Redragon K502 Karura 2 Keyboard Review – Is It The Best Gaming Keyboard on a Budget?

Redragon K502 Karura 2 Keyboard - in use

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Current testing methodology is v1.2

Release Date
‎July 28, 2017
Price
Price not available
Weight
1.3 lb
Size
5.2 x 20.15 x 1.85 cm

Every gamer’s dream is to build a nice PC setup with decent peripherals and stuff but with rising prices of hardware, the choices can be limited for the budget-conscious. Some nice luxurious brands offer different gaming accessories, like gaming keyboards and mice, but buying them at their current price points can be a bit impractical.

Luckily for gamers on a budget, more and more brands have been releasing affordable hardware. One great example is the Redragon K502 Karura 2, which is a gaming keyboard that retails for only around $30. 

A Bit of Background

Redragon is a Hong Kong-based brand that offers affordable PC accessories and peripherals while maintaining good quality. They started to introduce their products in the gaming industry in 2012, and some of their well-known releases include the K588 and the K580 VATA.

In the past years, Redragon has been consistent in releasing budget-friendly products and can even compete with higher-class gaming brands. They’re now known as one of the world’s best budget gaming hardware manufacturers.

With everything discussed, let’s see if the K502 Karura 2 is worth the purchase in this detailed review.

Best Value

Redragon K502 Karura 2 KeyboardRedragon

Packed with features, this gaming keyboard is a must-have for gamers on a budget

4/5
Price Range: $
Brand: Redragon
Redragon K502 Karura 2 Keyboard - Box Detail

TL:DR;

The Redragon K502 Karura 2 is an affordable gaming keyboard priced at around $30. It has a low-profile design with 7 different RGB Colors, 25 rollover RGB effects, adjustable RGB breathing speed, 12 multimedia keys, a Windows key lock feature, and a built-in wrist rest.

Redragon’s design approach with their budget releases truly makes them look more luxurious and expensive than they actually are.

The Specs

  • Number of Keys:  104
  • RGB Backlit:  Yes
  • Connectivity:  USB
  • Keyboard Type:  Chiclet Style Gaming Keyboard
  • Numpad:  Yes

What’s in the Box?

  • Redragon Karura 2 K502 Keyboard
  • Stickers
  • User manual and guide

Stuff I like

  • Sleek low-profile design at an affordable price
  • Easy to use
  • Quiet
  • Suitable for casual to competitive gaming
  • Spill-resistant

Stuff I like less

  • Built-in wrist rest can cause discomfort
  • A bit bulky
  • RGB waving animation isn’t smooth
  • Lack of RGB customization options
  • Accumulates dust quickly between the key gaps

First Impressions

The Redragon K502 Karura 2  comes in a big rectangular box. There were some creases and tears on the packaging but I guess this is more of an issue with the courier.

The front of the box features an image of the keyboard along with the words “High-Speed,” “High-Control,” and “High-Response.” I hope that all of these are true and not just some marketing gimmick. On the back, you’ll see the keyboard’s specs and the systems it supports.

Upon opening the box, you’ll find the keyboard wrapped securely in bubble wrap along with some paperwork and stickers. The keyboard appears to be in good condition despite the damages visible on the packaging.

At first glance, you’d think that the Redragon K502 Karura 2 is some type of expensive gaming keyboard produced by brands with big names. It has a black and red color scheme that can be hard to match with other gaming setups with different motifs. However, this type of color scheme contributes a lot to its minimalist, sleek, and low-profile look. 

Redragon K502 Karura 2 Keyboard
Ergonomic build with a sleek black and red design and low-profile laser-engraved keys | Make Life Click

It’s essentially a full-sized gaming keyboard with 104 functioning keys, including the numpad. It has an RGB backlight, which is rare to find with $30 keyboards. The letters on the keys are laser-engraved, ensuring that the backlights are presented very well and not obstructed.

My first concern is with the spacebar’s appearance as it doesn’t match the design on the packaging’s image. The backlight also doesn’t fully light the spacebar button. My other concern is that the backlight is the brightest on the middle part of the keyboard and not on the sides.

Another thing to mention would be the built-in wristrest. The Redragon K502 Karura 2 is divided by a long red streak that separates the keyboard and the wrist rest. It bothered me while typing and I’ll explain more later.

Build Quality

The Redragon K502 Karura 2 is well-built. With its build quality, I’d say that Redragon did a decent job with the durability while maintaining its aesthetics. It’s also worth noting that it’s very lightweight for a gaming keyboard.

The keyboard is made from high-quality plastic with a matte finish. The keys also have the same finish as the body.

They aren’t fingerprint magnets but if you sweat a lot, it would be very noticeable, and rubbing them off isn’t as easy as you think. Also, remember not to rub the surface very hard as it would lead to the chipping of the matte coating of the keyboard.

The Redragon K502 Karura 2 comes with a gold-plated USB cable with a length of 1.8 meters attached to its middle part and is braided with black and red thread to match the color scheme. The braid helps a lot with maintaining the cable’s durability and longevity.

Underneath you’ll find 3 rubber pads installed to give the keyboard a better grip. They’re placed on the lower left, middle, and lower right. On the upper left and right, you’ll the height-adjusting flip-up legs. The rubber pads aren’t as sticky as I expected and having a slanted table may not work well with this keyboard.

Redragon K502 Karura 2 Keyboard - Anti-Slip Strip
With anti-slip pads at the bottom | Make Life Click

Usage and Performance

I was using the Redragon K502 Karura 2 while writing this detailed review, and honestly, I don’t know whether I’m satisfied with this keyboard.

Overall, this keyboard feels great to type on and doesn’t produce much noise. It could feel a bit mushy with first use but I got the hang of it in no time. Another thing to add is that the only noisy keys were the Enter and Backspace buttons.

I had a minor issue at first use as I had this muscle memory that I needed to press hard and deep to make the keys respond but I was wrong. The built-in wrist rest makes my hand sore whenever I use this keyboard for a long time. I wish that this part could be detached so that I don’t have to take breaks when using the keyboard.

The RGB backlight helps a lot when I’m working at night, though. Even with lights off, I can do my tasks flawlessly with the RGB feature. What sucks is that the moment I turn off my PC, the K502 doesn’t remember the last RGB setting I applied to it. Every time I boot my PC, I have to reapply the RGB animation on the keyboard.

The Redragon K502 Karura 2 also lacks customization options for the RGB feature. I’ve been wanting to assign my preferred color for each section of the keyboard but I think it’s not possible with this keyboard.

Another thing to note is that this keyboard collects dust very fast, which is visible on the matte surface. I have to clean the gaps between the keys regularly to maintain their functionality and avoid future issues.

Redragon also stated that the K502 is spill-proof, which may be a good feature for those who like to eat and drink while gaming. I don’t like eating while I’m in front of my PC as it distracts me from work and I don’t want to risk spilling some stuff on my setup. (I do like drinking coffee while doing research though).

RGB Backlight Settings

The Redragon K502 Karura 2 is a great budget keyboard that offers 7 different RGB colors: red, yellow, green, blue, pink, cyan, and white. 

Redragon K502 Karura 2 Keys
Featuring 6 different lighting modes, 4 brightness levels, and a host of different effects and breathing speeds | Make Life Click

This keyboard doesn’t come with an app which is a bummer, so I had to rely on the keyboard’s built-in customization. On the other hand, it has 6 different color animation modes, and here’s how to set them up.

  • RGB Color Cycle (Fn + Insert) – With this mode, the Redragon along with all the keys smoothly cycles through seven different colors one after another.
  • Static Color Mode (FN + Home) – With this mode, you can set the entire keys and the Redragon to any color you prefer.
  • Static RGB Color Mode (Fn + PgUp) – With this mode, all the keys are set to random colors. Pressing the Fn + PgUp repeatedly lets you choose the color combinations that you want.
  • RGB Disco Mode (Fn + Delete) – With this mode, each section of the keys shows different colors like a disco ball. Take note that this isn’t similar to the waving RGB backlight from other high-end mechanical or gaming keyboards.
  • Breathing Mode (Fn + End): With this mode, the backlights fade in and out to another color.
  • LED On/Off (Fn + PgDn): This turns the backlight on and off.

Another customization feature with the K502 would be the Arrow Keys. Pressing Fn + Left or Right Arrow Keys adjusts the speed of the RGB backlight animation while pressing Fn + Up or Down Arrow Keys adjusts the backlight’s brightness.

Gaming with the Redragon Karura 2 K502

Here comes the part we’ve all been waiting for: the Redragon K502 Karura 2’s performance with gaming.

The K502 uses membrane switches, and they’re known to register only one stroke at a given time. I tested the K502 with different games such as Call of Duty, Tekken 7, NBA 2K23, and GTA IV. There wasn’t any noticeable delay with the player’s movements and everything felt fluid despite the membrane switches.

I was kind of grasping this keyboard’s mechanics with games at first as I’m not used to big and bulky keyboards when it comes to gaming. 

Redragon K502 Karura 2 Keyboard - USB Connector
Comes with a USB cord that matches the keyboard’s design | Make Life Click

The moment I familiarized myself with this keyboard, I was able to land all of my combos on Tekken and move flawlessly with other games. However, on NBA 2K23, it works decently but to enjoy the game fully, it needs a joystick. That’s why I used my Redragon Saturn G807 for this and I’ll write a review for this controller soon.

Another notable feature of this keyboard is locking the Windows key. This is significant for clumsy gamers who accidentally press the Windows key, causing their game to drop FPS.

LEARN MORE ABOUT THIS ONE?
Redragon K502 RGB Gaming Keyboard RGB LED Backlit Illuminated 104 Key Silent Keyboard with Wrist Rest for Windows PC Games (RGB Backlit)
Redragon K502 Karura 2

Conclusion

Overall, the Redragon K502 Karura 2 is a great budget option for a gaming keyboard.

It has a decent build and stylish appearance, plus it isn’t that costly for a keyboard with outstanding performance. I’d recommend the K502 Karura 2 for gamers on a budget as it’s truly worth the purchase. It can’t compete against the latest mechanical keyboards but using it offers a whole lot different experience.

Redragon K502 Karura 2 Keyboard - Box Detail
Redragon K502 Karura 2
Build Quality
Price to Performance Ratio
Ergonomics
Design
Performance
4.2

Shaik, a college student, part-time musician, and proud fur parent. Currently pursuing his degree in architecture.

As a part-time musician, Shaik enjoys expressing his self creatively through music. Whether it's writing original songs or performing covers, music is a significant part of Shaik's life

This post was last updated on 2024-06-21 / Some images from Amazon Product API & some links may be affiliate links which may earn us a commission from purchases.


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