Func KB-460 Mechanical Gaming Keyboard Review

mrwooshoo - 2013-11-27 20:45:31 in Input Devices
Category: Input Devices
Reviewed by: mrwooshoo   
Reviewed on: December 8, 2013
Price: $119.95

Func KB-460 Gaming Keyboard

Func was founded in 1999, as a sort of gamers with a cause company. The company wanted to produce its own gaming gear that was up to its standard. This started with the most basic of gaming necessities: mouse pads. Since then Func has produced mouse pads exclusively for over a decade. However, earlier this year the company expanded its focus a bit. Func released with its usual mouse pad update (the 1030XL) the aptly named MS-3 Gaming Mouse. As impressive as this was, it was only the beginning. Now, there is the release of the KB-460 Gaming Keyboard.

This is Func's first entry into the line of fire. To make things even more exciting, the first keyboard from Func ever is fully illuminated and comes with Cherry MX red key switches. That's right! The first keyboard from Func ever is a high performance mechanical. It seems as if Func is trying to hit the market at a breakneck pace. A more gentle test of the waters would have been a specialized membrane keyboard, but I suppose to make up for lost time Func wanted to make a memorable, strong, first impression. The bright red LEDs hidden behind every key on the keyboard are almost a beacon to the gaming world that Func is playing hardball with the rest in the keyboard industry.

Considering its attributes (mostly the color), the KB-460 is definitely designed to make a scene, but will it be enough to open up a new window of opportunity for both gamers and the company? Let's take an in-depth look at the KB-460 , and you might have an answer to that question.

Closer Look

The box that the KB-460 came in is very minimalistic. I mean seriously, it's not trying to impress anyone with the outside of the box. There are only four colors involved at all: the black and red of the keyboard, the orange of the Func label, and the white that fills in the rest. On the front there is the Func label, the words "Functionality perfected" beneath that, the model of the contained product, and at the bottom "Cherry MX Red Mechanical Switches". There are literally ten words on the front of the box and an angled picture of the keyboard itself. I both like and dislike this approach. I don't like it when manufacturers post a ton of boasts and possibly empty claims on the box; however, I suppose now that I have seen it I can't say that I like the almost blank alternative (I am too picky I suppose). There is a silver lining that definitely comes with the simplicity of the box and this is that it makes me feel as if Func is not trying to sell me on the box, but on the enclosed product.

I don't have any really good pictures of the sides or top and bottom of the box as they are even less adorned than the front (they have the label and the model). The back of the box is more populated because of the technical specifications, but also because there is a scaled down model of the keyboard with little features posted around the image, like: customizable backlight key illumination; on-board customizable profiles; Func Mode; two USB connect through ports; re-assignable buttons; Cherry MX Red Mechanical Switches; plug'n'play (no need for installations); and Full N-key rollover antighosting. That literally summarizes absolutely everything that is on the box. Pretty minimal, yeah?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Upon first opening the box there is a clear view of the keyboard, with the manual, the letter from the Func team, and the clips for the palm rest. The KB-460 is very well secured in the box. It is suspended between two foam blocks with space above and below the keyboard, as well as top to bottom. Thanks to the way it is packaged, if there is any damage to the box there probably nothing to worry about. The keyboard is wrapped in plastic and the palm rest is wrapped in a foam sheet. After taking off all of the wrapping, it's time to take a look at the KB-460 itself.

 

 

Func KB-460 Gaming Keyboard

The first thing I feel compelled to mention is that the keyboard is heavy. It is nothing if not solid, like rock solid. To put it one way: it feels like you could put wheels on it as use it as a skateboard. The second thing I should mention is the entire keyboard is coated in a soft material, creating no gloss whatsoever, but also leaving no scratches unless a lot of effort is put in. The palm rest has the same soft finish, making the whole thing look really dark and intense. The keyboard itself is wide but simple in design, as in there are no extra keys (which is why the width is so strange). No side macros, no separate media keys (they are F1-F6), and no thumb keys. Even the keys for switching and activating profiles are the F7-F12 keys. This is a very minimalistic layout and I wonder what the reason for it is. Perhaps it is an attempt to keep too many keys from cluttering the keyboard.

As a gamer I personally haven't often used the extra keys on the left of the standard keys, so this isn't necessarily a problem, but still those who used them often will miss them. The software, which I will get into on the next page, will help with the stress of not having extra macros. The bottom line is that the keyboard is space saving and may still offer an immersive gaming experience. This, coupled with the removable palm rest, will also make it easier to transport for on the road gaming. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There are also two USB ports on the top right of the keyboard for quick and convenient access. I really miss this feature in particular on keyboards that don't have it.

 

The back side of the key board is actually kinda flashy (as far as the backside of keyboards go). There is quite a bit going on. There are ridges on the top edge, the risers are elevated away from the keyboard when closed, and there is an elevated square where the clips for the palm rest are located. There are six rubber grips in total counting the ones attached to the risers. These should keep the KB-460 fairly steady while gaming.

 

 

 

From here we can see that the cable is very thick and braided. However, it is not removable and there is no cable routing to speak of. The clips for the palm rest lock in like a hinge to allow the palm rest to remain on whatever surface you are gaming on while the risers are in use. Here I ran in to a problem. As soon as I attached the palm rest I fumbled putting it flat on the table, and because of the considerable weight of the keyboard I stretched one of the clips. This was definitely my fault (I am clumsy, so sue me) and the other clip seems much stronger (it didn't give under the same pressure), but now every time I try to move the keyboard one clip falls off and leaves the other to support the whole keyboard. Now, I am unsure if the clip that broke was a little faulty to begin with, but I really wish there was a replacement included (for us clumsy folk).

 

 

The keys are all Cherry MX Reds and there is a bright red LED behind every one of them. This is the first Cherry MX Red that I have ever owned and I don't think I like it. The switches somehow wear me out even though they seem to depress so easily. I have heard, though, that there are many people who like the Cherry MX Reds, so this is nothing against the keyboard, just a personal preference. The keys light up very nicely. I like every level of intensity that the LEDs have. The brightest doesn't distract me and the dullest is subtly visible. There is even a function that goes from brightest to completely dark, but that does in fact distract me, even though it is really cool. Something very interesting and very good looking is the red back plate that the keys are set on. It makes the keyboard glow red underneath the keys in the higher two light intensities, causing the keyboard to look very menacing and awesome. Another thing I have noticed is that the keys are spaced out quite a bit (more than I am used to at the very least).

 

 

 

On the top right of the keyboard, just below the Func label, there are three red LED indicators that light up when a Profile is activated, when caps lock is on, and when the number lock is on.

 

 

Now let's move on and see what the software has to offer.

Func KB-460 The Software:

The software, like the rest of the package, is simple and minimalistic. There is nothing unclear or hidden, and there is only one page for making profiles. I will start off by mentioning the only thing I didn't like about the software and that is the size of the interface. It is long, covering over half of my 27" diagonal monitor. Other than that there are no other problems. The software is clear enough to understand in about a minute if you have never seen a keyboard program before, and you just click on things to figure out what they do. If you have seen software like this before it could take seconds. There are two sections to the window. The left one has ten selectable macros that you can assign to any key on the keyboard. This macro can either do any combination of twenty-seven key presses; cut/paste/undo, etc.; or launch a program. On the right half, after you select a macro, you select a key to replace on the virtual keyboard (then you set what you want that macro to do).

Above the virtual keyboard is the profile selector, backup, and a link to Func.net. The F7-F11 keys select the profiles desired after the profile has been saved and the F12 key activates the Profile mode. This is literally all there is to this software. It is very, very easy to use and is definitely a positive aspect to the overall functionality of the keyboard. I personally think that this software is perfect for someone who has never used a keyboard with re-mapping capabilities. It is very clear and there are no extra tabs to get distracted in. Also the install was painless. All I had to do was download the software from the Func site and double click the executable. I have had no issues with the functionality of the software, and there doesn't appear to be any inconsistencies with the mapping and the keyboard response.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Func KB-460 Gaming Keyboard: Specifications

Switch type
Cherry MX Red linear switch
Key design
Cylindrical
Actuation force
45g
Responsiveness
2mm
Anti-ghost
Full N-key roll over USB
Backlit
Individual LED’s on each key
Memory
Onboard 128 KB
Connect-through ports
2 x USB 2.0
Cord length
1.8m (braided)
Connector
USB 2.0 (gold plated)
Dimensions
448x198x33 mm
Weight
1245g

 

Func KB-460 Gaming Keyboard: Features

Information provided by: http://www.func.net/en/products/kb-460-gaming-keyboard/#crb_2

Func KB-460 Mechanical Gaming Keyboard: Testing

The KB-460 was tested thoroughly in a few different situations. These situations were daily use, web surfing, work-related, and gaming. After a few days I had a good feel for what I liked and disliked (after the first day really, but I kept testing just to be sure). In the end I can only describe how the keyboard performed for me personally and try my best to explain why, so that you can determine if you would disagree and get the keyboard for your own reasons. I can't really do any more than this because keyboards are a very "to taste" product. From the switches that sit beneath each key to the number of extra macro keys, keyboards come in almost every color, size, and shape (within reason). To add even more variety, all of them have different little extras that make them appeal to wide ranges of people. Therefore, to the best of my ability, I will describe the KB-460 and the reasons I personally like it as well as the reasons I don't.

Testing Setup

Func KB-460 Mechanical Gaming Keyboard: Testing

Everyday use

Using the KB-460 daily has been a challenge and still is. The only reason is because the keys have spacing that is too foreign for me to conform to after hours of use on my other keyboards. This causes me much frustration as I consistently touch the wrong key. Even when I don't hit the wrong key entirely I still end up typing the wrong thing because of the sensitivity granted by the Cherry Red MX switches. This is a problem when I open up my browser and swiftly type something into the address bar and find out that I added a letter or two. However, these are most certainly personal problems as there are many who prefer the Red switches and probably this particular key spacing.

I still am not used to the spacing for mashing stuff into the search bar, but in due time I think I could get used to the key spacing, thus alleviating the only real problems that I have when using it regularly. Other things that are a little less than fantastic about the keyboard are the lack of individual keys for media. It is a small inconvenience, but I am noting it nonetheless. The USB ports on the top of the keyboard are really nice for regular use. They are extremely convenient for me especially, because my case only has two working USB ports on the front and it sits on the ground, making it hard to get to the other USB ports.

Work

Doing work-related things, like, photo editing, making Powerpoints, and using Excel or Word, are just fine on the keyboard. It has a very regular setup, which makes it easy to go from the KB-460 to another keyboard. I actually have to do this on a regular basis and it is something that makes the KB-460 just that much better. Again referring back to the standard keyboard layout, using Office programs takes no transition, same with photo editing. Additionally both can be made a little easier by using the presets in the Func software for copy/past/save/undo mapping (I used the number keys that sit above the letter keys for this).

Gaming

Now to the main event. This keyboard was developed for gaming. It may perform poor or excellent in other categories, but, is that even important? To many (including myself) the answer is yes. However it does not change the true nature of the KB-460. It was meant for gaming, and does it do what is was designed to do well? The short answer is absolutely. I may dislike the Cherry MX Red switches for typing, but for gaming they are much better. They respond very quickly and the lightness of the keys makes gaming easier overall. Mapping the keys is a little drawn out, because there are no immediately available keys and most games come with some semblance of sensible key mapping in the first place. When I mapped a macro to an easier key it wasn't extraordinarily helpful from the get go - just getting used to what key was mapped was a little bit weird. The mapping function was most helpful in areas where multiple keystrokes would be required per key. After I wrapped my head around the concept of changing standard keys, macro mapping became much easier. At the end of the day this is a good gaming keyboard with decent software to assist you in the long run.

Func KB-460 Mechanical Gaming Keyboard: Conclusion

The Func KB-460 Mechanical Gaming Keyboard was, from the very beginning, honest. The box had no real propaganda on it and the keyboard has no extra keys. From the moment I plugged the KB-460 in I knew what I was doing. The keyboard has a regular layout (so no confusion here), and the software is extremely straight forward. The simplicity of the keyboard is the true beauty of it, and it was just the beginning. The KB-460 looks amazing with its red LEDs on, and even though they are not my preferred key switch, the Cherry MX Reds work great. The software makes great use of the humble amount of space by allowing any key to become one of ten macros. Putting all of these aspects together makes for a very good keyboard with very high usability, as well as high versatility.

The bottom line is that the Func KB-460 is a very good looking keyboard aesthetically and has enough features to make it flexible. At $119.95 the price is pretty high, but not out of reason. The KB-460 feels extremely well made. Almost like it could get in a fight with a cinder block and walk away. I find it hard to believe that this is the first keyboard ever from Func, simply because of the quality and ease of use. But, it is the very first for the company, and it delivers a solid performance worthy of its price range and competition.

 

Pros:

Cons: