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Based on the Striker RK-6000's somewhat mixed user reviews at Newegg, I wasn't quite sure what to expect. Right out of the gate, I was prepared to hate the unusual layout, with its needlessly tiny backspace key and forcibly relocated backslash. Unpacking the thing, I found that it weighed noticeably less than the RK-9000 series, which made me brace for further disappointment.

But you know what? Typing up this review and several other TR stories on this thing actually felt pretty good. The alpha keys have decent feedback and a solid bottom-out point, which makes them surprisingly satisfying—and preferable, in my view, to mushy rubber domes. Yeah, the small backspace key was an annoyance initially, but I got used to it within a couple of hours. Later, going back to my $150 Type Heaven keyboard from Topre, I missed the crispness of the RK-6000's clicky switches.

The RK-6000's only serious downside, as far as I'm concerned, is the inconsistent feedback of some of the switches. I'd be happy if none of the keys clicked or if all of them did, but having some keys click only some of the time can be aggravating, especially in games. A number of the Newegg reviews mention malfunctioning or defective keys, which leads me to think that quality control for the RK-6000's switches may not be where it needs to be.

If Rosewill can step things up on that front, then the RK-6000 could become an excellent entry-level mechanical offering. For now, though, unless you're particularly strapped for cash, I would recommend coughing up the extra $40 for one of Rosewill's RK-9000-series models. The German-made Cherry switches in those keyboards are palpably better-built, and Rosewill offers a choice of different variants of them, which doesn't hurt.

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