We have reviewed many keyboards here in AnandTech, both electronic (membrane) and mechanical. In today's market, most cost-effective keyboards are based on membrane designs, while more advanced keyboards are using mechanical switches that are either made by Cherry or, usually, are a "cloned" version of their products. Recently however we had something relatively rare shipped for testing in our labs - the i-Rocks Pilot K70E, a keyboard with unique capacitive switches.

Capacitive switches are not something unique to this keyboard. As a matter of fact, the current top-of-the-line capacitive keyboard switches were introduced by Topre several years ago. The problem with Topre-based products is that their prices are excessive, placing them well outside what the mainstream market can afford.

The i-Rocks Pilot K70E keyboard that we are reviewing today has non-contact capacitive switches developed in-house by i-Rocks itself. The Taiwanese company's capacitive switches are available in two variants, 45g and 60g, with slightly different force-to-travel charts. The retail price of the Pilot K70E is rather steep, with the keyboard retailing at $150 at the time of this review, and yet that price is significantly lower than that of any keyboard using Topre's capacitive switches.

Packaging and bundle

The packaging of the i-Rocks Pilot K70E is very basic, with the keyboard supplied in an all-black cardboard box. Only a very basic schematic of the capacitive switch is printed on the front side of the box. There is very little information about the keyboard or the switches, just a few colored sketches at the rear hinting that it features RGB lighting. Inside the box, we found the keyboard adequately supported by cardboard pieces and wrapped inside a soft foam bag. There is nothing bundled along with the keyboard - no keycap pullers, no accessories, not even a small manual.

The i-Rocks Pilot K70E Capacitive Gaming Keyboard
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  • vanilla_gorilla - Friday, September 21, 2018 - link

    What do you mean a keyboard is "salty" ?
  • wonderbread2 - Friday, September 21, 2018 - link

    I am salty about his misappropriation of my (gamur) cultural slang.
  • wonderbread2 - Friday, September 21, 2018 - link

    (Nice review, always interested in topre like switches)
  • Ryan Smith - Friday, September 21, 2018 - link

    Unpleasant in large quantities.
  • wrkingclass_hero - Friday, September 21, 2018 - link

    During the course of testing it as his personal keyboard it was imbibed with a salty substance.
  • DanNeely - Friday, September 21, 2018 - link

    Actuation distance varying with humidity seems like a major issue outside of a climate controlled environment, especially combined with a non-tactile actuation you can never be sure where the actuation point is on any given day. While $150 is already a premium product, it really sounds like they need to add another dollar or two to the BOM to add a humidity sensor and use it to calibrate the sensor and stabilize the actuation point.
  • bug77 - Friday, September 21, 2018 - link

    That's true, but 70%+ humidity (like tested) is well into uncomfortable territory anyway.
  • DanNeely - Friday, September 21, 2018 - link

    Agreed, but E. Fylladitakis is far from the only person whose chooses to suffer in a steam bath instead of buying an AC. And presumably they'd have the opposite problem in the winter when many furnaces end up dedicating inside air to the point that static shocks become an issue.
  • FunBunny2 - Friday, September 21, 2018 - link



  • KAlmquist - Saturday, September 22, 2018 - link

    Yes. I have air conditioning but don't keep the temperature and humidity the same all year round.

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