Pros: Price, looks and design, backlit keys & WASD/arrow keys in a different colour
Cons: Content mechanical switch
Build Quality: 8/10
Design & Looks: 10/10
My final Rating: 8.5/10
Purchase Date: March 2015
Purchase Price: £55
First of all I would like to thank Sumvision for sending me the keyboard for review. The keyboard can be found on AmazonUK for £55. This keyboard is one of the cheapest mechanical keyboards I’ve ever come across, which also uses a switch that I’ve never heard about – the “Content Mechanical Switch” – which is, according to Sumvision, identical to the “Kailh Mechanical Switch“, which can be found in recent Razer keyboards (Razer and others re-brand these switch as their own – ie. the “Razer Switch” is in fact made by Kailh)
Before getting into my written review, here’s my video review of the Nemesis Ultra:
Now let’s get into this written review!
First and foremost I think it’s important to share it’s specification, mainly those of the switch.
Here’s the information I was shared by Sumvision about the switch they used in their keyboard:
- The actual operating point is the same as Kailh blue switches at 50cN
- Total operation force is 60cN ± 15gf
- Total key travel: 0.4-4mm
- The keys can hold up to 50 million clicks
- It supports N-key rollover
- The keyboard has a standard 1 year warranty
Further specifications about the keyboard itself, including where to download the driver – can be found on Sumvision’s website.
To start off the review of the keyboard, let’s first talk about the build quality.
For me the switch is a main part of the build quality of any keyboard, especially a mechanical one. The switch is very much like a Cherry MX Blue switch, which is vastly popular among typists due to its light actuation point and clicky nature. The Content Switch is also quite similar, despite being slightly heavier to actuate than the Cherry MX Blue. It still makes a satisfactory click-clack sound, however it should be noted that it isn’t as loud as the MX Blue. Each of the keys on the Nemesis Ultra are backlit with a green LED, apart from the WASD and arrow keys that have a red LED. I really like the fact that this keyboard comes in at only £55 and offers backlit keys – the differentiation between the WASD and arrow keys also makes it very nice to use, especially when gaming. The backlit keys can also be changed in intensity, breathing speed and even have a “Christmas tree” pattern (as I like to call it) via the software or via buttons found on the right-hand side of the keyboard.
Going back to the Content Switches, I found them to be decent for both gaming and typing, however when directly compared to Cherry MX Blues and Browns, I found the Cherry switches to feel a lot better on touch. There was just something about these Content switches that just didn’t feel right in comparison. It comes to no surprise that these Chinese switches are cheaper, as it really did depict how they felt in comparison to German Cherry MX switches. This is how and why the Sumvision Nemesis Ultra is a lot cheaper than most other keyboards out there, however it should be said that the switch is extremely similar if not identical to the Kailh switch, which can be found in expensive Razer (and other) keyboards – which begs the question – how much money is being made by these other manufacturers? At least in this case, Sumvision have kept their price low and I applaud them for doing that!
To summarise the switch, as it’s very hard to describe without actually trying it – is that it feels a little odd, a little different and ultimately doesn’t give a pleasurable experience over a Cherry MX switch. With that said, it should be noted that I much prefer this mechanical switch over a membrane keyboard, which could be as expensive, if not more expensive that the Nemesis Ultra.
Moving on from the switch, the actual build quality of the keyboard is actually very good, where it doesn’t have any keyboard flex, despite being made out of plastic, and the key caps themselves feel nice, albeit a little lighter than my CM XT keys. I would say they sit in-between the Logitech G710+’s key caps and the CM XT’s ones, both in terms of weight and the size of the keys. Speaking of which, the key spacing on the Nemesis Ultra is just right for typing and gaming -I found myself typing quite fast and accurately on the key layout – of course this is very subjective, but I think they did a good job here.
The keyboard is terminated by a braided single gold-plated USB, that also has audio inputs for both headphones and a microphone. This is because at the front-side of the keyboard, there is a USB input and an audio in/out for headphones and a microphone. This is a fantastic inclusion by Sumvision, as you often don’t find it in high-end keyboards – the fact you’re getting this in a budget keyboard is fantastic.
Finally to wrap it up, the keyboard doesn’t have an included wrist rest, but does have small groves for you to fit one. The back of the keyboard has risers and two groves for cables to pass-through – which to me is good thinking from Sumvision to have had that included.
Overall, the build quality is really excellent, but is unfortunately let down by the switches that are utilised. I can understand that it’s a budget mechanical keyboard, but as I have to review a “mechanical keyboard” – I just wasn’t a huge fan of this mechanical switch, but really liked the other factors of this keyboard, especially at its given price of £55.
I alluded to the design quite briefly in the build quality section of this review, where I love the inclusion of the backlit keys, especially seeing as the WASD and arrow keys are coloured in red rather than green, like the rest of the keyboard.
The green/red theme rally does remind me of a Christmas tree, but it’s a good look and really is designed for gamers in-mind.
The design of the backlit keys is also well thought out as they can be completely switches off and the WASD and arrow keys operate on a separate illumination, which allows you to have them only on, whilst the rest of the keys are completely off – a neat little feature if you ask me! These green lights also have a small strip of LEDs on the side of the keyboard, which give the keyboard a nice look, when looking at it from the side.
Looking at the keyboard a little closely, reveals a selection of buttons that can be found by the F-keys. It should be noted that my version that I received has “repeat rate” buttons, however these buttons don’t do anything and will be removed in the upcoming iteration of the keyboard. From the F5 to F12 buttons, there are media controls, which allow you to control your music quite easily – I really like this inclusion as it makes using the keyboard in order to control your media very easy.
Finally in terms of design, the 6 keys above the arrow keys have G1-G6 writings on them, which is used via the software to open up specific macros or functions. In my case, I had programmed them to open my Outlook and Chrome, via the Win+Number shortcut. These G keys can be quickly activated by pressing the “G” key located at the top right, next to the illumination buttons.
Overall I think the design and looks of this keyboard is fantastic – it’s a well thought-out keyboard, which at its given price-point is amazing to have a plethora of features included.
The budled software that can be downloaded via Sumvision’s website does an excellent job in providing customisability. It works flawlessly and is really a great addition to this keyboard.
Via the software there are a lot of things you can change/programme – such as the macro settings for each individual key (making it a truly customisable keyboard), customising the G keys to your heart’s content, changing the backlight and their behaviour.
Overall, there’s not much to say about the software, apart from the fact that it does an amazing job and work flawlessly.
In conclusion, I think the Sumvision Nemesis Ultra is a great keyboard, especially for the price, which offers mechanical keyboard functionalities. It’s just unfortunate that it’s using cheaper “Content” switches which are manufactured in China, rather than the Cherry MX switch. I wouldn’t have minded paying an additional £10-15 for the very same keyboard using actual Cherry MX switches. Speaking of which a Cherry MX keyboard can be bought for as cheap as £60 – despite it offering less functionalities and even a backlit keyboard, it’s the quality of the switch you’re looking out for in a mechanical keyboard, not the added features.
In that respect, I like, but cannot actively recommend the Sumvision Nemesis Ultra, as I think it would be wiser for people to add £10-15 on top to buy a Cherry MX keyboard.
Hope you enjoyed my review!