At Computex 2018 in June, ASUS introduced the TUF Gaming series of affordable gaming devices designed for the mass category of users. We’ve already seen the TUF Gaming H5 Lite headset, and now it’s the turn of the TUF Gaming K5 RGB backlit gaming keyboard.
|Model||ASUS TUF Gaming K5|
|Polling frequency, Hz||–|
|Number of keys||104|
|Keystroke resource, mln.||–|
|Changing the angle of the body||+|
|Built-in memory, KB||+|
|Ability to record macros||+|
|Handling rollovers||24 KRO|
|USB cable length, m||1,8|
|Removable palm rest||–|
|Dimensions (L x W x H), mm||460 x 218 x 40|
|OS Compatibility||Windows 7 / 8.1 / 10|
|Average cost, $||~75|
Contents of delivery
ASUS TUF Gaming K5 comes in a massive box. The front shows the keyboard and name, the logos of the TUF Gaming and Aura Sync series. On the back there is also a keyboard and a description of its main features and characteristics.
Inside, apart from the keyboard itself, there is only a user manual.
The plastic wear-resistant keyboard case received a dark gray color, is not afraid of moisture, looks impressive and fashionable. The TUF Gaming K5 features cut corners, wide bezels, a stylized TUF Gaming logo panel at the top and middle, and a built-in wrist rest.
The keyboard was equipped with a standard type block with long shifts and a single-row Enter. F1 is located between the “1” and “2” buttons, the Fn function key is only one and is located to the right of the spacebar.
The laser engraving of characters is large and clear. Cyrillic is thinner than Latin, but both alphabets are unusually thick. There is a Ukrainian layout, and typical serifs for the convenience of touch typing on the “F” and “J” keys are shifted down the buttons. The concave caps are not slippery, but dangle slightly when shaken with your finger.
Four multimedia keys are installed in the upper left corner: changing the brightness of the RGB backlight, mute and volume buttons.
Above the digital block placed five light indicators: Num Lock, Caps Lock, Scroll Lock, macro recording and exit blocking in Windows.
The ASUS TUF Gaming K5 keyboard was equipped with Mech-Brane hybrid switches. They supposedly meet the needs of lovers of mechanical and membrane keyboards at the same time: the keys are pressed easily and quickly, like on mechanics, while they are elastic and quiet, like on membranes. The full key travel is 3.7 mm. There is support for simultaneous pressing of 24 buttons.
The keyboard case is tilted forward. The top three rows of keys are beveled to the front, and the bottom three are beveled to the opposite side. Retractable legs raise the case by 1.5 cm, and there are stylized cutouts on the side faces.
The 1.8 meter USB cable is firmly fixed in the case and does not come unfastened, as is often the case with gaming keyboards.
On the underside of the TUF Gaming K5 are four wide silicone inserts. They keep the keyboard from fidgeting on the table. Folding legs in the shape of a trapezoid also received rubber pads.
A huge logo of the TUF Gaming series was drawn in the center, a tag with useful information for the user was moved to the top. There are also four grooves for cables. Through them, you can run two wires from a headset, mouse, or other gadgets you need on the table.
ASUS TUF Gaming K5 received a simplified RGB backlight. Its light is bright and uniform, while in the dark the glow does not dazzle and clearly shows the symbols. In my case, on some keys, some characters are not highlighted. This is very noticeable on the buttons “F”, “E”, “7”, “U” and a comma, as well as on a couple of keys, but only if you look closely.
The TUF Gaming K5 keyboard has built-in memory for recording simple macros. Using the buttons, you can switch between backlight modes and select its style: color wave, attenuation, color alternation or white backlight.
For the convenience of working with TUF Gaming K5, all available commands are listed below:
- Fn + Windows – Turn the Windows key on or off;
- Fn + 1,2,3,4 – switching between backlight profiles;
- Fn + <> – switching between visual highlighting effects;
- Fn + Alt – Quick macro recording;
- Fn + Esc – Quick removal of macros.
The ASUS TUF Gaming K5 model works with the proprietary ROG Armory II software. The keyboard itself is configured here, as well as the TUF Gaming M5 mouse. In the “Keyboard” section, one of four backlight profiles is selected, in “Macros” you can record custom macros, in “Synchronization” you can configure the RGB backlighting of the keyboard with other ASUS accessories, and in the “Statistics” section you can see the statistics of keystrokes.
Ergonomics and testing
The ASUS TUF Gaming K5 keyboard is equally comfortable for gaming and for work. The built-in Mech-Brane hybrid switches really feel like a middle ground between mechanical and membrane, so they’re great for users who haven’t decided which type of keyboard to go with or who are bored with both.
From mechanical switches, Mech-Brane switches get excellent responsiveness and actuation speed. From the membranes, the elasticity of the keys is more convenient for typing, there is no characteristic mechanical clapping, and a quiet sound.
The mid-height keys and built-in wrist rest perform well when typing, working at a computer or a long gaming session. Hands and wrists do not get tired even after a long day at the keyboard.
With a weight of 1050 grams, TUF Gaming K5 stands confidently on any surface, does not slip or “move out” to the sides during games or typing. The keyboard is hard to budge, even if you want to – there is a well-coordinated work of wide rubber feet.
With sweeping design touches and a built-in wrist rest, the ASUS keyboard won’t fit on every desk. Therefore, if you have a small gaming (or working) place, be sure to look at its dimensions and make sure that it fits comfortably on the table and does not take up the entire usable area.
The reinforced plastic declared by the manufacturer is really scratch-resistant and is not afraid of fingerprints, but it collects dust very quickly. Fortunately, I did not manage to test the moisture-proof capabilities of the keyboard in practice.
Due to its mixed features, the TUF Gaming K5 is a worthy choice for long gaming sessions or a hard day at the office. The built-in RGB lighting does not shine with a variety of settings, but any beginner will figure it out with it. At the same time, there are various styles of backlighting, and each user will find a mode to their liking.
ASUS TUF Gaming K5 is a stylish hybrid gaming keyboard with RGB backlight, which successfully sits in one place on two chairs at once. The new ASUS rightly caters to lovers of mechanics – it gives them the familiar responsiveness of the keys and ultra-fast response to pressing. Membrane fans will love the average key height, springy action and quiet sound.