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May 27, 2016

Unboxing & Review: 1STPLAYER FIREROSE Mechanical Gaming Keyboard


Back in the days when mechanical keyboard was first introduced into the gaming peripherals market, it is considered as a toy for the rich as not many could afford its premium price tag. The price of a mechanical keyboard has gotten more affordable as more and more brands started using lower cost alternative Cherry MX imitation switches like Kailh, Gateron, Outemu, etc.  


The Firerose from 1stplayer we have here is one of the new players that has recently invaded the budget gaming peripherals market in Malaysia. It retails at $44.99 on Amazon.com, which is approximately RM182.55, a rather good price for a full-sized mechanical keyboard.

Unboxing

The Firerose ships in a simple looking cardboard box that doesn't come with any flashy description that promotes it as a gaming keyboard.


The content is rather too simple we'd say, all you get is the Firerose keyboard and a user's guide.


The USB connector is gold plated so the USB connector will stay shiny and attractive for a very long while.


A ferrite core is attached to the USB cable to minimize the electrical interference that could potentially affect your performance.


The ergonomic curve is very common nowadays as mechanical keyboard available on the market usually comes with a different height of keycaps for a different row.

Function Keys

The function keys can be triggered by holding down the FN key and the targeted function key at the same time.

  • F1 to F12 are basically the media control function keys 
  • Scroll lock to switch on / off the LED 
  • Home key to toggle the LED breathing mode
  • - and + key to toggle the brightness of the LED

Changing to custom keycap set is a common thing to do on mechanical keyboard nowadays, and 1stplayer uses Cherry stabilizer for its Firerose to make the job easier for the end user - Cherry stabilizer is known for its easy keycap removal compared to Costar wire stabilizer.



The mechanical switches used on the Firerose is the Outemu mechanical switch, a type of Cherry MX clone name Outemu blue switch by Gaote Corp, a brand name of Kaihua Electronics like Kailh.


The keycap used on the Firerose is the double-shot type keycap that is created using double-shot injection method for longer lasting legends compared to painted and laser etched keycaps.


Bottom view of the Firerose keyboard.


You'll find these large rubber pads and rubber pieces on the keyboard feet that provide enough grip to prevent your keyboard from sliding on your desk surface. 


The metal plate with the near same thickness of the PCB gives that extra sturdiness to the keyboard.


From the first glance on the PCB layout and the controller used, we can confirm that the Firerose is made by Redragon.



The very same controller used on the Redragon Vara keyboard that we've previously reviewed.



While we're very sure that it's made by Redragon, the solder joint appears to be a lot cleaner and neat compared to the Redragon Vara.



The Firerose with its LED on, we can see that different color of the LED is used in each region to imitate the color gradient look on an RGB mechanical keyboard. 

Key Rollover Test (KRO)

The key rollover is really commendable overall, we're able to hold down each and every key with no signs of signal blocking and ghosting effect. 

Final Thoughts
The 1stplayer Firerose might not be as attractive as the high-end mechanical gaming keyboard with badass software and fancy lightings, but it has pretty much all the basic feature you can find on a good mechanical keyboard that could probably get you 2 of these, i.e full key rollover (NKRO), double shot keycap, consistent switch alignment.  

Like other Cherry MX imitation switches, the Outemu switch is something near to the Gateron switch that has been favored by more and more mechanical keyboard enthusiasts and some claims that it's even better than the Cherry MX switches nowadays. If fancy LED lighting modes, macro keys and the premium Cherry MX switches aren't something you can afford, why not consider a cheaper alternative that is just as good or perhaps better?  

Pros
  • Clean, solid build quality
  • Doubleshot keycaps
  • Full key rollover (NKRO)
  • Very good value
Cons
  • Packaging is rather thin and lack of proper protection
Subjective
  • LED mode is limited to breathing mode and static mode

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