I was absolutely stunned when I first saw the YUNZII Keynovo IF98. Unpacking this keyboard, I felt the heft in the keyboard, but more surprisingly, the weight of a plastic exterior keyboard. It had a lovely brass accent on the back-facing edge of the keyboard. The initial type with the blue switches showed how well the silicon gasket performed in dampening the sound.
If you’re new to mechanical keyboards, you might want to start by reading our definitive guide on mechanical keyboards.
Anyways without further ado, let’s get into the review.
1 x Yunzii x Keynovo IF98 Keyboard
1 x Coiled Keyboard Cable
1 x Keycap and Switch Puller
6 x Extra Switches
1 x An array of extra keycaps
1 x Manual
Fairly standard inclusions; it’s nice to have extra keycaps; they’re predominantly used for ”badge area”.
First Impression of the YUNZII Keynovo IF98
The keyboard is a very visually stunning piece of work, and its frosted frame accentuates the internals. However, with that said, the LEDs are kind of lacklustre and lack the shine-through to make the keyboard stand out.
For pricing, USD 129 for a keyboard with this level of build quality and three colour options are rare, and the YUNZII Keynovo IF98 might be the only keyboard on the market that does it. My only wish was for it to come with some wireless capability, as we LOVE wireless devices here at MDS.
I love the brass accent that comes at the back-facing edge of the keyboard, and I think it gives the keyboard some bold details.
The badge area at the top left of the YUNZII Keynovo IF98 also adds some design flare to the keyboard itself. I think it’s a neat way to hide the optional key area.
Let’s talk about build quality. For its price, it’s effectively competing with most of the other mass-produced 96/100% keyboards. Those from Epomaker are probably in its direct window of comparison, whilst the default gaming keyboards from Razer, Corsair and Logitech are still way more expensive.
I think this keyboard, with its plastic exterior, doesn’t feel cheap. You can see the edges that have been finished adequately and the excellent polish applied to the brass accent piece. In addition, the addition gaskets for sound dampening have also been a fantastic addition. The weight of the keyboard makes the keyboard feel sturdy and stable and is reflected similarly when playing games or doing work on this keyboard. I’ve used the keyboard for about a month and had no issues with the quality, and it’s durable even after dropping it accidentally once.
There is a slight degree of flex when bending it along its long axis, but that is normal. The plastic exterior keyboards all experience this degree of flex.
The Hidden Badge Area
It’s a very nice addition for people who want to add extra keys to their keyboards. The badge is removable, with four slots for you to insert your switches and keycaps into.
They’ve hit the mark with this keycap design. I absolutely love the neutral-styled legend with the nice toned colourways. We reviewed a green unit, but I think the black unit might be one of the best-looking pre-built keyboards with a frosted frame.
The keycap itself is a PBT double shot keycap – Opaque. The lighting doesn’t shine through, which is a shame. But I think the durability of these keycaps will also prevent ”shining” anytime soon. I feel PBT double shot keyboards are becoming the new standard for pre-built keyboards, which I guess is good for us consumers as we get more life out of the keyboard itself.
But DAMN, look at the black version of YUNZII Keynovo IF98 – it looks so good.
It might’ve been a cardinal sin to request blue switches with this keyboard, but we wanted to review this keyboard for gaming. Brown or red switches would’ve done this keyboard justice during the sound test. We wanted to test it for the feel during gaming, and man, it’s a great keyboard.
The switch fitted with our demo keyboard was the blue Gateron switch. If you want more details on Gateron switches in general, Keychron has this amazing gateron switch guide which you should read.
The software is fairly basic for the YUNZII Keynovo IF98; you can adjust the RGB settings of your keyboard, and it’s not reflected in real-time, so you have to keep pressing the apply button.
You get the neat feature of customising any key to perform specific macros or multimedia functions.
If you’re looking for the software for the YUNZII Keynovo IF98 – you can find it here. DM us if the link is broken.
What I would like to see on this keyboard
Bluetooth. or 2.4GHz wireless with a dongle is probably the best case scenario. I like wireless keyboards, but I understand the design constraints of adding in a battery and the PCB requirement to allow for switching. This might increase the price, of course.
Overall, it is one of the best keyboards we’ve reviewed in its class. (Pre-built 96% keyboards – Plastic). The price is reasonable, and the features are well-rounded. The silicon gasket was a nice under-the-hood addition to help with the acoustics of the keyboard. The badge area was a nice twist to help the keyboard gain extra customizability without fuss. Overall, we recommend this keyboard with this switch type (blue) to gamers and programmers looking for an affordable keyboard.