The world of Gamer Gear is bast and competitive, many brands comes and goes. Is a hard market, where you can find mouse, cord and cordless game controllers, mouse pads, headphones, Virtual Reallity set and go on. But there’s one of the products that is one of the first every gamer put on their desk, a Mechanical Keyboard, here you would find lot of brands with a range of prices that goes from $40 upto $200 USD and even more. Every brand wants a piece of the cake, but if you are new in the rodeo then is ok to begin with the mid-range and this is where we can fin the James Donkey brand, offering Mouse and Mechanical Keyboard. Today we are going to review one of its latest products, the James Donkey 619, a Tenkeyless Mechanical Keyboard.
Yes is about aesthetic but mainly how is made, function over design and design over function at the same time, is a balance.
The James Donkey 619 combine to types of materials, at first sight. Front plate from aluminum (gray and natural color), the back is made from abs plastic, the same treatment goes for the keycaps (injected abs plastics in this case). At the end its form factor is classical 6 rows of keys for a QWERTY layout.
Besides the multimedia labeled keys, that works using the FN Key, there’s other to configure the light modes (labeled in white).
The yellow accent are part of the kickstand, if you want to elevate it a little, in the back you will find a pair of “legs” that you can pull to add a cm. height.
The package is simple, in the box you will find the keyboard, a braided USB cable, keycap pull tool and warranty card.
There’re three pieces of tech that you have to consider when you are you plan to purchase a Mechanical Keyboard; Keycaps, connection technology and switches. For the last one, this is the most important, this TenKeyLess keyboard from JamesDonkey comes with 87 Black Switches from Gatereon (Cherry MX clones), a 45 gram soft clicky actuation force, without audible click clack sound, but still let you know you are actually typing. Under each keycap there’s a programmable full LED yellow for backlit, with 8 backlight mode settings. Also follow the rule, N-KEY rollover (NKRO) present, 100% anti-ghosting support multi-keys work simultaneously.
As for connection, is wired (yes there’s some bluetooth mechanical keyboards out there), in this case, the JD 619 uses a USB cable which is detachable and long enough to reach your computer if lives on the floor.
This is a TenKeyLess keyboard, it means that at least has 87 keys. Has a row with quick access function; to calculator, email, web browser, volume, media etc. Made from Injected ABS plastic, which are translucent in the letter/symbol to take advantage of the backlight.
At first sight, the James Donkey 619 looked very promising; nice looking floating keycaps, well made keycaps, right for the price, sturdy construction for a long lasting investment.
Now, i’ve been using the keyboard for a week, playing Borderlands II, surfing internet, working (writing papers and blogging), despite the switches sound just a bit louder than the popular Cherry Mx, the Gatereons make a great job so you don’t have to expend lot of cash to have a truly mechanical keyboard that can pair with those considered high-end.
You only need to connect the provided braided USB cable in both ends and that’s it, you are ready to enjoy your new baby. Every key with extra function works out of the box, the row on top for multimedia and launch programs, you don’t need to install any software. I have no complaints only good vibes, the only i miss from my other keyboard is the palm rest but you always can add a proper one for long writing sessions. The only downside i found is that the keys that change the backlight behavior are not labeled, only the ones for change led intense and and the speed of the animation of each mode, in order to change between modes you need to press FN Key + Any of the six key ovet the arrows.
Before order the JD 619 i used to have the Levetron Mech5 from Azio on my setup, as you can see in the video both almost sound the same. yes this is one of the factor you choose Black Switches over the other, when you share the space with other coworkes. Beside both are TenKeyLess, the one from James Donkey really save me lot space and now i can use the mouse in the same drawer.
You don’t need to expend more than one hundred dollars to have a full mechanical experience, this keyboard at $45.00 USD is an Epic Win!
Note: Something that i found one day is that if you leave the keyboard alone for around 10 or 15 minutes it enters in a “sleeping mode” and put the “breathing” backlight mode if the leds were on.
No doubt, the James Donkey 619 is a great investment, even if you are not a Gamer and you are planning only to change the keyboard that you use to work with, but be sure you are choosing the Black Switches, which are the quitter ones (the brand offer the other switches). Ok, if you are a gamer with tight budget then this is a right choice, and yes, you can mod this Kb, the KeyCaps are Cherry Mx compatible. Below there are the links for the products on Gearbest.
JD 619 – 104 key | Coupon: GBCNA | $56.00 USD.
JD 619 – 87 key | Coupon: GBCNA | $45.00 USD.