Building your dream gaming rig can be one of the most fulfilling experiences for a PC gamer. From deciding on which powerhouse processor and graphic card you’re going with to figuring out what case and RGB colour suits you most, it’s a personal journey that’s an in-depth reflection of your tastes.
While the rig itself usually takes centre stage, no gaming setup is complete without the right gaming keyboard. In a niche dominated by pricey mechanical keyboards, the Redgragon K502 aims to provide gamers with an affordable RGB solution and a quality membrane keyboard experience to round out your gaming station.
In this Redragon K502 review, we’re going to see just how well it stacks up against some of the more popular gaming keyboards and whether or not it’s worth sticking to a membrane type device.
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What is the Redragon K502?
Redragon is a tech company focused on creating more affordable keyboards and mice for gamers. They released their first line of devices back in 2012 and have steadily become a growing influence in gaming hardware all across the globe. With mechanical keyboards all but overtaking the gaming scene, gaming keyboards have become increasingly more expensive throughout the years, with some setting you back well over $200. By introducing the K502, Redragon offers an inexpensive RGB gaming keyboard to gamers on a budget by focusing on a high-quality membrane design as opposed to going mechanical. That way, gamers can enjoy a great-looking backlit keyboard to go with their gaming rig for just under $60.
Also known as the Redragon Karura 2, the K502 is a full-sized 104-key USB gaming keyboard complete with numpad and LED RGB switchable backlight colours. It sports a striking ergonomic black and red design with low-profile keys, meaning they’re shorter than usual and therefore create less noise when pressed while still maintaining a comfortable degree of tactile feedback.
This is great for people who prefer a quieter set up since keyboards that use mechanical switches are known for being quite loud. Unfortunately, at the end of the day, the K502 is still a membrane keyboard so it’ll be harder to clean, won’t feel as crisp, and likely won’t last as long as your standard mechanical keyboard.
Membrane switches also register only one stroke at any given time, increasing the likelihood of some inputs not registering at all. Any gamer worth their salt knows just how crucial every keystroke can be in video games.
The K502 features 6 different lighting modes, 4 brightness levels, and a host of different effects and breathing speeds. You can also choose to turn off the backlight altogether if you’re in a well-lit environment or just aren’t feeling so RGB-ish. Clumsy users will be glad to know that the keyboard is designed to be water-resistant against light spills, so a few accidental drops of Game Fuel won’t be the end of the world.
It comes with a built-in wrist/palm rest that elevates your hand for a more comfortable typing and gaming experience. You can’t remove the rest, however, since it’s designed to be part of the keyboard. The height-adjusting flip-up legs at the back of the keyboard lack rubber grips so it may cause the device to slip depending on what kind of table you’re using.
Redragon’s K502 offers dedicated media controls using the F1 – F12 keys in tandem with the FN key and is capable of interchanging the WASD and arrow keys which may prove remarkably useful in certain video games.
Redragon K502 Specs
|Dimensions||45.2 x 20.15 x 1.85 cm|
|Keyboard Type||Membrane Keyboard|
|Number of keys||104|
Redragon K502 Design
The K502’s has “gamer” written all over it with its sexy black and red design, loud RGB backlights, and comfortable rubbery, matte-like finish. The material its made from doesn’t track fingerprints, which is great for people (myself included) who despise the sight of fingerprints across their keyboard. The keys are all laser-engraved, so the backlight is crisp and uniform all throughout. With its 6 different lighting modes and a bunch of effects to play around with, you’re bound to find your ideal RGB setting.
Unfortunately, since the K502 is mostly black in colour with a distinct streak of red towards its bottom part and a bright red cable, it’s only really suited for gaming setups that share the same two tones.
All in all, this Redragon keyboard punches far above its weight class in the looks department, especially considering how cheap it is, and can rival some of the more well-known competition, such as the Havit Mechanical Keyboard and HyperX Alloy Core RGB.
What’s it like to use?
While it isn’t quite at the level of a mechanical keyboard, the K502’s low-profile keys and well-designed wrist/palm rest ensure a quiet and comfortable typing and gaming experience. Using dedicated media controls is as simple as can be and switching the WASD and arrow keys only require you to press the FN and W keys simultaneously.
You can even lock the windows key so it won’t get in the way while playing video games. Its quietness is also worth noting since it’s a great characteristic for people who don’t particularly enjoy the crunchy sounds of a mechanical keyboard or for streamers who don’t want their mics to pick up keyboard noise. As a bonus, the K502 doesn’t get as slippery and oily as some keyboards do after extended use, which is a big plus.
With its gorgeous gamer-centric design and a wide array of RGB lighting and effects settings, the Redragon K502 is a comfortable and capable membrane keyboard that does its job quieter than most thanks to its low-profile keys. While it doesn’t quite match up to mechanical keyboards when it comes to responsiveness and the ability to swap out keys, it’s a great keyboard nonetheless and one of the best budget gaming keyboards at its price range.
Redragon K502 Review Box
Redragon K502 Review
Design & Build
The Redragon K502’s handsome looks and low-profile design make it seem far more expensive than it actually is, and is enough to rival far more luxurious gaming brands like Razer and Corsair.
Granted, Redragon’s offering falls a little short due to its use of membrane switches, but that’s what allows it to remain in the below $60 space. Its various RGB settings don’t disappoint and its ease-of-use and high-level of comfort make it the best low-profile RBG membrane keyboard around.
✓ Very affordable
✓ Gorgeous low-profile design
✓ Quiet, comfortable, and easy to use
✗ Membrane switches are generally inferior to mechanical ones
✗ Colour scheme limits the kind of setups it can work with
✗ Wrist/Palm rest can’t be removed