JamesDonkey RS2 Warm-Swappable Mechanical Keyboard Assessment – A 1800 Compact (96%) keyboard with a retro IBM style and design


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JamesDonkey RS2 Mechanical Keyboard Critique Rating


The JamesDonkey RS2 ticks a ton of my boxes. The retro layout appears to be like wonderful, and the 96% layout will work perfectly for me, particularly with the media knob. I also adore the solution to swap out my switches.


  • Wonderful retro layout
  • Exceptional typing experience
  • Swappable switches
  • Three kinds of connectivity


  • Not certain about the JamesDonkey – Struggled to download it

I was amazed when I earlier reviewed the JamesDonkey RS4. It is an outstanding 87-Vital TKl RGB mechanical keyboard that has each wireless and wired connectivity.

Recently, I have been reviewing the new JamesDonkey RS2. This is a 99-vital which Google informs me is an 1800 Compact (96%).


  • Shockproof Gasket Pro Style.
  • Customised 99-key structure.
  • Triple connectivity modes.
  • Multimedia operate knob.
  • Incredibly hot-swappable design.
  • Whole-important conflict-free procedure.
  • Dual-tone injection-molded PBT keycaps.
  • Gateron G Pro mechanical switches.
  • Ergonomic design and style.
  • Supports both equally Mac and Windows systems with seamless switching.
  • Vibrant white backlight.
  • 3000mAh high-capacity battery.

Style / Features

You’d believe there is not substantially to publish about a keyboard style and design and features, but this is not the circumstance, specially with this keyboard.

1st up is the overall aesthetic. This will come in a retro beige colour with two tones of beige/brown employed for the keys. The layout isn’t a total clone of an IBM keyboard, this kind of as the Design M, but it is a lovely modern day interpretation of it.

The keyboard utilizes a Gasket Pro style wherever the positioning plate is suspended inside of the keyboard with substantial-overall performance guidance and rebound products which absorbs keystroke vibration providing a more nice typing working experience.

Media Knob

Similar to the RS2, this has a media dial, but relatively than on the aspect of the keyboard it has been shifted to a more classic upper right. I discover that this is a additional usable spot than the aspect-mounted dial that the RS4 experienced. The only thing that I pass up from my larger keyboard is a focused pause essential.


Just like the RS4, you have 3 modes of connectivity:

I have predominantly employed this in the wired mode, but I invested a pair of days making use of the 2.4Ghz connectivity and tested the Bluetooth.

Performance is excellent. I am not eager on utilizing Bluetooth normally, but it is practical for a notebook, and it can pair with a few unique products, so I can use this with a tablet and my notebook.

Swappable Mechanical Switches – Gateron Purple

The FR4 glass fibre positioning plate is a scorching swap structure, and my keyboard was supplied with the Gateron Pink switches (I was hoping for Brown). The Gateron Pink is the most well-known switch from this manufacturer and I can see why. It is a linear change which a a great deal quieter seem than typical. The pressure is additional reasonable, light and I found that my typing felt quicker than typical utilizing these keys.

The hotswap structure lets you to use any 3 or 5 pin switches and is suited for most mechanical swap makes. Swapping out the switches is quick plenty of with the swap puller.

I have never ever tried a modular keyboard prior to, and I was eager to see how uncomplicated it is to do and how considerably of a distinction swapping out distinctive switches would make.

I requested a pack of 35 environmentally friendly Gateron G Professional switches, costing me a sensible £14.51. I chose the green switches mainly because they are about as distinct from the red switches as you can get. These are clicky keys with a substantial actuation power of 80g, which give a retro typewriter touch and maybe a little something that is a bit closer to the IBM Product M this keyboard is styled on.

In just the packaging, there are two tools, one particular keycap remover and the other a swap remover. They keycap remover is very quick to use, slot it down about the cap and pull it up with a wiggle to assistance. Eradicating the switches is more difficult as this calls for pretty a little bit of hard work, but it is moderately quick.

The system by itself is quite effortless, but it will be time-consuming to do all the switches.

Typing Encounter / In Use

Like most of my keyboard testimonials, I believe I favor clicky keys, but at the time I use a distinctive variety, I immediately adapt.

I observed that these keys did not genuinely demand any time to get used to, I was in a position to form fast and correctly as typical. If anything at all, it feels like I can sort a bit a lot quicker than my Thermaltake TT Top quality X1 RGB with Cherry Blue switches.

When I swapped the switches, I didn’t do all of them, as I desired to try and see what I favored. I usually imagined I was a clicky essential person, but now I am not guaranteed. I feel like I am a quicker and a lot more precise typer with the reds.

Rate and Alternative Options

The James Donkey RS2 is available from Mech Keys for just $79 or £67

The Keychron K4 is probably the closest choice choice, but it lacks the media dial and arrives in a two-tone grey colourway. This has many switches and RGB selections, but the closest comparison is the white backlight with hot swap Gateron G Pro priced at $89.


There is a great deal to like about the JamesDonkey RS2. Definitely, the design could be divisive, but if you like the retro glimpse, then this should really definitely be on your shortlist.

I am really fond of the 1800 Compact (96%) style and design, it is the to start with time working with this style of keyboard. It will work nicely for my business office use, as I consistently use the range pad and I use the print display button a lot.

I appreciate the possibility of staying capable to swap out the switches. This looks like a rational style and design choice allowing men and women to try diverse designs of swap without the cost of committing to different keyboards.

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