Having acquired the Redragon K551 VARA few days ago, let’s now turn our attention to other mechanical gaming keyboard from the same company. With us today is Redragon’s K550 YAMA featuring RGB multi-colour backlighting capable of reproducing 16 million colours, offering 5 preset backlighting modes & 3 customizable backlight profiles.
Designed with gaming in mind, the K550 YAMA boasts twelve programmable macro keys, full N-Key Rollover (NKRO) for anti-ghosting, and customized mechanical switches (Outemu) providing ultimate gaming performance. Other notable features are the six multimedia keys with volume controller, interchangeable arrow and WASD keys offering huge flexibility, and brushed aluminum construction for rigidity and longevity.
Retailing at RM 450, the Redragon K550 YAMA is seriously competitive against those equivalent RGB offerings from other brands such as Corsair, Razer, Logitech, and SteelSeries which are usually priced in the range of RM550 to RM900. But how about its build quality and does it offer high level of comfort during heavy gaming? Stay with us as we delve deeper into what this mechanical keyboard has to offer.
Product Link: http://redragonusa.com/product/yama/
Suggested Retail Price: RM 450 @ Novero Gaming Store
THE COLORS, DUDE, THE COLORS!
LED backlight capable of 16 million colors
How many colors can you name? Eight? Twenty? The Yama can reproduce exactly 16,777,216 distinct colors, and endlessly fade, flash, or cycle between them at your heart’s content. Once you find the one that’s just right for you, use the keyboard’s onboard macro memory to save it forever (or until you change your mind).
Each of the twelve macro hotkeys save and repeat up to 32 keypresses
Have you ever wished your keyboard was intelligent so that it could do all of your typing for you? The Yama isn’t a sentient android (yet), but it does have the most basic form of intelligence – rote memorization. So while it can’t solve the biggest questions facing humanity (yet), it could probably pass the SATs.
- Custom mechanical switches (similar to Cherry MX Red/Brown) ensure peak gaming performance
- Brushed aluminum construction for durability and quality
- Onboard memory saves lighting and macro presets, even when unplugged
- Zero ghosting with full N-Key rollover
- 12 programmable macro key
- Swap the WSAD & Arrow keys with one button
- Windows-key lock prevents alt-tabbing while in game
- 5 preset backlight modes & 3 backlight memory settings
- 6 multimedia keys & volume adjuster
- 18-month warranty
The Redragon K550 YAMA RGB mechanical gaming keyboard is packaged in a black and red cardboard box. On the front we have a picture of the keyboard at the middle, the silver manufacturer name on the upper left and the product name in red colour on upper right. Below the product name we can see three main features of the keyboard which are high speed, high control, and highly customized. Going downwards there’s a silver Redragon logo alongside a warranty badge emphasizing the keyboard has 18-month which is pretty much standard for any Redragon product. Across the lower portion of the box, you can see a series of badges depicting main features of the keyboard including the customized switches, two gold-plated USB connectors, full N-Key Rollover (NKRO) keys for anti-ghosting, RGB backlighting, 12 multimedia keys, 3 customizable backlight modes, interchangeable arrow and WASD keys, adjustable input rate, and Windows key lock function.
On the back of the packaging we have another picture of the keyboard with some indications about its features and functions. At the bottom you will find some main specifications of the keyboard in various languages.
On this side of the box, again you will see the product name and Redragon’s contact information which appears to be based in Guangdong, China. Here we can see that Eastern Times Technology Co. Ltd. could be the exact name for the factory manufacturing the keyboard. Next we have some logos regarding the product’s conformance to safety, health and environmental requirements. Lastly you will find a bar code alongside the keyboard’s model number and its country of origin.
Turning over to the left and right sides of the packaging, we can have a glimpse at the keyboard through the inner packaging made by a transparent plastic. Now this is what we dislike about this type of packaging. It looks quite fragile and prone to damage during transportation.
Removing the outer cardboard reveals the transparent plastic packaging. Here you can also see a layer of brown cardboard sheet used to provide extra protection to the keyboard inside. Somehow seems like doesn’t provide enough protection to both sides of the keyboard as mentioned earlier. Hence, we are hoping that Redragon would take a look on this matter and revise the packaging to be more rigid in the next productions.
Pulling out the plastic sponge from the plastic packaging reveals the Redragon K550 YAMA in all its glory. Our first impression on this keyboard is that it is extremely attractive with the brushed aluminum design giving it a premium look. I am pretty sure that some of you might not believe that this is a sub-RM 500 keyboard. It is definitely one of the best looking mechanical keyboards that we have ever owned so far.
When it comes to the delivery of accessories, you will receive a user guide, a ring-shaped keycap puller in red colour and a warranty card.
Moving on to the keyboard itself, the Redragon K550 YAMA is made of a brushed aluminum providing ultra-high level of durability and quality. It features a total of 131 laser-engraved keycaps ensuring long-lasting operation and the key placement conforms to ANSI standard.
Coming out from top of the keyboard is a super thick USB cable which eventually divides into two thinner cables with one USB connector at each end. You will find a ferrite core in the middle of the cable to minimize unnecessary electromagnetic interference (EMI) in two directions, from the keyboard and to the keyboard. The Velcro fastener comes in handy to provide a neat cable management.
The USB 2.0 connectors are both gold-plated to prevent corrosion thus maintaining its original looks for long term. Gold does not lose its bright color, because it does not oxidize in air or water.
The inclusive of a pass-through USB port next to the cabling area is a good addition to provide convenience in plugging your favourite USB devices such as the thumb drive.
The WASD keys can be interchanged with the arrow keys for specific applications or gaming by activating this function through a special key that we will be discussing later. Besides that, you can also take a look closely at the keycaps which are laser-engraved for long-lasting marking.
On the upper left you will find a total of 12 macro keys marked G1-G12 which can be accessed easily with your left hand. These self-defined macro keys can be programmed on-the-fly through the [Rec] key without the any software or driver required. Each key may record a maximum of up to 32 keystrokes within 30 seconds. You may refer to the supplied user’s guide for the method of macro recording. It’s pretty straightforward and easy to do. We have personally tried this feature and it works like a charm.
Sitting at the middle of the upper portion of the metal plate is the embossed Redragon logo in silver colour, which looks very attractive.
On the upper right of the keyboard we have two groups of keys. The first group contains 6 keys which consists of the [LR] key for creating the self-defined backlighting profiles. These profiles will be saved in the [L1], [L2], and [L3] keys. Out of the box, the [L1] key represents RTS mode, the [L2] represents FPS mode, and the [L3] represents MMO mode. Next, we have a key marked illuminated light bulb which can be used for switching between the five backlighting brightness levels (0%, 25%, 50%, 75% and 100%) while the key labeled light-bulb with “M” can be used to switch between five pre-defined backlighting modes. The second group contains 8 keys which consists of the Windows key lock key, the interchange button (double arrow) to command switching between the WASD and arrow keys, followed by the fast-forward button. The bottom row contains 5 multimedia keys which include Play/Pause, Stop, Previous Track, Next Track and volume on/off key.
Moving further to the right we have a metal-made volume control wheel for adjusting the volume level in the operating system. Featuring weave texture, this volume control wheel measures about the size of an AAA battery. Moving further to the right we have a metal-made volume control wheel for adjusting the volume level in the operating system. Featuring weave texture, this volume control wheel measures about the size of an AAA battery. Below it are three LEDs to indicate the status of Num Lock, Caps Lock, and Scroll Lock functions. This LED will glow red when that particular lock key is being activated.
Moving down further you will see a full numeric keypad comprising of 17 keys. There’s nothing much to say about these since they are pretty standard like most full-sized keyboards out there.
Every keycap located on the Redragon K550 YAMA can be detached easily with the supplied ring-shaped keycap puller. To do that is as easy as ABC, just push the keycap in between the grippers and then pull it up.
Hiding under each keycap is the mechanical switch which appears to be that of Outemu Purple coupled with a black housing. On the paper, Redragon claimed that these mechanical switches are equivalent to the linear Cherry MX Red switches which provide light resistant, bump but no tactile feedback and no clicky sound.
The long and large keys such as the spacebar are equipped with Cherry-style stabilizers, which are essentially Cherry MX switches without the springs.
The smaller keys located on top of the keyboard features different switches than the rest of the keys. It feels heavy and hard when pressed.
Wrist rest is one of the main characteristics of this keyboard. Build quality is solid; it features a hexagon weave texture that keeps your wrist in place without slippery issues. The wrist rest is held to the keyboard with a pair of magnetic locks which resemble metal bolts.
The wrist rest can be detached easily from the keyboard by removing the magnetic locks from both sides.
The backside of the Redragon K550 YAMA looks rather simple with the structure made from a sturdy ABS material.
On the middle you will find a label indicating the product name, model, power standard, serial number, and country of origin which is China.
A few rubber feet are located at the bottom part to give extra grips during typing. Two extra-large size rubber feet are used to keep the keyboard in place on your table.
Two adjustable stands are located on both sides allowing users to tilt the keyboard for better comfort during gaming.
The Redragon K550 YAMA is sitting in flat position without the stand being tilted. From here you can also see that the keycaps are of DCS family featuring medium profile, cylindrical top and sculptured design.
The Redragon K550 YAMA with the stand being tilted to provide better typing experience.
We then plugged the Redragon K551 VARA the USB port of our motherboard to examine the RGB backlighting features of the keyboard. Our experience with the RGB backlighting is extremely pleasurable. The keyboard looks stunning out of the box with the default RGB backlight mode.
Here’s the RGB backlighting viewed from one side. Looks cool isn’t it? We love it so much!
Like most Cherry MX switches the LED is located above the keycap so that the backlight won’t feel too gloomy inside a dark environment , bright room or even under the sunlight.
The self-defined backlight profile that we personally programmed in the [L1] key for the FPS games.
As mentioned earlier the Redragon K550 YAMA features 5 different preset backlighting modes which you can select according to your liking.
After testing out the Redragon K550 YAMA for almost two weeks, to be honest we are extremely impressed with the performance that it delivers. Starting from document typing the keyboard feels very comfortable to work with and it is fun typing with it. The Outemu Purple mechanical switches feels as light as the linear Cherry MX Red providing bump but no tactile feedback. No clicky sound of course, unlike the Outemu Blue switches that we’ve found on the recently reviewed Redragon K551 VARA.
During gaming with Rise of the Tomb Raider, every single keypress is registered despite multiple keys are being held down at the same time all thanks to the N-Key Rollover (NKRO) technology that has been implemented by Redragon, providing us a zero ghosting gaming experience. The N-Key Rollover feature was confirmed with AquaKeyTest in which we are able to get more than 30 keys registered simultaneously with our fingers.
The wrist rest makes typing experience enjoyable without the risk of wrist getting sored after typing on this keyboard for a couple of hours. The inclusive of 12 programmable macro keys is a good addition to command combo attacks in certain games. Below we have uploaded two short video clips showcasing the RGB backlighting effects and sound testing. Hope you enjoy the shows and my sincere appology for the background sound. :D
Thoughts & Verdicts
The Redragon K550 YAMA looks extremely attractive and it will definitely impress anyone. The brushed aluminum finish gives premium looks to the overall construction of the keyboard. It doesn’t look cheap at all as compared to more expensive and crazily overpriced RGB keyboards nowadays. The RGB backlighting feature which offers 5 preset modes and another 3 self-defined profiles will surely add some cool looks to your gaming environment.
The Outemu Purple mechanical switches that it uses provide light resistance and bump but no tactile feedback. It feels similar to the linear Cherry MX Red switches with no clicky sound. The sound it makes is not completely silent and also not too loud. Overall our typing experience with this keyboard is extremely enjoyable. Somehow we are hoping that Redragon will offer more options of switches to be chosen such as the clicky and tactile Outemu Blues which are favored by many if not most gamers out there.
The 12 programmable macro keys located at the upper left of the keyboard are easily accessible. We have tested this feature and are very pleased that works perfectly as described. The macro recording is pretty straightforward and easy to do thanks to the detailed user guide. Besides that, the interchangeable arrow and WASD keys feature offers high flexibility and makes it suitable for left-handed gamers and typist. Anti-ghosting features found on this mechanical keyboard ensures every key press is registered even though multiple keys are being held down at the same time. The inclusive of a volume control wheel is a welcomed addition for on-the-fly volume level adjustment. Not to forget the detachable wrist-rest that provides high level of comfort to prevent the risk of wrist sore after typing for long hour of period.
Despite its many advantages, the Redragon K550 YAMA also has some disadvantages. The main drawback is no other than the quality of the packaging being used that is too thin and lacks protection to secure to the keyboard inside it. Hence we are looking forward for better protection in their future productions. Next one would be the glossy surface of the wrist rest that reflects the light. A rubberized surface could be considered to answer this shortcoming but some might find it would be a dust magnet.
Retailing at RM 450, the Redragon K550 YAMA is a great mechanical gaming keyboard that money can buy. Loaded with bunch of gaming features, solid build quality, inclusive of programmable macro keys, onboard volume control wheel, detachable wrist rest, and customizable RGB backlighting, it is seriously one of the best RGB mechanical keyboards that is worth considering and deserves our Gold award. Well done Redragon!
Performance/Price Value: 5/5
+ Reasonably priced
+ Premium build quality with sturdy brushed aluminum construction
+ Plug-n-play, no software or driver is required
+ Laser-engraved keycaps for long lasting operation
+ Mechanical keys feels great while typing
+ 12 programmable macro keys
+ Interchangeable arrow and WASD keys
+ Inclusive of volume control wheel for on-the-fly volume adjustment
+ Full N-Key Rollover (NKRO) for anti-ghosting
+ Gold-plated USB connectors to prevent oxidization
+ Included a pass-through USB port provides convenient USB device plugging
+ RGB LED backlighting is bright
+ 5 preset backlighting modes
+ 3 customizable backlighting profiles
+ Inclusive of detachable wrist rest for extra comfort
– Only available in Outemu Purple switches
– Non-braided USB cable
– Packaging looks rather thin and lacks protection
– Light reflection at wrist rest
Redragon K550 YAMA RGB Mechanical Gaming Keyboard received Gold Award from OCDrift.com
Disclaimer: OCDrift.com gives out our own award based on the Hardware Performance, OverClocking Ability, Innovation, and Value as determined by the reviewer
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