A good gaming keyboard is essential for your gaming performance and experience. However, you don’t really need to spend all your money for an ultra-premium model. Redragon K552 and Redragon K561 are affordable gaming keyboards that come with blue switches and offer truly impressive performance. Below, you can learn more about the differences between Redragon K552 vs K561 gaming keyboards.
This article will discuss further about:
– The overall dimensions of each gaming keyboard here
– The build quality of Redragon K552 and Redragon K561
– The features of Redragon K552 vs K561
– The performance comparison between the two keyboards
– Which Redragon gaming keyboard that is better for the money
Redragon’s products are preferred by a large number of gamers because they come at very affordable and competitive price points. At the same time, Redragon’s gaming mice and keyboards generally have good build quality and performance, hence they become high-value options in the market.
Just like Redragon K551 which we discussed in a previous post (take a look at Redragon K552 vs K551 if you need a full-size gaming keyboard with a numeric pad), Redragon K552 and Redragon K561 are great budget-friendly gaming keyboards armed with blue mechanical switches. However, unlike Redragon K551, both Redragon K552 and Redragon K561 are tenkeyless keyboards.
A tenkeyless keyboard is a keyboard that doesn’t have a numeric pad. On a full-size keyboard, you can find a numeric pad on the right side of the unit. This numeric pad is removed on a tenkeyless keyboard in order to make it more compact and more space-friendly.
So, before choosing between Redragon K552 vs K561, you may want to consider whether you need a numeric pad or not. If you need a numeric pad for certain jobs, such as accounting or programming, you should go with Redragon K551. However, if you can live without a numeric pad and you prefer a compact, space-friendly keyboard which you can fit easily into any space available on your desk, both Redragon K552 and Redragon K561 remain as great options.
Now that you are already certain that a tenkeyless keyboard will suit your need, let’s take a look at the dimensions of Redragon K552 and Redragon K561. If you want your keyboard to be as slim as possible, Redragon K552 is the better choice. However, if you can tolerate a few extra inches, Redragon K561 is also good.
Redragon K552 measures 10.03 inches wide, 4.72 inches deep, and 1.37 inches thick. Compared to the K561 model, this keyboard is smaller and slimmer. If you inspect this keyboard, you will notice that the frame is really thin. The border surrounding the keyboard is very streamlined, without any unnecessary extension. Thanks to the incredibly compact design, Redragon K552 can easily fit on pretty much any desk, and is highly recommended if the available space is strictly limited.
Redragon K561 measures 14.3 inches wide, 6.5 inches deep, and 1.3 inches thick. Obviously, compared to K552, this keyboard requires more space. This is because the frame has been designed to be more like a typical traditional keyboard, with the border extending outward a few centimeters from the keys. So, before choosing Redragon K561, you may need to measure the available space on your desk, just to make sure that it will actually fit.
Build Quality and Durability
The next difference between Redragon K552 vs K561 is about the resistance against water and moisture. While these keyboards are made from mostly similar materials, K552 is not waterproof, whilst K561 is.
Both Redragon K552 and Redragon K561 are constructed from metal and ABS materials. Meanwhile, the keycaps are laser-engraved plastic chiclets. Both keyboards generally feel quite solid. The frames are lightweight yet very tough and rugged. The keys may seem to be somewhat flimsy, but they are actually really precise and quite durable. They have been tested for 50 million keystrokes, so they should be able to last for a long while.
Redragon K552 is not waterproof, so you need to keep it safe from an excessive amount of liquid. Well, it is still able to survive the average liquid spills, so you don’t need to worry too much if you accidentally spill some coffee or coke onto the keyboard. You can remove the keycaps and use a dry cloth to clean it.
Redragon K561, on the other hand, is waterproof. All the important parts are properly sealed, so no liquid can get into the keyboard and cause irreparable damage. The waterproof construction will give you some peace of mind if you accidentally spill your drink during a gaming session. Still, you need to clean the keyboard later if you don’t want it to be gross; the keycaps are easily removable for cleaning.
Both keyboards have fiber braided USB 2.0 cables which are quite durable. They both have gold-plated connectors which look nice. The gold-plated connectors have good resistance against rust and corrosion.
Some gamers love RGB-backlit mice and keyboards very much. Some others hate them and avoid RGB-backlit peripherals whenever possible. And some others simply don’t care whether it is RGB or not. Different gamers have different personal styles and preferences. When choosing between Redragon K552 vs K561, note that they come in different variants with different backlights.
Redragon K552 is available in two variants: Red and RGB. The Red variant allows you to adjust the brightness level of the red backlight or turn the backlight off completely, but there is no special effect like ripple or wave. Meanwhile, the RGB variant of Redragon K552 indeed provides some more options. There are 6 color themes, each with 3 different modes. You can also adjust the brightness level or turn it off completely.
Redragon K561 is only available in one variant, which comes with the RGB backlight. However, this keyboard is highly customizable, and you can adjust it to appear in pretty much any way you want. There are 6 themed backlights and 18 different models. You can easily change the backlight by pressing the FN, Insert, and Page Down keys without having to go through the software.
If you don’t want your keyboard to appear too colorful, no worries. Redragon K561 also has 9 single-color modes which you can use to keep your keyboard properly backlit and visible without any fancy effect.
Redragon K552 doesn’t work with any software. It is a simple plug-and-play keyboard. So, it is a great choice if you want a keyboard which you can use right away without dealing with customization or adjustment. In order to adjust the backlight, you need to use the Fn key in some combinations with other keys.
However, this also means that Redragon K552 can’t be programmed. There are perhaps some third-party software that will allow you to assign macros regardless of what keyboard that you use, but using a third-party software is not always a viable or optimum choice.
Redragon K561, on the other hand, is compatible with the Red Dragon Software. The keyboard is perfectly plug-and-play, and the software is completely optional. So, if you don’t want to use any software, you can just use Redragon K561 like you do with Redragon K552. The backlight is adjustable via key combinations. However, the Red Dragon Software will allow you to customize the backlight through a nice and intuitive user interface.
You can perform a more extensive customization on the software, such as assigning different colors for certain keys. This is impossible with the key combinations alone. Furthermore, it allows you to map macros, which will make it possible to run command sequences very quickly. Be careful, though; some competitive games consider the use of macros as cheating. You can get the Red Dragon Software from the official website.
Keys and Performance
Both Redragon K552 and Redragon K561 are armed with custom Oetemu Blue switches. It is an equivalent of Cherry MX Blue switches, and it indeed feels very similar to Cherry MX Blue. What you need to know about blue switches is that they are very tactile and loud.
Mechanical keys are indeed more tactile than membrane keys in general, but the blue switches are especially tactile. Your fingers need to hit the keys a bit hard and with confidence. When pressed, keys with blue switches produce loud clicky sound.
So, these models make great options if you want a tactile, solid gaming keyboard (and you don’t need to worry about disturbing others with the loud clicky sound). However, despite using the same switches, there is still a notable difference between Redragon K552 and Redragon K561.
Redragon K552 feels relatively less tactile, and the keys don’t travel too deep. According to the specs, the actuation force is about 50g and the keystroke travel is only about 2.0mm. As the effect, your fingers don’t need to hit the keys with too much power. One advantage of the short travel distance is that the keys tend to register input signals more quickly.
Redragon K561 is more tactile and requires stronger keystrokes. The actuation force is a bit higher at 60g, and the keystroke travel is longer at 4.0mm. This keyboard is more suitable for gamers with powerful keystrokes; those who tend to hit the keys hard. However, this keyboard is less ideal for games that require rapid keystrokes – the long travel distance means that a key will need more time to reach the actuation point and register an input signal when pressed.
Redragon K552 vs K561
All in all, Redragon K552 is generally more recommended. It is more compact and space-friendly. The performance is generally better. The short travel distance will allow you to perform rapid keystrokes more easily, and the keys are easier to press so that you won’t need to strain your fingers. You can adjust the backlight through key combinations.