Keyboard Bliss: Rosewill 9100BR Hits The Mark

Italian Seduction (Introduction)

I have a confession to make: I'm an addict -- and it's 100% Marco's fault.

12 months ago, I was perilously tight on funds and short on keyboards. More precisely, I was short on keyboards that weren't $5 bargain-basement pieces of junk. While I keep plenty of those on hand for testing various system builds, I prefer something with a little more heft for personal daily use.

I asked Dave if he had any keyboards handy. Dave said to ask Marco. So I did.

 The face of evil
"Well," said Marco, his black eyes gleaming, "It just so happens that I do have some mechanical keyboards I'm not using at the moment. Have you ever used ALPS key switches?"

"No," I said, feeling foolish. "I mean, I know a lot of people swear by the IBM Model M..."

"Pfagh!" he said. "The Model M is awesome, but not for gamers like you; a worthy effort whose time is past. And there are keyboards with other types of mechanical switches that can match its durability without weighing 40 lbs. As I said, I have... options."

His tongue caressed the last word lovingly.

That night, I agreed to trade my faithful rubber-dome keyboards of a decade for some swanky mechanical options. Soon, I found myself pouring over charts and graphs. Consulting ergonomic charts. Dvorak and Colemak haunted my dreams. ASCII characters swam in the murky depths of my subconscious. I dreamed of Cherries. Red. Blue. Brown.

Learn from my mistakes, readers -- and hopefully, pick out a nice keyboard in the process. What we have on tap for you today is the Rosewill 9100BR. It's not as flashy as some of the other mechanicals on the market, but it gets the job done with style.


So how nice is this Rosewill 9100BR? Pretty damn sexy. In fact, I'd say it hits the Goldilocks zone perfectly. If the Osmium's keys (reviewed here) were a bit too light for your taste but the ALPS switches and Cherry Blacks came off too hard, then Cherry Brown key switches are damn near perfect.

Cherry Red on the left, Cherry Brown on the right. You can see the tactile "bump" mechanism

Most importantly, after weeks of fighting with the Osmium due to its unfortunate key bounce issue, the joy of a fully functional keyboard is amazing.

There are a few things I don't like. The Numlock key glows *nuclear* green for no reason I can see; I can't tell why Rosewill felt the brand was best demonstrated by a lurid green glow. And there's no way to turn this off; or even turn it down.

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