Armageddon has to be some of the most influential PC peripheral brands in South East Asia. The company has been releasing PC peripherals for quite a while now and has been keeping newcomers in the loop of PC gaming. Recently, we were offered the MKA-13R for review by the folks over at Armaggeddon, being the successor to the beloved MKA-11R that we reviewed last year, I did not hesitate to accept their offer.
We’ve been testing the keyboard for over a week now and so far, it seems like Armaggeddon has some hot muffins on their hands.
The MKA-13R currently retails for RM 179 (US$44) in Malaysia. For that price, Armaggeddon has some serious competition. Xiaomi’s Yuemi MK01, Tecware’s Phantom TKL and 1stPlayer’s Fire Dancing K3 have to be the stiffest rivals to Armaggeddon’s MKA-13R. Since we haven’t tested either of those keyboard, we’ll review the MKA-13R in itself disregarding its competition.
01 | Design & Build Quality
I personally have a soft spot for keyboards that feature floating keycaps, and the MKA-13R is no exception. The MKA-13R features floating keycaps, the full standard keyboard layout and a pretty aging set of keycaps. The keyboard in itself feels heavy, solid and really assuring. The sense of quality this keyboard provides has to be applauded.
The keyboard’s bottom is built of hard plastic. While the top has been covered with some fine steel plate. There’s definitely quite a squirt of minimalism around the keyboard. However, what I am not a fan of, hss to be the fact that Armaggeddon has been using the same keycaps for more than a while now. While these keycaps feature KevlarTech keycaps, I am not obsessed with the fonts Armageddon has been using on their keyboards. Brands like Razer and Logitech have moved on, and have been featuring keycaps with much simpler, yet appealing fonts. You move now, Armaggeddon.
The MKA-13R also features Otemu Blue switches with some pretty typical life numbers. These switches are said to last 50 million keystrokes and are easily hotswappable if you want to customize your experience even further. Only time would tell how long my unit would last since testing 50 million keystrokes is pretty impractical.
Once we turn over to the back of the keyboard, we’re presented with the base of the keyboard. The hard plastic surrounding the keyboards internals give a really assuring feeling that durability isn’t an issue. There’s also support to incline your keyboard based on your liking. If you really want to use the kick stands under the keyboard, you’ll be pretty pleased with how much height it adds to the keyboard.
Around the back of the keyboard you’ll also find four thick rubber feet that prevent the keyboard from slipping. These rubber feet also add to the whole assuring experience telling us that Armageddon has stepped up their quality game, that’s for sure.
Coming over to the wiring of the keyboard, it seems like Armaggeddon is giving off some really good vibes. The USB cable connecting to the keyboard, while non-removable, is thick and braided. Fraying over time is definitely an issue. However, the aesthetic appeal for the feature is definitely present here.
I’m definitely looking forward for Armaggeddon to actually change their keycaps for some minimastic keycaps. However, in its current state, they’ve done a great job in the design and build quality department.
02 | Typing & User Experience
The Armaggeddon MKA-13R features Otemu Blue switches. While Cherry may be the choice of switch with most mechanical keyboards, Otemu switches aren’t bad either. In fact, a lot of people prefer Otemu Blues for its excellent price and linear clicks. Since clickity-clack is the goal of these switches and is actually a preference for a lot of gamers, the Otemu Blues should easily be able to satisfy users who’ve used Cherry’s MX Blues in the past. That’s for sure.
Gaming is definitely enjoyable. However, since I write a lot as well, I would prefer the Red switch, and it seems like the MKA-13R only comes with Otemu Blue switches. That’s definitely bummer. However, if you’re willing to spend an extra premium on other switches, that’s possible too.
Regarding customizing the keyboard with Armaggeddon’s suite, I’m definitely bummed about how little effort was put into it. With the suite, you should be able to assign macros as well as change the RGB lighting effects on the keyboard. What was interesting to see is that the “Wave” effect does not allow you to adjust the brightness as adjusting the brightness of the LEDs is available to a few selected effects.
One major issue I did have with my unit had to be the fact that the “1” key had to be pushed down harder. This might be a one-time issue. However, it was something that I personally thought was worth noting.
03 | Pricing & Conclusion
Armaggeddon’s MKA-13R is definitely an excellent keyboard. Aside from my personal gripe of updating the fonts of the keycaps and the fact that I had a single faulty switch, I think that the Armageddon MKA-13R was an excellent keyboard. You have your RGB bling, a full-sized keyboard, a floating keycap design and a ton more. Its pretty appealing for the price of RM 179 ($44).
If I were to pit the MKA-13R, Xiaomi’s Yuemi MK01, Tecware’s Phantom TKL and 1stPlayer’s Fire Dancing K3. I would be comfortable recommending the MKA-13R in itself despite the competition. However, as usual, there’s still room for improvement and I do believe that Armaggeddon is listening to the community’s feedback.
Apart from the keyboard, I really want to suggest Armaggeddon to put some more work into their suite that allows users to customize the keyboard.