Cosmic Byte Pandora TKL Review. The Best Budget Mechanical?
Review by Rounak Roy
The experience of typing on a mechanical keyboard is one of the best feelings a PC owner can get but getting a decent enough budget mechanical keyboard can be a hassle. Most budget mechanical keyboard use low quality no name switches which start to malfunctioning and chattering (double press) in a span of few months.
CosmicByte has once again proved that they can indeed dominate the budget segment. They have launched yet another keyboard for the budget users named Cosmic Byte CB GK-25/26 Pandora. Its comes witha choice of Outemu Blues or Reds. It’s a sub ₹1500 raised layout mechanical keyboard in tenkeyless (TKL) form factor. It is perfect addition for anyone on a very tight budget but who still want the feel of a true mechanical under ₹1500.
PRICING AND AVAILIBILITY
The keyboard is available at around ₹1499 from various retailers online and offline. Thanks to Aditya Rathore from TLG Gaming for providing this unit at a good price.
DESIGN AND OVERVIEW
The keyboard comes in a sleek yet durable black body that is made entirely out of plastic. But even though its plastic the keyboard has no noticeable flex to it. The keycaps are made of Double-Shot ABS plastic with the same old chinese gamery font. I don't know why companies like this font so much over a simple font like Arial. The keycaps particularly on this keyboard are pretty inferior and are smooth with no texture, they are not staggered which makes fast typing on it a not so pleasant experience. The Switch To God Mode slogan on the spacebar looks pretty bad.
The keyboard is also missing stablilizers on all of its longer keys with the exception of the spacebar which has cherry mx style stabs under it. But expecting so much at this price range is also a sin.
The key-switches are a raised island type layout. The unit I ordered has Outemu branded red switches which are a pretty decent addition for a budget TKL. Some of the keys have a slight springy sound which is typical of Outemu Switches.
The keyboard comes with a 6 Color Fixed backlight. Although its fixed but the colors are sober and don't hurt your eye
They keyboard has a strong rubberised cable ending on a usb 2.0 connector. I wish there was a detachable connector so that atleast users could have added a braided cable. Or rather CosmicByte should have included a braided cable from factory itself.
Sound Test: Click here
Front view of Keyboard
Rear view of Keyboard
Outemu Red Switch
Keyboard Features & Specification:
Compact TKL Mechanical Keyboard
FN+SCRLK can switch: 6 keys anti-ghosting and all keys anti-ghosting
Blue/Red Outemu Mechanical Key Switches.
50 million + Operations for Each Key.
Injection Molded Double-shot Color Keycaps.
Adjustable Backlight Brightness and Speed
20 Backlight Effects and 8 Game Modes
System: Windows, Mac
Product interface: USB
Cable: PVC Cable 1.5m
Current consumption: max.180mA
Size: 377 x 120 x 34MM
3 indicator lights: Win lock, Cap lock, Scroll
The keyboard surely is pretty good for its price even though it has its very own Pro's and Con's.
Things that I would have liked were stabilizers under all the long keys and a better quality keycap. Also all budget companies should stop using that horrendous Gamery Font and go for a minimalistic font.
For the price of ~₹1500 I will recommend the CosmicByte CB GK-25/26 to anyone who is short on the budget but still wants to have a somewhat decent TKL Mechanical keyboard in their arsenal.
Considering all points and build, performance, pricing and availability I will rate this Keyboard at a 7/10. The keycaps and no stabilizers surely hinder the typing experience but for the price I am not complaining.