Today we are looking at a keyboard from a company we all know, but don’t typically associate with peripherals. iBuyPower has broken into the serious gaming peripheral market strong with the MEK Keyboard. Honestly, I expected to be a little disappointed with the company’s first attempt at a mechanical keyboard, but quite the contrary. The MEK is (almost) everything you could ask for in a keyboard in this price range, and comes with a few unique features that show off that iBuyPower personality.
Let’s start with build quality. Weighing in at 1.14 kg (about 2.5 lbs), its definitely a solid little keyboard. It doesn’t have that fragile feel you usually get from cheaper boards. As we see in a lot of newer gaming peripherals, the MEK comes with a braided USB cord, with the added bonus of a gold plated connector for better conductivity. Please note, while gold IS a better conductor than nickel, in practice you probably wont see much of a performance difference, especially since your inputs on your rig are probably not gold. Still, the connectors won’t corrode and it does give it that “premium” feel.
The MEK comes with all kinds of features, not the least of which are red backlit keys. Now, unfortunately we don’t have the customization that we find in some RGB boards, but backlit keys are better than non-backlit keys – not only because it looks cooler, but because the material is actually transparent, so you wont be rubbing letters off any time soon (ahem, ever). The windows key can be disabled with a key combo, and even if it couldn’t, they conveniently kept the windows key away from left alt, so you are unlikely to hit it on accident (unless you have some weird keybinds, to each their own). To rattle off a little bit more on what the MEK is all about, we have 21-Key rollover, hardware media buttons, onboard memory and live macro recording. Because iBuyPower likes to add a cherry on top, the keyboard also comes with a key puller. This doesn’t make the keyboard itself any better, but it shows that iBuyPower really can deliver a good overall experience – again, the “premium” feels are real, especially for a keyboard with a relatively low cost of $60.
The only thing that was a bit of a disappointment was the choice to go with TTC instead of Cherry MX switches. It still is a linear switch, and feels nearly identical to the Cherry version, but its one of those things where you just expect the industry standard, and when a company decides to go with a clone or knock off, it leaves a bit of a bad taste in the mouth. One thing I personally would like to see added in a later model would be a deeper palm rest, or even better, interchangeable palm rest options. All said, I would absolutely recommend the MEK as an option for a low to mid range gaming keyboard.
Price at time of review: $60
Review sample provided by the manufacturer.
Build Quality - 7.5
Features - 8.5
All said, I would absolutely recommend the MEK as an option for a low to mid range gaming keyboard.
Ben is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of PCGR. He writes much of the content, manages the site, and does other editorial things that would bore you to tears.