Coming from a relatively little-known gaming hardware manufacturer, the Redragon Rudra belongs to a confusing field of budget gaming keyboards that the average casual gamer won’t know where to start when looking to find among the many gems. lots Contenders for their hard-earned money.
Luckily for them, I can say head on: the Rudra (also known as the Redragon K565 in some online stores) is a lot better than a sub £50 keyboard.
In fact, if you show up in my test queue after a parade of £150-250 premium keyboards from some of the most well-known gaming brands out there have marched across my desk, you’d have trouble figuring out where they’re behind their other lags behind expensive competitors. It features robust, responsive switches that support well-designed interchangeable buttons. It features programmable RGB backlighting to illuminate the typing and gaming experience. And it has a full 104-key layout with a numeric key and number pad in a compact yet convenient form factor.
But does it deserve a place among the best gaming keyboards? (opens in new tab) now available, or the best keyboards (opens in new tab) total? I had to test it for several weeks to find out for myself.
Redragon Rudra Review: Design and Build
The Redragon Rudra looks striking as soon as you take it out of the box. It’s a mechanical, gaming-focused keyboard, so expect big, old, chunky keys, but here they’re practically typewriter-sized.
In addition, the switches underneath are particularly easy to see thanks to the translucency, while the top buttons are matte black. When you turn it on, the RGB lighting illuminates both the letters on the keys and the translucent switches underneath, giving the whole board an extra sense of height.
It’s a wired keyboard with a rubber-coated wire instead of a fabric wire, but as this is a sub-£50 offering that’s to be expected. The form factor is compact, even for the full-size 104-key option I had. There’s no construction or “padding” around the front, side, or back of the Rudra, meaning it should fit into smaller spaces than keyboards with a front palm rest or rear panel frame. The downside to this is that there’s no natural rest for your wrist or thumb when typing, which can lead to long-term fatigue.
The typeface used on the keys is stylized and flashy, although my OCD isn’t the biggest fan of the fact that the TAB, CAPSLK, SHIFT, and CTRL labels aren’t aligned to the left…
With built-in lighting and software, the keyboard feels comfortably weighted and heavy without being awkward to move.
Redragon Rudra Review: Properties
The Redragon Rudra features RGB backlighting and programmable keys, like most gaming keyboards, where you can remap each key to pretty much any function and format macro commands. The backlight has 18 presets ranging from a dark slate with a lit-up button press to a dizzyingly fast whirl of color, all depending on your preferences and tolerance for epilepsy triggers.
The case also comes with a handy key replacement kit and spare keys, which is a nice touch for a keyboard under £50.
As mentioned, the lack of a palm rest or structure in front of the bottom buttons means you might need to invest in an external palm rest if you’re prone to wrist issues or don’t like having to raise your hands to type.
Redragon Rudra Review: Achievement
Typing on the Redragon Rudra has been a joy for me. I’ll freely admit that I’m one of those oldies who much prefers a big, chunky mechanical brick that gives that satisfying clicky-clicky sound to a lightweight, unresponsive, low-key membrane keyboard.
Keystroke has nice, firm but not too onerous resistance, the keys don’t wobble even when lifted as high as here, and I found the accuracy on this to be better than some much more expensive premium keyboards I’ve tested recently .
The smaller overall form factor doesn’t seem to detract from the typing experience at all, although the keys are a tiny bit more densely packed here (particularly between the main keyboard area, the numeric key, and the number pad. Larger hands and fingers might find themselves feeling a bit cramped here, however, since my hands are quite small.
It performs well for gaming, reformatting is easy, and the easy ability to switch between backlight modes is a welcome change from some other manufacturers’ complicated methods of customizing their respective light shows.
However, there is a noticeable lack of noise isolation, making typing here significantly louder than pricier keyboards with more advanced silencers, so those who aren’t fans of loud pops could quickly become irksome.
Redragon Rudra Review: Price
The Rudra costs under £50, with occasional offers even pushing it under £40, which has to be seen as a fantastic price for such a good keyboard. It’s right in budget keyboard territory, but has performed similarly to some recent mid-level or premium keyboards I’ve reviewed recently.
Should You Buy the Redragon Rudra?
The Redragon Rudra is a budget keyboard that well beats its price. It might not have quite the same high-quality build quality as some pricier keyboards, or more advanced features like an ecosystem app for use with other Redragon devices, but it has 18 different RGB backlight modes, sturdy mechanical switches, and offers an intricate and relatively comfortable typing experience, although bigger hands might want something less compact. It also looks striking, especially in its red and black robe, with stylized lettering to literally top it off. If you’re looking for a budget keyboard that can do it all, you can do a lot worse than the Redragon Rudra.