Author Topic: Genesis RX85 with brown kailhs  (Read 2628 times)

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Offline NewbieOneKenobi

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Genesis RX85 with brown kailhs
« on: Sat, 09 June 2018, 10:35:08 »
Hi, guys.

It seems there's no thread about this keyboard I bought me yesterday as a consolation prize for not being able to decide on a laptop, so here's a first.

Genesis RX85 generally has 'Red China' written all over it, but it isn't honestly all that bad. It just has a tendency to look gaudier and tattier than most things that cost a fifth of its price. However, it is in fact hard aluminium with a solid backplate and the quality of execution is in fact at least as good as in superior brands. It's just the style perhaps. My friends who are my hosts at the moment find nothing too cheap with it, so perhaps it's just my taste. Or perhaps it was designed with dimly lit spaces in mind? In poor light, with the backlighting on, it looks quite gorgeous.

As per the title, this version has Kailh browns, and like I've just said there is backlighting — with 20 different modes, of which I guess I've managed to identify two or three while becoming a great fan of backlighting last night.

There's also a sturdy backplate and a detachable, or rather attachable, wrist rest that's held by a magnet, which obviously means it can be used with probably almost all other mechboards you already own, and possibly a bunch of other devices as well, though the magnets are in the left and right ends, none in the middle, so anything shorter than a full-sized keyboard would be less than ideal.

Despite the initial cheap feel, there is in fact nothing quite cheap about the construction, well, bar the switches themselves maybe. But the build quality is in fact better than most boards, so once again, don't be deceived by the style. The build is quite solid and sturdy, and stable. Obviously no cream of the cream, but better than most of the mainstream in fact. In terms of layout, the 'board is bezel-free almost to the extreme. In fact, it has just enough bezel to be better than none, so kudoz to the designer for striking the right balance. There is no casing around the switch mounts, which obviously impairs the 'board's tabby hair absorption capacity, but I'm not sure everyone would agree that's a disadvantage. ;) The unit has no detachable cable, but hey, neither does my Filco. And it's better this way, considering what happened to my NovaTouch Poor Man's Topre™ (RIP). Said cable is a thick braid, which I appreciate very much right now as I type these words rocking in an armchair with this thing in my lap and a 27'' monitor stool-mounted(™) in front of me, which passes for my laptop this weekend (and is actually doing a great job in terms of home-bound 'portable' computing; probably better than a real laptop — the only thing that could be better would be if I could bolt a VESA arm to my friends' aquarium, but I guess that could be a difficult conversation).

Obviously, if you're into red and black and/or it fits your components well (it does fit the colour scheme inside my desktop back home, except I don't have a case window), then perhaps you'll even love the style. And oh, there's a gigantic radio-style retro volume knob; some people dig such things, and I just believe it's more practical than + and – sort of keys.

They keys are double-injection (well, that's how they put the light in) and neither glossy nor rubbery, so who the heck knows what this is supposed to be, but it kind of does its job in a surprisingly good way from the get go. The feel isn't even cheap actually, it's more like simply plasticky, whereas cherries usually feel more metal-like. Not that you don't get the occasional metallic ping from this board, but the overall feel is plasticky. It's like a sort of wobble but one that's not actually bad, which is hard to put in exact words. I'm pretty sure the keys have something to do with this, as some Cherry blue boards also have a more plasticky feel to me than Filco, with the keycaps being the obvious difference.

Actuation force is supposed to be similar to Cherry browns minus 0.05 and with a bit less tactility but still some — somewhat of a cross between Cherry browns and Cherry reds, as I read online somewhere and consider to be quite fitting. What's also fitting is the observation that kailhs are slower to snap back into position than cherries, and that's quite true, which means your typing speed might be slowed a little compared to Cherry browns, and perhaps you may be less disinclined from bottoming out. But bottoming out doesn't feel as bad as on Cherries (or the NovaTouch topres), it certainly doesn't murder your fingers like hitting backspace frantically on blues. ;)

The practical result is I can type with much less strain and pain than on most other boards (only a really good scissor design could be better than this), which was basically the goal. Or at least the excuse — as I've been forced to look for browns or reds for a while due to blues being too painful to work on.

One curious fact is I didn't really need much adjustment. Obviously, it's going to take a while before I stop either bottoming out or losing letters, but the getting used is much more forgiving than on most other 'boards, at least to me. The keyboard almost seems to be helping me adjust.

One of the downsides, however, is it's possible to get the tactile feedback without actually registering the stroke, though you normally have to try hard; still, I discovered this by accident, so accidents are clearly possible.

What else? The price point was pretty much the same as brown cherries, which may be part of the explanation for my tendency to be somewhat harsh in judgment, but to be fair the quality of pretty anything else than the surface plastic is better than most of what more ambitious brands have to offer.

All in all definitely not persuading anyone to buy this, but I had little other option, as I needed a browns mech board ASAP, and the choice was limited, so because of the situation I've ended up with this, and it's been an interesting experience.

Poke me if you want more pics, but my phone cam doesn't work great in this light. The 'board does look a little better (and less cheap) than the camera is making it.

« Last Edit: Sat, 09 June 2018, 11:52:10 by NewbieOneKenobi »
IBM Model M 1391406 (Lexmark \'93), Mech: Cherry G80-11900 (blacks), Compaq-branded Cherry G80 (browns), Filco Tenkeyless (blues), 10 Dells with black alps, Rubber dome: IBM SK8820, Fujitsu-Siemens Butterfly, Scissors: Hama SL570, Old stuff: IBM Model C2 (3178 terminal)

Offline JamesShaw

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Re: Genesis RX85 with brown kailhs
« Reply #1 on: Sat, 09 June 2018, 13:05:36 »
Thanks for your detailed review!  :thumb: