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SoundBlasterX Vanguard KO8 Keyboard Review

/ Oct 6th, 2017 No Comments

SoundBlasterX Vanguard KO8 Review

Let’s face it. Gamers buy into some of the most random things. The best current example of this is RGB.

Whether it be RGB cases for your PC or lights on your gaming mouse, there is probably something sitting on your desk that has some form of RGB capabilities. And, by the way, who is going to see the RGB stuff light up on your desk while you’re playing?

I am here to tell you guys to stop. Just stop. No, don’t stop buying things that have RBG lights, but please stop buying things only because they have RGB lights.

Creative has jumped onto the RGB bandwagon with SoundBlasterX Vanguard K08 keyboard. Yes, the gaming keyboard has RGB, but it is also a phenomenal keyboard with a few minor issues.

Silent But Deadly

The keyboard feels very well built. It’s a solid middle of the board design that’s not too flashy or too simple. The plastic build isn’t as luxurious as other gaming keyboards, but it gets the job done.

In the top right corner of the keyboard are dedicated media keys that add an extra layer of functionality to it. A volume control wheel that can be easily turned to adjust the volume is especially useful.
 

SoundBlasterX Vanguard KO8

The SoundBlasterX Vanguard KO8 design.

However, the design of the wrist rest area is lacking. The wrist rest pad does not actually clip onto the keyboard. I spent about 10 minutes trying to figure out how to attach it to the keyboard before I did a quick online search to find out it doesn’t actually attach. Instead, it just sits there, hopefully staying in place. This is problematic for people like me who like to move their keyboard around to different positions.

The keys themselves are not the same as a mechanical keyboard with tactical, loud keystrokes. They are mushy keys with almost no sound made from key clicks. At first, I was disappointed in this feature, but I began to like the feel of the keys more and more as I used the Vanguard K08 keyboard.

A typing test revealed smooth keys, but I did not find any claims that a switch may trigger faster because of less travel distance to be noticeable.

The RGB lighting is vibrant and the colors are rich. Included software that allows users to customize individual keys or groups of keys to various color combinations is easy enough for anyone to use. However, I did not find the RGB feature to be a necessary element on this well-designed keyboard.

Bang for Your Buck

RGB is almost a necessity on modern PC peripherals these days, but I think the SoundBlasterX Vanguard KO8 would’ve benefitted from ditching the feature in favor of lowering the price point. The Vanguard KO8 is currently priced at $139.99. This puts it in the same price range as the Corsair K70, which is one the top keyboards currently on the market. This also puts it at a higher price than some Razer gaming keyboards.
 

Vanguard KO8 Gaming Keyboard

A simple, yet effective design.

While I would recommend this keyboard based on its design, I can’t do so at its current price. The retail price is simply too high. Still, the Vanguard KO8 is a solid gaming keyboard that doesn’t have the loud keystrokes that cause you to argue with your roommates and loved ones.

Overall

The Vanguard KO8 is the first venture for Creative into the gaming keyboard market, and it is a solid first entry. The dedicated media keys and smooth-sounding keystrokes help make the keyboard stand out in a crowded market.

However, I wish the keyboard had the ability to attach the wrist rest area. Additionally, the retail price is too high when compared with other gaming keyboards in the range. If a price drop occurs, the Vanguard KO8 may be a steal.

 

Sal Thomas

Sal Thomas

Contributor at Gaming Illustrated
Sal is a contributor to Gaming Illustrated.

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