When we think of Adata, we usually think of striking RAM modules and well-designed SSD storage solutions. What we don’t normally think is the impressive selection of gaming peripherals that span keyboards, mice, and audio.
Today we’re going to take a look at the latter, one of their latest gaming keyboards – more specifically, the XPG Summoner RGB keyboard. The new keyboard offers three Cherry MX switches to choose from, a range of RGB presets, a convenient detachable palm rest and a well-positioned volume wheel. While it seems to be equipped with all the necessities that a gaming keyboard needs, the Summoner has its disadvantages – like no user software.
In the following article, we will put the Summoner RGB keyboard through its paces to see how it improves in build quality, gaming performance, and overall price-performance ratio.
With this in mind, let’s go into that right away!
- Wrist rest – Extremely comfortable wrist rest that can be easily removed
- Aluminum plate – Robust and aesthetically appealing
- Volume wheel – Simply adjust the volume settings during operation
- RGB – Seven preset RGB modes
- Some premium features are missing
Keyboard size and weight
- Weight: 951 g
- Size: full size
- Length: 449 mm
- Width: 135 mm (plus 88 mm with palm rest)
- Height: 44 mm
- Switches: Cherry MX Blue, Red, Speed
- Operating system support: Windows 7,8,10
- Media buttons: volume control and mute button
- RGB: Full RGB
- Pass-through: yes
- Connection: Wired
- Cable length: 1.8 m
What’s in the box
The XPG Summoner RGB keyboard comes in a standard box that shows the keyboard on the front and some of the main functions on the side and back. In the box, the keyboard is wrapped in a thin plastic layer and clamped between two fairly robust protective blocks. The palm rest is located under the keyboard next to the manual and additional key caps.
Inside we get:
- XPG Summoner RGB keyboard
- Pillow wrist rest
- User Guide
- Additional key caps and key cap pullers
This thing looks damn good in design. I have seen many keyboards using this design style (Corsair K95 RGB Platinum XT) in recent years, and it is easy to understand why. The sandblasted aluminum plate is the perfect blueprint for the XPG keycaps and RGB lighting. It gives the keyboard a premium feel, which I definitely prefer over the black plastic of many other branded keyboards. Speaking of branding: XPGs are pretty subtle and are located above the arrow keys. They are presented in a metallic finish that is striking yet discreet. The top plate overlaps the physical body of the keyboard, but I wouldn’t mark this as negative, which some perfectionists can only see.
In the upper right corner of the keyboard, users will find a volume wheel and a mute button – the only dedicated media buttons this board has to offer. The volume wheel has a pleasant, tactile feel that definitely has a positive effect on the volume during the game. The mute button, on the other hand, is not so pleasant for the senses. It has an empty feeling and sound that, to be honest, feels extremely simple. Although the button works fine, I assume that an error could occur in the near future.
XPG chose to use media buttons with secondary functions for the play / pause, back and forward controls – over F10-F12. Although that’s fine, I would have preferred dedicated media buttons instead. Why equip a volume control and mute button, but leave out the rest? It seems a little confusing. In addition to the volume wheel, there are three indicator lights for the game mode, the caps and the number lock.
The palm rest supplied with this keyboard is one of the outstanding features that can be easily attached to the rest using a magnetic strip. It is very easy to attach to the bottom of the keyboard and feels moderately secure – and is still better than other alternatives with similar prices. The cushioning used for the wrist rest feels extremely good and offers an excellent level of comfort and stability over longer periods. The rest increases the width of this keyboard by 88 mm. So keep that in mind when you’re fighting for desk space.
Turning the keyboard over offers very few design features. Though this is the case, it offers two retractable feet (1 height adjustment) and a USB pass-through that, to be honest, is more than most other keyboards at this price. The removable feet don’t have stabilizing pads, but thanks to the 2.1 pound weight of this board, it doesn’t slide around much. The USB pass-through works well and is convenient for people who want to charge mobile devices or use peripherals.
Overall, I have to say that the design of this board is actually very nice. Aesthetically, I think it ticks all the right boxes. The RGB works well with the keycaps and the sandblasted aluminum brings a certain level of quality to the table. Functionally, it leaves a little to be desired. Still, it has some unique features that most other boards with similar prices don’t have.
Aside from the design, it’s time to take a closer look at some of the main features of this board. In this price range, features could make the difference between buying and looking for alternative options. They can improve the usability and functionality of a keyboard and are therefore extremely important when it comes to such a competitive price range.
So let’s take a look at the main features of the XPG Summoner:
In contrast to other keyboards, which are in the price range “under $ 100”, the XPG Summoner RGB has three powerful Cherry MX switches. Users can choose between Cherry MX Red, Speed and Blue switches to tailor the feel and performance of the keyboard to their needs.
For me personally, I chose the red gaming switches because they actuate me faster and are much less audible. A great feature that will surely open this keyboard to a much wider group of buyers.
Next we have the RGB lighting. Although the majority of keyboards whose names are marketed with “RGB” are n
ot very inspiring, I actually had high hopes for this particular board. However, these hopes were soon dashed by a number of different factors.
First, let’s discuss the RGB options this board offers. Various presets are available, ranging from breathing to explosion and all the usual suspects in between. While these are pretty cool, customization is extremely limited for the most part.
Unlike other RGB keyboards (Razer is a prime example), the XPG Summoner does not contain any user software. Without user software, it is not really possible to fine-tune the RGB lighting to your specific requirements. You basically choose between the default settings and are satisfied with the offer.
Ultimately, for a keyboard with RGB in the name, I thought that the XPG Summoner is missing in this department. The RGB is okay, but it certainly leaves something to be desired – especially when compared to others in this price range.
Anti-ghosting & key rollover
Anti-ghosting and key rollover are technologies that ensure that every key press is registered and sent to the computer. For example, a user can press nine keys at the same time and each key press is sent to their PC – a feature designed for players who play titles that require complex multi-key commands.
However, the rollover of the keys takes place in different variants, which differ in the number of keys that can be pressed simultaneously. At the lower end of the key rollover spectrum, boards can only offer five key rollovers (five simultaneous key presses) – sufficient for many game scenarios. If we look at the top end, users are treated with NKRO – also known as a full key rollover (all keys).
The XPG Summoner RGB keyboard offers the latter and offers certain game genres the requirements they need to press keys.
Ergonomic wrist rest
Finally, we have the padded palm rest. The easy-to-attach palm rest offers an excellent level of comfort without taking up too much space on your desk (compared to others). It attaches to your board with a magnetic strip on the back of the rest and sits firmly. The cushion upholstery feels extremely soft and offers excellent comfort for longer playing periods. When you’re done, just pull the rest away and keep it as needed. A great feature that not many other boards in this price range can offer.
Now that we’ve looked at the design and some of the key features of this keyboard, it’s time to take a closer look at its performance. We’ll be guiding it through a series of games to see how it stacks from a gaming standpoint. After all, this is a gaming keyboard. Note that these results are based on the Cherry MX Red switches that this board is equipped with. Other iterations may offer a different output.
I started things as usual and loaded my favorite game – CS: GO. The first thing I noticed about the Summoner was how responsive the switches were. Of course, we’ve used many keyboards using Cherry MX Red switches in the past, but it always feels good to come back to them after a while. The movements felt sharp and the low level of actuation of the Cherry MX Reds meant I could respond in a flash – exactly what you need when playing a fast-paced title like CS: GO. Compared to the budget keyboard I used recently – Redragon K552 Kumara – the XPG was much better on all fronts. It was much more tactile and didn’t generate half as much noise – two factors that are very important to me.
Although NKRO technology is a bit overkill for almost every game, I have managed to test it in some unique titles that required it. It seemed to work as expected and allowed me to press any number of keys simultaneously, all of which were registered by the game.
From the input point of view, I actually found the XPG Summoner RGB pretty good. While it wasn’t the most accurate I’ve ever used, it definitely offered good speed when needed. The only factor that felt a bit strange was the recoil force of the spring when it was lifted off a button press. It was not off-putting, only very evident during use.
Overall, I really enjoyed using this keyboard for gaming purposes. The macros were easy to program, the RGB worked as it should (although limited) and the general feeling of the summoner was of high quality. I would have to give a thumbs up for the performance.
So there you are, folks, our comprehensive breakdown of ADATA’s XPG Summoner RGB keyboard. Despite the small flaws associated with this keyboard, I have to say that overall I was quite impressed. The design was extremely good (especially for this price – currently under $ 100) and the gaming performance left nothing to be desired.
The downside was that the RGB was extremely limited and the board didn’t contain any user software, which, to be honest, is a bit strange these days. Still, the RGB presets were reasonable and the programming macros were fairly simple. Other positive aspects can also be found in the palm rest, which makes your gaming experience even more comfortable.
Overall, for less than $ 100, I have to say that the Summoner isn’t a bad keyboard at all. This keyboard has a lot to offer in this price range. A selection of mechanical switches, aluminum cover plate, USB pass-through and some other functions complete the offer.
I assume it all depends on what you prioritize. If you want good gaming performance with solid build quality, this keyboard is for you. However, if you’re more interested in customizations, eye-catching RGB, and media buttons, you can definitely find better value elsewhere in the market.