Natec Genesis RX22 and RX88 Reviews

Manufacturer: Natec

There's a heck of a lot of choice when it comes to mechanical keyboards these days, so much so that manufacturers have even been creating their own switches for some variation and an attempt to stand out from the crowd. Like most keyboard manufacturers, Natec offers a range of models and today we're looking at both mechanical and non-mechanical offerings from the top and bottom of its current range.

Genesis RX22 Review

UK price (as reviewed): £29.99 (inc VAT)
US price (as reviewed): N/A

Starting with the cheaper Genesis RX22, this is a super-low profile keyboard with an equally low price tag of just £30. At 46cm wide, it's fairly compact too but the depth is the most impressive dimension at just over 15mm. This does mean the chassis can flex under force but it's made of solid plastic so holds up well under normal use.

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The keys use scissor switches and have a similar feel to most laptop keyboards, especially so given their low profile and short travel. In a similar way to the i-Rocks K50 we looked at recently, there's a distinct membrane bounce and quite a large actuation force too - the keys certainly aren't light and this can make them feel a little clunky.

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The plus side is that they're noticeably more positive and predictable than a stock membrane keyboard, as well as offering supremely low noise levels and laptop users especially will get used to the RX22 fairly quickly. There are some tweaks that have been applied to the keys though. It's a full 104 key set, but the function keys are a tad squished as are a few others such as the Ctrl button. The result is that, vertically, the keys stretch about 10mm shorter from top to bottom than a regular keyboard, but again this doesn't impact on use.

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The keys are backlit and also include surrounds that catch the light too. In a dark room, there's perhaps a bit too much going on compared to just having the characters illuminated and the backlight is quite uneven as well. However, at £30, including the ability to switch between red, blue or purple as well as off, you can't complain too much.

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There are few other perks, other than a braided cable and the RX22 also lacks macro keys and there are no media keys either - the latter were included on the i-Rocks K50 so it's a bit of a shame there's nothing on hand here. The height can be adjusted a reasonable amount, but even fully extended, the keyboard is quite flat. Thankfully, the stands are sturdy so should stand up to some punishment, although again, the K50 is a sturdier keyboard.

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Conclusion

At £30, the RX22 is decent enough and there are few reasons anyone coming from a basic membrane keyboard would be disappointed. The keys are responsive and fans of low-profile, short-travel keystrokes will find plenty to like. The price does manifest itself in some areas, most notably the lack of any macro or media controls but three-colour backlighting is a pleasant perk nonetheless. It's clearly aimed at those on a tight budget and if you're focussed on keeping price and noise to a minimum as well as preferring laptop-style keyboards the RX22 is definitely work a look. However, our money would go on the i-Rocks K50, which is just £5 more and generally a bit more substantial.

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Head over the page to see the RX88 review.
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