February 12, 2016

Unboxing & Review: Armaggeddon MKA-5R RGB-HORNET Gaming Mechanical Keyboard

Armaggeddon is renown in the local market for its gaming peripherals, delivering both quality and affordability at the sweet spot for most of the time. We have one of Armaggeddon's latest offering arrived at Tech Critter's lab, the MKA-5R RGB-HORNET tenkeyless mechanical keyboard, courtesy of Leapfrog Distribution Sdn Bhd and Armaggeddon Malaysia.

The RGB mechanical keyboard hype has been going on for quite a while and Armaggeddon stepped into the fancy RGB LED competition with the MKA-5R and MKA-11R. While it comes with a very decent price of RM373, let's find out what kind of features we can expect from the MKA-5R RGB-HORNET!



The MKA-5R RGB-HORNET comes in the usual black & yellow themed box across most Armaggeddon products, with some of its features highlighted at the front of the box as well as the 2 years limited warranty from Armaggeddon. 

The back of the box contains information in regards to the specifications and features of the MKA-5R RGB-HORNET, the different variation of Kailh switches available, brief information on Armaggeddon itself, manufacturer's warranty etc. 

Lifting the lid, you'll find a cutout window for user to see the actual product without having to open up the entire packaging.

What's in the box? Just the MKA-5R RGB-HORNET. That's something pretty uncommon for a gaming peripheral to not come with a user's manual.

It's good to know that the MKA-5R RGB-HORNET uses the standard layout that's compatible with most custom key caps set.

Braided cables enhance the durability of the cable and prevent unwanted damages like fraying end or breaking due to excessive pulling.

A ferrite core is attached to the cable, meant to reduce /minimize the electrical interference that could potentially affect your performance - it's very rare for such incident to occur, though.

As always, we would like to highlight that gold plated USB connector plays no role in improving the polling rate or signal strength. What it does here is that it keeps the connector more durable against oxidation so that you won't end up with a flashy looking keyboard but with an ugly dull looking oxidized USB connector.

The MKA-5R RGB-HORNET comes with a brushed Aluminum top enclosure as an added aesthetics.

The key caps used comes in the standard profile, R4 to R1 height that we commonly see on most mechanical keyboards nowadays. 

The F1 to F12 keys consists of functions to trigger different lighting effect when combined with the FN key.

The additional feature on the arrow keys - change the direction of lighting effects that involves moving lighting effect.

The stabilizer used is the Costar design stabilizer that's known for its extraordinary stability that the Cherry stabilizer can't offer.

If you've been wondering, that's not a Cherry MX switch. That's the Cherry MX clone switch, the Kailh blue switch with an RGB LED installed. 

At the bottom of the keyboard, you'll find it clean and screw-hole free, preventing us from doing a tear down on the keyboard itself. 

The cable routing path at the bottom allows you to route the cable in the direction which you find to be most comfortable with your current setup.

If the keyboard height isn't to your liking, you can tilt it by a little bit more with the keyboard feet. Armaggeddon included the rubber pieces on the keyboard feet to keep the keyboard from sliding when the keyboard feet is lifted, thumbs up on that!


The software is pretty simple in overall, everything can be done pretty much at this single interface.

There's quite a number of lighting effects that you can choose and configure from the list, but a minus for the customizability because you can't customize your own effect.

The macro recording function isn't the prettiest one around but it'll still get the job done well. You record a key sequence input, numbers of loops to perform the key sequence along with the delay between keystrokes, something that is very important for the effectiveness and usability of a recorded macro. 

By right clicking the key(s) on the keyboard layout image on the right, you can assign specific functions to the selected key and trigger it by combining the assigned key with the FN key.

Once you're done with those settings, you can save it in the designated profile in the profile menu. You can create up to 6 profiles in the profile menu.

RGB Lighting Preview

Key Rollover Test (KRO)

The key rollover looks really promising on the MKA-5R RGB-HORNET. We're able to hold down pretty much every key without having any signal blocking issue or ghosting effect, making it a great companion for gamers who needs to hold down as many keys in game, especially for rhythm games like o2jam, DJMax, etc. 

Final Thoughts
If you're fond of Cherry MX switches, that confusion is unavoidable on first time experience with Kailh switches. Things are clearly different if you're an old timer with mechanical keyboards, but the Kailh switches aren't entirely bad either. For those who is familiar with Kailh switches, the company started off with its first Cherry MX clone yellow switch which turns out pretty bad in terms of the quality, but they've improved the build quality throughout these years and we believe that Kailh can do better in the coming future.

In terms of aesthetics aspect, the Armaggeddon MKA-5R RGB-HORNET is very close to nailing it right. The RGB LED lighting effect is pretty awesome, to be honest, it's just that the customization on these RGB LEDs is somewhat limited by the current software that somehow limiting the full potential of an RGB LED keyboard. 

As for the price, RM373 is definitely a very good price for an RGB mechanical keyboard and we have no complaint on that. If you're looking for a tenkeyless RGB mechanical keyboard to bling up your setup, the Armaggeddon MKA-5R RGB-HORNET is one option you might want to consider to go for.

  • Good looking
  • Solid build quality
  • Lots of lighting effect to play with
  • Braided USB cable for enhanced durability
  • Full key rollover (NKRO)

  • Macro action cannot be triggered by parallel action
  • Limited option in customizing lighting profile