Mushkin enters the keyboard market with the Carbon KB-001

We don't have to tell you the memory market's been pretty rough lately, with prices only recently coming up from rock-bottom. One solution companies look towards when their primary market turns sour is diversification. For example, both Patriot and G.Skill are selling peripherals. Not to be left behind, Mushkin is also moving into the gamer gear space, and its first product in that arena is the Carbon KB-001 mechanical keyboard. Eteknix got to see a prototype of this keyboard first-hand at CES.

Image: Eteknix

The keyboard sports a sleek frameless aesthetic and neutral black-on-metal color scheme, and we have to say the it looks pretty slick. Mushkin says the KB-001 is made from anodized aluminum, and it certainly is shiny. It has per-key RGB LED backlighting, of course, and reportedly uses Kailh Brown keyswitches.

Judging by the images, the keyboard has the usual media keys and Windows-key-lock functions. Mushkin says the keyboard supports N-key rollover, too. If the rumored $70 pricetag is accurate, it's not hard to imagine the KB-001 in our peripheral staff picks.

Comments closed
    • BenBasson
    • 4 years ago

    Talking of diversification, still waiting for Enermax to dust off their keyboard-making skills and bring us a new Aurora model. The brushed aluminium finish on mine is almost gone in places, but the damn thing seems near indestructible after 8 years of use, and I would be happy to buy another one.

    • Freon
    • 4 years ago

    Now that everyone and their brother is making keyboards, let’s as consumers start buying on price.

    • derFunkenstein
    • 4 years ago

    The link under the image is actually a Newegg link for the Maximus IX.

      • RAGEPRO
      • 4 years ago

      Fixed. Thanks for the heads-up.

    • just brew it!
    • 4 years ago

    Am I the only one who thinks the angle that pic was taken at makes it look like this keyboard is like 3″ thick? I’m sure it’s just an optical illusion, but it looks really weird to me.

    • Chrispy_
    • 4 years ago

    Okay so the SteelSeries one looks super plasticky
    And this “Carbon” looks like steel.

    These guys need to go back to school. They clearly do not even know the names of the materials they’re using to make these things. How are we supposed to trust that they even know how to [i<]make[/i<] a working keyboard?

    • ronch
    • 4 years ago

    So, um, are we sure the keys aren’t… mushy?

    /ducks

      • AMD64Blondie
      • 4 years ago

      I groaned.Oh god..the puns..

        • ronch
        • 4 years ago

        I heard the keys are called MushKeys™.

    • stdRaichu
    • 4 years ago

    [i<]It has per-key RGB LED backlighting, of course[/i<] This is getting boring. Where are all the keyboards with CMYK backlighting? Anyone acquainted with the [url=https://astro.uni-bonn.de/~dfischer/dark_sucker_2.html<]dark sucker[/url<] theory of [s<]light[/s<] dark will be aware that subtractive colour makes more sense.

      • just brew it!
      • 4 years ago

      LOL… thanks for that!

      Though I have to say, I don’t think we will have truly perfected illuminated keyboards until we have [i<]holographic[/i<] lighting effects projected directly onto your retina via RGB lasers! 😀

    • willyolio
    • 4 years ago

    why is it there are STILL no decent wireless mechanical keyboards? The only ones I can find are some weird unknown brands on ebay. I like the key feel and I want to game from a couch, am I the only one who has these desires in the market?

    There’s no diversity in the market, they’re all basically pumping out the same product. mech keyboard, mech keyboard with RGB LEDs. There’s basically only 2 products on the market with different brand names. Feature-wise they’re essentially identical, just take your pick of switch type and aesthetics.

      • just brew it!
      • 4 years ago

      I’ve wondered about the lack of wireless mechanicals too.

      Maybe it is because most mechanical keyboards are aimed at gamers, and gamers tend to prefer wired connections due to the lower latency?

        • chµck
        • 4 years ago

        logitech seems to have magical 1000hz polling on some wireless mice like the g700s

      • bhtooefr
      • 4 years ago

      Although, some of the unknown brands are actually well-known in the keyboard community, AFAIK…

      Part of the problem is that, AFAIK, there’s not really an off-the-shelf solution for a wireless keyboard controller, and a lot of this is too low volume to justify FCC certification for your own module. You can get the [url=https://www.adafruit.com/product/1535<]Bluefruit EZ-Key HID[/url<], but going that route greatly increases your unit cost, because you have to have that module plus your microcontroller. Now, what I want is something with Matias Clicks, bluetooth, a very compact layout (not full-on 60%), and a TrackPoint. I can get a wired mechanical TrackPoint keyboard, I can get wireless mechanical with Matias switches (although I don't think Clicks, but I've got a dead Tactile Pro 4 that I could harvest switches from - I think I'd have to find an old Secure Pro (which isn't Bluetooth) if I want PC layout, because the Laptop Pro (which IS Bluetooth) is Mac layout), but I can't get everything in one keyboard...

      • EndlessWaves
      • 4 years ago

      Uh, Diatec have been doing wireless high end keyboards for a least a decade, since before they became popular in the gaming market. Matias also offer a wireless secure pro model.

        • willyolio
        • 4 years ago

        [quote<]Matias also offer a wireless secure pro model.[/quote<] Not on their own website they don't. and Filco doesn't seem to sell their keyboards outside of japan. And I can only find it with some semi-shady ebay resellers... uh...

      • BenBasson
      • 4 years ago

      You could really take that question further and ask why are there still no decent wireless keyboards *at all*, mechanical or otherwise? Every wireless keyboard I’ve tried in the last 5+ years either has terrible mushy key action (see all Logitech wireless keyboards) or other disadvantages (bad latency, weird layouts, poor battery life and so on).

      There are some absolutely amazing wireless mice now, especially the Logitech range where they’re really nailing it (to the point that most gamers probably couldn’t tell the difference, and at my level, I certainly cannot). Where’s the keyboard equivalent?

    • oldog
    • 4 years ago

    I’ll bet that metallic wrist rest gets freaking cold.

    • CScottG
    • 4 years ago

    I got browns for my dad by way of a Logitech G710+ for Christmas:

    [url<]https://www.amazon.com/Logitech-Mechanical-Keyboard-Tactile-High-Speed/dp/B009C98NPY[/url<] ..and surprisingly didn't like the feel; they were rather indistinct in actuation. Best to go to retail store and try the keyboards out (with similar mechanical keys to the potential online item) before making a purchase.

      • just brew it!
      • 4 years ago

      Yes, that is what I thought of the browns as well. The tactile bump isn’t nearly pronounced enough. I vastly prefer the blues, but they aren’t suitable for all environments due to the clicking.

        • CScottG
        • 4 years ago

        Yes, blues are better for feel – MUCH better. I’m told that because I like greater key resistance, that I’d prefer greens over blues but I’ve not tried them yet.

        The sound is a bit over-done on the blues, reminds me of a cheaper version of an ALPs keyboard I once had (..cheaper in that the click is higher in pitch than that ALPs keyboard and the keycaps on the older keyboard I had were physically thicker and had a better “bottoming-out” sound and feel.)

          • just brew it!
          • 4 years ago

          I prefer to use o-rings (the thinner ones, which have less of an effect on switch travel). So I get the tactile click, without the loud “clack” of the keycaps bottoming out. It can still be pretty loud if you give the larger keys (e.g. Spacebar, Enter) a good whack, but it cuts down the noise considerably and cushions the bottom of the stroke slightly.

            • JustAnEngineer
            • 4 years ago

            O-rings had zero effect on key travel for the Cherry MX brown and blue keyboards that I’ve modified. The o-rings are installed well up the keycap stems. They serve the purpose of damping the clatter of the keycaps, not cushioning the bottoming-out of the key travel.
            [url<]https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01M0JHZ4R/[/url<] [url<]https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01FNJQGQO/[/url<]

            • just brew it!
            • 4 years ago

            Beg to differ.

            The stem goes down into the body of the switch when the key is depressed, and the o-ring hits the top of the switch housing. While there’s a definite reduction in the clatter, this isn’t due only to the damping effect of the o-ring; it is also due in part to the fact that the mechanism isn’t physically “bottoming out” any more. There’s also a definite cushioning effect, which you would not get if the there was no contact; I can FEEL it, it isn’t just a reduction in noise.

            WASD’s product page also explains this: [url<]http://www.wasdkeyboards.com/index.php/products/keyboard-accessories/cherry-mx-rubber-o-ring-switch-dampeners-125pcs.html[/url<] With their "red" o-rings I don't notice a reduction in travel, though I still feel a cushioning of the "bottoming out". Thicker o-rings, which I tried and disliked, reduce key travel enough to feel markedly "different". Edit: Here's a pic of the difference, on a Ducky Zero... both keys fully depressed, no o-ring on the left key, Rosewill "clear" o-ring (AFAIK same thickness as the WASD "blue" o-ring) on the key to the right of it: [url=http://uchima.net/trstuff/o-ring-travel.jpg<]o-ring-travel[/url<]

          • DancinJack
          • 4 years ago

          Greens are HEAVY. I, given the choice, would not use anything but blues. I love them. I did buy a green kb a year or two ago and it just sits in the closet because they aren’t as nice as blues. They’re not necessarily any louder though. The materials of your kb make a much larger difference there than the switch.

            • just brew it!
            • 4 years ago

            O-rings (or lack thereof) also make a difference.

            I also prefer the lighter tough of the blues.

      • Entr0py
      • 4 years ago

      I got a v60 with Gateron Browns. They seem to “bump more” than the browns without feeling mushy. The Cherry Browns seem like a glorified rubber dome to me.

      I can’t speak for kailh, though. Those could feel like anything.

    • thedosbox
    • 4 years ago

    [quote<]It has per-key RGB LED backlighting, [b<]of course[/b<][/quote<] I'm going to offer a reward to anyone who can stop Mr Killian from ever typing the phrase "RGB LED" again. Starting offer is ten white castle sliders. I'll add bacon if the chosen method involves the liberal use of RGB LED's. [edit] Heck, I'll add cheese if this occurs before the first Ryzen review is published. The sooner we're freed from this RGB insanity the better.

      • Sargent Duck
      • 4 years ago

      What if I were stop Mr Killian with gerbils wearing RGB LED’s?

        • CuttinHobo
        • 4 years ago

        Not in a Richard Gere-style gerbil assault, we hope! D:

        • thedosbox
        • 4 years ago

        So long as no gerbils are harmed? I’ll add a portion of cheese fries.

    • DPete27
    • 4 years ago

    Looks very prone to fingerprints.

      • MOSFET
      • 4 years ago

      Yes it does, and it looks like it’s already been [s<]fon[/s<]handled. Although if the aluminum ends up looking nice enough, may be worth a daily wipedown. But WHY can't we keep the notation on the keys the same, I wonder while looking down at (one of) my 15 year old Dell PS/2 keyboard(s). Caps Lock - hmmm, I wonder what that does....

      • CuttinHobo
      • 4 years ago

      Maybe. But I like the brushed aluminum look on a keyboard a lot more than I’d expected. Certainly nicer than typical “gamer” peripheral patterns.

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