Xtrfy is partially known for its willingness to turn left when others turn right. The company is always attempting to provide players with innovative mouse shapes like the MZ1 Zy’s Rail mouse or the M4 Wireless with customizable shells. The same looks to be true to its upcoming K5 Compact keyboard, which features a 65 percent layout and a wealth of customization options – some expected and some refreshing.
Running a 65 percent layout, Xtrfy is aiming this keyboard at esports athletes and players who find themselves on the go. One of the main appeals that often has players choosing 65 over 60 percent is the inclusion of arrow keys. The omission of the arrow keys can make everyday use a little unrealistic for those accustomed to using them regularly. Still, the 65 percent layout is preferred by many, including some top esports athletes like professional VALORANT player Tyson “TenZ” Ngo.
“I’ve struggled picking a proper size keyboard for a long time, for me the K5 is just the right size,” said TenZ. “Paired with a super-fast response time and the ability to customize the keyboard anyway I like, I know with this keyboard I can be on top of the competition.”
The new compact keyboard will also allow users to customize the case style and switches. One unique option is the ability to convert the case from a full-frame format to a floating key format. This could add value for those who find themselves on the fence regarding what they prefer. Similarly, the K5 Compact’s hot-swappable PCB gives players the freedom to explore switches or to mix and match. But not every customization option is a freebie.
Xtrfy has been fine-tuning its customization tool with products like the M4 and will be expanding it with the arrival of the K5 Compact. Using this tool, buyers can customize their USB-C cable color and keycap color. Xtrfy touts the tool as having 150 options to choose from.
A bonus that more companies are taking to include with their keyboards is sound dampening. Xtrfy includes dual-layer sound dampening in the K5 Compact to mitigate metallic pining that can occur with poor stabilizers. On that note, Xtrfy is also pre-lubing the stabilizers, which should help with the potential rattle.
The only real concern with the K5 Compact surrounds the removable frame’s durability. Typically, the more moving parts, the more that can go wrong. On a keyboard like the K5 Compact, issues may arise with the frame. Flexing, creaks, warping, and breakage are possible issues, so keep an eye out for them in reviews once the keyboard launches.
The K5 Compact will launch in Spring 2022 and comes in black and white case options. Xtrfy priced its fifth-generation keyboard at $139.