Customer Reviews: Max Nighthawk Backlit Mechanical Keyboard (X9)
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on October 10, 2012
Keyboard died after 35 days!!!! For the price, I expect a solid keyboard that will last for a long time. Unfortunately, I missed the return window by 5 days so now I have to deal with the manufacturer. I will update this review depending on my experience with warranty service.

Pros : Great when it is working
Cons : Keyboard died for no apparent reason!!!!

Update: Great customer service from the manufacturer. I was a very happy on how they handled my warranty service request. They will be sending a replacement. They really stand behind their product. I am upping this rating to a full 5 stars since I really liked the keyboard and with a great warranty service experience, I highly recommend this product and manufacturer!!!
33 comments| 11 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on April 14, 2012
As an owner of various Cherry MX keyboards from brown to blue to red, I can say that this keyboard is the best. All keys are MX Red, and the red LED lighting is awesome. Feels better than my Ducky. Keys feel about as good as the Corsair K90 when hitting the mechanical keys on that keyboard, but there all keys including the function keys and escape keys are mechanical on the Nighthawk. A++.
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on September 29, 2012
I've so far had experience with three backlit mechanical keyboards: the BlackWidow Ultimate from Razer, the Zibal 60 from Mionix, and the Nighthawk X9. Hands down, the Nighthawk X9 is the best keyboard I've ever had the privilege to lay hands on. Initially, I was attracted to it for its minimalist appeal and no nonsense looks in addition to the fact that I require an audio passthrough for cable management purposes. The red backlighting, which matches my rig, was a bonus.

The Nighthawk X9 comes packaged with a comfortable foam wrist rest. Out of the box, the wrist rest has a peculiar odor that only gradually goes away. I'd've liked to have seen a kecap puller included as well, but, since I already had one, I wasn't too disappointed. The board itself has a decent weight to it and there is no unsightly branding to be found. Both the font and the font size on the board are easy on the eyes and the keyboard has a beautiful matte finish to it. This will not be a fingerprint magnet like the Razer BlackWidow series or a Das Keyboard. As expected, you mostly get what you see with this board. If dedicated media keys are a must for you, this might not be the best choice, but I never use them and find that they only serve to add bulk to the board, so I consider it a pro rather than a con.

The Nighthawk is plug-and-play. For someone whose Razer BlackWidow Ultimate was bricked by bad firmware, this comes as a huge relief. Installation is as simple as plugging the board into a USB port. You'll find the Nighthawk equipped with a nice braided cable, but it's a little on the short side. I would also have liked an additional USB connector in order to deliver more power to the board's two-port USB hub, which is tragically limited to 100mA on each port. Ideally, the board would also have had a USB 3.0 hub rather than its USB 2.0 hub, but, then again, the only backlit mechanical I know of to feature a USB 3.0 hub is Gigabyte's new Aivia Osmium. The audio and mic passthroughs are not deeply set like those of the Zibal 60, so you don't need to worry about squeezing in any beefy TRS connectors.

I was somewhat nervous about the Cherry MX red switches when I purchased this keyboard since I had previously only had experience using blue and black switches, but, when I laid hands on these "buttery smooth" keys, I fell in love. Costar stabilizers distribute pressure evenly across the longer keys, meaning you'll get the same response pressing the far edges of the space bar as you will pressing the very center. The backlighting, too, came as a relief after the disappointment that is the Mionix Zibal 60; indeed, the backlighting is the best I've ever seen. It's extremely bright and you don't have to reset your lighting every time you reboot the computer. The backlighting is also astoundingly even. The only area where the backlighting appears even slightly weak is the lower halves of the function keys. Even the space bar has a backlight.

Finally, I can verify that this keyboard does feature full n-key rollover on USB, something I've seen on no other keyboard, though let's be honest: Most people only have ten fingers, so full n-key rollover is just for bragging rights.

This keyboard is nothing less than a work of art. I cannot stress how much I have been enjoying it. Buy this keyboard and never look back.
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on May 24, 2012
This is THE best keyboard I have bought hands down. Came from a Saitek Eclipse III and will never go back to a squishy membrane keyboard.

For anyone looking for a good mechanical keyboard, look no further!
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on September 4, 2012
This Red Cherry MX keyboard is well worth every single dollars I spent on.

With LED light, I can turn of and enjoy typing (I don't have to find where the special characters are).

Compared to other colors, this Red keys give a lot more calm. (Don't expect too much to mechanical keyboards though! it's COMPARED to other MECHANICAL KEY COLORS.)

Like this feeling of the soft plastic material and the design. Simple and easy to adopt it.

Thank you.
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on June 27, 2013
You may love this 'board or you may get dizzy when you use it. The "Red" illumination has a tinge of purple depending on the brightness level you choose. So this in itself makes the board collectible. The Cherry Red MX switches are very soft touch and mostly silent, unless you "bottom out" when you type; in which case you probably should've bought one of their X8 or X7 models with Brown or Blue switches! The added features of audio cables/jacks and USB ports may be useful to you, but I did not use those features. Due to the added wiring, the cables are not detachable from the keyboard. They seem long enough (about 5 feet) after curves, to reach most equipment. Quality of manufacturing seems top notch. The LED's on the top right, to me, seemed a bit too bright, even when I adjusted the light levels. The USB ports (two) unfortunately support only 100 mA of current, because they share the USB power with the keyboard itself. So don't try to plug in any devices that suck USB power, like charging cables or USB 3.0 flash drives! The keyboard chassis itself is heavy enough and solid feeling, so it should last a long time, unless you dump your coffee into it. So please do not do that.
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on July 2, 2013
I very much so like this keyboard. It has sturdy keys and great switches. It is also very sturdy and solid. The braided cable is a wonderful feature, as is the audio pass through. I wish all keyboard had these features. But I bought this keyboard over several others because of it's red backlight. After 6 months it would cut out every once in a while but very rarely. Now, after a year, it cut out and hasn't come back on. Not a huge deal, I am a pretty good typist and my gaming muscle memory for wasd is great. Still wish it worked though. It is likely a loose solder connection and one of these days I will open it up and fix it.
As a side note: when plugged into a modern mobo, the backlight is on even if the computer isn't. The mobo thinks it is charging something. To fix this, enable usb power saving functions in your bios. Or just manually turn off the backlight from the keyboard every time. Up to you.
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on August 29, 2012
This is hands down the best keyboard I've ever owned, and I've used quite a few keyboards in my days. The feel is outstanding, and that's considering that I have an old IBM Model M sitting around in my basement. It truly does have full NKRO over USB without the use of a PS/2 adapter, something that I actually didn't expect to work correctly when I purchased the keyboard. The build quality is excellent, and the wrist rest is comfortable. If you're going to spend $100+ on a keyboard, then this keyboard is definitely for you. There is very little actuation force required to press down each key, but it doesn't feel "squishy", you can rest your fingers on the keys without applying pressure, and the keys don't easily accidentally actuate, which is the way it should be. I haven't tested the macro functionality, but the gaming mode, where the Windows key is disabled, works perfectly. One thing worth mentioning is that instead of a scroll lock indicator, there is a gaming mode indicator. This is not that big of a deal. The red backlighting looks awesome, and it's a joy to type on this keyboard. After hours of using my computer as in hardcore typing and some gaming, I have very little fatigue in my hands. One thing that they could have done is including a keycap remover in the box for the installation of O-rings. I plan on installing some 40A-R dampeners in my keyboard since I frequently bottom out, and for the sake of those around me, I'd like to make my keyboard a bit quieter. I was told by the manufacturer that the reason the key cap puller is not included is because it might damage the key switch if the keys are improperly removed. The customer service from Max Keyboard, however, is excellent, and they are a pleasure to deal with. It was shipped the day after I ordered it from them, and I do not regret this purchase at all. Everything works fine on Windows without any drivers, and the keyboard works great on Linux as well, with the full NKRO and everything. The one thing that does not work right now is the caps lock indicator LED under Linux. Caps lock still works but the LED does not indicate whether or not it is enabled. I expect this to be fixed via a kernel update someday. Under Windows, everything works flawlessly.
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on May 30, 2012
Edit: After 2 years this thing is electronically frail and not worth the money. The mechanical keys are wonderful and this keyboard is absolutely perfect, but, only when it works. The frail circuity has caused this keyboard to fail 3 times so far. Repair service has been free twice even 1 year after my warranty has expired, but I believe this is because they know they used crap circuitry in a good keyboard. It is costing me $16.50 to send this keyboard in each time for repair, so this just isn't worth it. Customer service has been perfect but it's just a band-aid over a real problem with the circuitry. Currently I believe I have a first-gen batch of this keyboard because I bought it very shortly after they released it, so maybe the quality control has improved by now? But, I wouldn't risk buying another personally.

In retrospect, I should have just spent $75 on a Steelseries with no fancy features and just get a separate led lamp or something to light it up. Or a Ducky series; maybe those have better electronics. Downgrading to 2 stars since the electronics seem to be a problem not just in my instance.

Also, I have a voltage regulated power supply between my laptop and the AC wall outlet so there is no way I have dirty power that just happens to be frying the keyboard.

Edit: It is now 2016, and my keyboard has functioned perfectly since the last repair. My best guess is they completely replaced the circuit board and addressed voltage protection issues with a new revision of the board. I even accidentally shorted out the USB port at one time and the keyboard shut itself off with some kind of voltage protection (Not sure if my laptop USB controller did that or the keyboard) but either way a short didn't even fry it that time. Adjusting rating to 4 stars as long as they keep the kinks out of the circuitry.
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on August 13, 2012
I ordered the x8 special edition which is blue led with green fn windows and esc keys. and just put in the comments when i ordered that it would be cool if they could do the wasd keys instead not thinking they would even read it and bam showed up today with wasd keys instead.
the keyboard itself is by far the nicest typing experience and has super responsive keys, tactile feedback is great and i feel like i type/game better and its more enjoyable to do. what a great keyboard and service if i could rate it a 6star i would. Max Keyboard Nighthawk-X9 Red LED Backlit Mechanical Keyboard (Red Cherry MX)
11 comment| 3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse

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