Games

Whirlwind FX Atom mechanical keyboard review

An increasing number of corporations need to get into the PC peripherals market given the explosive progress of the video games trade over the previous a number of years, and the competitors is getting fierce. There have been premium manufacturers round for years, and people corporations definitely deserve credit score for elevating the bar to right this moment’s requirements. Nonetheless, it’s essential to know that there at the moment are many smaller identify manufacturers on the market that supply high-quality merchandise with minimal compromises at very agreeable costs. That’s exactly the case with the Whirlwind FX Atom 60% RGB mechanical gaming keyboard, and our overview will let you know what that you must know to resolve if it’s best for you.

Whirlwind FX is a more recent firm within the gaming peripherals house, however it’s already doing a little attention-grabbing issues with its Sign RGB software program and Vortx environmental simulator that assist it stand out from the group. We’ll cowl Sign RGB extra in a bit, however deal with the {hardware} for now. The Atom 60% is kind of the second RGB mechanical gaming keyboard that Whirlwind FX has launched, with the unique being the Component (which has been revised since). The Component is a full-size design, whereas the Atom makes an attempt to handle those that want condensed kind components.

 

Except for being compact, the Atom options top quality Gateron swap choices, double shot ABS keycaps, a 3,000Hz polling fee, individually addressable RGB lighting, a removable USB Kind-C connector with a braided cable, 100% anti-ghosting, and Fn key instructions. On paper, it’s a reasonably strong little board with a value to love. As everyone knows although, specs don’t all the time add as much as the precise expertise, so we took the Atom via the rounds to see if it actually delivers.

The brief reply to what we consider the Whirlwind FX Atom RGB mechanical gaming keyboard is that it’s fairly nice for the cash, however you’ll have to overlook a number of shortcomings and be keen to cope with some rising pains that we clearly can’t assure can be resolved. The Atom sports activities fairly a number of premium options that we had been stunned to see reminiscent of the three,000Hz polling fee, removable USB Kind-C port, and high quality swap suggestions.

Whirlwind Fx Atom Rgb Keyboard Gaming 60% Review Front Web

Although, the cumbersome Home windows lock operate, lack of {hardware} (onboard) lighting controls, and restricted options in Sign RGB are definitely disappointing. As you possibly can already inform, the Atom isn’t the right keyboard, however it’s laborious to beat at its value. That, and it operates like a dream if all you’re centered on is getting feeling gaming keyboard.

Whirlwind FX Atom RGB mechanical gaming keyboard specs and options

Whereas the Atom does have some respectable total specs, Whirlwind FX doesn’t checklist all the things in a single place on its web site. The complete technical specs for the Atom are scattered throughout the product web page at Whirlwind FX’s web site and the Amazon itemizing web page, so we’ve collected all the things so that you can see in a single desk, in addition to some further tidbits of information for lovers.

Function Description
Chassis Plastic body, white anodized aluminum backplate
Type issue 60%
Keyswitches Gateron Brown tactile, actuation distance: 2mm, actuation drive: 55g, journey distance: 4mm
Swappable switches No
Swappable keycaps Sure, with ANSI structure with MX-style stems
Backlight Individually lit and per-key programmable
LED shade Full RGB
Keycaps Double shot ABS
Connectivity USB 2.0a to PC, removable USB Kind-C to keyboard
USB report fee 3,000Hz USB 2.0
Matrix N key rollover, 100% anti-ghosting
On-board profiles No
Further keys Media keys, Home windows lock
Software program Sign RGB
Cable 6ft/ 1.83m, braided
Dimensions (W) 5.71in / 145mm x (L) 12.56in / 319mm x (H) 1.89in / 48mm
Weight 1.71lbs / 0.76kgs
Guarantee One yr
Worth $79.99 USD

As you possibly can see, the Whirlwind FX Atom presents arguably an important issues players are in search of in a keyboard, not less than on a {hardware} degree. The Gateron model is an effective selection for mainstream customers and these switches are rated for 50 million keystrokes. It’s also possible to select between which suggestions varieties you like. This overview pattern options Brown tactile switches, however you possibly can select Pink Linear or Blue Clicky in the event you want.

The keycaps are double shot ABS plastic, which really feel satisfying sufficient to make use of and seem of top of the range. Some could want to change the keycaps out for one thing extra excessive finish, and that may be carried out. Whirlwind FX features a keycap pull instrument and the switches for this board supply respectable compatibility with numerous aftermarket manufacturers. The identical can’t be stated for the precise switches although, so don’t get this board if you wish to mod it in that approach. General, the construct high quality for the keys and switches feels fairly spectacular for this value level. The whole lot feels safe in place and the stabilizers are easy with no rattle.

One factor to notice is that this board doesn’t assist any onboard reminiscence for RGB or profiles. It undoubtedly looks like a missed alternative, as this ends in the board being fully software program dependent. Count on to see rainbow each time your PC powers up, and contemplate whether or not you wish to use this board with a number of units. Talking of the RGB, the lighting seems simply as nice as any high model. The results are additional enhanced by the aluminum backplate.

Whirlwind Fx Atom Rgb Keyboard Gaming 60% Review Grip Web

The physique of the keyboard is simply plastic, however it feels strong and doesn’t make any undesirable creaks when picked up or shifted. Because of the removable USB Kind-C port (offset on the left-hand aspect), it’s additionally straightforward to pack up and transport. The braided cable incorporates a fastener to maintain issues tidy. It’s additionally really useful to maintain the field or get a case in the event you plan to journey with it repeatedly. The field is nothing fancy, however it too is compact and can preserve your keys protected.

We additionally famous that this small keyboard sticks to no matter desk floor it’s on with ease. There are many rubber pads and toes to maintain it in place, in addition to on the retractable toes in the event you want to extend the peak. There’s solely a single peak setting, however it feels viable. The one criticism in regards to the underside of the board is that there’s some play within the hinge for the toes, however it’s fortuitously not noticeable throughout use.

How does the Whirlwind FX Atom really feel?

We touched on a number of features of the construct high quality and tech specs for the Atom already, however merchandise are extra than simply the sum of elements and parts. The Whirlwind FX Atom is a mechanical gaming keyboard at the beginning.

It’s okay for typing in the event you’re simply chatting or sending the occasional fast little bit of long-form textual content, however it’s not an amazing selection in the event you plan to make use of it for productiveness or essays. A part of that’s just because it’s a 60% kind issue board, however the keys additionally simply really feel too straightforward to press and the tactile suggestions performs havoc with the senses when making an attempt to spit out excessive wordcounts per minute. That very same suggestions feels superb for gaming after all, so this partly boils down to non-public choice and the selection of swap. If you wish to sort slightly extra, linear keys could be the approach to go.

Whirlwind Fx Atom Rgb Keyboard Gaming 60% Review Keys Function Web

The font is a bit stylized on among the keycaps reminiscent of on the “O” key. Ensure you prefer it.

When gaming, it’s laborious to seek out something to complain about for this board. The linear switches present that slight bump of suggestions with out the loudness of clicky switches. The motion of hitting a secret’s easy, and that creates much less finger fatigue over time. As famous earlier, all the keys and stabilizers are additionally very easy to press with no obnoxious rattles from low cost stabilizers. The one detrimental issues to notice when performing keystrokes are that the house bar is a bit loud when absolutely depressed and the suggestions is slightly too harsh. The board additionally produces a small diploma of metallic resonance when aggressively miserable keys.

The keycaps are fairly respectable although I may definitely see folks swapping these out for one thing higher after some put on. There are Fn instructions printed on the perimeters so you will get extra performance out of the board. If you want to swap out the keycaps, Whirlwind FX sells Pudding Caps with the matching Fn instructions for this particular board. The inventory keycaps are concave and have a pleasant quantity of grip to them in the event you’re not all that choosy although. They definitely get the job carried out.

As for the shape issue, it’s laborious to beat 60% in the event you’re pressed for house or prefer to sport with the board turned at an angle. Whirlwind FX aptly famous the significance of this and offset the USB Kind-C connector to the left to cut back cable litter in the event you do want to make use of the board at an angle. Whereas 60% isn’t going to be very best for everybody, the added floor house undoubtedly is useful when enjoying easy video games like shooters or MOBAs the place you don’t require macros or further keys for particular instructions.

One other factor that’s good for individuals who prefer to play with their keyboards turned vertically is that this board doesn’t have a steep angle for the important thing row structure. It’s comparatively flat. If you would like that angle, simply prop the board up on its toes.

Whirlwind Fx Atom Rgb Keyboard Gaming 60% Review Side View Web

The 60% kind issue definitely isn’t for everybody, however it’s a nice compromise whenever you need portability or extra space. The Fn instructions constructed into this design allow you to retain many of the performance, albeit with some clunkiness. On a aspect observe, there doesn’t seem like a Home windows lock {hardware} command. You’ll be able to simply swap the Fn and Home windows key areas through the software program or activate gaming mode through the supporting software program, however it’s a missing primary characteristic for certain. For the remainder of the Fn instructions, you’ll have to spend a while memorizing the place all the instructions are situated on this board, and it may be tough to determine what to press in lowlight circumstances because the print for the Fn instructions don’t illuminate with RGB. It could be nice to see shine-through for the Fn instructions, however no model is doing this but sadly.

Performing with velocity and precision

Along with its snappy keys, the Whirlwind FX Atom mechanical gaming keyboard incorporates a 3,000Hz polling fee. Polling charges are principally simply the response fee for peripherals, and 1,000Hz has been the usual for some time. Nonetheless, increased specs have been been all the fashion this yr. It is because many players now have CPUs with increased core and thread counts which might deal with the efficiency hits that come from units with increased polling charges.

Admittedly although, you’re solely going to note the small distinction if in case you have distinctive reflexes and are extremely invested in aggressive multiplayer video games. Nonetheless, it’s nonetheless good to have in the event you’re constructing a rig with low latency in thoughts. At 3,000Hz, this keyboard has a response fee of simply 0.33 milliseconds which undoubtedly helps it stand out from the group when it comes to efficiency. You’ll want to put in Signal RGB to make use of it.

As for {hardware} utilization, if in case you have an eight-core CPU, this most likely received’t influence your framerate except you’re enjoying a demanding sport above 165 fps. Nonetheless, increased polling charges appear extra helpful for a mouse. It’s possible you’ll select to prioritize sources there as a substitute of your keyboard. Regardless, 3,000Hz looks as if a greater than satisfactory enchancment over normal response charges. Some units go as excessive as 8,000Hz now, however it’s actually extra akin to splitting hairs at that degree. The efficiency impacts to the CPU utilization and framerates rapidly outweigh the slim advantages of hyper polling charges.

The one detrimental factor to be stated about Whirlwind FX’s providing is that you simply can not select a decrease polling fee if encountering efficiency points. Different merchandise supply a listing of presets just like the Corsair K65 Mini 60% mechanical gaming keyboard. Fortuitously, there weren’t any noticeable CPU utilization spikes whereas gaming on the Atom, so Whirlwind FX’s answer appears to be nicely carried out and light-weight.

Sign RGB seems promising

Just about each gaming keyboard and mouse appears to have supporting software program as of late. That is exactly the case with the Whirlwind FX Atom, which makes use of Sign RGB. In truth, this up-and-coming software program might be why you’re shopping for the keyboard within the first place. Sign RGB presents RGB unification throughout main manufacturers with real-time lighting integrations for main video games. We’ll have a look at it extra in a separate piece, however for now, we’re simply involved with the way it helps the Atom.

On a {hardware} degree, the RGB lighting for the Atom is proscribed to only a rotating strobe sample. You must obtain Signal RGB to unlock all the cool stuff. Very like Corsair’s iCUE or no matter RGB software program you’re aware of, you possibly can customise primary lighting for the gadget and select from extra unique patterns. Sign RGB presents a mixture of free and premium RGB options, however there’s lots you will get without spending a dime to make the Atom look nice.

Signal Rgb Software lighting

Sign RGB has some severely distinctive and dazzling results that may additional be custom-made to make your setup really eye-catching.

Establishing Sign RGB is tremendous straightforward and this system makes use of very low quantities of system sources when run as a background app (1-3% CPU on a 7700K). We observed increased system utilization when it was first put in, however the difficulty hasn’t reoccurred since.

When you dig into this system, you’ll discover that it’s largely simply RGB software program for now. If you happen to want to set macros, profiles, and many others., you’re out of luck for now. It’s value noting that you can simply choose a 3rd celebration macro software program in the intervening time. Nonetheless, in the event you contemplate the present lack of built-in software program options to be absolute deal-breakers, go together with one thing that’s already confirmed till Sign RGB will get up to date. Whirlwind FX famous that it plans so as to add macro assist and extra in 2022, however we clearly can’t suggest shopping for the Atom simply on the promise of issues to come back.

Signal Rgb Software

Sign RGB permits you to do loopy results and even coordinate with different units and/or in-game occasions.

Do you have to purchase the Whirlwind FX Atom RGB mechanical gaming keyboard?

The Atom isn’t good, however it looks like an excellent 60% mechanical keyboard for gaming contemplating the worth. The Atom’s MSRP on the Whirlwind FX website is simply $79.99 USD, and it’s on sale for simply $49.99 USD for the remainder of 2021 via Whirlwind FX’s Amazon seller page. If you happen to simply need one thing reasonably priced and transportable that also feels premium, this can be a very strong selection. There are additionally the software program characteristic upgrades to look ahead to in the event you’re keen to take the prospect and stick to Sign RGB. General although, we will undoubtedly suggest the Whirlwind FX Atom mechanical gaming keyboard.

https://www.pcinvasion.com/whirlwind-fx-atom-mechanical-gaming-keyboard-review/ | Whirlwind FX Atom mechanical keyboard overview

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