Review: IKBC Table E 412 Mechanical Keyboard (Hardware)
Function Over Style
The IKBC Table E 412 keyboard is a mechanical keyboard that favors function over style, featuring a simple Dark Gray colored matte finish, basic white LED individually backlit keys, and uses a detachable USB-C cable for connecting to your PC. The keycaps themselves are made of plastic and have a concave finish, and the keyboard features a rather wide wrist rest, allowing for maximum comfort when typing for long periods. You can get the Table E 412 keyboard with 4 different key switches, including Cherry MX Brown, MX Blue, MX Red, and MX Silent Red switches, so you can choose the best key switches for your use case.
The particular keyboard I received has Cherry MX Brown switches, which is a tactile, non-clicky key switch that is considered the best “middle ground” switch between gaming and typing. The keyboard is priced at $120 ( $125 if you choose the MX Silent Red switches), which might seem a bit steep for such a simplistic keyboard. But, as usual, before we get into the meat of the review, we’ll take a look at what comes in the box when you order your own IKBC Table E 412 Keyboard.
One of the first things you’ll notice is the simplicity of the box the keyboard comes in. You’re not given any fancy images of the keyboard inside, no marketing mumbo jumbo about how it’s GREAT FOR GAMING and made BY GAMERS FOR GAMERS, just the model of the keyboard, a nice orange bar, some quick model info on the back and that’s about it. Opening the box will show you the keyboard in a plastic bag--to eliminate any unwanted dust that might slip in during shipment--the manuals underneath, a box that contains a 6’ long USB-C cable, a keycap puller, and some extra keycaps for the modifier keys if you want to change the surface of the modifiers from concave to flat. The keyboard itself is pretty hefty, weighing approximately 4lbs (~1.8kgs) and measures out to 18"(L) by 9.5"(W). One of the more obvious things you'll notice is the rather substantial wrist rest on the thing, which measures out to 3" long on its own; that's pretty substantial when it accounts for a third of the width of the keyboard.
I don't normally like big wrist rests myself, but I found the rest on the Table E 412 to actually be quite nice and comfortable. Swapping between it and my Logitech G910, comfort wise, is like night and day. Key-wise, the Table E 412 is a full-sized ANSI keyboard with 108 keys, with 104 standard, keys, 3 extra media keys...and a dedicated calculator key, for some reason. There are also 8 extra FN keys on the function row that will allow you to toggle the white backlight, swap between 3 brightness settings, change to one of the 7 different backlit displays, and set the speed of those different displays if applicable.
You’ll also find a toggle switch, 6 buttons, and a volume knob in the top right corner, giving you some additional controls for the keyboard: You can swap the positions of the Windows and FN keys, disable the Windows key completely, reset all of your settings if need be, and buttons to setup or reset a passcode lock, which is one of the more interesting features of the keyboard that, realistically, is the most useless. You can lock down the E 412 keyboard completely with a 1-6 digit passcode, which can stop anyone from using the keyboard while the switch is active. If you get the password wrong 7 times, the keyboard locks down fully and cannot be used, which might be nice if the keyboard is kept in a more public environment like an office, or is used to limit the time spent on a PC for a child at home.
So then how do you use it once the keyboard is locked down permanently? Well, by simply resetting it...which is done via a pinhole button located on the bottom of the keyboard. Anyone who might want to use or steal the keyboard and find it to be locked could simply give it a quick look over, find the button, and reset the password and have complete access no problem at all. A better solution, in my opinion, would have been to include a unique master password with every keyboard that could be used to reset the password instead of an easily accessible button. When I gave the keyboard to my wife, to try and figure out how to unlock it, it took her about 5 minutes after being locked out to find the little button that's behind one of the kickstands to reset everything.
But, ignoring that particular feature, is it a good keyboard to use? Overall, yes, I think the IKBC Table E 412 is an excellent keyboard for both general office work and for gaming. When I first received the keyboard I set it up with my gaming desktop to test its response time and see how it feels for those "intense GAMING" moments, and I was surprised that it felt just as good as my daily driver, the Logitech G910. For office work, I replaced the Rosewill RK-6000 on my work desktop with the E 412, and the switch from Rosewill's cloned ALPS switches to Cherry MX Brown was a massive upgrade by itself. Typing for long periods is comfortable, thanks to the large wrist rest and the MX Brown switches, and you won't be waking the dead with every clicky clacky as you respond to that important business email or support ticket.
+ Simple, no frills minimalist design in a world full of GAMER KEYBOARDS FOR GAMERS.
+ Hefty keyboard that feels solid and long lasting.
+ Huge wrist rest is a nice touch, and adds additional comfort to the keyboard.
+ Ability to choose between different key switches.
- Password lock, while a nice thought, could've been more secure.
- Plastic keys feel a bit flimsy when pulled off the keyboard.
- Price is a tad high for what you get.
out of 10
Overall, the IKBC Table E 412 is the perfect keyboard for anyone looking for a minimalist mechanical keyboard that's comfortable to use for long periods, not all about flashing lights and GAMING...if you're willing to pay the price.