Today we will be taking a look at the Rantopad MXX Gaming Mechanical Keyboard which is a product that is yet another first for us. It’s our first Keyboard we are seeing from Rantopad and it is also the first keyboard we have seen that features the Gateron mechanical switches. Taking a quick look around Uncle Google’s place and we find the Gateron switches are actually pretty well perceived by those in the know. While this may be due to the price of them, we can only hope it means that they are fairly good switches as well. There also seems to be more and more types of mechanical switches popping up around the market today, this is hopefully good news for consumers as it may help to keep prices down across the board.
The Rantopadd MXX Gaming Mechanical Keyboard features the black version of the Gateron switch which is said to have a 50g linear actuation. Blacks are normally known to need a bit harder press to actuate and that is certainly the case here, but we will go over that in a bit. The MXX comes in a few different colours and has some different backlighting options available from what we have seen around the web. The MXX we have on test today has a nice white backlighting to it which can be controlled right from the keyboard itself to access the different lighting modes available.
Inside the box, users will find the Rantopadd MXX, a detachable USB cable and a small box containing the information brochures and a keycap puller. It is worth noting that currently a lot of the packaging and information is in Chinese as they are just starting to branch out. Worry not, as I have been personally told they will be having English versions available in the near future.
One of the things I love about Rantopad is their use of bright colours, specifically a neon greenish/yellow colour. It really stands out and it is a welcome change if you ask me as to many companies play it say with the standard and dull colour schemes.
While it is hard to see in the photo, the keycap puller is designed as the Rantopad logo and is a see-through yellow colour. Keycap pullers are always a welcome accessory when purchasing any keyboard especially when they look like this.
As mentioned, the USB cable is detachable which is a handy feature to have and it is also braided so it will offer a pleasing look as well as being functional.
While the MXX does come in different colours, the one we are looking at today features a blue base with the standard laser-etched black keys that allow the white backlighting to shine through when enabled. The MXX is also Ten Key Less (TKL) as you have surely noticed by now which works well for it. It’s small, compact and lightweight making it a great personal travel companion. It also will leave a bit of extra room on your desk thanks to its size which is always helpful.
Rantopad has added a small bit of branding to the MXX. On either side of the keyboard, you will see a small plate with Rantopad written across it. You will also notice a small MXX logo above the arrow keys that lights up! It would have been awesome if Rantopad had their logos on each side of the keyboard light up as well, to the same effect of the MXX logo.
The MXX features Gateron black mechanical switches which look very similar to the more familiar Cherry or Kailh switches. These switches are said to have a 50g linear actuation force and while I can’t properly confirm that, I can say they take a bit to get used to. When I first started using this keyboard, my fingers and even forearm would be a bit sore after typing a review on it. It took me about 3-4 days to get to where I wouldn’t feel any fatigue after using the MXX. This is not an issue per say, just something to make note of as it does take a bit of getting used to.
As mentioned, there is a detachable braided USB cable that plugs into the middle of the top of the keyboard! Rantopad has also gone and notched out an area on the keyboard itself and designed the USB connector on the cable to slide into it smoothly and firmly. This will help to ensure users get it plugged in correctly and will also help it stay in place and not become unattached if not desired.
On the bottom side of the keyboard, there is a small piece of Rantopad branding where the USB cable will plug in and directly below it are the P/N, S/N and barcode should any need for warranty occur. It is also worth mentioning that the MXX has no adjustable feet on the bottom of the keyboard, so you are left with only the one position to use it in.
As mentioned, there is a nice white backlighting that simply looks amazing! While I love me some RGB backlighting, it is nice to see a proper white LED backlighting. The backlighting on the MXX has a few different modes so please make sure to check out the video at the beginning of the closer look section to see these in action!
Needless to say, I was rather looking forward to testing this bad boy out first hand! As per my normal procedure, I tested it in various games and used it for a good 2 1/2 weeks for everyday activities. There is also no software for the Rantopadd MXX so any features it has are controlled right from the keyboard which is quite nice.
Once I got used to the actuation of the keys, yes it took me a little while as I came from Cherry red switches, it was a pleasure to use for gaming. As I mentioned, it took me around 4 days I would say to get fully comfortable when using the MXX keyboard. For my gaming tests, I played a number of FPS type games like Battlefield 4, Call of Duty: Black Ops 3, Counter Strike: Global Offense and a bit of Quake Live. While I feel these games together can really round off my testing, it is normally Quake Live where problems occur, but not with the MXX.
The response from actuating the keys on the MXX felt almost instant and did not effect my gaming at all. Normally when testing peripherals I notice a slight decline in my overall performance and this wasn’t very noticeable in my time using the MXX, well, after the initial break in period anyway. I can’t recall any times where I felt as if I pressed a key and nothing happened, or, didn’t press a key and something did happen. I tend to have a small problem of jumping the gun a bit when I try to sneak around and a lot of times I hit the space bar on accident, but the slightly harder key presses needed on the MXX seemed to of stopped this which was a pleasant surprise.
While this is a gaming keyboard, it is going to be best used by FPS players or those not needing any macro keys, especially seeing as to how the number pad is also missing. It’s hard to define what a proper gaming keyboard is, but by all means the Rantopad MXX is definitely up to the task if you are not looking for too many extra features. One of the things it does come with, however, is the gaming mode that once enabled will lock the windows key which is a must have for a gaming keyboard in my opinion. To enable or disable this feature, simply hold the FN button and hit the F9 key which also has the G on it. Without this feature, hitting the windows key while in-game will open the start menu and in most cases results in minimizing your game, which is highly annoying and can loose you the match depending on what you’re in the middle of.
Using the Rantopad MXX for daily tasks is where I mostly noticed the fatigue after typing for long periods of time. I spend a lot of time writing, whether it be Emails at 6 AM, or reviews and 8 PM, I spend a lot of my day typing. While I am in no way faulting the keyboard for this, as it is more to do with the Gateron Black switches, it is something I want to make sure everyone is aware of as if you have weaker fingers or even forearms for whatever reason, this may be more of an issue for you. As I said it did take me a few days to break it in too where I wasn’t noticing any fatigue after a longer typing session.
Once I was used to the MXX and its Gateron Black switches typing on it was fairly good. I didn’t have too many more errors than normal and the added media function keys such as the volume keys do come in great handy. From a day to day aspect and more office type use, the Rantopad MXX is decent and the only thing I missed personally was the number pad as I do use that quite a bit. Again, this is not any fault of the keyboard, it just doesn’t happen to come with one. Aside from that one minor issue for myself, I had no other issues with it in the 2 1/2 weeks I used. I have to say while I did miss the number pad, the extra bit of space on my desk felt nice and made things look a bit more tidy.
It’s safe to say that I abused the Rantopad MXX as I do every keyboard that comes to me for review. I would really rather not think about how many words I typed on it after using it for about 20 days straight! Now the time has come, let’s wrap this review up with my final thoughts!
The Rantopad MXX performs as solid as any other keyboard I have used. While there is definitely a bit longer period of getting used to it than I have had before, this is not such a bad thing. Once I was used to it, it felt natural to type on and the responsiveness of the actuation on the key presses was rather good. In the past couple of months, I have used quite a few different keyboards with everything from membrane, Topre, Cherry and now Gateron switches and I am quite impressed. I would love to see the MXX with a different flavour of Gateron switch on it to really be able to get a feel for how the board is designed! All in all, the MXX performs just how it should and I was pleased with it.
This was probably my favourite part of the keyboard, the design! While I am by no means a TKL fan, the MXX just looks appealing to me. It has a nice and curvy design, is lightweight and doesn’t take up a lot of space which I actually ended up liking quite a bit. Using the Gateron switches from a design aspect seems to have paid off for Rantopad as they seem to perform quite well and the general consensus I found around the internet was that they are quite good. I also noticed the MXX comes in various colours and appears to come with different switch types which are always a plus in my book.
The price of the MXX is around $80 on Amazon.com. I would imagine this would mean that it would cost around £60-£65 or so here in the UK, which puts it right in that price range where I feel keyboards just start getting worth purchasing. For the price, you are getting a keyboard that performs well, is nicely designed and you will have the option to pick from a few different colours and switch types. While this is a TKL keyboard, it is not lacking anything in the value department and is a worthy companion for those who won’t miss the number pad or lack of macro keys.
I have to say I was pleasantly surprised by the Rantopad MXX and I would recommend if you are in the market for a new keyboard and can get your hands on one, definitely check it out. It really does offer great performance and a lovely aesthetic at price that won’t break the bank.
I would like to thank Rantopadd for sending their MXX Gaming Mechanical Keyboard in for review.