Canyon is a brand that offers affordable mobile accessories, PC accessories, multimedia and gaming peripherals. One of their newest products is a gaming keyboard called Canyon CNS-SK86. We've tested the keyboard for more than a week and now we're ready to share our conclusions. Read on to learn what Canyon CNS-SKB6 has to offer to gamers and non-gamers alike.
Unboxing The Canyon CNS-SK86 Gaming Keyboard
Canyon VALIANT CNS-SK86 comes in a colored box with a picture of the product on the front and the three selling points of this keyboard:
- "3 changeable color". Erm...Canyon, you might wanna double check your English. We're afraid that you misspelled things on the product box.
- Comfortable gaming.
- Multimedia keys.
The back of the box shows a few marketing specifications about the keyboard in multiple languages. Unfortunately there are no detailed technical specifications on it.
Inside the box you'll find the keyboard, a Canyon sticker and the user manual.
This is quite a limited package in terms of accessories but it's no surprise since this is meant to be an affordable keyboard.
First things first: this is not a mechanical keyboard. It uses a rubber dome system, which also makes it quite light. The Canyon CNS-SK86 has 104 keys with a QWERTY layout. 17 of these keys are multimedia keys and hotkeys with extra functions.
Canyon CNS-SK86 connects to the PC using a braided USB cable and includes a wrist pad for resting your hands on long gaming sessions.
The keyboard is backlit and has 3 backlight colors: blue, red and purple. Two pairs of expandable plastic feet help you raise it to your preferences. The blue ones are shorter while the black ones are longer.
The Canyon CNS-SK86 is not a big keyboard, since it doesn't have dedicated macro keys. Its dimensions are 475 x 26 x 224mm (Width x Height x Depth). That's 18.7 x 1.02 x 8.8 inches (Width x Height x Depth).
You can find the full set of specifications of this keyboard here: Canyon CNS-SKB6 - Specifications.
Using the Canyon CNS-SK86 Gaming Keyboard
Let's make it clear right off the bat: if you're used to mechanical keyboards, Canyon CNS-SK86 will disappoint you. The experience of using the keyboard is decent at best. The keys have a nice texture, they are not excessively noisy but they don't have an ergonomic layout either. We did appreciate Canyon including a palm rest on this keyboard, since there are many high-end keyboards lacking this feature.
One thing we always have a hard time understanding is why many gaming keyboard manufacturers tend to paint the WASD keys different than the rest of the keys. It's not like gamers don't know where the keys are. Canyon doesn't offer any benefit either by changing their color.
The keyboard works right out of the box without the need for any dedicated software. Canyon doesn't provide any software for it either, so it's just plug-and-play.
On the downside, the keyboard is very lightweight and it's easy to push it around the desk. We found this to be annoying, especially in long gaming sessions where you press many keys quite fast.
The multimedia keys are incorporated into the functional ones and you can use them in combination with the Fn key located at the right of the space bar. Next to the Fn key is the backlight commanding key that you can use to switch between backlight colors, including turning it off completely.
Another thing that we disliked was the build quality. The Canyon CNS-SK86 keyboard is made from cheap plastic with a very poor quality feel. To give you an idea, pressing the space above the directional keys easily bends the case inward.
Canyon calls it a gaming keyboard. In our view, you can't call a keyboard a gaming one and provide no support for NKRO (N-key rollover). Specifically, if you press three keys at the same time during games, you'll have a bad gaming experience. The Canyon CNS-SK86 did not register more than 2-3 simultaneous commands at the same time, which is disappointing for gamers.
The backlight of this keyboard is both useful and useless. It's useful because it gives you an idea of the keys' position if you're in a dark room. Why useless? Because the backlight only shines between the keys.
The inscriptions on the keys are painted white and they are not transparent, so there is no light shining through the actual characters.
If you're in a very dark room you'll see the keyboard, but you won't see the letters on it.
Our experience of using the Canyon CNS-SK86 gaming keyboard was rather poor. It's more comfortable to type on than others, such as the SteelSeries Apex, but it's still a low quality keyboard that hardly satisfies the needs of a gamer.
We said this before: we love seeing new companies taking on new challenges and trying to build quality products, but it is ashame to see them fail. The Canyon VALIANT CNS-SK86 gaming keyboard is an affordable keyboard, but that's about it. The rubber dome system, the lack of NKRO support, the more or less useful backlighting and the overall build quality are all negative aspects that outweigh the positive ones. This keyboard is a decent buy only for people that don't play games and only do office work. Gamers will be surely disappointed by this product.