Creative Sound BlasterX Vanguard K08 Review

👤by Tony Le Bourne Comments 📅30-03-17
Performance Testing
Setup, Design & Observations
You will need two spare USB ports for the Vanguard K08, one for the keyboard itself, the other for the USB pass-through. It is a shame that the pass-through featured is not USB 3.0, especially as many of the latest motherboards do not even feature USB 2.0 on their rear I/O.

The keyboard itself is sturdy and well made with no noticeable flex while in use. The keycaps and finish feels high quality but not quite fingerprint resistant. The media keys feel nice and satisfying to press in a rather enjoyable squishy kinda way while the volume roller gives a smooth but weighty impression.

Should you wish, connecting the wrist rest requires you to slightly lift the keyboard over the clips, then a little push to click into place. Once attached it will remain firm, but lifting the keyboard quickly may result in a flappy wrist rest, so be careful not to knock it while doing so as you could damage the plastic clip. Though some complain that magnetic wrist rests tend to move too much, I have never experienced an issue with them and I would certainly have preferred a magnetic solution.

In use, the Vanguard K08 is comfortable to use with or without the wrist rest, making it an optional extra, this is because the VK08 is only 37.8mm tall, which means it is low enough for hands to easily reach over the keyboard.


Performance
The switches were somewhat startling, as you will instantly notice that they have very little wobble and remain relatively silent while rubbing your finger over the surface of all the keycaps. The actuation force feels a little higher than we are used to, and once depressed, the key smoothly slides down and up with little lateral interference. The keystroke is quieter than most other mechanical switches we test (similar to MX Silent) yet felt quicker than normal due to a strong rebound force and shorter keystroke. In typing tests I was able to maintain an average of 67 words per minute which is slightly over my average typing speed of 58-63wpm which was despite my errors made due to using the US layout.

In our gaming tests we found that the keys felt clinical and spammable with very little wasted movement. The macro keys weren't too close as to cause accidental keystrokes or hand-position error, though I felt that they could have given them a slightly different textured keycap to differentiate them that little more.

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