First impressions of the BFG-Keyboard (Drakken Prothero Spektrum)


14 Mar 2019, 04:28

I will attempt to do a review after I get more field use with it. It would be very dumb/reckless of me to write a review just 2 days into this keyboard.

Anyway, lets do this!

Build quality:
LOL its slightly lighter than a Unicomp EnduraPro. Slightly. In other words, its weight is actually pretty decent. I didn't think it was the keyboard itself inside the box which was making the box so damn heavy. I thought that maybe there was some sort of ungodly wrist rest inside, but nope, that's mainly the keyboard. The bezel is intense. It is almost as tall/thick as a Unicomp EnduraPro's chassis. The overall weight of the keyboard and overall stellar build quality really did catch me off guard!

It also has flip out feet. Yes they're rubber tipped. Due to the overall thickness of the keyboard, it has a pretty sizable vertical distance. It slightly peaks above the RollerMouse RE:D I'm using with it. Which is the second time I've seen this happen! The other being the Unicomp EnduraPro. But due to the blocky looks of the Drakken, its much more noticeable.

Due to the insane bezel and above average weight of the keyboard, Imma call this the Big Fucking Gaming Keyboard. In other words, if you like massive (full sized) keyboards, this is right up your alley! It ain't for the TKL space saving crowds though! Oh, and the top of the casing, and most of the sides, are all rubberized. It somewhat attracts grime, and hypothetical longevity might be an issue. But those are all assumptions. I'll see how the keyboard fairs long term either way. Assumptions aren't results. Anyway, as for what you can order the keyboard with:

Stock options:
I bought it from Amazon (US) for about $79.99 (USD) and it has 3 stock switch options, Kailh Blues, Blacks, and Browns. I wanted to try browns despite being a BKE Redux Extreme dome type of guy. Just outta curiosity. Assumptions aren't results after all! As for the keycaps, they're the typical shine through double shot ABS. AKA backlit double shot ABS. Since Kailh's use plus-mount/Cherry-MX-Mount stems, yes you can put other keycaps on there. The stock ABS keycaps are OEM profile*. The one I got is US ANSI. Not sure if Amazon CA or Amazon UK sell ISO versions. The bottom row IS STANDARD. No odd shit going on down their! Besides that abnormally thick bezel on the bottom. Because my hands are long, the extra distance actually helps me.
(I use a RollerMouse RE:D which goes right below the bottom of a keyboard chassis. It also makes the massive horizontal space the keyboard takes irrelevant)

The other things in box:
Inside the box besides the keyboard of course, are spare switches of the switch you chosen (in my case, some spare Kailh Browns), and a hybrid tool. The tool is a wire keycap puller, and the other end is the switch puller. That's because:

Modular keyboard functionality:
This keyboard allows for modular switch fuckery. I have some BOX Navies on the way. Can't wait to play osu! with them! I've heard great things of them! Please note that the Drakken does not have fixing pin holes. So certain switches won't innately be popping into this keyboard unless you plan on mutating your switch(s) to get rid of the fixing pins. However, it should work with BOX switches. Including Pinks. That there is called foreshadowing. You'll know what I mean later.

1. For some reason the F row isn't curved with the number row. Which give the illusion that the F row is "lower" than the number row. Functionality wise it isn't messing with me. But it MIGHT throw a few people off who knows! Not enough people know about this keyboard at the moment so any major responses to this keyboard is all assumption based. I prefer results but for now the handful of people who have them are gonna have to find them themselves.

2. It has pass through ports on the right side of the keyboard. Ports are for:
(1) Audio plug (headphones, earbuds, etc.)
(2) Mic plug
(3) and a USB port. Whether or not its 3.0, I'm not sure. Its not blue so its probably just a regular 2.0 USB port.
What makes this particularly interesting is, again, I got it for $79.99 (USD). Other keyboards that have this tend to be in the $100+ range.

3. Apparently according to other's reports, Drakken will try to make it so that the wheel on the top right can in the future be used for volume control. For now it just manages backlighting shenanigans. But if that volume wheel update occurs, that would mean this keyboard would have another feature that is normally locked in the $100+ price range!

4. I'm on a Mac so I have no idea how the external software fairs, but as far as just the keyboard features go, the backlighting works on every key EXCEPT the lock keys. Those turn on when they're on. The BFGK also has actual lock lights. Again, I'm not sure if you can switch that feature off or not. Apparently this keyboard is fully reprogrammable via macros via the external software too. If that does work as intended, that is pretty huge.

5. There's a minor ridge on the top of the bezel near the F row. The gap in between this ridge and the F row makes is great as a pen holder. You could even rest the hybrid keycap/switch puller on it! Kind of like a Model M's top!

6. That sublegend fuckery on the Q key. "1s/60". Don't ask, I don't know either! The online manual or any other information about this keyboard never acknowledges it. So what that is for, or what it is even supposed to mean/do, I can't tell you.

7. Due to the pass through features, the braided cable is abnormally thick at near a quarter of an inch (almost .6 cm). No there's no cable gutters. Though with how stiff the cable is, that's probably for the best. The cable also splits into the four end points, that being, 2 different USB plugs, and the Mic and Audio jacks. It looks crazy. The entire keyboard looks stranger the longer you look at it in person.

8. Large key stabilizers are pretty rattly. According to reviews of this keyboard, it was brought to my attention that those stabilizers can be replaced. So this is one of those keyboards that has pretty good materials going on, but it is by all means a "project keyboard". I might look into changing the stabilizers. Apparently it get rids of the problem and I want to see those results in the flesh.

Yes it passes the "hold both shift keys and type THE QUICK BROWN FOX JUMPS OVER THE LAZY DOG". While this on its own isn't anything special, I propose an idea. BOX Pink switches from what I've heard of them, feel like Model M Buckling Springs. The BFGK basically has the gaming chassis equivalent of a Model M. Its modular and can be used with BOX switches. What I'm getting at here is that if you want a Model M Buckling Spring feeling keyboard, and with NKRO, there you go.

While you could get a Model F, they tend to have awkward layouts to those used to the one the Model M basically made a standard. Not to mention all the converter knowledge you'll need. Not all converters are created equal. With the BFGK in particular, if a switch dies, you can just pop in a new one. No need to replace an entire sheet of something. Just replace those switches like light bulbs and you should be good. Though because I spent that spare cash on BOX Navies, Imma have to wait on this idea to try it out myself some other time!

Its minimum. Not much else to say here. Again, that build quality is intense! Its no Model F battleship by any means in terms of weight or overall metal used, but it is good enough. Anything more than the BFGK build quality wise, borders on excessive. Like real talk, even those cheapo Razer keyboards don't "shatter" into a million pieces just because its built like garbo.

I'm really liking what I'm seeing/experiencing so far with this keyboard! The BFGK seems to have a lot of features packed together which is rather rare at a pretty reasonable price! My personal favorite part(s) about this keyboard is that it even has a bezel to begin with! No floating keycap design here! Which is pretty rare for switch-modular keyboards. Btw, it looks great with those DSA Combat Keycaps. It fits the look exceptionally well. When I eventually get around to doing the (written) review, I'll by all means post the pictures of how it all looks/measures.

I highly recommend it do people looking into modular keyboards for BOX switches, or if you just want a decently solidly built keyboard with some uncommon features for the price. The pass through ports aren't super necessary for me as all my equipment has insanely long cables to begin with, but it is a solid feature to have on a keyboard at this price range! Highly recommend in general! If Drakken gets to allowing users to let that top right wheel be used for volume control, it will be glorious!

Honestly its a pretty crazy just how much Drakken Technologies is giving for what is still at the end of the day a sub-$100 keyboard! Props to them! They deserve it!

Forgot to mention, yes it has media function keys. Backlighting can be managed via the keys as well. So that wheel is rather optional at the moment. Mmm, once my BOX Navies arrive, I'm gonna have a field day with this in Typeracer and osu!! Though going from BKE Extremes, to these Kailh Browns are throwing me for a loop I got to say! Going from Kailh Browns to BOX Navies is going to be just as jarring! Though I'm glad I got to try out Kailh Browns just so I know what a switch actually feels like and not make assumptions about X switch. Guess I'll see yall again once I eventually get to the long term review!

If there's something about this keyboard I can answer; anything I missed that needs answering (if I can), I'll see what I can do. And yes, when I get to the review, I'll try to shove a video of what BOX Navies sound like when using them for osu! I'd imagine very loud. Though not as loud I guess due to the massive chassis and the rubberized bits might have some nuance on the potential sound.

Welp, I didn't expect to ramble this much about a keyboard I just had for 2 days! :lol: Can't wait to use it for all the BOX switches I want to try out someday! If that alleged volume wheel feature is released by the time of the review, and nothing out of the ordinary negative occurs, this might just be a very stellar slept on keyboard! (At least for now. Information and curiosity spreads like wildfire)

PS: Sorry for the lengthy, unreasonably in depth first impressions! Anyway, I'm off to go play more Typeracer and osu! as once those Navies arrive, I'd imagine the stock Kailh Browns are going into a plastic bag and into a storage box for a long while! Might as well give them some usage before I probably will chronically put them into storage for who knows howl long. Now if there ever comes a point in time where BOX switches manage to feel like BKE rubber domes, oh buddy you don't even know how fast I'll jump on that! Not likely but a man can dream!

Thanks for reading! You're an absolute unit for reading this all the way through!

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