Posted On 08/10/2015 By In Keyboard Reviews, News, Reviews

REVIEW: E-BLUE K727

Page Contents:

  1. Introduction
  2. Typing Test
  3. Packaging, Unboxing, and Contents
  4. External Build
  5. Internal Build
  6. Switches
  7. Layout and Function Keys
  8. Summary & Conclusion
  9. Full Gallery
  10. Where to Buy

Introduction

The E-Blue K727 is a budget TKL keyboard aimed at gamers. The keyboard uses Kailh Brown switches, has multicolored backlighting, and a very interested low profile case. The top of the case is brushed steel, while the bottom is a matte acrylic with blue under-lighting. Priced at only $72 with free shipping from the manufacturer, this is definitely one of the more affordable keyboards I’ve ever tested, but is it even worth the price? We shall see.

Typing Test

Packaging, Unboxing, and Contents

The K727 comes in a black box with a sleeve that contains all the information about the keyboard on top. The overall packaging is quite flashy, though it does match the attitude of the keyboard inside. Listed specifications include:

  • Dimensions: 365*142.5*33mm

  • Weight: 760g

  • Number of keys: 87 Keys

  • Switch lifespan: >50 millions

  • Connection: USB

  • Voltage: ~5V

  • Cable length: 1.8m

  • 4 adjustable brightness levels

  • 12 multi-media keys & Win. Lock button

  • OS (support OS) Windows 98, 2000, XP, Vista, Win7, Win8

Overall, the list of features are pretty solid for a keyboard in this price range. I also tested the keyboard with Linux and Windows 10, and it worked fine on both for me.

One very worrisome “claim” deserving a mention on the back of the box is the giant “Water Proof” logo in the left hand corner. Occasionally certain things get lost in translation on boxes which is fine, but I can’t figure any other possible meaning behind the logo. I can assure you that you will be just as screwed if you spill your coffee or beer on this keyboard as any other keyboard. The Kailh switches definitely aren’t water proof, and if you do spill anything on the top of the keyboard the water will more than likely run right onto the PCB where the huge slit in the top case is underneath the spacebar.

I have spoken to the manufacturer about this and they have told me they will be addressing this issue, hopefully meaning they will get the icon off the box.

Inside the box

Inside the box the keyboard is packaged in a foam sleeve, with a manual included underneath the keyboard. There are no other accessories in the box. The packaging does a fine job of keeping the keyboard in place and protected during shipping though, which is its main purpose.

External Build

Case

The case is probably one of the major draws to this keyboard. A lot of keyboards have an aluminum top case these days, but brands like Das and Corsair are doing it better than the K727. The acrylic light-diffusing bottom is the money-maker here though, as it really does give the keyboard a very cool look when turned on. The blue bottom lights are able to be turned on separately than the switch lights, which ended up being my favorite setting as I’m not much of a rainbow light kind-of-guy. The case handles torsional flex moderately well, though it isn’t as stable as keyboards like the KUL or Das 4C. The cable is attached, which doesn’t make the K727 ideal for traveling, but the cable is a higher quality braided cable which is a plus.

Reverse side (rubber pads, feet, etc.)

The under side of the keyboard is a frosted plastic that lets the blue light come through from the LED’s on the bottom of the PCB. For any DIY folks out there, changing the LED’s on the bottom of the keyboard would be extremely easy to do (see pics in Internal Build). The back of the keyboard features a very useful sticker that tells what all of the function key combinations do, saving you the hassle of pulling out the manual every time you want to remember how to do something. It comes with 4 rubber dome feet that did manage to keep it securely in place, even while vigorous gaming was going on. As a typist, I really wish that the keyboard had feet to angle it a bit more, though having it sit flat was perfectly fine while gaming. The lack of a very simple feature, pop-up feet, is really limiting what this keyboard can comfortably be used for, which is slightly unfortunate.

Keycaps

The keycaps, minus the horrible font, were actually quite nice. They were doubleshot and moderately thick. They are (obviously) backlit compatible. Over the two weeks I tested the keyboard there was no visible shine or signs of wear by the end of testing. The doubleshot legends mean that they will never wear off, though eventually the ABS will begin to shine. Still, they keycaps were quite nice to type on, and their quality was one of the surprises of the K727 without question. With a new font these would actually be really good keycaps that I’d consider putting on other keyboards.

Internal Build

The keyboard comes apart when 10 Philips head screws are removed form the top plate, it is very easy to do. Upon removing the top and bottom halves the first thing I noticed is that the top plate was actually quite thick. I did notice a good bit of residue where each of the LED’s was soldered onto the PCB, but this did not affect the performance of the keyboard in any way. I do think it would be nice to have a few more LED’s on the bottom to make the light a little bit more even, though this is a tiny issue at best. Overall there were no real problems with the internal build quality of the K727.

Switches

My K727 shipped with Kailh brown switches, though the manufacturer website clearly states Cherry MX Switches are available and makes no mention of Kailh switches anywhere. I must admit that I don’t quite know what to make of this. I am not sure if I was just sent an old model, or if this is blatant false advertising. (After speaking directly to the manufacturer I got them to take off the “Cherry MX Switches” from the product description on their webpage. In some pictures you still can see the Cherry switches, which will need to eventually be addressed as well.) In any case my switch review will be of the Kailh Browns, not Cherry MX Browns.

The Kailh Brown switch is a tactile, non-clicky switch with the relatively light actuation force of ~45g. Brown switches are normally the bridge switch that both gamers and typist alike can enjoy to some extent. I am no exception. The small tactile bump makes typing bearable, while they feel nice and quick for gaming at the same time. I did notice a few inconsistencies with some of the switches feeling scratchy and others feeling fairly identical to a Cherry MX Brown. Generally speaking I am not a fan of Kailh switches. Every time I test them there is some level of scratchiness to them, and the Browns on the K727 were no exception. I will say that many of the problems people have with failed Kailh switches are probably due to build quality/soldering issues, and not the actual switches themselves. Kailh switches are mainly used to save money, and the cheaper keyboards don’t normally tend to have the same quality control as the more expensive offerings.

Layout and Function Keys

The K727 features a standard ANSI layout for TKL keyboards, so aftermarket keycaps will fit just fine. I always and glad to see a gaming keyboard with a standard bottom row. It also features a different color backlight on each row, giving it a very colorful appearance. There are a few modes for the backlighting including breathing mode, marquee mode, and a program mode where you get to decide what keys are lit up. The program mode is useful when playing a new game as it allows you to light up keys that are uses for key bindings. Other keys include a full range of media keys, and the ability to change the polling rate.

I did want to point out that there is a picture on the manufacturers website that indicated “RGB” in the upper corner, as seen here:

I find this to be fairly misleading. This is not and RGB keyboard in the sense of a “Corsair RGB” or “Razer RGB” keyboard, for example. The LEDs are only single color, and you can not select different colors. What you see is what you get lighting wise, each row is simply a different color LED.

Function Keys

  • Fn+ESC: Always-on lighting thee ways to switch
  • Fn+F1: My favorite
  • Fn+F2: My computer
  • Fn+F3: My mail
  • Fn+F4: Home
  • Fn+F5: Stop
  • Fn+F6: Previous song
  • Fn+F7: Pause/Play
  • Fn+F8: Next song
  • Fn+F9: Music player
  • Fn+F10: Volume –
  • Fn+F11: Volume +
  • Fn+F12: Mute
  • Fn+PS: Restore factory settings
  • Fn+SB: Lighting control keys 
  • FN+INS: Reaction rate 8ms
  • FN+HM: Reaction rate 4ms
  • FN+PU: Reaction rate 2ms
  • FN+DEL: Custom area lighting mode switch
  • FN+END: Custom area lighting mode recording and confirm
  • FN+PD: Marquee(with a trailing), ripples speed up, single lighting-on function switch
  • FN+Win: Windows lock open/close
  • FN+Up Arrow: Brightness strengthening, breathing faster,marquees acceleration, ripples speed up, single light closed off speed up
  • FN+Down Arrow: Brightness weakened, slowed breathing rate, marquees decelerator, ripples slowdown, single light closed off slowdown

Summary & Conclusion

The main selling points of the E-Blue K727 are undoubtedly the unique case and the price. The rainbow backlighting may not be to everyones taste, but it does help the keyboard stand out and look unique. The Kailh switches, while inferior to their Cherry MX counterparts, did perform just fine for me, nor did I see any indication that any of them would fail before their expected lifetime. My biggest gripe is simply the lack of quality control in terms of advertising and packaging, not with the performance of the keyboard itself. The “water proof” logo, the Cherry MX switches in the pictures on the website, and the “RGB” picture really can be misleading and downright incorrect. The manufacturer does seem intent on fixing these issues though, and after those are cleared up I would at least give the K727 a consideration for the price alone. Coming in quite a bit cheaper than a lot of keyboards, the K727 gives you a lot of bang for the buck, though the overall quality just isn’t there to call it an “investment” like many mechanical keyboards.

Pros

  • Unique case
  • Under case lighting is fairly unique and looks great
  • Colorful backlighting
  • Moderately thick doubleshot keycaps
  • Plenty of media and FN keys
  • Long braided cable
  • Lighting modes work as intended
  • Full N-Key rollover

Cons

  • Confusing/incorrect advertising (Waterproof claim, Cherry switch pictures on website, RBG mention on website)
  • Horrible font
  • Attached cable
  • No keypuller included
  • Could be more lighting modes

Final score: 6.5/10

Full Gallery

 

Where to Buy

Direct from the manufacturer, Massdrop (occasionally)

Disclaimer: The same keyboard was provided courtesy of E-Blue Keyboards, and is in no way a paid review/advertisement. 

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