Hands-On, Keyboard

Armaggeddon MKA-17 Hands-On: Surprisingly Good Wireless Mechanical Keyboard

Armaggeddon is known for its range of affordable peripherals, but this time around, we’ve got something a little different. Enter the Armaggeddon MKA-17 Avenger, a wireless mechanical keyboard that costs RM299. While that’s not particularly costly, it’s pretty rare for a peripheral from the company to sit at this price point.

Nonetheless, the MKA-17 is a pretty darn interesting mechanical keyboard. It offers decent value for money, and its feature set is quite compelling. After all, this is a wireless mechanical keyboard.

Let’s start with design: there’s no mistaking the MKA-17 for anything other than a gaming keyboard. It has sharp, angular angles, and the RGB lighting (which is reasonably bright) further drives the point home that this is a peripheral made to appeal to gamers. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, of course.

Speaking of which, there as as many as 19 different lighting effects for the MKA-17, and you don’t need to install any driver to change the mode. All you need to do is use the scroll wheel at the top left of the keyboard to cycle through the different lighting effects.

This method sounds good in theory, but it’s not particularly refined. While the scroll wheel has a soft feedback to let you know the lighting effect has changed, it’s a little bit too soft. On top of that, the scroll wheel itself doesn’t feel very solid either.

But that doesn’t mean there are no good design points with the MKA-17. For one, the two feet on the bottom can lift up the keyboard quite a bit, so it’s easy to get a good angle for a comfortable typing experience. On top of that, it feels reasonably solid too. While most of the keyboard is made out of plastic, it has a metal top cover for improved build quality.

Now, let’s talk about the most important aspect of any mechanical keyboard: the switch. The MKA-17 can be purchased with Blue or Black switches, and unlike the Outemu switches used on previous Armaggeddon keyboards, the MKA-17 uses “MEN” mechanical switches. Really, those three letters are printed on the housing of the switches.

Anyway, how is it like typing on the MEN switch? I only managed to try out the Black switch – I’ll only have access to the Blue model in the next couple of weeks – and it’s just like any other Black linear switches I’ve tried. There’s no tactile feedback whatsoever, and because the actuation force is higher than a Blue or Red switch, it feels “heavy.”

This is not an issue by any means. Black switches, whether it’s from Cherry or Kailh, are known to be a lot heavier than other types of switch. Although I’ve never heard of this MEN switch before, it does feel like your everyday Black switch, and that’s a good thing.

However, I do have one small gripe with the MEN Black switch. It’s not super noticeable, but there is a faint sound of plastic rubbing against each other whenever the switch is depressed. It’s not bothersome by any means, but it does show a need for refinement.

Besides the mechanical switch, pairing the MKA-17 to my desktop via Bluetooth is a fuss-free affair. On top of that, I can also switch between three connected devices with a button combination, which works seamlessly. As far as I can tell, there’s no huge latency issue either. Did we mention that this keyboard also works with Android, iOS, and Mac devices?

If you want absolutely no latency at all, you can always connect the MKA-17 to your desktop via a USB-C cable. That’s right, this keyboard comes with a USB-C port, so you won’t have to dig through your collection of cables for an older standard.

Given that this is a wireless keyboard, it’s important for the MKA-17 to have good battery life. Well, packed with a 2,000mAh battery, this keyboard should last for quite a bit on a single charge. Armaggeddon didn’t give any specific battery life estimate, so I’ll definitely put this to the test in a full review of this gaming keyboard.

At a glance, the Armaggeddon MKA-17 Avenger is a surprisingly good wireless mechanical keyboard. Retailing at RM299, it doesn’t cost all that much either, and you’re getting a number of really good features at this price point. What more can you ask for?

Well, better build quality would be great, and it remains to be seen if there are other issues that might crop up as I use the MKA-17 as my daily driver for the next few weeks. Until then, I’m pretty darn impressed with this wireless gaming keyboard.

If you’re keen to get the MKA-17 Avenger, you can purchase it over at Armaggeddon’s official store on Shopee and Lazada. Not sure if it’s the right wireless keyboard for you? Then stay tuned for the full review.

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