ADATA XPG INFAREX K20 Mechanical Gaming Keyboard Review

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ADATA is a well-known name in the computer hardware industry for their memory and storage solutions. They founded Xtreme Performance Gear (XPG) to provide high-performance products to gamers and tech enthusiasts. If you have used any of ADATA’s high end products over the past several years, then I’m sure the XPG branding is nothing new to you. Today, we have ADATA and XPG’s entry into the mechanical keyboard market with the INFAREX K20, a full-size keyboard with Kailh blue switches and backlighting.

Specifications & Features

(Courtesy XPG)

ADATA XPG INFAREX K20
Case Color Black
Key Switch Kailh Blue
LED Effect 11 Lighting Modes
LED Indicator Color Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Purple
Key Number 104
Key Life > 50,000,000 Actuations
Connector USB Type A
Operating Temp 0° C ~ 40° C
Working Voltage 4.4 – 5.5 V DC
Current 300 mA (Max)
Certification CE, FCC, China RoHS
Warranty 1 Year

Mechanical Blue Switches for Excellent Tactile Feedback

The INFAREX K20 is built with mechanical blue switches, which can withstand up to 50 million key presses, and offer excellent tactile feedback to the user. The 50 g actuation force and ergonomic cap designs mean that users can clearly feel each press, even in the heat of battle!

Complete Anti-Ghosting

The entire INFAREX K20 keyboard has anti-ghosting capabilities, which means gamers do not need to worry about signal conflicts or missed key presses, regardless of how many keys they hold down at once. This means that every command will be transmitted in-game, thus ensuring that nothing gets missed!

11 Different Lighting Effects

The INFAREX K20 is equipped with 11 different lighting effects, which can be toggled with a dedicated Mode key based on the user’s preferences. Furthermore, the speed of the lighting effects can be adjusted with two additional keys on either side of the Mode key, which means users can customize their battlefield to their heart’s content.

Media Keys

Sometimes you want to make quick adjustments to the music, sound, or other effects in the middle of a battle. The INFAREX K20 makes this easy and convenient with built-in media keys, allowing users to make the necessary adjustments without having to open any other programs or apps.

Reinforced Braided Cable & Gilded USB Connector

The cables on the INFAREX K20 use a reinforced braided design, which is extremely durable and knot-resistant. The INFAREX K20 also is equipped with a gilded USB connector, to guarantee that signals are sent and received without any issue even in the thick of the fight.

Packaging

The packaging is pretty standard with a large image of the board on the front along with the model name, XPG branding, and a badge showing what type of switch is used. On the back, there are a few details on the features of the board. There is a misleading piece of information on the back which says F1-F7 are “Programmable Keys” when they are actually pre-programmed keys for media functions.

Box Front

Box Back

Box Opened

ADATA XPG INFAREX K20

I appreciate the overall look and design of the K20. It has a simple, minimalistic appeal with just enough room for all the keys and with only understated XPG branding at the top right and on a couple of keys.

XPG INFAREX K20

For a little more details on the keycaps, they are made of translucent ABS that is covered with a black dye material, and the legends are laser etched onto the keycap by removing some of the dye material. This allows the LED lighting to shine through the cap for backlighting. I can also appreciate the legends being a basic font style instead of some edgy “gamer” font which typically looks horrible.

The LED backlighting is set up to have a single color span the length of each row of keys which cannot be changed. Starting at the top row (F-row) and going down, the colors are red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple. However, the purple LEDs on the bottom row really look more pink to me. Again, the lighting colors cannot be changed, so this board isn’t RGB, just static, colored LEDs.

The lighting effects consist of all on, all off, pulsing, cascading, and stacking modes. The lighting brightness keys adjust the brightness for the “all on” mode but adjust the speed of the other effects.

LEDs On

The case (sides and bottom) is made of plastic. The bottom of the case has a couple of features worth noting. There are legs on either side to incline the board, and there is a channel for the USB cable so that it can be directed to the left, right, or center of the back of the case.

Bottom

Leg Down

Leg Up

USB Cable Channel

Rubber Feet

The USB cable is non-removable and braided with a gold plated connector.

Gold Plated USB Cable

The switches are one of many Cherry clones out there, with these specifically being Kailh’s version of the blue switch. Blue switches typically require a light actuation force (~50 g) and have a tactile bump with an audible “click” to signify that the switch has been activated.

Kailh Blue Switch

The plate (top) is made of metal and uses square holes for the switches. The prevents switch top removal for things such as spring replacement, slider replacement, and lubing. Although the general consumer probably wouldn’t be doing that anyway.

Usage Experience

The cable location and channel giving the user the option to have it exit the back of the board in three areas is such a simple, yet great quality of life feature.

I wasn’t sure how I’d like the blue switches, having never used them before out of fear of their audible clicking. The clicking isn’t as loud as I was expecting. Although, when gaming, I do prefer to wear headphones while using these blue switches so that they don’t distract from the game audio. The tactile feedback is very nice on blue switches, but the audible clicking could be a turn off to some people. This is especially true if the board will be used where there are other people around who will also have to listen to the board’s clicking.

Personally, I’m not a fan of the lighting at all. Going with single color LEDs definitely reduces the cost of the board. However, if foregoing RGB for static LEDs, then I don’t believe trying to emulate RGB by having six different colors on the board that cannot be changed is a good route to take. This means the consumer is stuck with a multicolored board that doesn’t match anything, and are forced to cut all of the lights off just so it will work aesthetically with the rest of their build and peripherals (I’m sure there are a few people out there with the multicolored themed builds, but those few have to be a minuscule percent of the general consumer market). I think having either RGB or single color static LEDs throughout the board are better options.

I definitely like the built-in media keys on the second layer. This makes it super simple to change volume, play/pause, and skip tracks without having to pull up a media application.

On most keyboards, the three keys to the right of F12 are typically Print Screen, Scroll Lock, and Pause. However, on the INFAREX K20 those key are instead used for changing the lighting effects and brightness/speed. I don’t see anything wrong with choosing to make those less frequently used keys into something more useful. Something odd about this, though, is that there is no Scroll Lock key, but there is a Scroll Lock LED above the numpad. The only time I’ve been able to get the “Scroll Lock” LED to come on is when activating the n-key roller key (F9) on the second layer, which makes the LEDs flash momentarily.

Speaking of the n-key rollover feature, it seems to work well. Without the feature enabled, six keys can be pressed simultaneously and still activate.

Damage

Unfortunately, there is a little damage on this sample in the form of a sliced piece of the case near the ESC key at the top left of the board. There was no damage to the box, so I can only assume the damage must have happened before packaging and shipping. This is definitely something QC should have noticed before packaging the board.

Damage

Damage

Conclusion

I love the simplistic design, minimal branding, and fitting a full-size board into a small footprint. The legends are nice and easily readable, not some “gamer” font. The multi-media keys are a great addition, as well as the n-key rollover mode. The blue switches aren’t bad and a choice of personal preference really. For me, the main downside is the multicolored lighting, but that’s also a personal preference.

The INFAREX K20 is going for $45 at Amazon. $45 is insanely cheap. Trying to build this yourself for $45 just couldn’t happen… Kailh switches are around $0.25 each, and with 104 keys, that makes up $26 of the $45 price tag. This leaves only $19 for a PCB, LEDs, case, plate, keycaps, and USB cable. So, I feel like ADATA was going for cheap, first and foremost.

ADATA has a good looking product for a cheap entry into mechanical keyboards, but I think having only one option for switches and LEDs can limit the number of potential buyers. This limitation could drive some to pass on the INFAREX K20 and put that $45 into a board that has exactly the switches and LEDs they want. I believe having different switch options (e.g. blue, brown, red/black) coupled with all LEDs being a single color instead of multi-colored by row would definitely make the board more appealing. We reached out to ADATA and checked to see if there was anything cooking for key options for this model and that answer was a “No”. We were told if any new keyboards did come out, they would be their own separate product and would likely have other changes.

However, for the price of $45, it will be hard to beat the INFAREX K20 as long as you’re looking for a board with the blue switches and don’t mind the multicolored LEDs.

Click to find out what this means

– Matt T. Green (MattNo5ss)

 

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