickness of these keycaps however are a little on the thin side, so do take note as bottoming out makes a higher-pitched and louder clack sound.

All around typing experience was great and as expected from any plate-mounted keyboard. It’s sturdy and doesn’t move around, has great tactility with the well-known Blue switch click sounds. After using a keyboard with Cherry stabilizers for so long, I found myself delighted with surprise when I found out that the MKA-9C Psychraptor uses a Costar stabilizer instead. Might not come as a surprise to some though, but yeah – Costar stabilizers do feel a lot better than Cherry stabilizers, although it’s purely based on your own preference.

MKA-9C (8)

I generally found that this RGB variant of Kailh switch takes a noticeable higher actuation force than its non-RGB variant of the exact same coloured switch.

However, the MKA-9C Psychraptor’s wrist rest doesn’t help much in terms of ergonomics. That is because even though the entire metal plate is recessed a little compared to the wrist rest, it is still not enough. Disparity of height between the wrist rest and the top of the space bar keycaps for example is too much, even though I can see Armaggeddon recessed the wrist rest a little. This made me type with my fingers hovering above the keyboard instead of resting on the wrist rest.

MKA-9C (6)

That said, Armaggeddon has to consider this – plate-mounted keyboard is physically more durable and almost has no flex. However if the entire plate is part of the enclosure itself, the key switches will be taller than usual.

[nextpage title=”Features”]I guess this is where the MKA-9C Psychraptor really shines (literally, pun intended) – it requires absolutely no software to reprogram anything on this keyboard, which as its down side as well.

It’s really easy to modify how the backlight works too. Let me list it down for you.

FN + F1 Backlight customization 1 Configure which key to light up using backlight customization mode

FN + F12

FN + F2 Backlight customization 2
FN + F3 Backlight customization 3
FN + F4 Backlight customization 4
FN + F5 Backlight customization 5
FN + F6 Wave mode/circular mode Toggle between two modes with this button
FN + F7 Ribbon mode Goes up and down from the middle out
FN + F8 Ripple mode Hit one key and a ripple of light comes out
FN + F9 Run laps mode Technically snake mode
FN + F10 Single-lighting mode Only lights up whichever key you hit
FN + F11 Pulsating mode Also known as “breathing mode”
FN + F12 Enter backlight customization mode Enter this mode and press any keys from F1 to F5, depending on which profile you want to save
FN + PgDn Decrease backlight speed
FN + PgUp Increase backlight speed
FN + ← Change backlight direction to the left Only applicable to Wave mode
FN + → Change backlight direction to the right
FN + “-” Decrease brightness Has a total of 5 brightness level, including “off”
FN + “+”

Increase brightness

The lighting mode on this keyboard is quite nice to being with. Although it is not RGB, it has different colours per row of on the keyboard. I find this a little different than the other backlit keyboards, which are either has one colour across the board, or RGB LED per key. Personally speaking, I don’t really care what colour these keyboards are. Most of the time I’ll turn it off, but since my room’s main light source is busted, I’ve been paying more attention to backlit keyboard.

Whenever the keyboard is trying to tell you something, like you’re at the maximum or minimum brightness, or in customization mode, the Scroll Lock indicator key at the top right corner will begin flashing. That’s a definitely nice and absurdly useful feature by Armaggeddon!

MKA-9C (2)

The only mild annoyance I have it according to my personal taste, is the different colour on each row. I prefer the ripple mode when I type faster. Although it’s actually waves, it actually looks like the entire keyboard is flickering really quick. Definitely looks cool!

That said, the backlighting on the MKA-9C Psychraptor is pretty bright and nicely distributed within the key. However I do find it funny – although for some reason my camera can’t pick up the key clearly in picture, the MKA-9C Psychraptor is lit up by surface-mounted LEDs. However, the Kailh switches does have hole for LED bulb to poke throw and soldered onto the PCB. Since these surface-mounted LEDs are much more closer to the base of the switch, it gives them a lot more space to disperse light across the entire key switch.

[nextpage title=”Wrap up”]The Armaggeddon MKA-9C Psychraptor is a seriously budget-friendly Kailh-powered mechanical keyboard. Although it doesn’t have the full RGB lighting like its brother, the MKA-11R, it does come with a much lower price tag – at just RM289. It’s nearly half the price tag of its colourful brother! Sure, the MKA-9C Psychraptor has its own problem when it comes to ergonomics, but that’s easily solvable if some getting used to. Don’t forget that you can lower the feet too though!

Check out the deal for the Armaggeddon MKA-9C Psychraptor here on Lazada!

MKA-9C (5)


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