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CharminUltraStrong

K550 YAMA Mechanical gaming keyboard review (Best budget board?)

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Posted · Original PosterOP

Let me preface this by saying, I'm using this keyboard as a replacement for my Corsair K95 because that board did not fit my "aesthetic". Is it a bad decision? Maybe, maybe not. I don't care for RGB too much, I was not a fan of the black color and it was simply massive.  Instead I sold it, purchased some smart home outlets and the K550 Yama. The Yama is almost identical to a Corsair board but has that lovely Apple industrial coloring scheme going on.  Other than the design (albeit imitated), the price is quite appealing, going anywhere from $64.50 to $78.90 through their Amazon store.

 

TL;DR

It's a great board, not only great for the price but great in general. The OUTEMU PURPLE switches are, in my opinion, the best switches out there(It's a heavy red with the bump of a blue but without the click). It's built like a tank, has 12 macro buttons in an odd position, gross wrist rest, media keys and a (somewhat cheap feeling) scroll wheel for volume. In addition, it has extremely vibrant RGB lighting but lacks a variety with modes(You can make custom profiles though).  It's got some ABS key caps, which suck the big one, a nice cable, pleasing aesthetics and is the best choice whether you're an experienced mech typist or a newbie. 

 

With the basic introduction out of the way, let's move into the keyboard, section by section.

 

WHAT COMES IN THE BOX

It's a cheap box that is probably less than a sheet of paper, a key puller, a wrist rest that is glossy plastic with a honeycomb texture(Makes me feel like an oily pig, hate it), magnetic pins to hold the rest in and a poorly translated manual

http://prntscr.com/ezx4w5

http://prntscr.com/ezx67c

BUILD

This keyboard is built like a tank and could probably be used as a weapon if you're in a sticky situation. The top plate is made of aluminum with a brushed finish that accents the white plastic used elsewhere on the board.  The underside of the board is constructed of a durable, white, plastic and not much else, what did you expect? Oh, what you expected were feet on the bottom? Unfortunately for you the feet raise the board nearly less than an inch, with no rubber on them to prevent slips, meaning you will hardly know they're there...  Oddly enough, I thought my biggest issue would be the USB cable but it is stupid durable. The rubber on the USB cable coming out of the board (before the termination into 2 USB heads) has the diameter of a toddlers thumb (which is wide) and its point of termination is a large, solid brick of rubber.  The USB cables attached to the heads are the same as any standard USB cord out there, so nothing interesting to see here.

http://prntscr.com/ezxd7z

http://prntscr.com/ezxe9d

http://prntscr.com/ezxeyd

http://prntscr.com/ezxff2


KEY CAPS

I'll make this short, the keycaps are ABS garbage that feel like tissue paper on your finger tips. The are laser engraved from the inside of the key so it will last forever but the light shines through the caps making the board look TERRIBLY cheap.  Oh, I almost forgot, they have a disgusting "Gamer" font that's worse than Razers. TL;DR Buy some new damn caps.

http://prntscr.com/f01h45

http://prntscr.com/f01hdk

 

G-KEYS, MEDIA KEYS

The macro keys are decent but they are in a TERRIBLE position.  It will take me longer to press the macro button than it will to execute it myself (Unless it's extremely long). I suppose it makes longer macros simple? Perhaps they're best for shortcuts? The only time I used them, were for shortcuts in Ableton Live since the placement is so bad.  They make up for the awful placement with easy, yet stupid simple programming. Press "Rec" to record your key presses, then press one of the G Keys (G1 through G12) and you're done!  The manual is so poorly translated that I will now type out how you delete single macros and all of the macros. To delete a single macro, press "Rec" then press the macro key you wish to delete and you're done (All it did was overwrite the G key with a blank recording lol).  If you want to delete all of them, hold the record key down for 5 seconds and you're done.  The keys (Macros, media, lighting keys) themselves are all membrane, from what I can tell, and are quite firm/tactile.  My least favorite part of this entire board is the volume scroll wheel. This wheel is the most unsatisfying, cheap feeling, pain inducing, piece of Chinese TRASH that I've laid eyes upon. There is this TERRIBLE wiggle room/dead zone that transitions into, loose yet defined scroll steps. Your media keys are standard, Play/Pause, Fastforward, Skip, Stop, Mute etc....Except there's a button to swap arrowkey functionality with WASD.

http://prntscr.com/f01hv9

http://prntscr.com/f01img

 

LIGHTING

They've nailed the lighting. It's bright, vibrant, even, and does not look cheap.  There are 7 colors to choose from (Red, Blue, Green, Pink, Yellow, White, and Cyan) BUT for some reason, it can produce all 16 million...I realized this when I saw the fade lighting effect that between colors it's displaying full RGB.  You can record 3 custom presets by pressing "LR", then choosing your color for each key by pressing the key and then you press one of the preset buttons (L1 through L3) to save it. A minor issue I have is the windows lock key has to be pressed in order for you to use the presets for whatever reason.

http://prntscr.com/f01jia

http://prntscr.com/f01jst

http://prntscr.com/f01k2v

http://prntscr.com/f01kia

 

SWITCHES, TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS

This keyboard uses Outemu Purple switches that have Cherry MX stems.  These purple switches might be some of the best typing switches out there (IN MY OPINION) because of their brown like feel.  Purple switches are a cross between your MX Red and blue. In short, these are heavy MX Red's with an MX Blue bump but lack that Blue click.  Using a set of weights, in grams, the keys actuate at 55ish-60ish grams.  This board has full N-Key Rollover/Anti-Ghosting so it will be fine for any application.

http://prntscr.com/f01lzi

 

IN BRIEF

This is a very solid, and (imo) attractive board with an even more attractive price.

Things I like,

 

The OUTEMU PURPLE switches,

The vibrancy of the lighting,

The media keys,

The addition of G-Keys,

The stiffness of the membrane keys for the media functions, G-Keys etc.

The layout, it's standard, yay

The cable

The tank-like construction

 

Things I do not like are,

 

The limited lighting effect options,

The SHIT keycaps,

The fact that my G-Keys, media keys etc. are membrane

The SHIT volume scroll wheel,

The lack of customization for macros,

The terrible keyboard feet

The plasticky wrist rest


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Posted · Original PosterOP

-Reserved-


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On 4/25/2017 at 4:24 PM, CharminUltraStrong said:

-Reserved-

 

Did you get it ?

Is it good or are you using another model? Im looking for one that has volume wheel, that makes low noise and you can make keys light when pressed.

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Posted · Original PosterOP
On 1/6/2019 at 5:59 PM, Akli said:

 

Did you get it ?

Is it good or are you using another model? Im looking for one that has volume wheel, that makes low noise and you can make keys light when pressed.

I posted "-reserved-" just so I could have the top comment portion if I needed to make an update. I've had the board since I posted this and only switched it out a few weeks ago because I needed a much smaller keyboard for my new setup. The switches are very linear and tactile on the k550 yama with the purple switches I got, the volume wheel isn't the best feeling in the world but it works just fine and is accurate.


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Have you kept using it? Are there any issues with the keycaps atm? Have you bought any aftermarket or know any ones that work in this keyboard? What about the volume wheel? 

Thanks for the review, I couldn't find a single good english review online 

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Posted · Original PosterOP
On 1/12/2019 at 11:27 AM, TheCoolestWaterblock said:

Is there a foam wrist rest for it? The plastic one is a little uncomfortable, and I don't want to go buy another keyboard.

Sorry, was super busy all week. You can buy a standard memory foam, gel or neoprene wrist rest on amazon for 5 bucks or so. Just look for a full size wrist rest.


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Posted · Original PosterOP
On 1/13/2019 at 9:25 AM, nachomartin said:

Have you kept using it? Are there any issues with the keycaps atm? Have you bought any aftermarket or know any ones that work in this keyboard? What about the volume wheel? 

Thanks for the review, I couldn't find a single good english review online 

Okay so, for the keycaps, there is a lot of light that shines through the non-clear parts of the cap. It's not to the point where it compromises on the experience but it is noticeable. This is, simply, because the lights are located directly in the switch housing and fill the entire keycap with light. However, on other boards like my tiny z88 super scholar with the same doubleshot ABS keycaps there is NO light that shines through the white part of the cap since the LED is mounted on the keyboards PCB and shines up under the cap through an opening in the deck plate. New key caps are going to be unnecessary unless you hate that sort of thing, for me I didn't mind it at all.

 

Also, you're welcome. I saw very few reviews so I figured I'd post one.


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On 1/10/2019 at 6:29 PM, CharminUltraStrong said:

I posted "-reserved-" just so I could have the top comment portion if I needed to make an update. I've had the board since I posted this and only switched it out a few weeks ago because I needed a much smaller keyboard for my new setup. The switches are very linear and tactile on the k550 yama with the purple switches I got, the volume wheel isn't the best feeling in the world but it works just fine and is accurate.

I got the keyboard:

The keys are todo noisy for me, so im trying to decide if i should buy switches from some other brand or just get a new board, the hard thing with the second is that un bit finding any with silent switches, RGB and most importantly, a volume wheel.

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Posted · Original PosterOP
5 hours ago, Akli said:

I got the keyboard:

The keys are todo noisy for me, so im trying to decide if i should buy switches from some other brand or just get a new board, the hard thing with the second is that un bit finding any with silent switches, RGB and most importantly, a volume wheel.

What switches did you get? The purples are as quiet as they come. What you probably need are some rubber O-rings around the key caps as they'll dampen the sound of the switches and eliminate the FPTANG noise it makes when you strike keys too hard. 


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Lian-Li PC-O11 DW   |   GTX 1070 FTW2   |   Core i5 9600k   |   SeaSonic FOCUS Plus 650W Platinum   |   MSI MPG Z390 Gaming Pro Carbon  |  2x8Gb RIP JAWS V   |   2xSX8200 240Gb NVME SSD's  |   1x Seagate Firecuda 1TB   |   EVGA Closed Loop Cooler 280mm   |   1x MSI MPG27C Monitor

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15 hours ago, CharminUltraStrong said:

What switches did you get? The purples are as quiet as they come. What you probably need are some rubber O-rings around the key caps as they'll dampen the sound of the switches and eliminate the FPTANG noise it makes when you strike keys too hard. 

I got the purple switches, and they are really loud.

I tried cutting a layer of foam and putting it between the key and switch and its does nothing to dampen it.

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Posted · Original PosterOP
19 hours ago, Akli said:

I got the purple switches, and they are really loud.

I tried cutting a layer of foam and putting it between the key and switch and its does nothing to dampen it.

Foam won't really do anything, that's why rubber O rings are used. They act as a soft barrier between the hard plastic key and the metal plate. For me purples are very quiet, they're a linear switch with a tactile bump. So they're a bit scratchy like MX browns.


The Louvre

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On 1/16/2019 at 12:10 PM, CharminUltraStrong said:

Foam won't really do anything, that's why rubber O rings are used. They act as a soft barrier between the hard plastic key and the metal plate. For me purples are very quiet, they're a linear switch with a tactile bump. So they're a bit scratchy like MX browns.

Wouldnt a switch with a tactile bump be called a tactile switch ?

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Posted · Original PosterOP
3 hours ago, Akli said:

Wouldnt a switch with a tactile bump be called a tactile switch ?

Yes my mistake. It has tactility but is silent. Towards the bottom I left a review on the switch.


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Lian-Li PC-O11 DW   |   GTX 1070 FTW2   |   Core i5 9600k   |   SeaSonic FOCUS Plus 650W Platinum   |   MSI MPG Z390 Gaming Pro Carbon  |  2x8Gb RIP JAWS V   |   2xSX8200 240Gb NVME SSD's  |   1x Seagate Firecuda 1TB   |   EVGA Closed Loop Cooler 280mm   |   1x MSI MPG27C Monitor

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I got the same keyboard but comes in black color, still purple keys, I can tell you the keys are loud, and you hear a spring sound everytime you press a button, I don't have any experience with mechanical keyboards before but this one seems "dry" like a membrane if you know what I mean, maybe its the purple keys. either way, I don't see what the hype of mechanical keyboards all about, I was changing my keyboard so it was a good time for me to try one.

 

I disagree with op on some notes:

 

I LIKE:

the build, rugged, yeah as a weapon XD.

the volume control is a plus \

the layout is normal, I have my usual typing accuracy 

 

I DISLIKE:

they keys are easily scratchable, when i tried to remove a key cap the button was scuffed from the sides, still visible

I think the RGB lights are bit dampened

spring noise every time I press a button, so annoying

G keys position, if it was on the left would be better

the handwrist, I thought it would be bigger, it makes your hands curved and hurt your wrists after a while, since the keys are raised a bit

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Posted · Original PosterOP
5 hours ago, baq said:

-snip-

The spring noise is caused by the sharp echo of the key bottoming out. The addition of some little rubber O-Rings would help you greatly. I've switched to using blue switches since I don't need quiet ones anymore and it's been a real pleasure going back to some heavy blues.


The Louvre

Lian-Li PC-O11 DW   |   GTX 1070 FTW2   |   Core i5 9600k   |   SeaSonic FOCUS Plus 650W Platinum   |   MSI MPG Z390 Gaming Pro Carbon  |  2x8Gb RIP JAWS V   |   2xSX8200 240Gb NVME SSD's  |   1x Seagate Firecuda 1TB   |   EVGA Closed Loop Cooler 280mm   |   1x MSI MPG27C Monitor

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3 hours ago, CharminUltraStrong said:

The spring noise is caused by the sharp echo of the key bottoming out. The addition of some little rubber O-Rings would help you greatly. I've switched to using blue switches since I don't need quiet ones anymore and it's been a real pleasure going back to some heavy blues.

mind troulbing you and asking you which rings did you get? or at least which size should i get?

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