i-Rocks might not be a familiar name in our local gaming peripheral market compared to Razer and Steelseries or perhaps this might be the first time you have ever came across the name i-Rocks. In case if you haven’t heard of them, i-Rocks has been a manufacturer of gaming peripherals well known to the Chinese eSports scene and sponsor to Team WE.
i-Rocks make its debut in our local market with their ROCK Series gaming peripherals and A05-G Gaming Headset, i-Rocks has gained quite an amount of interest from various group of users to try out what i-Rocks has to offer. We have the i-Rocks IK6 Crystal USB keyboard arrived at Tech Critter’s lab a while ago, greatest thanks to i-Rocks Malaysia in provision of the i-Rocks IK6 gaming keyboard!
The i-Rocks IK6 appears to be a different kind of offering from i-Rocks – Unlike the usual i-Rocks gaming keyboard we’ve seen, the IK6 is leaning towards the classy appearance of the Apple acrylic case keyboard.
Our first look at the packaging of the i-Rocks IK6, the first phrase that came to our mind: simplicity is the ultimate sophistication. No flashy pictures, no gimmicks, pure elegance.
Out of the box, the i-Rocks IK6 itself, a user’s guide and a product warranty card.
As irresistible as it gets, the i-Rocks IK6 looks just like the Apple G5 keyboard from few years back then.
There’s a ferrite bead attached to the USB cable which function as a filter to help eliminate noise which could potentially affect a gamer’s performance when fast and rapid input takes place.
The view from the side, we can see the ergonomic curve of the keycaps (R4 to R1) and a clear view on the structure of the keyboard.
The function key however (FN) is a very under utilized design as it’s used on the windows key lock function on the F11 key.
The LED indicator for caps lock, scroll lock and num lock.
The volume control and calculator shortcut key.
Here’s the best part – it’s cherry MX keycaps compatible. That’s right, if you’re into fancy keycaps but not planning to invest for a mechanical keyboard, this is the beautiful alternative to go for. i-Rocks claimed that they’ve used the mixture of ABS and PBT material for its keycaps, not sure if it’s legit but we’ll find that out soon enough.
Here’s some of our collection of keycaps installed on the i-Rocks IK6.
A quick check on the stabilizer, not the Cherry MX compatible spacebar keycap that we hope it would be, but it’s easy to remove and install compared to the metal wire stabilizer.
Bottoming the keycap will snap the metal wire stabilizer back in place, easy as pie.
The wire at the back is slightly elevated for extra protection against fraying.
The bottom of the keyboard comes in a glossy finishing, so extra care has to be taken if you do not wish to see any unintentional scratches on it.
The rubber keyboard feet keeps your keyboard in place, but it will only works the best if your desk has a smooth surface and dust free.
Testing Methodology The actuation force required to register each key has a pretty close feel to a Cherry MX Clear, accompanied by a soft and non-mushy landing from the rubber dome which makes it comfortable and pleasurable to type on.
Gaming wise, the i-Rocks IK6 response very well to our rage press on FPS games like Battlefiled 4, Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare and rhythm games like O2Jam, DJMax Trilogy with ease. Each key pressed response almost immediately. As for its key rollover capability, we’ve done some test on the key configuration for the games tested and the result is as below:
From the registered keys shown in the Aqua KeyTest screenshot above, we can see that the i-Rocks IK6 is pretty much game ready with optimized key matrix for most FPS and RTS games.
As for rhythm games like o2jam, DJMax, etc, if you’re not into the non-mainstream key configuration, the commonly used key configuration will work just well.
Final Thoughts The i-Rocks IK6 is a great alternative for those who wants a good looking keyboard and customizable keyboard but not intended to invest in a full fledged mechanical keyboard. Keyboard with crystal clear case and fancy keycaps, one of the best possible combination we would love to have in our keyboard collection – do be extra careful with the acrylic case as it’s more prone to scratches and cracks if not handled properly. Appearance score? 9.5 out of 10.
Usability wise, it works great as both office and entertainment use. Typing experience is excellent, but the key rollover isn’t the best we’ve seen from i-Rocks, but it’s still get the job done for some of the most commonly played games genre (FPS, RTS, Rhythm games). The FN function key however, is extremely under utilized as it’s only used for the Windows key lock function on F11. It’ll be great to have more combination for the FN key instead of just having one function if that’s not too much to ask for.
Overall, we think that the i-Rocks IK6 is a worthy collectible that is worth paying RM179 for and it’s fair for us awarding the i-Rocks IK6 with a Silver badge and Recommended badge.
Stylish and elegant design
Compatible with most Cherry MX Keycaps
Gaming optimized key matrix
Windows key lock function to prevent unintentional actuation during gaming session
The acrylic case is prone to scratches and cracks
Longer Cherry MX keycaps is not compatible with i-Rocks own stabilizer design (spacebar, shift, enter, etc)