Thermaltake Premium X1 RGB Review: a gaming keyboard that lights up a room

A keyboard with limitless colourful customisation but a strain on your wallet.

The TT Premium X1 is a keyboard that’s not shy about its love for light effects. Thermaltake has a number of different pieces of hardware that feature bright and colourful backlighting from power supplies, coolers, chassis and now they have a keyboard to match. The TT Premium X1 RBG could light up a rave but for $110 / £133 is there more to this keyboard than just a fancy light show?

Straight out of the box, the TT Premium X1 RGB feels like a sturdy keyboard. It’s a full board with a good weight to it and has a sleek black matte finish. It has a single black braided cable that adds a little extra protection to the wired USB connection, and gives it the requisite ‘gamer’ aesthetic. It’s a heavy board but, because of the Cherry MX keys, typing feels effortless and light.

You also get that lovely recogniseable audible click typical of mechanical switches. The TT Premium X1 RGB has Cherry MX Silver speed switches which feel great and respond ultra fast; the keys react with the lightest touch.

You do also have the option of purchasing the Premium X1 RGB with Cherry MX Blue switches, but if you are into ultra fast feedback and competitive gaming then I’d recommend spending the extra $20 for the silver switches – they have a lower actuation point making them 40% faster than the Cherry MX standard switches. That said, current sale prices have the Silver switched version cheaper than the Blue in the US right now.

On the top right of the keyboard is a set of discrete media keys, such as a volume wheel, mute button, and your other standard multimedia keys. The layout of the keys is almost exactly the same layout as the Corsair K70 Rapidfire which we voted as our best gaming keyboard of 2018. It’s a sleek and comfortable design but it shows that the TT Premium X1 RGB isn’t trying anything original in that department. However, one feature that is new is a USB 2.0 port and an audio jack that is hidden at the back of the keyboard. Now you won’t have to go rummaging behind your computer to connect your gaming accessories to your system.

But the main feature of the TT Premium X1 RGB is, of course, its lighting effects. There a variety of different ways to customise the backlights and you can choose from different effects, colours and speeds. The TT Premium X1 uses 16.8 million RGB colour illumination with 12 different lighting effects and five pre-configured game genre lighting layouts (FPS1, FPS2, MMO, MOBA, RTS). One of my favourite effects is where you can set the lighting to reflect the temperature of your system, from chilly blues to scorching reds.

And there’s great news for all colour coordanists too – the X1 RGB can sync with other Thermaltake products meaning that all the lighting effects will be in sync across all your TT gear. You can sync them together using the free TT software available to download on its official website. Thermaltake also has a downloadable mobile app that lets you control the lights remotely, you can adjust the effect speed and brightness from your phone or tablet.

Since speaking with inanimate objects is becoming the norm, you can now talk to your keyboard too. Just what you’ve always wanted, right? The TT Premium X1 can support Amazon Alexa Voice Service, if you start your sentence with: “Alexa, tell Thermaltake..” then the keyboard can respond through its lights. Although, I’m not entirely sure how many answers the keyboard can convey through its lights alone.

The TT Premium X1 RGB is perfect for players who love colour coordinated builds but if that’s not your thing then $110 / £133 is a lot for a mere light show. Regardless of its disco aesthetic, it’s a sturdy gaming keyboard with a sleek, simple design, and those Cherry MX Silver keys are so light and satisfying your hands will fly across those keys.

Thermaltake Premium X1 RGB

The TT Premium X1 RGB has a sturdy and simple design with ultra responsive keys that feel effortless. It’s a colourful gaming keyboard with limitless creative and customisable light effects but, unfortunately, the price tag turns down the dimmer on this board.

7