1stPlayer DK keyboard and mouse review

Posted

Updated

13 Jan 2021

I bought a cheap-ish mechanical keyboard from 1stPlayer, the DK 5.0 Lite 87 along with the DK 3.0 mouse. I called this purchase “a mistake” as I am not quite satisfied with the physical build and the very poorly designed software. So, I figured I might as well do a short review that may help prospective buyers.

Keyboard and Mouse Review

While the keyboard is not great, it is budget-friendly! As I have limited experience with keyboards, I am not qualified to make any alternative suggestions.

  • The build is reasonable - solid and heavy - and the Outemu keys themsleves are pretty good.
  • I feel the keys are not all at the same level, some keys are slightly more recessed than others. I may be mistaken but that was my initial impression and I even tried to pull out the keycaps to have alook, but...
  • The keys and keycaps not replaceable! No keycap puller was provided.
  • The cable is fixed and not braided.
  • Customisable RGB (not fixed rainbow colours)!

The mouse is not bad and also cheap, but ditto on lack of experience with a true gaming mouse:

  • Solid build - not too light - nice button-click feel and grippy, textured scroll wheel.
  • The cable is fixed but it is braided.
  • Customisable RGB (not fixedrainbow colours)!

A rant for keyboard and mouse manufacturers: we OCD users want a keyboard-mouse combo set that matches. It is fine to have a range of sizes or types to choose from, but all must have the same design language i.e. colour scheme, font, software, etc. Please pay attention to software as well, and ideally make a single piece of software that supports your range of products.

Keyboard App

The app is required to customise macros and other features. However, it is possible to select the RGB effects without the app.

I documented the key combinations when I wrote about resetting the keyboard when the number row suddenly output 1678923450.

At the time of review: I downloaded 驱动1STPLAYER_DK5.0_LITE_Setup_V1.6.5.zip / 0718f546a515879b9e5fb1c16939f065.zip from a folder 20200918 from 1stPlayer - they don’t even bother to name or version their download sensibly, except to name their folder. In fact the executable itself is OemDrv.exe version 1.0.6.5 - talk about being lazy... and it only gets worse.

The app is really poorly designed, and functionality is not obvious. For example, to re-map keys you have to uncheck Light and to set the RGB effects or colours, you have to check Light. Checking does not mean you loose key mappings and similarly, unchecking does not mean you loose the RGB settings. Plus hard coded “game mode” names like FPS, CF, COD, LOL and QQ. Yuck.

Usage

The app allows 3 customised profiles. Each profile can be configured with:

  • a pre-programmed RGB effects or a customised colour presets (where each key has a colour of your choosing as above)
  • a set of key mappings where keys are re-maped to either another key, a macro, or a media function

First, selct a profile.

1stPlayer DK 5.0 light effects in game mode

Next, with Light checked, choose either:

  • an RGB effect - I like Neon_stream at speed 1 while most others are, IMHO, terrible
  • choose Game Mode for 5 customised colour presets, Fn+1 to Fn+5 - in Game Mode, you can select a colour for individual keys but this is quite a chore. The UI is really not helping this task.

These two points took me at least 15 minutes to figure out!

1stPlayer DK 5.0 light effects in game mode

To setup macros, first, click Macro Editor. There is a recorder feature, and after recording you can edit timings between keypresses. I won’t describe this, as I don’t use it:

1stPlayer DK 5.0 macros

Finally, uncheck Light to re-map keys. Click a key, and select a key assignment, macro or media key (Play/Pause, Mute, Volume Up/Down, etc). I change:

  • The Pause to Enter, because compared to a full size 101-key keyboard, that is probably the key I miss the most!
  • The Caplock key to something else, depending on what I’m doing either Backspace or Enter, to be more left-hand-friendly.

1stPlayer DK 5.0 key assignemnt

Mouse App

The app is required to customise macros and buttons.

At the time of review: I downloaded DK3.0.zip / 20200918/843e55d520de6032d24b03da65e8b614.zip from a folder 20200918 from 1stPlayer. The downloaded ZIP contains only the executable 1STPLAYER DK3.0.exe, without any version number. There is no installer.

On opening it, it will take a couple of seconds to query the mouse settings. It always starts up in Chinese forwhich the font is missing, irespective of my previous selection and OS language. Just click the top right most button for English. But notice the button assignment is wrong - sometimes it displays ?? but sometimes it says Cancel instead of the actual assignment.

1stPlayer DK 3.0 Chinese language missing font1stPlayer DK 3.0 English language wrong button assignemnt

The workaround is to simply navigate to Mode B and back again to Mode A and it’ll finally be correct.

Usage

1stPlayer DK 3.0 correct button assignemnt

By now you already know there two configurable profiles, Mode A and Mode B, which can have different button assignments. I map:

  • Button 6 (lower middle button below the mouse wheel) = Escape, as this is frequently used (though methinks Backspace might also be useful)
  • Button 7 (top-most side button) = KB Switch Key to switch between Mode A and Mode B.

Who knew KB Switch Key meant to switch between Mode A and Mode B? I always assumed the only way switch profiles was to check either Press 'DPI' 33s Switch Mdoe A/ModeB or Press 'Middle Key' 3s Switch Mode A/Mode B (the latter refers to Button 3 i.e. press the mouse wheel itself).

Anyway, now I can quickly switch modes depending on what I am doing. So, for Button 4 and 5 (the two lower side buttons), I map:

  • For Mode A, Ctrl+Win+ and Ctrl+Win+ to quickly switch between virtual desktops (I miss the macOS 3-finger swipe gesture).
  • For Mode B, to WWW Fn > WWW Forward and WWW Fn > WWW Back respectively.

More screenshots for your viewing pleasure:

1stPlayer DK 3.0 advanced settings1stPlayer DK 3.0 RGB lighting effects1stPlayer DK 3.0 macros

Updated 13 Jan 2021: For the mouse, discovered the purpose of KB Switch Key and a use for the hard-to-reach button 7. Misc. edits. Must. But did.