Redragon is a brand that's known for delivering quality products without burning a hole in your pocket. Right now, they're in the middle of a bit of a transformation. They're trying to shift their image from being primarily a budget brand to becoming a go-to name for mechanical keyboards in all price ranges.
Today, we will take a closer look at the Redragon Irelia K658 Pro, which belongs to a unique category of keyboards: the transparent or partially transparent ones. These have been gaining popularity recently, and Redragon is all about giving the traditional keyboard style a makeover with this product.
What's interesting is that this keyboard falls in the same budget category as the Redragon K648 we reviewed not long ago. So, I'm going to compare the two and see what sets them apart.
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|90% 94 Keys
|Translucent Custom Switch
|Complete Polycarbonate Frame
|Medium of Connection
|Detachable USB Type-C to Type-C Cable with USB Type-A AdapterBluetooth 3.0/5.0Wireless USB Dongle 2.4 GHz
|Vibrant Groovy RGB
|Weight of Device
|3.5 mm EVA Noise Absorbing Foams
|Full Key with 100% Anti-Ghosting
|50 Million Clicks
The overall unboxing experience and box design continue to show improvements with each new product, and this progress deserves recognition. The contents included in the package are as follows:
- Redragon Irelia K658 Pro
- User Manual
- Key & Switch Puller
- Detachable USB Cable
- Few Stickers
- Eight Extra Swappable Switches
Design and Appearance
While I personally may not be a fan of transparent keyboards, I can't fault the brand for offering this product. The demand for these products tends to fluctuate, and it's important to appreciate Redragon's responsiveness to even the smallest changes in the gaming keyboard community.
In terms of design, Redragon Irelia K658 Pro follows a fairly standard layout, closely resembling the recently reviewed Redragon K648 Olaf. Like the Olaf, it trims down around 10 keys to fit this compact 94-key layout.
What truly distinguishes Redragon Irelia K658 Pro from the rest is its transparent appearance, both on the body and the keycaps. The keycaps maintain a glossy finish, while the rest of the chassis has a satin finish.
The entire chassis of Redragon Irelia K658 Pro is constructed from polycarbonate, resulting in a weight of approximately 0.65 kilograms. This lightweight design complements the wireless connectivity, making it easy to move the device around your setup to achieve your desired position without any hassle.
When it comes to the keycaps, their text is UV printed on them rather than being double-shot or injection-molded.
While double-shot or injection-molded keycaps would have been preferable, as they tend to withstand wear and tear for a longer duration compared to printed keycaps, the choice of UV printing is worth noting.
Redragon has certainly raised the bar by offering switches beyond the Outemo brand. There's now a wide selection to choose from, but for now, the keyboard comes equipped with Translucent Custom Switches to complement the overall transparent theme of the device.
These switches are linear and provide a travel distance of 3.60 ± 0.3 mm, with an actuation force of 42g.
They come pre-lubricated at the factory, and the key stabilizers also receive this treatment, resulting in an exceptionally smooth typing experience. The sound produced by these switches is also pleasantly minimal, as you would expect from well-lubricated switches.
- Mint Lemon
- Gold Melt
- Parrot Wukong
In case of an accident, there is a set of eight extra switches included in the package, which can be used in the case of a fault or damage.
As a transparent keyboard, Redragon Irelia K658 Pro naturally sets high expectations for delivering some of the best RGB backlights, and it lives up to those expectations.
This is made possible thanks to the transparent switches and the LED modules positioned directly beneath them. The light is effectively diffused through the switches and then the keycaps, resulting in a keyboard that emits more light compared to a conventional keyboard with solid keycaps.
Given its remarkable RGB performance, it's safe to say that the transparent design is truly worth it. It diffuses the light just right, creating a comfortable and visually appealing experience.
To customize the RGB lighting to your liking, you can use the Fn + N macro combination to toggle through different lighting modes until you find the one that suits you best.
Mode of Connectivity
As a wireless keyboard, you have three options for connecting Redragon Irelia K658 Pro to your respective computing device. The first one is a detachable USB Type-C to Type-C cable that includes a USB Type-A adapter.
This cable connects to the left-hand side of the keyboard, and the wire is attached perpendicularly to the connector. This design ensures that the cable does not stand out awkwardly.
The other two connection options are wireless. One is through Bluetooth, and the other is via the 2.4 GHz wireless USB dongle.
Having used Redragon Irelia K658 Pro for both gaming and typing extensively, I can confidently say that the overall gaming experience is quite solid. The switches respond effectively to all keypresses.
Additionally, the keyboard boasts 100% anti-ghosting support, ensuring that it accurately detects every consecutive key press. One notable feature is the lightweight body, which stands out the most about this device. It makes moving it around my setup a hassle-free process.
The already soothing sound produced by the lubricated switches is further dampened by the inclusion of 3.5 mm EVA Noise Absorbing Foams, resulting in an exceptionally quiet keyboard during use.
Upon unboxing the Redragon Irelia K658 Pro, the first concern that caught my attention was the keycaps. They were glossy and had printed text on them, which is a potential issue as the text may wear off rather quickly since they are not double-shot mold injected.
While having transparent keycaps does sound intriguing, it does require a great memory to remember key locations, especially when the RGB lighting is in full swing.
Similar to the Redragon K648 Olaf, this keyboard also deviates from the traditional numpad layout. It combines the plus (+) and minus (-) keys at the top of the numpad, neglecting the standard numpad enter key. This adjustment can be challenging for users like me, who are accustomed to the traditional layout.
Comparison with Similar Products
There is a lot that you can get for almost the same price. Still, the following ones are the mechanical gaming keyboards, which lie in the same budget category and can be considered:
- Redragon K648 Olaf
- NZXT USB Function TKL – Tenkeyless Gaming Keyboard
- HyperX Alloy Origins - Mechanical Gaming Keyboard
- RK ROYAL KLUDGE RK87 Wireless Mechanical Keyboard, 75% TKL
Redragon K648 Olaf
I recently reviewed this keyboard and found it to be absolutely fantastic. When comparing it to the Redragon K648 Olaf, it surpasses the Olaf in just one aspect – the wireless connectivity and the transparent appearance. Other than these two features, the Redragon K648 Olaf is the obvious choice.
The chassis is crafted from high-grade aluminum, delivering a premium and luxurious feel to the touch. Additionally, similar to the Redragon K658 Irelia Pro, this keyboard is hot-swappable, allowing for the use of almost any other 3 or 5-pin switch.
NZXT USB Function TKL – Tenkeyless Gaming Keyboard
For me, NZXT is the most aesthetically pleasing brand in the realm of PC gaming peripherals. In the case of this keyboard, it offers a Ten Keyless layout, which means it eliminates the Numpad for a cleaner and less cluttered appearance.
The switches used are the Gatreon Red Mechanical Switches, which come pre-lubed from the factory and are tailored for gaming.
These switches are also hot-swappable. The entire device is constructed from aluminum, in contrast to the Redragon Irelia K658 Pro. Additionally, a wrist rest is included for added comfort. You'll find individually lit RGB lights and a few extra shortcut keys, as well as a single-volume rocker.
For connectivity, it's supported by a detachable Type-C USB cable.
HyperX Alloy Origins - Mechanical Gaming Keyboard
HP's subsidiary gaming brand, HyperX, is known for developing high-quality gaming peripherals. Within our budget category, the HyperX Alloy Origins keyboard stands out. It distinguishes itself from the keyboards we've discussed earlier by offering a complete 100% layout.
The body is constructed from aircraft-grade aluminum, and it features its own exclusive mechanical switches, which are claimed to be durable enough to withstand more than 80 million keystrokes.
Another unique feature of this keyboard is the onboard three profiles, allowing you to set up three different configurations to match your preferences or moods. However, unlike the Redragon Irelia K658 Pro, it only offers a single mode of connection, which is wired through a detachable Type-C USB cable.
RK ROYAL KLUDGE RK87 Wireless Mechanical Keyboard, 75% TKL
This keyboard provides a 75% layout, meaning it offers fewer keys than the Redragon Irelia K658 Pro. Still, it results in a cleaner and more compact design.
Among all the keyboards we've compared to the Redragon Irelia K658 Pro, this is the only one offering three modes of connection: Wireless 2.4 GHz Dongle, Bluetooth, and a detachable USB Type-C cable. It ensures a seamless wireless connection on all three mainstream platforms: Windows, Mac, and Linux.
For extended wireless usage, it features an 1850 mAh lithium-ion battery.
The switches used in this package are brown switches, which might not be as preferred as Red switches for gaming, but they do offer the flexibility of hot-swapping with other 3 or 5-pin switches.
Overall, the Redragon Irelia K658 Pro doesn't overlook any essential features. My final verdict hinges on the fact that this keyboard is designed for a specific niche. If you aren't specifically looking for a transparent keyboard, in my opinion, the Redragon K648 Olaf or the Royal Kludge RK87 offer significantly better alternatives to consider.