Work & Office

Redragon K552 – Great Value Entry Mechanical Keyboard

The Redragon K552 is a great value entry mechanical keyboard for whoever just getting into the mechanical keyboard game.

Great value for money
Outemu Red & Blue switches
Certain premium build quality
Top-notch RGB lighting for the price range
Highly customizable RGB effects
Hideous legends on keycaps
Quite thin keycaps

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Redragon K552: Exterior

Redragon K552
For this price range, Redragon K552 is very much well-built

Despise having the price around $35, the Redragon K552 is surpsingly well-built and quite sturdy. The keyboard’s case is made from thick ABS plastic with the USB cable fixed on the back. The plate is made from metal which provide structural support to the whole keyboard. We tried to bend, to twist the keyboard, and after all that tests, the K552 witheld well without little to no flex.

This Redragon K552 keyboard has certain premium quality, much is because of the case & plate, but also because of the weight. It’s not light as many budget keyboards (which have the plastic case & plate), it’s not as heavy as many crazily high-priced top-of-the-shelf mechanical keyboard. We think the Redragon K552 hit the sweet spot between being an affordable mechanical keyboard and providing a premium quality.

Complementary keycap pull for the Redragon K552
Complementary keycap puller

The fixed USB cable (Type A USB) for connectivity is located at the back of the keyboard. The shell of the keyboard is not braided, instead, Keydragon K552 uses a thick rubber shell for protection. Many people will complain about the fixed cable and rubber shell, but hey, this is incredible value for a mechanical keyboard. And the length of the USB cable is quite alright with 6 ft 3 inch long (about 190cm).

Redragon K552: Keycaps, switches & RGB

Redragon K552 keycap
Redragon K552 keycap

The ABS plastic keycaps seem a bit thin to us. A thicker keycaps set would really be nice. But we wouldn’t complain, because with this price, there is almost no products that can offer the same. The keycap’s surface has a rough texture, which provide extra grip / contact. The keycaps let light travel through the legends without any problems. Let’s face it: the legends on the keycaps are hideous. It’s absolutely non-attractive. We have no other words for the keycaps. But we guess as time passes, we’ll get used to those keycaps. Replace a new keycaps set is also an alternative option that every customers should consider.

Redragon K552 feet
Redragon K552 rubberized feet & collapsible feet

The feet offer a satisfying click when open up. There are also 2 rubberized feet to provide extra grip to the table surface. Combining these feet with the weight of the keyboard, the Redragon K552 hardly move under usage.

Redragon K552 Outemu Blue switch
Redragon K552 Outemu Blue switch

The Redragon K552 offers 2 versions of Outemu Red & Blue switches. They’re compatible & comparable with Cherry MX Red & Blue switches. On the Red switches version, we found that there are few scratches when we bottom out the switches. The Red switches is a bit louder than Cherry MX Red or Gateron Red, much thanks to the metal plate. The Blue switches is actually quite close the Cherry MX Blue switches, but again, the clicky sounds are louder compare to the Cherry MX Blue switches.

Redragon K552 questionable plate: you will control backlighting effects with these 2 LED on this plate
Redragon K552 questionable plate: you will control backlighting effects with these 2 LED on this plate

Now the RGB led lights surprised us the most when reviewing the Redragon K552. Gosh, we must say the RGB effects are spectacular. Even a lot of higher-end products won’t be able to offer the same quality of RGB backlighting as the Redragon K552.

The Redragon K552 offers 18 different RGB lighting modes, 9 different colors, 5 backlight brightness levels, breathing speed. Now, there’s a catch: you won’t have software to control the RGB lighting. Instead, you will have use combinations of keys to control: Fn + (number 1 to 6) to control the effects; Fn + Up/Down arrow to control the brightness; Fn + Left/Right arrow to cycle through the colors. That’s the basic gist of RGB lighting on this keyboard.

But. There is also programmable RGB option for individual key:

  1. Press combination of Fn and the ` (Tilde) key (on top left)
  2. The red lights on the right (the Caps and Scroll Lock indicators) will start blinking blinking, press combination of FN and the right arrow key
  3. The Tilde key will glow certain color; now you can press any key on the keyboard to set that key to the current color
  4. Press combination of Fn and Right arrow key cycle through colors. Press any keys you want for that color
  5. Repeat step 4 if needed
  6. To finish, press combination of Fn + Tilde key

One may complain about the lack of customization software, but we actually like this approach to control backlighting. Yes, it will be cumbersome. Yes, you may take some efforts to get to the right lighting. But look at the brighter side, this keyboard is completely independent from any OS.

Verdict

We were a bit hesistant about this keycaps at first. But over time, we’ve come to a conclusion: what the Redragon K552 has to offer is one of the greatest value over money on the market. Period.

So who should buy this? Anyone who new to mechanical keyboard and/or having limited budget. If you have more to spend, the Keychron K6 or Keychron K8 is a better option.

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