Hands-on review: James Donkey RS4 Knight Wireless Gaming Keyboard
James Donkey is a new brand for me, and I’ll admit that I am finding their keyboard quite a revelation. I have always liked mechanical keyboards, and this is no exception. I find the action much easier to use than the modern keyboards with limited travel. While there are exceptions to my rather sweeping generalisation, nothing quite replaces the feel of a key that has a nice tactile feel. The travel is a bonus, giving your digit a nice workout, lessening the chance of fatigue when working for long periods. Those of us old enough to remember the old manual typewriters will remember the satisfaction of striking a key to see the letter strike the paper with a tap. It has just the right amount of travel for me and with the wireless connectivity to my laptop, I was happily tapping as I repeatedly crashed my plane upon take-off or landing.
I find it interesting that gaming keyboards have gone the mechanical way. It makes for a positive feeling of control when gaming or typing. The RS4 is what is referred to as a TKL keyboard, meaning that it doesn’t include the numeric keys found on a full-sized keyboard. I did a little digging, courtesy of Google, and found that many gamers prefer the minimalist design, with its economy of space, leaving the avid gamer room for all the other gaming bits and pieces they can’t do without.
Number of keys: 87
Type of Key: Gateron G PRO 2.0 mechanical switch
Charging Port: USB Type-C
Connection Mode: 2.4GHz – Bluetooth or wired
Battery: 4000 mAh with a recharge time of approximately 3 hours
The range is up to 10 metres.
The multimedia switch is on the left and gives excellent volume control and pushing it allows you to toggle sound on and off. At the bottom of the keyboard, you will find four tiny dip switches. The instruction manual will explain their function. The first two relate to the backlighting and the strip that runs around the border and the other two to wireless or wired functions.
Gaming: I launched my Hornet successfully from the carrier and soared directly into the ocean several times before realising I was using the arrow keys the wrong way round. The controls were smooth and responsive, with no lag at all. I would have liked to spend more time in flight, but my energy levels were low due to it being lunch time. I crashed and burned often enough to know that with practice, this keyboard will have me taking off, landing, and shooting down the bad guys in next to no time. The lighting added to the ambience of my gaming experience, but sadly didn’t do anything for my pathetic aviation skill set. Maybe I should stick to Wordle.
The RS4 is compact, taking up 36cm by 14cm on my desktop. I didn’t need to use the legs, finding the wedge shape offered me just the right amount of slant for comfortable typing.
Inside the box are more keys and a puller, so that you can customise the keyboard to suit your gaming purposes. Like many of its gaming counterparts, the RS4 glows away, providing a very colourful ambience, whether you are working or gaming. You can change the colour palette but be sure to follow the instructions. Here is where I noticed one or two issues. Sometimes the English is a little stilted, but generally, by applying my inferential comprehension skills, I was able to decipher the gist of what they meant. Their website has some gaps on the English part, but their English is far superior to my Mandarin.
A little more digging on their website showed me that James Donkey is based in Shenzen, China, with a range of gaming keyboards and mice available. While the English part of their website may have gaps, there is no doubt as to the quality of their gaming keyboards.