SKYLOONG GK61 PRO
| Mechanical Keyboard | Hot-Swappable | Wireless/Wired | 60% |
SKYLOONG GK61 PRO, an unique 60% keyboard from SKYLOONG
The SKYLOONG GK61 PRO is the newest 60% keyboard from the brand with a way more premium approach than the previous non-pro model.
We usually find 60% keyboards to be a bit “boring” and feature-limiting but the SKYLOONG GK61 PRO offers a whole new approach with an added knob and a split bar while still having the same 60% size.
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SKYLOONG GK61 PRO Review
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SKYLOONG GK61 PRO Scores
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ACCESSORIES & PACKAGING
The SKYLOONG GK61 PRO comes in the typical, simple packaging from all modern SKYLOONG keyboards.
Inside you will get:
• 5 extra keycaps
• 2 extra switches
• USB-C cable
• Single spacebar assembly with 2x stabilizers
(other versions seem to include, also, a keycap puller and switch puller but we cannot ensure this)
The SKYLOONG GK61 PRO is a 60% keyboard with, thus, a compact form factor.
The case of the keyboard does not have any additional “wasted” space as there are nor info LEDs, screens nor additional elements outside the 60% layout.
Despite this, the SKYLOONG GK61 PRO has an unique design that includes a split spacebar separated by a knob in the middle of both “half” spacebars.
Color-wise, the SKYLOONG GK61 PRO has a 3-color keycaps pattern and a space grey knob; all together the keyboard looks stylish yet not flashy nor tacky with a “pro” vibe.
The SKYLOONG GK61 PRO is available in 3 different colors:
• SKYLOONG GK61 PRO black case (model being reviewed)
• SKYLOONG GK61 PRO white case
• SKYLOONG GK61 PRO TiGrey
The specific variant of the SKYLOONG GK61 PRO that we are reviewing has the best ergonomic design among all other SKYLOONG GK61 PRO, thanks to the lower profile of its keycaps.
On the other hand, none of the models of the SKYLOONG GK61 PRO offer adjustable feet; therefore, this keyboard will only have one height position.
Despite this, the angled design of the case, the “short” in height keycaps and the special split spacebar with the knob combine to offer a very good ergonomic final result.
You might have noticed, though, that this keyboard has the classic 60% layout as it does not include the arrow keys, yet you can access the arrows by combining the FN+CTRL (right arrow), FN+MENU (down arrow), FN+ALT (left arrow) and FN+/ (up arrow).
To be honest, we find more functional and ergonomic-friendly the FN combination for arrows than a 60% with forcedly-crammed dedicated arrow keys that shrink other keys like the right Shift.
CONSTRUCTION & BUILD
The SKYLOONG GK61 PRO can be selected with an ABS case of a heftier aluminum case. The model that we are reviewing has an ABS case, so we cannot refer to the build quality of the aluminum alternative.
Despite the plastic case, the SKYLOONG GK61 PRO feels rugged and well-built with no flimsy nor wobbly pieces.
On top of that, the keyboard includes premium inner components like a proprietary O-Ring gasket system that includes a silicone sandwich pad with a hollow design and a switch pad – all high-quality elements to improve the sound and typing feel.
The bottom case has 4 silicone rubberized strips/feet that are remarkably grippy and do an excellent job keeping the keyboard in place – even on fabric deskmats or plain slippery desktops.
The keycaps of the SKYLOONG GK61 PRO are premium, thick, double-shot PBT and not the cheaper and fading ABS of most consumer keyboards – the exact model of the keycaps are the SKYLOONG GK5.
The keycaps have a low height making look almost like premium PBT keycaps for a low-profile keyboard.
The large pink fonts over the bluish-greyish keycaps background color gives them a nice contrast that results in excellent visibility and readability even on low-light scenarios – and despite not being shine-through keycaps.
Among all the SKYLOONG GK61 PRO variants, this pink/blue keycaps have the more modern and less-retroish/classic design; also the most ergonomically optimized in our opinion.
Officially, the SKYLOONG GK61 PRO is listed with 7 different switches options:
• Gateron PRO 3.0 Yellow
• Gateron PRO 3.0 Red
• Gateron PRO 3.0 Brown
• SKYLOONG Red
• SKYLOONG Brown
• SKYLOONG Yellow
• SKYLOONG Silver
The SKYLOONG GK61 PRO offers a good variety of switches that cover different flavors of linear switches, tactile switches and a speed linear one – no clicky options are available.
Despite the official listings we got a “special” SKYLOONG GK61 PRO that came preassembled with silent switches from SKYLOONG.
So far throughout the different sections of the SKYLOONG GK61 PRO review you might have noticed that we mentioned many variants for this model that are related to the color of the case, build material, switches type and keycaps profiles; the SKYLOONG GK61 PRO has yet another variety of model options that is related to the connectivity options.
When buying the SKYLOONG GK61 PRO you will have the chance to select a USB wired-only model or a tri-connectivity one with USB, Bluetooth and 2.4G wireless.
CUSTOMIZATION & REPROGRAMMING
The SKYLOONG GK61 PRO has a hot-swappable PCB that allows the replacement of the switches without having to solder them. The board has a north-facing design and is fully compatible with 3 and 5-pin switches.
A customization fact that sets the SKYLOONG GK61 PRO apart from any other 60% keyboard is the split spacebar and knob that can be removed and replaced with a single spacebar if wanted (all needed pieces comes bundled with the keyboard)
On top of that, when used in the split spacebar + knob mode, all 3 elements can be fully reprogrammed through software – even the rotational move and click function of the knob can be reprogrammed.
In the “Connectivity” section above we let you know that the SKYLOONG GK61 PRO has a wired only and tri-wired/wireless variant; you also will need to know that the difference between these 2 variants goes deep into the guts of the keyboard itself.
The tri-wired/wireless model has SKYLOONG proprietary software compatibility while the USB wired-only model is a full-fledged QMK keyboard compatible with VIA.
This allows users to prioritize a lighter model with unleashed customization potential of VIA or a connectivity-versatile variant with wired and wireless connection.
PERFORMANCE & USE
With several linear and tactile switches options combined with the small form factor of the case and the well-lubed and assembled stabilizers, the SKYLOONG GK61 PRO provides a smooth and pleasant typing experience.
On the other hand, as with most 60% keyboards, the SKYLOONG GK61 PRO does not have arrow keys (but you can access the arrows combining the FN key)
Keyboards with 60% layout are the most sought after type for gaming purposes, due to its compact yet functional size that frees up space for your mouse movement.
The SKYLOONG GK61 PRO is not only a 60% keyboards adapted for gaming but its unique features set it above all standard 60% competitors thanks to the split bar and reprogrammable knob/button.
On top of that, the GK61 PRO can be selected with popular linear switches or even speed linears.
Of course a 60% keyboard is not the best adapted keyboard for productivity and editing tasks as it lacks the arrow keys, F number row and extra keys that can ease up the workflow for productivity (still, nearly all these “extra” keys are accessible through FN+Keys combinations)
In spite of being a 60% keyboard, the SKYLOONG GK61 PRO still compensates its lower number of keys with its split bar and the customizable knob.
The SKYLOONG GK61 PRO has all necessary features to become an ideal companion for tablet/iPad users with its smaller size, excellent switches and the added knob.
Despite this, if mobile use is your focus, you must be very careful when selecting your GK61 PRO and buy the tri-mode wired/wireless variant – if you mistakenly choose the wired-only model you will have no use with your mobile devices.
If you choose the model that we own (wired-only variant), you will have access to more than 20 different light presets through VIA, which are more creative and well-tuned than most standards effects on many other competitors.
The north-facing lights of the keyboard reach strong brightness levels and an even illumination across the board – the keycaps are not shine-through.
Our specific model of the SKYLOONG GK61 PRO came preassembled with silent switches, the SKYLOONG Glacier Silent Switch CuCl2.
It might seem odd but, actually, the SKYLOONG GK61 PRO does not officially come as a variant with these Glacier Silent Switches on SKYLOONG listings, yet this is the model that we have.
As so, we cannot tell you if this is a thocky keyboard or not but as a silent one with these switches, keycaps and the pre-assembled and pre-lubed stabs, the SKYLOONG GK61 PRO was smoothly silent.
Throughout all the tests the keyboard never showed hollow sounds nor any presence of resonance, pinging and the stabilizers always performed flawlessly without any rattling.
SKYLOONG GK61 PRO Technical Specifications
SKYLOONG GK61 PRO
60% | 60 keys + 1 knob
Kailh Switch Sockets
USB-C/Bluetooth 5.0/ 2.4G wireless
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