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Today, we’re going to take a closer look at the Skyloong GK61 Pro keyboard. This unit was sent to me by Skyloong themselves, and I’ve spent the past two weeks testing it to produce an accurate review that will help you decide whether it’s a good option for you.
I want to be clear that this is in no way a sponsored promotion–I did receive the keyboard for free, but what you’re about to read is my unbiased, honest opinion based on my personal experience with it.
At a glance, the GK61 Pro is a wireless 60% keyboard that’s compact, high quality, and versatile. In this review, I will go over all the key features, including packaging, design, build quality, typing experience, software, and more.
Let’s get into it.
Unboxing & First Impressions
When first handling the packaging, you’re greeted with a box branded with an appealing SKYLOONG logo.
It leaves you with a good visual impression that reminds you the product you just purchased is a premium product. Overall, the box itself could be a more solid feeling, but it’s a minor gripe, considering the contents inside are of good quality.
Included in the box are the keyboard itself, a sturdy braided USB-C cable, a branded Skyloong USB dongle, a key cap/hot swap tool, replacement switches, and replacement keys with associated parts.
Immediately, you notice the material quality on the package keys and parts, which really drives home that this is a good quality keyboard.
The parts also have their own discrete resealable bags that allow for easy organization when storing your spare parts. The bags themselves are somewhat opaque and look much higher quality than standard translucent plastic bags that are generally sent.
Plus, the added spares and items are tucked behind the folds in the box, leading to a nice presentation when you first open the box.
The GK61 Pro’s immediately noticeable feature is the split space bar and red accent keys, including the space, enter, and escape keys. This is noteworthy as the included keys allow you to replace them with more subdued grey and white colors if red doesn’t match your aesthetic.
They’ve also included a traditional space bar that would replace the split space bar, allowing for more traditional use.
When buying a high-quality product, it’s important you have a similarly high-quality experience when setting up the product itself. Skyloong delivers here, giving you confidence that you made the right call picking out the GK61 Pro.
Build Quality & Design
The overall design of the keyboard is adequate, and it doesn’t offend in any way. This particular model was white, grey, and red, with only three keys being red. This leads to a nice red accent that doesn’t look immature, as many red-focused gaming peripherals can.
As mentioned above, the included replacement keycaps are white and grey, which gives you the option to completely eliminate the red altogether. The downside here is the split space bar is red, and the replacement traditional space bar is white.
This means if you want to use the split space bar, then you are forced into having the red keys. This may be a deal breaker for you, depending on your aesthetic and how important color coordination is. It would be nice for a replacement split key to be included in the alternate neutral color for more versatility.
When handling the keyboard itself, the first thoughts that come to mind are ‘sturdy’ and ‘lightweight.’ The keyboard frame is a solid-feeling ABS that doesn’t flex or bend when applying force and gets the job done. It’s lightweight as well, and you can tell this immediately when picking up the keyboard for the first time.
If you’re someone who values heavy and solid feeling peripherals, then you may want to look elsewhere, as the ABS housing won’t fool you. It’s sturdy ABS plastic that feels like plastic when tapped with a hollowness to it. This is the trade-off of having a lightweight frame at a relatively inexpensive price.
If you prefer your peripherals on the heavier side with higher-quality materials, then you would need to purchase the aluminum frame option, which is significantly more expensive.
Overall, it’s a good-feeling keyboard that inspires confidence and leaves a positive first impression. It has some caveats that may be a deal breaker for you, but I’d imagine most will enjoy it right out of the box.
The typing experience is very positive, with no real downsides. It’s exactly how you want it to be. The Gateron Red switches feel very balanced and linear, and actuating them requires just the right amount of input. The sounds are on the more ‘full’ side, compared to more clicky-sounding switches from other manufacturers like CherryMX, for example.
This is a very good option if you traditionally enjoy mechanical keyboards with red switches and don’t want an overly loud one. The keyboard has a standard and very intuitive 60% layout, meaning you rarely miss clicks, and switching between similar keyboards is a breeze.
Now, the split space bar will be loved by some and hated by others. It takes some getting used to, but really does allow for a more fluid typing experience once you commit that action to muscle memory.
The split space bar gives more typing flexibility by binding functions to the right side and using the wheel to make minor adjustments you’d normally need your mouse or arrow keys for, keeping the typing momentum flowing uninterrupted.
You’ll find it jarring or weird at first, but it does offer more capability than you might initially think.
As a keyboard for typing, the GK61 really is great. Everything that actually matters, like the inputs, feeling, sound, and overall experience, is truly high quality. You won’t be disappointed when using the GK61 for any of your typing needs.
The GK61 provides a pleasant gaming experience that is simple, effective, and not intrusive. The keys require little force to depress, leading to effortlessly fast inputs. As far as keyboard functionality, there are no obstacles here if you are into fast-paced, competitive games.
Furthermore, the keys are also responsive when connected wirelessly via Bluetooth or 2.4 GHz. There aren’t any arrow keys due to the form factor of the keyboard, but for most modern games, this doesn’t play a part.
One potential drawback is the knob and split space bar when gaming. If your finger layout and muscle memory are different for gaming compared to conventional typing, then the split space bar and knob may get in the way.
When playing games that required space bar use, the knob would be where my expected space bar point of contact was. This leads to unintended and clumsy presses when using the keyboard in fast-paced games that require you to use the space bar frequently.
Overall, the GK61 Pro is a good feeling and responsive keyboard that provides what you need for gaming and typing. However, depending on your preference and muscle memory, the space bar may be more of an obstacle. You can switch it out for a conventional space bar, but you need to be okay with the color difference.
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Ergonomics & Comfort
The GK61 is a very standard keyboard, which, in the world of computer peripherals, can be a very positive thing. You immediately know where every key is due to its normal and traditional layout, with just the right amount of curvature to the keyboard itself.
The split space bar and associated wheel are a bit cumbersome to use and wouldn’t be my personal choice. However, I’d imagine if you’re willing to really adopt it as a keyboard, then you’ll find it helps streamline typing tasks quite a bit.
The keycaps are also very legible, and the contrast to the white keys means they’re very easy to read even in a dimly lit room with the backlight off.
Using the keyboard extensively didn’t result in any abnormal fatigue. That being said, there were no underside stands to flip up and angle the keyboard. If you prefer angled keyboards, then you’ll be missing that here.
This is a drawback, considering the price of this keyboard. The added option would make it a more versatile and flexible keyboard, allowing you to physically configure it how you want.
The backlight itself is very bright and configurable to how you like if you prefer dimmer backlights. The keys are all very legible, with readable fonts and very effective backlighting that also illuminates the key text itself. If you’re someone who finds themselves looking at the keys as they type, then this is a huge plus as you won’t be second-guessing.
The keyboard is nice to use and standard as far as keyboards go, which is really a great compliment. The unique space bar may take some getting used to, but it’s as intuitive as it could be.
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Connectivity & Compatibility
The connectivity left a bit to be desired. It would not work well in wired mode, necessitating me to reboot my computer to get it to connect properly and recognize it as a keyboard. The Bluetooth connection worked very well with no noticeable input lag from a casual use perspective.
Typing many keys quickly didn’t lead to any misclicks or inaccuracies from the keyboard, so it was able to register everything properly, even in Bluetooth mode. The same can also be said when using the 2.4 GHz dongle to connect.
The included software was also welcomed, giving you methods to intuitively configure the keyboard how you need. This includes changing the knob and space bar functionality allowing you to configure it how you want.
Additionally, the function keys give you options to change the backlight mode, brightness, color pattern, and light effects. This was effective and responsive; however, the FN key combinations are not intuitive, meaning you’ll need to keep the supplied piece of paper to remember the function combinations without the software handy.
There are also wireless control functions such as switching between 2.4GHz and Bluetooth, initiating Bluetooth pairing with two separate devices, enabling 2.4GHz mode, and displaying the battery life. Similarly, there are also including function and number combinations. These are all noted on the paper that’s included in the box.
The downside here is they are not marked on the keyboard as well. This leads to a very sleek-looking keyboard, but the added functions are not immediately intuitive and will inevitably have you guessing a year down the road how to actuate the desired function.
This could be remedied by including replacement caps for important functions that have some sort of graphic representing the function or even that a function is present.
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All in all, the Skyloong GK61 Pro has a lot of positives, with some mostly minor gripes and caveats. There’s a lot to love here with its sleek design and lightweight and sturdy feel, but you can’t ignore the polarizing split space bar and knob combo, coupled with bold color combinations.
For the money, this is a great, reliable option that offers a lot for both gamers and typists, with a strong foundation. You’ll likely be using this keyboard for years to come because it just gets the important aspects of a keyboard right.
However, it’s not perfect, and it does falter with some design choices, like omitting the underside stands and featuring a cheaper-feeling plastic frame. The more expensive aluminum option does exist if you enjoy high-quality materials and frames.
That being said, it’s still a great value, especially if you’re seeking out more functionality with the nifty knob attachment. I highly recommend this keyboard if you’re looking for a wireless 60% keyboard and favor a basic and sleek design with an enjoyable typing experience.
If you’re interested in buying this keyboard, it’s available on Skyloong’s official website, and you can currently get it for $69.90, which, from my perspective, is a fair price.