RedMagic isn’t a company that you would normally associate with PC gaming, but its recent releases, including the RedMagic 4K Gaming monitor, might make you think otherwise.
The company, which is best known for its Android gaming phones, has made a steady push in the world of PC gaming, and its new mechanical gaming keyboard and gaming mouse are a testament to that. I’ve been using RedMagic’s new keyboard and mouse as my daily driver for the past few weeks, for both gaming and work, and although I’m impressed with the peripherals’ performance, there’s still a bit left to be desired.
RedMagic Gaming Keyboard has a unique built-in screen
The RedMagic Mechanical Keyboard is a full-sized keyboard with 100 keys, including a number pad and a dedicated knob that lets you quickly control several system settings.
I wouldn’t call the keyboard sleek, but its clean matte Black and Red design, with a premium-looking build, prevents it from seeming chunky. When viewed from the side, the keyboard is actually pretty thick, and it weighs roughly 1.20kg, though it doesn’t appear to be that way when you’re using it. The keyboard ships in a neat-looking silver box with “win more games” written boldly on it. In the box, you’ll receive a coiled cable, a keycap extractor, and a user manual.
The keyboard has RGB lights for those who prefer to keep them on and a customizable OLED screen that can display performance metrics, keyboard settings, or a photo of your choice.
I’m not sure why, but the screen also comes pre-installed with photos of ‘anime girls’ that you can’t delete. Barring that, the display is a cool addition that makes checking your CPU/GPU stats, switching between RGB light modes, adjusting its brightness and colour, and more easier.
Each key has a rubberized grip that doesn’t necessarily improve performance but likely reduces click sound and allows the light from the RGB LED to shine through. On the top, the keyboard is held down by an aluminum alloy plate that helps to keep the keyboard in place, paired with rubberized grips at the bottom. In my experience using the keyboard over the past few weeks, I can confidently say that it doesn’t move around while gaming until you want it to. This wasn’t always the case with my previous daily driver, the Razer Huntsman Mini.
The keyboard primarily features black PBT keycaps, with a mix of gray. The escape key, spacebar, both enter keys, and the arrow keys are red, giving the keyboard a mean look. The keyboard uses the 2022 TTC Speed Silver V2 switches, which provide an ultra-responsive trigger time. While using the keyboard, I didn’t find much of a difference in key activation time when compared to the clicky optical switches (purple) of my Huntsman Mini.
I can strafe left and right in-game just as well as I could with the Huntsman, and I don’t feel like the keyboard is much of an upgrade for me. However, if you haven’t used a mechanical gaming keyboard before, or are using one with older switches, the RedMagic keyboard is a solid entry option. The switches are also hot-swappable, meaning you can replace them with other compatible switches if you prefer.
The only major problem I had with the RedMagic Gaming keyboard is that its keys are slow to bounce back. What I mean by that is the keys are fairly quick to register a press; however, the time it takes for the key to bounce back to its original position seems to be slower than other gaming keyboards. Considering that I use the keyboard for work and gaming, I’ve encountered a fair bit of typos in my work when typing consecutive letters. For example, typing words like “hello,” “book,” “Apple,” or “cookie,” the RedMagic keyboard keys’ slow bounce-back time caused the words to be written as “helo,” “bok,” “Aple” and “cokie.”
Other than that, I have no complaints about the keyboard.
It has three connection modes — wired, 2.4GHz wireless, and Bluetooth — and switching between them has been made simple via a slider on the rear of the keyboard. In 2.4GHz mode, the keyboard’s battery easily lasts weeks of regular use. It also varies if you have the keyboard’s RGB lights on. I personally keep the lights off and use the keyboard for roughly 10 hours per day, including work and gaming, and I find myself having to plug in the keyboard roughly once every 1.5 weeks, which is very convenient.
Considering that the keyboard costs $199, I would have expected it to ship with a wrist rest, but that is not the case. It also faces stiff competition from other established brands in the same price range. However, the keyboard offers an overall premium gaming experience with flashy gamer-esque looks, and the unique, customizable on-keyboard screen is something you won’t get bored of.
RedMagic Gaming Mouse is great for entry-level gamers
The RedMagic Gaming Mouse has also been my daily driver for the past few weeks, and it replaced the Viper V2 Pro, so it naturally had big shoes to fill.
For starters, similar to the RedMagic Gaming keyboard, the $99 RedMagic Gaming Mouse also comes in a neat Silver box with the mouse’s graphic on top. The box includes the mouse, a braided USB-C cable, a wireless receiver, and a user manual.
Undeniably, the mouse looks cool and futuristic. It’s like a Transformer straight out of the movies thanks to its top-facing lights that look like eyes and the RedMagic logo that resembles a mouth. Similar to older RedMagic products like the 7 Pro Gaming Phone, the mouse’s top shell is transparent, allowing a peek at the internals inside. While that is a plus aesthetically, the plastic-y finish doesn’t feel very premium, and the mouse body easily compresses when held tightly. Both the left and right mouse buttons have a matte finish, though the rest of the body is glossy, so the mouse attracts many fingerprints and smudges.
The mouse is of familiar shape, and it is very comfortable to hold for extended periods. However, it only has side buttons on the left, making the RedMagic Gaming Mouse suitable for right-handed people. The mouse is also fairly light, weighing in at 75 grams. However, that makes it heavier than my previous two daily drivers, the Razer Viper V2 Pro (58g) and the Cooler Master MM731 (59g), and the difference was easily noticeable.
The mouse has a max DPI of 26,000, but it is highly unlikely that anyone uses such high sensitivity. One design inconvenience is that the DPI switch is located at the bottom of the mouse, so there’s no way to change it quickly in-game. The DPI, alongside the side buttons and the LED lights, are all customizable via the RedMagic Cloud Driver software.
Similar to the gaming keyboard, the mouse, too, has three connectivity options (wired, wireless, and Bluetooth), which can be switched between with a toggle at the bottom of the mouse. The Bluetooth mode is suitable for casual gaming or work but results in a slight latency that competitive gamers would not appreciate. The wired mode and the 2.4 GHz mode both offer a 1,000Hz polling rate, which results in accurate tracking. The 2.4Ghz mode offers a battery life of roughly three days of continuous use, which is more than enough, even for someone like me who spends roughly 10 hours a day at a desk.
The mouse uses a PixArt PAW3395 sensor that tracks surprisingly well on a regular mousepad and does a decent enough job directly on a wooden desk too, but it feels sluggish on Razer’s Atlas tempered glass mousepad. In theory, any mouse with PTFE feet should glide well on the Atlas, but that is not the case with the RedMagic Gaming Mouse. It could also likely be that the PixArt PAW3395 doesn’t track well on glass. Regardless, since most sane people are using a regular fabric mousepad, this shouldn’t really be an issue.
The RedMagic Gaming Mouse is a decent wireless gaming mouse that offers a lot of features and performance for its price. Although it is heavier than some of the other premium mice on the market, and its build quality leaves a bit to be desired, its performance, connectivity options, decent battery life and affordable price make it a solid entry-level choice for PC gamers.