ACGAM is a manufacturer of some affordable PC gaming hardware, offering solid options for mice, keyboards, and other accessories at more affordable prices. We can't get everything for free and so there are some drawbacks when going for cheaper hardware, but much like the G402 mouse by the same company, this mechanical keyboard is actually pretty good.
New to switches
Pros:Excellent mechanical switches.Sturdy and durable.Driver support with programmable functions.
Cons:Very loud.Non-removable cable.Sub-function legends are painted on the keycaps.
What you'll like about the ACGAM AG-109R
The price of the ACGAM AG-209R makes it an enticing keyboard. The fact this thing sports mechanical keys is also a great bonus — though it is worth mentioning that these switches are not Cherry MX. Thankfully, alternative mechanical switches have come a long way over recent years. Put this keyboard next to one sporting Cherry MX switches and I'd bet you won't notice a significant difference.
|Dimensions||443 x 135 x 35mm|
For typing, they're absolutely fine and gaming is a blast with the included anti-ghosting and excellent tactile feedback. The total travel of around 4mm matches similar offerings from other vendors, and the actuation point of 2.7mm means you don't need to hammer them all the way to the bottom to register input, which is sort of the idea with mechanical keyboards. And there's an included key remover tool to help you take them all off for more effective keyboard cleaning.
The build is solid, durable and should withstand some years of use. I didn't notice any flex in typing, gaming or by trying to twist the chassis, but the design leaves a lot to be desired. The chrome effect is a nice touch around the top edge of the main plate and the lack of a top shroud to surround keys allows for the LED lighting to shine all the way to Timbuktu. You won't be afraid of taking this along with you to LAN events.
What you'll dislike about the ACGAM AG-109R
I'm not a fan of the painted sub-function legends on the keycaps. Eventually you'll rub that paint off and you'll no longer see what's available with that key. I don't really see why ACGAM didn't opt for laser cut to match the legend for the main function of each key, especially given there are already RGB LEDs installed underneath. It's a strange design choice and not one I'd expect to see in keyboards costing more than $50.
The switches are great to use, but what you will notice is noise. Lots of noise. This is the nature of going with really clicky switches but may put off those who will be typing in a quiet environment. That said, throw on a pair of headphones and you'll quickly forget about it all. What is interesting is the slight echo that occurs when pressing down on keys.
ACGAM also chose not to go for a detachable USB cable, which makes this slightly more difficult to take around and if the connection fails you'll need to do a DIY job or pick up a new keyboard. The cable is also not braided. Some could suggest that these are areas that show how afordable this keyboard is, but competitors have managed to include detachable cables and more for around the same price.
Luckily, these negatives do not impede on the overall experience of the AG-109R. They're more annoyances than anything.
Bottom line on ACGAM AG-109R
There are better keyboards out there, for sure — I'll not beat around the bush. Take the Havit HV-KB395L, which costs $20 more for the same amount of keys, or the same price for a ten-keyless version. That keyboard offers slightly better build quality and a more pleasant typing experience. Still, for the money, considering this is a mechanical keyboard, the AG-109R is a good option and won't disappoint, so long as you maintain expectations.
Will it blow you away? Not at all. But it's not priced to do so.
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Rich Edmonds was formerly a Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.