Redragon K618 Horus Review Low Profile Full Size Keyboard With Red Switches

Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Two good reasons for getting a low profile keyboard are low actuation and comfort. You can press in the keys much faster and, your hand is closer to the keys, which causes less fatigue when typing. A low profile keyboard is also much more convenient to stow away because of the small form factor. Despite the many advantages though, finding an inexpensive low profile keyboard is like looking for a needle in a haystack. There are hard to come by because there aren't that many around, especially low profile full size keyboards. Fortunately, Redragon has filled that gap in the market with the K618 Horus - a full size mechanical keyboard with 4mm low profile keycaps and low profile switches.

The Redragon K618 Horus uses the same hot swap red linear switches as the K614 Anivia 60% keyboard, which means the switches can be interchanged. That said, the K618 Horus uses  low profile Outemu switches, which are not pin compatible with Outemu full profile switches.

Internally, the K618 Horus houses a 1900mAh rechargeable lithium battery, which recharges in 3 hours via maximum 500mA input. The battery size is small capacity so, you only get 3 days of battery life runtime (no backlighting and using 2.4Ghz wireless). In Bluetooth mode, the battery life is around 2 days. In wireless/bluetooth mode, the K618 Horus keyboard goes to sleep automatically (after a minute) but, it wakes up instantly when pressing any key.

The switches sit on top of a thin aluminium alloy top plate and have a 1.2mm travel actuation, which really helps typing fast. The Redragon K618 Horus has three dedicated multimedia buttons built-in (skip to previous, skip to next and play/pause), as well as four virtual multimedia functions that you can access using the Fn function: Fn+9 (browser), Fn+10 (search), Fn+11 (calculator) and Fn+12 (email).

The Redragon K618 Horus has a standard bottom row too, which is a sought-after feature on a keyboard because most standard aftermarket keycaps will be compatible. That said, when it comes to aftermarket low profile keycaps is a different ball game. Finding suitable aftermarket keycaps for the K618 Horus will be hard to come by.

As far as lighting, there is 20 backlight effects to chose from. You can toggle each backlight effect from the keyboard by using the Fn+Ins key command. You can also change the backlight color effect, speed effect (slow/fast), brightness (low/medium/high) and manually turn off the backlight from the keyboard. In terms of solid color options, there is just one solid color option (white). If you want different solid color options, as well as customize each switch led individually, you have to download the Redragon software, which supports Windows computers only (Win7, Win XP, Vista, Win 8 and Win 10).

From the Redragon software, you can also access three profiles and remap key. The media/macro buttons and volume wheel cannot be remapped). On the far right corner of the K618 keyboard, there is the aluminium metal volume wheel, which is designed for adjusting volume and brightness of the backlight. The wheel is textured and uses an infinite type rotary encoder (similar to a computer mouse scrolling wheel) that makes no noise when scrolling. 

Volume is adjusted in small increments. The K618 keyboard uses ABS double shot keycap legends, which means the keycap legends are permanent and won't wear off. That said, the white markings on the keycaps are pad printed so, the will rub off at some point. Pad printed keycaps don't hold up as long as laser etched, dyesub or doubleshot keycap legends. The K618 Horus weighs 721 grams and measures 44cm long an 14.6cm wide.

The macro and media keys buttons are made of soft rubber with a non-clicky "mushy" resistance, which feels like pressing down a mushroom or sponge. The base of the K618 Horus keyboard is not entirely flat. It has a sloping step towards the front, although it's very low so the keybed seats almost horizontally flat against the desk. The bottom of the keyboard integrates two rubberized feet risers, two rubber pads, the serial number and the 2.4Ghz wireless dongle, which is tucked inside a cutout without sticking out. On the left side of the keyboard, there is the on/off switch and USB-C charging port. The feet risers elevate the front of the keyboard from 2cm to 3cm high.

Despite the full size, the Redragon K618 Horus is good for gaming. The 2.4Ghz wireless connection provides very low latency (~16ms) and, being full size you get more keys (104 total keys), as well as a a numpad an arrow keys. If you aren't used to gaming (or typing) with low profile switches, you'll find using the Horus a little too sensitive so, your aiming/typing maybe a bit off and until you get used to it

If you play mostly multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) games or real-time strategy (RTS) games, having a full size keyboard is also an advantage, as well as having macros. The Redragon K618 Horus has programmable macros so, you can record and playback a combination of keystrokes directly on the keyboard. You can record up to 20 sets of macros, which are stored in 4 separate macro profiles. Each macro profile can store up to 5 separate macros. Instructions for how to record, delete and playback macros are shown in the user guide.

The Redragon K618 Horus has the same wired/wireless functionality as the Royal Kludge RK84 keyboard. This include wired mode, an RF wireless mode and bluetooth mode. To toggle between wired mode, 2.4GHz wireless mode and Bluetooth mode, you simply slide the switch to the on position (wireless/bluetooth modes) and off position (wired mode). Then, you press Fn+S (for wired), Fn+4 (for wireless) and Fn+1 (for bluetooth). 

The K618 Horus also supports bluetooth multipoint connection, which means you can actively connect the K618 Horus to up to a total of three bluetooth devices at the same time and toggle between them without having to disconnect any device. On top of that, the K618 Horus keyboard supports both bluetooth 3.0 and bluetooth 5.0. versions so, you can choose one or the other. To "force disconnect" a bluetooth connection, you press Fn+spacebar. When battery is low, the M status led will flash red.

Accessories included are a USB-A to USB-C charging cable (1.5 meters), which has straight plug connectors and a ferrite bead inline the cable. There are also 8 spare switches included, a key switch metal puller and a keycap metal puller. You can buy the K618 Horus full size low profile keyboard from Redragon and amazon. There is only red linear switches available; hence no brown or blue switch variant. 

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