Max Keyboard Nighthawk X8 & X9 Mechanical Gaming Keyboard Review
Max Features. Max Performance. Max Keyboard.
For those of you who know me, you’ll know that I love mechanical keyboards. Ever since I used one of these a couple years back, I practically fell in love and have used these keyboards exclusively. Why? Well, for starters my typing speed improved and my accuracy improved quite a bit. Considering the fact that I spend hours and hours every day writing reviews, writing news, and all that good stuff mechanical keyboards are less of a luxury and almost a necessity.
So, when Max Keyboard asked me if I was interested in reviewing their new Nighthawk X8 and Nighthawk X9 mechanical keyboard, I was thrilled. Yeah, I’ve done tons of reviews on mechanical keyboards, but I absolutely couldn’t miss the opportunity. Anyway, within a couple days two of Max Keyboard’s newest products arrived at my doorstep – the Nighthawk X8 and the Nighthawk X9.
Feature wise, the Nighthawk X8 and Nighthawk X9 are among the most full featured mechanical keyboards I’ve seen on the market. For starters, they feature Cherry MX switches, full N-Key Rollover over USB, a full speed USB 2.0 hub, audio/mic jacks, macros, and LED backlighting. Up till now not many mechanical keyboards out there have all of these features combined. In fact, off the top of my head I can’t think of any! Yeah, you can probably see why I was so excited about this keyboard.
Of those features, one unique feature really stands out to me as well. Typically, even with high end mechanical keyboard manufacturers we see 6 key rollover and sometimes if we’re lucky, 20 key rollover; however, the Nighthawk X8 & X9 features full N-Key rollover over USB. This means that theoretically even if all keys were pressed simultaneously, every keypress will be registered. Thinking about it, that’s a first as well. I don’t think I’ve ever heard of a keyboard being full N-Key rollover over USB. N-Key rollover over PS/2 perhaps, but not USB.
Additionally, the keyboards also feature laser engraved keycaps, onboard memory for the programmable macros. If you’re impressed, well I am too because truth be told, that’s a lot of features on a keyboard. What’s next? An LCD? Just kidding….
Nighthawk X8 & X9 Features & Specifications
|. Cherry MX BROWN mechanical key switches (soft tactile)||. Cherry MX RED mechanical key switches (soft linear)|
|. Individual backlit keys for enhanced visuals||. Individual backlit keys for enhanced visuals|
|. Backlight setting memory||. Backlight setting memory|
|. 4 level backlight modes (pulse mode on level 4)||. 4 level backlight modes (pulse mode on level 4)|
|. 128k on-board memory||. 128k on-board memory|
|. Laser engraved keycap||. Laser engraved keycap|
|. N-key rollover (full NKRO on USB, any combination)||. N-key rollover (full NKRO on USB, any combination)|
|. Embedded multimedia keys||. Embedded multimedia keys|
|. Built in 2 high-speed USB 2.0 hub (max 100mA each)||. Built in 2 high-speed USB 2.0 hub (max 100mA each)|
|. Built in headphone & microphone jack pass-through||. Built in headphone & microphone jack pass-through|
|. Heavy duty braided cable||. Heavy duty braided cable|
|. Gold plated connectors||. Gold plated connectors|
|. Tilt legs||. Tilt legs|
|. Windows key disabled function||. Windows key disabled function|
|. Wrist pad for maximum palm comfort||. Wrist pad for maximum palm comfort|
|. US ANSI 104-key||. US ANSI 104-key|
|. Programmable macro keys (optional downloadable software)||. Programmable macro keys (optional downloadable software)|
|. Soft matte black upper enclosure with heavy duty braided cable||. Soft matte black upper enclosure with heavy duty braided cable|
|. 2 downstream USB 2.0 hub (max 100mA each)||. 2 downstream USB 2.0 hub (max 100mA each)|
|. Individual blue color LEDs||. Individual red color LEDs|
|. 50,000,000 actuation on key switches||. 50,000,000 actuation on key switches|
|. 45g actuation force||. 45g actuation force|
|. Keyboard dimension: approx 17.5in x 5.7in x 1in||. Keyboard dimension: approx 17.5in x 5.7in x 1in|
|. Keyboard weight: approx 3 lbs||. Keyboard weight: approx 3 lbs|
|. Cable length: approx 6′ foot||. Cable length: approx 6′ foot|
Okay, so today I’ll be reviewing both the Max Keyboard Nighthawk X8 & X9, so the first thing you’re wondering is what’s the difference between the two? Well, the difference is actually quite simple. While both use Cherry MX keyswitches and have LED backlighting, the Nighthawk X8 has Cherry MX Brown keyswiches and blue LED backlighting, while the Nighthawk X9 has Cherry MX Red keyswitches and red LED backlighting. Other than that, they’re completely identical!
So, let’s have a closer look at the keyboards themselves…