ASUS has a respectable name as one of the premium brands when it comes to computer hardware. But this premium tag comes with a hefty price tag. Fortunately, ASUS has the more budget-friendly TUF Gaming brand, which keeps the premium quality but at a less flashy and more affordable price tag.
We have been sent the ASUS TUF Gaming K1 keyboard, it is a mech-membrane keyboard with a very competitive price which sees it come in under the R1000 point.
Let’s see if this keyboard is worth it.
Design & Features
The ASUS TUF Gaming K1 keyboard is not a very expensive keyboard, and as such, you can expect ASUS to have to cut costs somewhere, and in most cases, this is with the build quality. The ASUS TUF Gaming K1 keyboard does feel very plastic upon first inspection. But fortunately, it does not feel cheap. ASUS has patented a special coating that allows the K1 to be sweat and scratch-proof, and even spill resistant up to 300ml which is great for those unforeseen spills.
Taking a look at the keyboard itself, the cable is not a braided cable and is a simple plain USB cable. There is also no USB passthrough on this keyboard.
Looking at the front of the ASUS TUF Gaming K1 keyboard we find the most prominent feature, the dedicated volume knob which is a must-have feature, something you can not go without once you have experienced it.
Connectivity Technology: Wired, USB 2.0
OS Support: Windows® 10
Keyboard: 451 x 155 x 36 mm;
Wrist Rest: 451 x 66 x 18 mm
Keyboard: 810 g
Wrist rest: 95 g
Interface available: USB
Key feature: Dedicated Volume Knob, Side glow
The dedicated volume knob is notched which makes the volume control more step-like rather than a free spinning wheel. The knob sadly, does not serve as a push-button either, making this a pause/play button would have made sense, and some RGB would not hurt. To the right of the volume, knob are the three LED indicators for num lock, caps lock, and Windows key lock.
On the left and right side of the keyboard is an extra RGB strip. I personally don’t like it as it is too in-your-face, where I prefer the more subtle under glow or bleed between buttons, but these strips do add to the aesthetics of the ASUS TUF Gaming K1 keyboard.
The ASUS TUF Gaming K1 keyboard is a full-sized keyboard, with membrane keys that try their best to simulate, somewhat, mechanical switches. Due to the membrane design, keycaps are not easily replaced and try their best to provide mechanical feedback and feel.
In terms of how the ASUS TUF Gaming K1 keyboard performs, there is not too much to say, it is a membrane keyboard and therefore there is no clickiness to comment about and it types, as well as any mecha-membrane keyboard, does. The RGB is okay, the keys don’t have individually lit keys, which is expected for a sub-R1000 keyboard, and for that reason, the RGB is region specific and the light bleed is prevalent. If you are not using the ASUS Armoury Crate software to personalize the RGB you can flip through a few predefined settings such as static, breathing, color cycle, and rainbow.
While the ASUS TUF Gaming K1 keyboard does not reinvent the wheel, it is not bad, it comes with a very appealing price tag and provides most of the needed features of a gaming keyboard. Yes, it doesn’t have mechanical or optical switches like some more expensive keyboards, but if you are just starting out, and need something to bridge the gap between office and gaming, the K1 certainly is something to look at.
Special thanks to ASUS for the review products