The Whirlwind FX Element Keyboard is a mechanical keyboard designed for gamers. It has RGB lighting, anti-ghosting tech, and e-sports grade switches. Let’s see how this new competitor in the gaming market stacks up against its competitors.
The Whirlwind FX Element keyboard is designed to achieve the company’s core aim of providing the most immersive gaming experience possible. It’ll have to give much more than flashing lights to be regarded as excellent value for money at $100.
Over the last two decades, gaming keyboards have gone a long way. However, reactive RGB, a feature that displays an accurate picture of your gaming experience via vibrant color, has yet to be thoroughly explored. Well, due to the Whirlwind FX Element keyboard, that could be about to change.
The Element keyboard is described by Whirlwind FX as one of the most immersive keyboards on the market today. In addition, it introduces some interesting new RGB implementations that can elevate your gaming experience.
Today, we’ll put the Element keyboard to the test to see how it stacks up against similarly priced competitors. We’ll see how it compares in construction quality, gameplay performance, and overall immersion.
So, with that stated, let’s not waste any more time and get right to work!
- RGB — A unique RGB that you won’t find on any other keyboard (even Razer’s).
- Solid Construction — Designed with high-end materials that seem to be built to last.
- Customization — Users may choose from various switch kinds and keycap styles before making a purchase.
- Value – Just on the verge of becoming too pricey.
Size and Weight of the Keyboard
- 1.22 kilograms
- Size: 104 keys (full size)
- 445mm (17.50 inches) in length
- 137mm/5.39 inches in width
- 36mm/1.41 inch in height
Tech Support for Keyboards
- Kailh red switches are used.
- Windows 7, 8, and 10 are supported.
- Function keys provide access to media keys.
- RGB stands for “full RGB.”
- N/A for passthrough
- Wired connection
- 1.8 m cable length
What’s Included in the Box?
The Element Whirlwind FX keyboard comes in a very conventional-looking package with a picture of the keyboard on the front, as do all keyboards nowadays. The keyboard’s information extends around the sides and back, with essential features described on the back. The keyboard is enclosed in a thin layer of plastic and a little cardboard enclosure within the box.
We find the following items inside:
- Whirlwind FX Keyboard by Element
- Puller for keycaps
- User’s Guide
- Card with a 2-year warranty
Extras that were not included with the keyboard but were supplied for evaluation purposes:
- matte keycaps by Whirlwind FX
- Gaming wrist rest with padding
I have to admit, and the Whirlwind FX Element keyboard looks the part from a design standpoint. It has an all-black look well accented by flashes of RGB (which we’ll discuss later) and a delicate carbon fiber edge.
The backplate of the keyboard is low-profile and has a brushed aluminum finish similar to that of the Corsair K95 XT Platinum. There are a lot of aspects of this keyboard that remind me of the more costly Corsair alternative.
Whirlwind has kept the branding on the Element keyboard quite simple, using the upper right-hand corner of the keyboard for a bit of logo. I wanted the LED indicators to be placed here, but it’s not a significant problem.
The keycaps with this keyboard are full-height and have a glossy texture, which I didn’t like at first. I’m still not convinced of glossy keycaps, mainly because they don’t give nearly as much grip as matte alternatives, but they’re growing on me in general typing. However, we did get a sample of the flat keycaps, and I can confidently state that they are considerably more comfortable to use when gaming.
Like many other modern keyboards, the Element comes with two retractable feet that may be used to modify the keyboard’s height and angle to fit the user’s demands. Unlike most keyboards in this price range, the Element’s foot only comes in one height profile. A two-height system would have been preferable, but it isn’t a significant problem.
The braided wire that comes with this keyboard is incredibly durable. It has a length of 1.8 meters and does not separate for storage or travel. Unfortunately, this board does not include a USB passthrough capability or reroutable cable choices below it. However, I must give credit where credit is due in terms of strictly aesthetic considerations—the Whirlwind FX Element keyboard checks off several boxes.
In keyboards that cost less than $100, features are quite significant. A strong collection of features may make the difference between a costly keyboard and one that offers excellent value. Fortunately, the Element has a lot going for it in this situation. Let’s take a look at a few of the highlights:
Mechanical switches are used in the Whirlwind FX, namely Kailh red switches, as you would imagine. Kailh reds are a clone of Cherry MX Red created by Kaihua in China, and they have a linear aesthetic that isn’t for everUnlike tactile switches that give touch-sensitive feedback, thee. The same cannot be true with Kailedback.
They are, however, significantly quieter than other switch kinds, making them ideal for typing and general-purpose usage. These switches are simple and quick to push with a 50cN actuation force and a 2mm pre-travel distance.
However, customers may pick between these and clicky blues, providing them a little more flexibility throughout the purchase process.
Our whole Switch instruction may be found here.
Anti-ghosting is a fantastic function that we find in a lot of gaming keyboards. Anti-ghosting is a function that enables you to press several keys at once, with each keypress being recorded. While this may seem insignificant, users who played “button bashing” games were encountering missed keypresses in critical occasions prior to its entrance on the gaming keyboard scene – a feature that esports players just could not accept.
Anti-ghosting technology exists in a variety of types, each with a variable number of keys that may be pushed simultaneously. While some keyboards only allow for 10 simultaneous key presses, others allow for complete key rollover, which allows you to press every key on the keyboard simultaneously.
The Element, to its credit, has the latter of the two possibilities, which provides limitless precision in games that demand many keypresses or complex key bindings.
Over the years, RGB lighting has divided the industry, with many seeing it as a cheap addition that doesn’t add enough to the overall gaming experience. While this remark may be accurate, Whirlwind FX has included a few amazing RGB features that may just turn that philosophy on its head.
We saved RGB for last since it’s this keyboard’s main feature, providing new levels of immersion to your gaming setup. It’s also the number one marketing strategy Whirlwind FX used to promote this product: labeling it as a reactive RGB experience.
Like many other keyboards in this price range, the Element has individually lighted keys for an endless amount of personalization. Users may access many remarkable features and settings by downloading Element’s software (Whirlwind Engine). This is when things start to get exciting.
Because Signal is an open-platform software package, it allows for a great deal of customization, including 16.8 million colors per key and creating bespoke light scripts using basic HTML5/canvas abilities.
It already has several reactive RGB settings for games like PUBG, Fortnite, CS: GO, and others. For example, when adjacent explosions or gunshots occur, the RGB will interact with your game, changing color. It will also alter if your health is deteriorating or if action is being taken. It was some of the most intense RGB I’ve ever seen, contributing to the game experience.
Aside from gaming, you may also utilize an Audio Spectrum setting to have your keyboard match the rhythm of your music. While many of the settings are gimmicky, in my opinion, the audio spectrum and game reactivity choices set this apart from the competition.
Matte Whirlwind FX Keycaps
We were also supplied a second set of ABS keycaps to examine, which can be bought separately from the keyboard. The Element’s original keycaps feature a glossy sheen that may make them rather slippery, particularly if your hands are wet. However, if you like a matte surface, you may choose a pair that provides far more grip.
I’d absolutely suggest matte keycaps for gaming, but we’ll get into that later.
Results from the Field
That brings us perfectly to the keyboard’s performance part. Overall, I was a tad underwhelmed by the Element’s performance. With all of the hoopla around this board’s RGB, I anticipated a much better gaming experience. However, it seems that game performance has suffered due to the former.
I began by playing a few fast-paced first-person shooters, the type of games where the quality of your peripherals may make a difference. So, as usual, we started by loading up CS: GO and playing some deathmatches to see what the Element had to offer. While keypress actuation was quick, I noticed that missed keypresses were far more often. I felt like I was strafing too much and peeping in too many places, which may be disastrous at the top of the competitive ladder. After much deliberation, I concluded that the linear Kailh switches were the source of the issue.
Because this keyboard provides no tactile feedback, it’s challenging to avoid accidentally hitting the incorrect key — if that makes sense? Because of the smooth quality of the keypress, you may quickly smack the false key and not even notice it. On the one hand, the switches are fantastic since they enable you to respond faster than your opponent. On the other hand, the linear controls might be especially troublesome if you’re awkward at the keyboard. This conclusion isn’t helped by the 100% anti-ghosting option, which is beneficial in other situations!
The 50cN actuation force and the narrow 2mm actuation travel distance make this keyboard very quick. So I can understand how this design element might appeal to professional esports players who are highly precise.
Moving on to RGB, I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised by how well it worked in-game. I opted to play both PUBG and CS: GO, and watching the keyboard change color as a grenade explodes very near to your head was extremely cool. It also adds to the tense times in PUBG when your health is low and you need to rely on a med pack to remain alive.
My favorite feature was the audio spectrum, which I often utilized in my everyday tasks. Although it’s not entirely apparent what’s going on when you use this option, you get the impression that the RGB is dancing to the music.
In the end, I found the performance of this keyboard to be hit or miss. Users do, however, have the option of selecting from a variety of switch kinds before making a purchase. A new switch type would undoubtedly add value to this gorgeous keyboard.
That concludes our comprehensive review of the Whirlwind FX Element keyboard. Before utilizing this keyboard, I wasn’t sure what to think of it. After all, it’s a gaming keyboard, and it’s advertised as such. This kind of stuff sets off alarm bells in my brain. However, it wasn’t quite as horrible as I had anticipated.
While the gaming experience wasn’t quite as impressive as the Ducky Miya Pro Sakura, I use it daily, and it stwhichs its advantages. The switches weren’t my favorite thing in the world, but they did provide quick actuation and restricted audio output, which are two features that many people want. The RGB speaks for itself; I haven’t seen many keyboards with this level of capability – even among the market’s premium choices. Whirlwind deserves a pat on the back for a job well done in this area.
Overall, at its current price of $100, would I suggest this keyboard? It isn’t easy, to be honest. It all boils down to this, I guess. If you like gaming yet place a high value on visual effects and immersion, this keyboard may be what you’re searching for. If your primary aim is gaming performance, though, better value for money options are undoubtedly available.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are whirlwind keyboards good?
A: They’re not wrong! But I would recommend trying out the best keyboard for you before buying because there are many factors to consider when it comes to keyboards.
What is an FX strip?
A: A FX strip is a bar that typically runs along the bottom of your screen. It usually has one or more effects, such as an audio effect like reverb or visual effects.
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