Review Motospeed CK104 ABNT2 | Have the problems been fixed?

MOTOSPEED CK104 ABNT2 DRAW

Motospeed is already a very famous brand that has gained a lot of space in the gamer market with its CK104 mechanical keyboard, which at the time of its release had an extremely low price and brought several high quality factors for that time, many of which were rarely found even in high-level keyboards.

Its strengths were many: Double-shot keycaps, RGB lighting by SMD LEDs, good internal welding work, Outemu switches that at the time were well made and had good quality and most importantly: it only cost R $ 150, surreal price and that still today extremely low for a mechanical keyboard.

A few years passed and Motospeed officially came to Brazil, and today, March 3rd, 2020 it officially launches the CK104 with true ABNT2 layout, no small enter or in a different font. Let's see if along with the new layout the brand took advantage and improved other aspects or if the keyboard still presents the same problems that the brand's latest models have presented.

External Construction

The external design has not changed at all, it remains exactly the same as the first version. We have the Torx screws in the same locations as the top metal plate, as well as the vertical blue bars just above the numpad that signal the Capslock, Scroll Lock and NumLock.

The CK104 has changed almost nothingThe CK104 has changed almost nothing

Following the "trend" at the top, at the bottom we have the same lifting feet and rubbers to keep the keyboard in place, as well as the same error as the first version: there are no rubbers on the back, only if you use the feet elevation – which has 1 stage.

Back of keyboard remains identicalBack of keyboard remains identical

The cable is the same rubber, too, it has a glossy finish and is malevelable enough for a keyboard. The USB tip in the exact same format as the Cougar Vantar MX, which means that it is not in the standard format but rather wider, which can hinder the time of connecting other devices to neighboring ports.

Cable has end-to-end rubber sheathCable has end-to-end rubber sheath

Along with the design exactly the same as the first, there are also its advantages, such as the low profile of the keyboard, making it relatively low and more similar to a common membrane model. In addition to the low height, its lateral edges are not large, having only a few millimeters between the keycaps and the tip.

Generally very compact keyboardGenerally very compact keyboard

The brushed aluminum top plate with basically no texture, it has a lot of well-refracted reflections, so there's nothing to be full of fingerprints everywhere, positive point.

In poorly lit environments there is a color accentIn poorly lit environments there is a color accent

As you may already be tired of listening, the keyboard is basically the same as what we saw 3 years ago on the outside, and this is not bad, after all this was never a weakness of the keyboard. Now let's move on by talking about your keycaps, which are different.

Keycaps

Keycaps were one of the turning points for the keyboard, and in this case in a great sense. The extremely gamer and "aggressive" font gives way to something much simpler and that pleases a lot more people, leaving the keyboard a little more elegant as well.

I consider the new font a great evolution of the keyboardI consider the new font a great evolution of the keyboard

The secondary function codes also received a large decrease in size, being much more subtle and I do not see them as an obstacle on the keyboard, only as an indicator of a new function.

They are still made of ABS plastic, but the faster and more textured top finish is much more comfortable to touch, making it very comfortable when typing.

Textured finish gave a greater softness to the touchTextured finish gave a greater softness to the touch

Unfortunately, the internal support pin is not so well reinforced and that is why some keycaps already appeared with cracks in the first removal of keycaps from the keyboard, and I am afraid that the same thing happened with the space of the Tecware Phantom Elite, which broke the pin of support and because of that the stabilizers no longer functioned correctly, being necessary to change the keycap.

The inner lining needs reinforcement to ensure that keys on the iro will simply breakThe inner lining needs reinforcement to ensure that keys on the iro will simply break

So here is more feedback to the company, it is necessary to reinforce this pin because it is clearly too fragile, possibly presenting problems early.

Internal Construction

To open the keyboard it is first necessary to remove all the keycaps as there are several "hidden" screws underneath them in addition to the obvious Torx screws that are visible at all times. After removing the screws, just pull the top plate upwards, taking care with the cable that is still connected to the keyboard PCB.

Photo showing the screws under the keycapsPhoto showing the screws under the keycaps

Now that we have it open in our hands, let's analyze and see if there was any change in the inside of it.

From what we can see there were no major changes in the PCB, only adaptations so that the ABNT2 layout with 107 keys is used.

The controller BYK816, the same found on keyboards like the Habit KB366L and Cougar Vantar MX, keyboard we reviewed here at Oficina da Net in January. This controller is undoubtedly an upgrade compared to BYK870 than the original keyboard controller. The model equipped in the CK104 ABNT2 already supports software and more advanced effects, in addition to being able to save profiles directly on the keyboard.

The USB connector is removable, as we have seen on several other keyboards and that as always I speak a positive because it makes it much easier to change the cables if the original suffers any damage.

The welds do not have the same level of quality as the original keyboard, there is a lot of inconsistency from solder to solder, there are several points with the solder pin too bent and also some places with less solder, almost missing. Although they are not perfect, they still manage to offer the minimum quality necessary to pass the tests.

The CK104 ABNT2 is not a super elaborate keyboard, but it also doesn't try to be. Its PCB and controllers are very simple but do what is necessary and what the keyboard promises too. Quality control of welds requires a little more attention to ensure that the keyboard will not fail because of this.

As usual, I leave the photo gallery on the inside of the keyboard here, so it’s easier to see everything I said above in addition to having the photos in higher resolution.

Switches

The switches also remain the same brand as the original keyboard, which means that they are from Outemu. I lost count of how many times brand representatives who use company switches tell me that a revised version, that problems have been corrected, among other things.

But the truth is that exactly the same problems that I have been complaining for almost a year are still present: I took the keyboard out of the inner plastic protector and the first thing I saw was one of the keycaps crooked at 5-6, and the rest are so crooked how much.

Outemu Blue switches make another appearanceOutemu Blue switches make another appearance

So right away we already have a keyboard with a chronic problem that cannot be fixed without having all the switches, or the complete keyboard, replaced. In addition, due to the clearances in the switches, the infiltration of dust and moisture from hot days is even easier – which is very common here in Brazil.

Keyboard switchesKeyboard switches

Everything else is also the same, with these Blue Switch models being one of the loudest and that no one wanted to sit next to me here in the Oficina office while I used the keyboard, all because of the noise they make, at least this is something personal.

Please, fix these switches or change your OEM logo, because seeing so many keyboards with the same problem for so long is not legal and will only bring more fame to the brand, something that is difficult to take away.

Lighting

RGB lighting, something I mentioned there in the introduction to the review. It is not as strong as HyperX Alloy Origins that I just reviewed, but it is also the best in its category in this regard and costs at least twice as much, so it is not correct to compare.

There are some lighting effects already included on the keyboard, you can switch modes by pressing FN + Insert / Delete. My favorite mode ended up with the famous "Wave" effect, which makes a wave of colors.

There are several lighting effects availableThere are several lighting effects available

Its simple lighting, just like the rest of the keyboard. Its LEDs are of the SMD type, which should guarantee good durability. Is it true that lacks brightness? Yes, it's true, but we're not talking about an expensive keyboard either, so I don't see it as a problem.

Better lighting than the CK99Better lighting than the CK99

In fact, its lighting is much better than that of its brother, the CK99 which is in the same price range as this CK104.

Completed

The CK104 was undoubtedly one of the most important keyboards on the market in recent years, it has brought several points seen in high level keyboards for the most accessible models, in addition to making these aspects gain wide space in the keyboard market as a general.

Its low price was also a major evolution, being almost unique in a stagnant market in the middle of 2017. The hustle and bustle was so much that in many moments the keyboard stock simply ended up due to the large volume of purchases and fame that it gained.

Motospeed logo on the keyboardMotospeed logo on the keyboard

But unfortunately not everything is just flowers, he started to receive downgrades in the form of a great worsening in Motospeed's quality control and started to present more and more problems in the switches and solders of the same.

Unfortunately the CK104 ABNT2 is no different, and has the same flaws as the last models seen, problems that are present in almost all keyboards that use Outemu switches. In addition, the market has evolved in many ways because of it, and it ended up being left behind. Not even the fact that it is a true ABNT2 saves it, after all the Pichau P631K ABNT2 also has several other advantages over the CK104, and exactly this keyboard that we are going to recommend instead of this one.

For R $ 250-300, we see no advantage in buying it, since its competition is better in several aspects and costs exactly the same thing. As I said above, the main recommendation is in the Pichau P631K RGB, and in second place comes another keyboard of the brand, the Motospeed CK99 that we will review here on the website in the coming weeks.

Editor's recommendation: