From the Reviewer
The Xtrfy K4 Retro TKL is priced at £89.99 in the UK and we feel is the perfect price point for the incredible quality on offer. The RGB lighting is crisp and saturated, and the typing experience is reasonable but could easily be improved with some cheap modifications.Overall, for the price you’re paying, you will not find a better keyboard in the bracket. The K4 easily outperforms some of its competitors for less than half of the price.
- Retro Aesthetics
- Good Base to Modify
- Crisp RGB Lighting
- Braided Cable
- Build Quality
Xtrfy is a Swedish company that has slipped under my radar for a long time until recently when I put together all the data for our most used keyboards by eSports gamers article when I soon realised – there is a lot of pro gamers using Xtrfy hardware in tournaments.
As with the previous Xtrfy K5 keyboard review, I reached out to the Xtrfy marketing team to see if I could see what all the fuss was about. Initially, I just wanted to look at the K5 but they were nice enough to send me this one as well, so a big shout out to Xtrfy for providing this sample.
Let us kick off our Xtrfy K4 TKL Retro Mech Keyboard Review by taking a closer look at what is on offer and the specifications
On paper, the Xtrfy K4 TKL eSports gaming keyboard is a very similar spec to its bigger brother the K5 65% but, brings a little less refinement resulting in a more accessible price point. While still rocking the same Kailh red switches as the K5 this model does not support hot-swappable switches nor does it include key dampening or a detachable USB cable.
|Xtrfy K4 TKL Retro Specifications|
|Switches||Mechanical Kailh Red RGB|
|Switch Variants||Linear Only|
|Form Factor||88 Key, TenKeyLess (TKL)|
|Volume Adjustment||Yes via shortcut|
|Connectivity||Hard-wired braided, non-detachable USB|
|Layouts Available||Nordic, UK, US, German, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Russian|
|Colours Available||Retro, Black, White|
|Dimensions||356 x 141 x 39 mm|
|Price||£89.99 keyboard in the UK or $155 in the USA|
The Xtrfy K4 is available in 4 different options; The first is the full-size K4 complete with number keys but only available in black. The other 3 are all TKL versions; The first is the retro version we are reviewing here and the different options you can spec are either a black or white version.
A look at the box reveals that their design team know exactly how to place their products. A sleek retro design with carefully chosen colours to really it apart from the competition – you instantly feel a sense of weird nostalgia.
Upon opening the box, there is not much to see other than some protective foam covering the front of the Xtrfy K4 TKL keyboard.
I mentioned before that the packaging design made me feel like was 8 years old and back in school again, I specifically remember a similar style in my early years. I admit it’s a very nostalgic experience – even down to the retro grey tone of the frame and keycaps, they really nailed it there.
One thing I really love about the Xtrfy K4 RGB keyboard is the triple-tone keycaps, especially the darker caps that take up the ‘TKL’ portion of the board – they seem to section off the keyboard in my peripheral vision.
To the rear of the K4 TKL keyboard, you have a centred and braided USB cable with red plastic accents to further bolster the retro theme of this unit. As mentioned before, the cable is not detached so if you’re looking for a pickup-and-go keyboard you can throw in your backpack you may want to look at the K5 TKL or maybe even the Roccat Vulcan which both come with detachable USB-c connectors.
Out of all of the mechanical eSports keyboards I have reviewed recently, the build quality of Xtrfy mechanical keyboards has been second to none and no, I am not just saying that because they were kind enough to provide me with some samples to review, I am genuinely impressed by the attention to detail.
The K4 is, in my opinion, a well-constructed keyboard that has a decent weight to it without being overbearing as well as rubberised pads and extendable feet meaning it’s not going to go slipping around your desk during those clutch gaming moments.
As with the Xtrfy K5 compact 65% keyboard we reviewed, the integrated RGB lighting is amongst the best in class bringing vibrant colours across the full spectrum of colours. Normally, I have something to say in the RGB lighting department but not with this keyboard.
What I have found so far is all of the expensive keyboards look the part in pictures such as the Logitech G915 and the SteelSeries Apex PRO TKL but lack in other departments which is not something I can say for the Xtrfy K4 TKL mechanical eSports gaming keyboard.
I’ll come right out and say it; The typing experience is nowhere near as refined as the Xtrfy K5 65% keyboard but what do you expect from a product that is purposely positioned to be cheaper and easier to access that its bigger (smaller) brother?
Overall, the typing experience from the Xtrfy K4 TKL keyboard is still much better than anything else I have used in the segment. The stabs have some nice resistance and don’t sound echoey at all which is something I found to be a problem with the Roccat Vulcan TKL Pro. If you take a little time to tape-mod the keyboard and lube the switches, I could almost bet that this keyboard would beat anything else for the price.
I find gaming performance is always hard to quantify when it comes to RGB mechanical gaming keyboards. Response times feel as fast as they can be and are generally imperceptible to us mere mortals so I tend to go on feel, feedback and the general comfort whilst gaming. I found with the Logitech G915 that while it was a huge board taking up a lot of space, my fingers felt cramped and suffered from a lot of overshoot when gaming resulting in my pressing the wrong keys but that is not something I have while using the Xtrfy K4 TKL.
There are zero noticeable delays in the execution of key presses. The n-key rollover feature ensures that all keypresses are registered no matter how many keys you press in succession.
Until a couple of months ago, I didn’t even know who Xtrfy were but, after reviewing two of their keyboards now and seeing how they interact with their audience on social media, I can see these guys going places in the long term. Remembering this is an £89.99 keyboard in the UK or $155 in the USA, I don’t think there is much else in the segment that can match the quality on offer this side of the pond.
Ok, so price-wise, there is the Coolermaster CK352 which comes in at £60 in the UK or $69.99 in the US but, the refinement and quality offered are nowhere what you’re getting from the Xtrfy K4 TKL – spending the extra £20 is worth it.
I don’t really see any other competition at the price point right now in the eSports tournament gaming scene. Out of all of our reviews, research and testing – it’s looking like Xtrfy keyboards are some of the best, off-the-shelf mechanical gaming keyboards currently available offering competitive price points. Xtrfy seems to be nailing it on the head blending the perfect amount of marketing with quality. It’s nice to see a manufacturer not oversell and underdeliver their products.
The Xtrfy K4 TKL mechanical keyboard is easily one of the best gaming keyboards used by professional gamers right now, alongside the K5 – I would highly recommend this keyboard for gamers or programmers wanting a step up from the run-of-the-mill, off-the-shelf hardware that only looks good in pictures and often under-delivers.