Tronsmart TK09R mechanical keyboard review: Affordable, functional with integrated palm rest

The new Tronsmart TK09R is an affordable mechanical, but it has a few drawbacks.

There are numerous mechanical keyboards out there that don't come with a big price tag. The Tronsmart TK09R is another to add to the list. The company is better known for chargers and other devices rather than PC accessories, but the brand has outed new gamer gear all linked by a software package.

Is the TK09R any good? Keep reading.

You'll like the switches on the Tronsmart TK09R

Tronsmart TK09R

The Tronsmart TK09R comes rocking Outemu blue switches, similar to the same color switches you'd find from other makers like Cherry. While these ones may be considered cheaper alternatives, it's not a terrible typing experience — no different than other similarly priced mechanical keyboards. You have various shortcuts available to control functions and the lighting effects. Everything you'd expect is present.

Tronsmart is attempting to follow other vendors by highlighting the RGB lighting as one of the selling points of this keyboard. Each key is individually lit and many preprogrammed mods can be selected, depending on which patterns you prefer. Much of the keyboard can be configured using the Tronsmart software, which is a nice touch. The internal storage lets you save everything to the keyboard, ideal if you frequent LAN events.

The integrated palm rest does a stellar job providing a base for your wrists to lay, but it's not padded, which may put some off. It's also not detachable. The entire keyboard is plastic and I wouldn't say it's an attractive set of keys. There's slight flex if you push down on the center but this shouldn't be a problem.

You'll dislike the Tronsmart software

Tronsmart Radiant

Unfortunately, while the keyboard offers a good typing experience and the palm rest does a solid job, Tronsmart really needs to do some work on its Radiant software. Forget that it looks like something you'd expect to run on Windows XP, it's clunky to use and could do with further development and a UI redesign to bring it up to speed.

A minor annoyance I have with the TK09R is that the palm rest is not detachable. It's great to have it for those who enjoy using them, but I don't on a regular basis and would rather see it detachable, especially if you don't have ample amounts of desk space to accommodate the large rest.

Should you buy the Tronsmart TK09R?

Tronsmart TK09R

If you don't mind cheaper switches and an integrated palm rest you cannot detach from the main unit, the TK09R is worth considering as a budget-friendly mechanical keyboard. It offers a solid typing experience with only a few minor drawbacks, and I bet you'll see some updates to the software offering to make it deliver a more compelling user experience.

See at Amazon

Rich Edmonds
Senior Editor, PC Build

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.