There aren’t many great options in the wireless gaming keyboard market. You need a fast wireless connection and a large battery on top of all the other features you’ve come to expect from a competitive keyboard. Want something in a specific format? That can be even trickier.
TKL lovers have a new option, though. The Redragon K596 Vishnu is a wireless mechanical gaming keyboard that is both affordable and feature-rich. It incorporates the latest 2.4GHz wireless technology and supports up to 10 hours of game time.
The team over at Red Dragon sent us one to play around with, and we’re excited to tell you our thoughts!
Zoom In: Specs
- Manufacturer: Redragon
- Size: 87 key TKL
- Connectivity: USB Type-C (wired), 2.4 GHz to USB (wireless)
- Wireless Range: Up to 10 meters
- Switches: OUTEMU mechanical (red)
- Battery: 2400mAh (10 hours)
- Price: $79.99
Redragon K596 Vishnu Video Review
Prefer watching a video instead of reading? Check out the video below from our hardware reviewer Cody Campbell.
For a full video, see Cody’s unboxing at https://youtu.be/lJVihMXatBY.
Along with the keyboard itself, the box contains a number of extra accessories:
- USB Type-C cable
- Plastic magnetic wrist rest
- Keycap remover
- Instruction booklet
- Redragon logo decal
It also comes with a small box containing a few extra switches: two blues, two reds, two browns, and two blacks.
This is a nice touch. The reds can be used as replacements for any faulty or broken switches. And the assortment provides an opportunity to hear and feel the tactile response of different switches.
Top-Notch Wireless Performance
Bluetooth can be a pain sometimes. Pairing different peripherals is time-consuming, and it’s a drain on the battery. It’s also prone to sudden disconnects and losses in fidelity. A 2.4GHz wireless connection is much faster and more reliable. It’s easier to use too. You simply plug the USB dongle into the device you want to interface with, and that’s it!
I sincerely enjoyed using the Vishnu in wireless mode. I played several hours of Doom, which is a pretty good test of high-speed, FPS gaming, and the latency was virtually non-existent. I never once felt any lag between my fingers and the motion on the screen.
It isn’t unheard of for 2.4GHz connections to experience some interference. It’s the same frequency most commonly used by WiFi and several other wireless devices. I’ve never personally experienced this, but it’s something to keep in mind if you have a wireless headset, mouse, and multiple other 2.4GHz connected devices.
I was initially a little skeptical of the promised 10 hours of battery life. I’m happy to report that I received similar results — though you need to have the RGB turned off. Battery life with RGB turned on is closer to 2 hours.
Fortunately, the keyboard has this clever feature where the RGB turns off after a minute of inactivity. Want to turn it back on? All it takes is a single keystroke.
Now let’s get into the gears and cogs that make the Redragon K596 Vishnu tick. The first feature we have to discuss is the mechanical switches, as the right switches can make or break a good keyboard.
I compared the OUTEMU Reds that came with the Vishnu to the Cherry MX Reds in the Fnatic miniSTREAK I reviewed last June. The keyboard aficionados among you might disown me for saying it, but I could hardly tell the difference. The actuation on every key is smooth, and it’s a pleasure to game on.
The RGB isn’t quite as impressive as some more expensive models, but it gets the job done. The side panel RGB casts light out of the sides of the keyboard in addition to the per-key lighting effects. It’s a subtle effect, but a nice touch nonetheless.
The Redragon K596 Vishnu does have any RGB control software that can also be used to customize macros. Nevertheless, we recommend hanging on to the instruction booklet that comes in the box. This comes in handy for changing lighting on the fly. To change the settings, you can hold down the FN key and perform various short commands to cycle through the eighteen different RGB presets. Then, you must input even more commands to cycle color, direction, and brightness. It’s all outlined in the booklet, but it can be a bit of a headache.
The keyboard also comes with 10 macro keys or “G-keys.” These are great for anyone looking to map extra commands, but they’re particularly useful for MMO players. They’re also ideal as OBS shortcuts while streaming, so you don’t have to constantly ALT-TAB out of the game to change screens. As mentioned, you can map the keys with the software from Redragon’s site, but sometimes it’s just easier to do it manually with the keys. For this, simply use keyboard commands outlined in the booklet.
The Redragon K596 Vishnu comes with a wrist rest. It’s magnetic, which is ideal for a wireless gaming keyboard since you might be moving it around. There’s also something that my lizard-brain seems to find really satisfying about snapping the magnets into place. Unfortunately, it’s made of hard plastic, which I’m personally not a fan of. Some people might like a sturdier wrist rest, but I prefer some padding.
Redragon Vishnu’s Got Some Heat!
We listed the Redragon K596 Vishnu as the best TKL on our list of the wireless gaming keyboards. That’s because it’s one of the most feature-rich models on the market, and it comes in at only $79!
Options may be limited when it comes to wireless gaming TKL keyboards, but nothing about the Vishnu is a compromise.
Zoom Out: Verdict
The Redragon K596 Vishnu is an excellent, feature-rich wireless TKL gaming keyboard at a great price. It has up to 10 hours of wireless game time, media controls, various customizable macro keys, and uses OUTEMU’s linear red switches. Those looking for more advanced RGB customization options may wish to look elsewhere.
- Under $100
- Up to 10 hours of battery life
- Slight ping noise
- Hard plastic wrist rest
- Lesser known brand