Budget Boards: XPG Infarex K10 Gaming Keyboard

This is the first non-mechanical keyboard I have picked up in a long time. I picked up the XPG Infarex K10 because Memory Express was having a $29.99 CAD sale on it and thought, why not?

The K10 comes in a black box with lots of colourful marketing on it displaying the keyboard with it’s RGB lighting. Inside is a bag containing the keyboard and a user manual. Not even an XPG sticker. With just a keyboard inside we have to assume that XPG spent their money on making a decent keyboard and not on the extras.

The keyboard is a full size 104-key model which I personally do not care for as it takes up too much room on my desk. I also typically do not use a numpad. But I will not let that taint my review as there are plenty of people that do like a full-size keyboard.

The case top is made of steel and the bottom is made of plastic. You will find the only bit of branding on the keyboard on top as well with, what I think, is a tasteful XPG logo. On the bottom there are four rubber feet and towards the front there are two risers giving a bit more angle to the keyboard which I appreciate. The bottom also features the manufacturer information sticker.

Top view of the XPG Infarex K10

The keycaps are dye-subbed shine-through ABS plastic which means after a lot of typing the black paint on them will wear off. The legends are decidedly gamer focused with a futuristic bold font. The font used here is very close to too much for me and it does go overboard on the Caps lock.

It is useful to mention here as well that the function row keycaps double as media controllers as well with the FN key like so many other keyboards out there. The k10 does not offer any way to create your own macros though it does offer a way to disable the Windows key.

The keys on the Infarex K10 are installed in a floating configuration allowing for a lot of extra light to escape from the backlighting. I like this a lot and would like to see more high end mechanical keyboards to adopt a floating design. What’s the point of RGB if it can’t be seen?

XPG calls the key switches on here “mem-chanical” likely meaning they have a near mechanical feel but use a membrane style switch. The switches here are very similar to old school membrane keyboards. The only thing I would say is that the actuation feels a bit lighter than older membrane style keyboards. I think they feel okay to type on. Gaming feels fine too though it should be mentioned that anti-ghosting is only present on the most used gaming keys. They keys are also very stable which makes for a very accurate typing experience.

The keys do not sound good. In fact the spacebar gives off little squeals every once in a while. I was wearing my SteelSeries Arctis 7 at the time of typing this review with the K10 and I could hear the little squeal over my music that was decidedly playing quite loudly.

S keycap removed to show off the CherryMX style stems

An interesting feature here is that the key switches have CherryMX compatible stems. That means you could easily swap out the keycaps for something else. I quite like those though swapping the keycaps will not fix the awful spacebar sound. 

Out of the odd chance it would fix the squeaking problem I tried reseating the spacebar. It does seem to have made a marginal improvement as I am not hearing the squeak much at all. The rest of the caps still make a bit of the squeak sound though and I don’t think there’s any way to fix that due to the nature of the switches here.

The RGB lighting on board is nice and bright and easy to control. The pictures on the box and in XPG’s marketing on their website are a bit misleading though. There is no rainbow style effect here. You are limited to seven colours that can create a few others in different effects. I set mine to a static colour because the rest were distracting and honestly awful. In cases of budget keyboards I would prefer manufacturers to focus on a decent typing experience and perhaps just a static white or red backlight. 

XPG does not have any software for this keyboard and I am happy with that. I would rather the R&D be spent on the keyboard itself and not on the almost always terrible software implemented by a lot of the manufacturers out there.

One thing I would like to see, even on budget keyboards, is a removable USB C cable. The K10, while having a nice braided cable, does not have a removable cable. I know that adds a small cost but being able to quickly remove a keyboard is a nice thing especially if one likes to take their keyboard to other places for gaming.

I know I sound a bit negative on this keyboard and that comes from using much more impressive keyboards for quite a long time now. But I do think there is value to be had here.

With the XPG Infarex K10 you have great bright backlighting, a decent typing and gaming experience and access to all 104 keys in this case. At the regular price of $39.99 CAD and the current sale price of $29.99, if you are on a budget but still want some gaming cred, I think the XPG infarex K10 may be just what you are looking for.

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