Nov 25
3:16 am
AG
0
PE
2
9:09 am
HR
2
HYD
0
12:06 pm
ENT
2
HR
3
2:11 pm
BAL
2
VG
0
5:07 pm
0
2
8:15 pm
BAL
1
2
11:17 pm
TM
0
Pirates
0
11:42 pm
DG
2
TM
0
Nov 26
3:00 am
IP
2
AE
0
3:11 am
IP
0
AE
0
5:54 am
KOB
0
IP
0
11:00 pm
AG
0
DG
0
Gaming Keyboards

Dark Matter Collider TKL Gaming Keyboard Review

Aaron Alford
Dark Matter Collider TKL

Monoprice

Dark Matter by Monoprice Collider TKL Gaming Keyboard

While there are budget keyboards that offer some of these features very few offer all of them at once like the Dark Matter Collider TKL.

Our Score

The Dark Matter Collider brings solid steel construction, mechanical switches, and fully-featured RGB options for an affordable price. Very few keyboards offer this many features at a $100 price point.

The Dark Matter Collider TKL gaming keyboard will run you $100 USD plus tax to purchase. This places it in the lower range of gaming keyboards on the market today. For that price, the Collider Gaming Keyboard packs a decent punch, bringing both mechanical keys and full RGB customization to the table.

It’s not going to compete with significantly more expensive options, but if you only have $100 to spend on a board, the Dark Matter Collider is a solid option.

First impressions of the Dark Matter Collider TKL Gaming Keyboard

The Dark Matter Collider frame is very sturdy, with a solid steel base that doesn’t flex in the slightest when you are using it to type or game. Plus, the feet on the back that prop the board up at an angle are firm and secure. With such solid construction, I am reasonably confident that this board is built to last, which is a key consideration when buying a budget product. 

The board I tested featured Cherry MX Silver Speed switches, which are basically the same as MX Red switches but with a shorter actuation distance. You can also get this board in Cherry MX Blue, Red, or Brown switches. While Cherry MX switches are no longer considered top of the line by most keyboard experts, they are really common in gaming keyboards. so it is hard to fault a budget board for featuring them. I thought the Silver switches were passable, though I did notice that they are scratchier than even other MX switches I have tried. So I would consider another MX switch type if they are available.

The keycaps feel good to use, though once again, this is a budget board, so the keys are made of the cheaper ABS material. ABS won’t feel as nice as a higher quality material like PBT, but you can only expect so much from a lower-end board.

I liked the decision to leave this board without a num pad. For most games, a shorter board can be nicer to use since it takes up less desk space and makes it easier to maneuver your mouse around your desk pad. 

The feature that puts the Dark Matter Collider above most other boards at its price point is the fully customizable per-key RGB backlit keys. You are able to not only set up a per-key custom RGB layout, but you can also choose from a variety of animations and backlight modes using function keys or using the Dark Matter software. While the process for changing the RGB settings isn’t as convenient and clear as some competing RGB customization software, it gets the job done.

You can use that same software to set keyboard macros as well if those are your thing.

Conclusion

This is one of the most fully-featured budget boards that I have tested this year. While there are budget boards that offer some of these features, very few, if any, offer all of them at once. I do wish this board came with an option for non-Cherry MX switch options and perhaps featured a USB passthrough on the back, but overall I am very happy with this board for the price.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Built to last with a solid steel materials
  • Features mechanical switches
  • Highly customizable RGB backlit keys
  • Affordable

Cons

  • Mechanical switches are on the lower end
  • Keycaps are made of cheaper ABS plastic
  • Lacks USB passthrough on the back
  • RGB customization software isn't very polished
Aaron Alford

Aaron Alford

Aaron is a 25 year old esports journalist who has worked with dotesports.com, upcomer.com, qrank.gg, among others. Aaron completed a Master's degree in Communication from the University of Dayton in 2018 (Go Flyers). Aaron has also worked as a national circuit debate coach and communication manager for emerging technology companies.

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