Disclaimer: We received a review unit, courtesy of Armaggeddon Malaysia in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed herein are the author’s own and not influenced by Armaggeddon Malaysia, and/or its affiliates, in any way.
Computer keyboards are quite tricky devices to review. Everybody has different needs and purposes, with no one-size-fits-all keyboard out there. As someone who’s well-versed in the custom mechanical keyboards and uses many different boards on a daily basis, I decided to take up the challenge of writing about the Armaggeddon SMK-6C. I used the keyboard as my home daily driver (it’s too big to travel with), and here are my thoughts after two weeks.
The keyboard is one of the most important pieces of equipment I own – without a keyboard, there would be no way for me to use my computer (for work or play). In this case, it is essential to my daily use, so the layout/form factor and comfort of use are what matters the most to me. Since aesthetics is a matter of personal taste, I won’t spend too much time on that aspect.
The Armaggeddon SMK-6C is a budget-friendly, full-sized keyboard (104 keys) with RGB lighting. The model I reviewed comes with blue Outemu low-profile switches (clicky). It is also hot-swappable if you are interested in swapping the switches or replacing them with other Outemu low-profile switches in the future.
Build Quality and Form Factor
I have no complaints about the build quality of the board. For its budget price tag, I’m surprised at how sturdy it felt. There’s little to no flex on the case itself, and the keyboard is pretty heavy despite its low-profile appearance. The keyboard comes with a fixed USB cable, so no custom cables unless you intend to mod it.
In terms of form factor, it has been many years since I’ve used a full-sized keyboard. I have no use for a navigation cluster and numpad (if I do need the latter, I have an external one within an arm’s reach away), so it took me a while to get used to this layout again. As most of you would know, the length of a full-sized keyboard forces you to extend your arms to use both the mouse and keyboard at the same time. While most people won’t have an issue with this, if you’re used to having both hands close to each other while at the computer, it’s going to take some adjusting. Fortunately, Armaggeddon does offer this keyboard in the shorter TKL form-factor which removes the numpad. However, for those who need a numpad and are familiar with standard layouts, you will have no trouble getting used to this keyboard.
The keyboard also comes with a keycap puller, a switch puller, and three extra switches in case you need to do any switch replacements.
Feel and Comfort
I don’t have a single favourite switch. Because I swap around different keyboards with different switches, I tend to use what I feel like using on that day itself. I have boards with linear, clicky and tactile switches; that being said, all of them are regular full-travel switches. The SMK-6C features Outemu low-profile switches that have a noticeably shorter distance to actuate (meaning how far you have to press before the computer registers your input).
While most regular switches actuate at around 2mm, the Outemu low-profile switches actuate at 1.2mm – though it may seem insignificant, it was very noticeable to me. In fact, I did run some tests to verify that my mind wasn’t playing tricks on me and I noticed an improvement in my typing speeds. This is probably because I bottom out while typing (I press each switch all the way until it hits the bottom) and the milliseconds saved from moving slightly less per key made a difference. Regardless, the additional typing speed didn’t matter to me because there’s no need to type over a 100 words per minute for the kind of work I do, but it might for other people out there.
When it came to gaming, I didn’t feel like I performed better than before (I’m not great at games, so I guess no keyboard would improve my skill anyway!). For what it’s worth, the keyboard was adequate for all the games I usually play.
Here’s a typing test of the SMK-6C:
Aesthetically – I’m not a fan – I understand that it is a budget keyboard so I won’t harp on the looks too much. Fortunately, the Outemu low-profile switches use the standard MX-cross stem, so it’s possible to change its appearance with aftermarket keycaps, so that’s a plus point.
Here’s where I had my first stumbling block with the keyboard. The SMK-6C isn’t reprogrammable – which is fine if you’re used to standard layouts. The only thing programmable on this keyboard is its RGB modes.
In my case, I had to resort to third-party remapping software (Microsoft Power Toys) to rebind the keyboard. While this was useful when using Windows applications, the remapped keys didn’t work as intended when playing games – not that huge of a problem, but if you play many different games, the time spent configuring your keyboard adds up. Though I understand this isn’t going to be a problem for most people, it’s what I encountered – so if you use unorthodox layouts like the Happy Hacking Keyboard, you’ll have to bear that in mind when picking up this keyboard.
Overall, I was pleasantly surprised by my experience with the SMK-6C. Despite its minor setbacks due to specific needs, the keyboard was a treat to use. The low profile keys felt fine to type on and didn’t take much adjusting to. I had no issues working with or playing games on the keyboard. While the form factor was a bit too large for my liking, the smaller versions of the keyboard solve this issue. With a low price tag to boot, the Armaggeddon SMK-6C makes sense if you’re new to the world of mechanical keyboards and are looking for a way to dip your toes.
Armaggeddon’s keyboards are also available in two other variants – a smaller TKL version, and a full-RGB and programmable version, in a variety of switches. If you’re interested in picking them up, they’re available on their official Lazada store:
- Armaggeddon SMK-6C (RM 219)
- Armaggeddon SMK-2C (RM 149) – TKL version
- Armaggeddon SMK-12R (RM 299) – full sized, programmable, with full RGB
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