Introduction

XPG stands for Xtreme Performance Gear. XPG is an enthusiast gaming brand from ADATA focusing on eSports, PC Enthusiasts, and gamers. XPG family of products includes PC Systems including desktop and laptops, Memory Modules, Solid State Drives, PSUs, PC Chassis, Cooling solutions, RGB Accessories. Gaming peripherals include gaming mouse, keyboards, and headsets. XPG is committed to bringing excellence in their products with reliability, durability, and performance in focus. Their designs have won several IF Design and GOOD Design awards.

XPG is finally releasing their full range of gaming products in Pakistan through their sole distributor PACIFIC Computers. They have also worked out to launch their products on Daraz.PK. XPG has sent us a couple of products to review before the launch of their gaming products in Pakistan as a part of the marketing campaign.

The product I have started with is their premium gaming keyboard named SUMMONER. The XPG SUMMONER is a Mechanical Gaming Keyboard having a stylish and beautiful sandblasted aluminum frame in a gunmetal gray color. The keyboard is using Cherry MX RGB switches to deliver outstanding performance without any compromise. Here are the salient features of the keyboard:

  • Compatible with XPG PRIME
  • CHERRY MX RGB Key Switches
  • 7 Pre-Defined RGB Modes
  • Magnetic Ergonomic Wrist Rest
  • Media Control Key
  • Macro Keys
  • 100% Anti-Ghosting Keys
  • Sandblasted Aluminum Frame Design
  • USB Passthrough
  • 9 Replaceable Red Keycaps

 

  • Item:                     XPG SUMMONER Mechanical Gaming Keyboard
  • Manufacturer:       ADATA
  • Price:                    Rs. 22,499 [At the time of the review]
  • Prices listed on Daraz are higher than the retail prices in offline stores.

Specifications

Packaging and Unboxing

The keyboard is shipped inside a cardboard box which is finished in XPG standard red and black color theme. The packing box is all about the presentation and this is where I would like to see how much critical information has been printed for the on-the-go buyers plus the sturdiness. This is the criteria, I evaluate the packing boxes.

There is a stylish picture of the keyboard with a rainbow effect on it. Salient features are highlighted on the top like multimedia keys, 9 replaceable keycaps, magnetic wrist rest, USB pass-through port.

The XPG SUMMONER has 100% Cherry MX RGB Switches, a Sandblasted aluminum frame, USB pass-through port, 7 RGB lighting modes.

Our sample has Cherry MX RGB Blue Switches. The XPG SUMMONER comes with three Cherry MX RGB Switches; Speed Silver, Red, and Blue. Personally saying, all are my favorite. Seems like someone at XPG knows that Blue is my most favorite for their audible action!

Two seals can be seen on this side of the packing box.

Opening the box shows that the keyboard is nicely packed using two black color Styrofoam pads. The booklets are placed on top inside a transparent container.

Contents

The following are included in the box:

  • 1x Mechanical Gaming Keyboard
  • 1x Warranty Policy
  • 1x User Guide
  • 1x Sticker Sheet
  • 1x Key puller
  • 9x Red Color keycaps
  • 1x Wrist Rest

Here is an unboxing video of the keyboard:

Closer Look

Let’s start taking a look at the design of the keyboard. Before that, let’s present what XPG is saying about their product. “Winning is about having the right weapons and a gaming keyboard is an essential part of any arsenal. The XPG SUMMONER gaming keyboard with CHERRY MX switches and Per-Key RGB backlighting is just what you need. Equipped with mechanical CHERRY MX RGB key switches, the XPG SUMMONER gives you excellent stability, tactile feedback, and the utmost precision. XPG SUMMONER inspires your gaming hue effects with 7 preset RGB backlight modes. The XPG SUMMONER’s cushioned wrist rest provides enhanced comfort for long gaming sessions, and its magnetic design can be detached with ease.”

The XPG SUMMONER is a beautifully crafted keyboard featuring a gunmetal gray color on the sandblasted aluminum frame top which not only adds to the sturdiness of the keyboard but looks that good in person. The rest of the body of the keyboard is made of plastic. The RGB lighting bouncing from the gunmetal frame creates an AURA which is pleasant and not overly done. The weight of the keyboard is 951gm. The dimension of the keyboard is 449x135x44mm (LxWxH). The keyboard comes with 104/105/109 keys depending upon the localization. The keys are suspended floating design which makes the RGB illumination quite a show on this keyboard. The keyboard has a 1000Hz polling rate.

The XPG SUMMONER comes with 100% Cherry MX RGB switches available in three choices:

  • Speed Silver
  • Red
  • Blue

Our sample comes with Cherry MX RGB Blue switches which are well known for their clicky and audible action. If you prefer linear and silent operation then consider Speed Silver and Red switches.

 

The above picture summarizes the switches. These switches are rated for 50 Million strokes.

Let’s start with the numpad. We have a full-size numpad on this keyboard. Keycaps are slim and in ABS shot material. A few keys have double markings on it which means the in addition to the regular function of the key, additional functions could be activated using the combination of the Shift key/Fn and the corresponding key on the num pad.

The top section of the num lock has a mute/unmute button. There is a volume roller in the center which really adds to the overall good looks of the keyboard. I took some time to get used to it as it is implemented differently than the other keyboards which I have tested. In other offerings, the roller is suspended in the frame of the keyboard but on XPG SUMMONER it is on the edge of the frame with a cutout insert. Your finger can slip past to it. There are LED indicators on the far right side. The top one is for the gaming mode, the middle one for the number lock, the lowest one is for the Caps lock. They are in static white color. There are no dedicated multimedia keys on this keyboard except volume roller and mute/unmute. Track-related options are implemented using a combination of Fn key with F10-F12 keys.

The bottom part of the keyboard right before the Num Pad has standard 4 arrow keys for navigation.

There are three rows of the keys on the upper side of the navigation arrow keys. The top row has three buttons in it. We have a Print Screen key on the left side followed by the Scroll Lock key and Pause key.

Next is a group of 6 keys in two rows. We have Insert, Home, PgUp (Page Up) keys on the first row and Delete, End, PgDn (Page Down) keys in the second row.

There is a silver color XPG brand logo pasted. The lighting reflection from this logo looks cool.

The topmost row of the keyboard is the standard function keys starting from the F1 key and going all the way up to the F12 key. Some of these keys have dual functionality for which the combination of the Fn key is needed with the function keys. The keys are organized in a group of 4 per row. The F1 to F5 keys have PF1 to PF5 printed on them. The XPG SUMMONER comes with onboard memory to store the user’s settings and macros. There are 5 profiles buttons to record the macros. This functionality can be accessed using the Fn key combination and the PF# keys.

F10 to F12 keys have dual functionality as well. These are the multimedia keys (not dedicated). Use Fn key and either of the F10-F12 keys to achieving the corresponding multimedia operation.

The main section of the keyboard has a standard layout. We have the ESC key in the top left most row followed by the function keys from F1 to F12 grouped in 4 keys per column as mentioned above. The backspace and the Enter keys are identical except that the Enter key has a bit more length to it. Some people prefer the larger size of the Enter key. This is of course dependent upon the keyboard layout/localization. We have a Windows key on the left side of the spacebar key whereas the Function key and Properties key are on the right side. The main section of the keyboard does not have any key that requires a combination with the Fn key.

Let’s take a look at what key combinations have an effect on the keyboard form and function.

Function Key Regular Key Effect
Fn Esc Loads the factory settings.
Fn F1 Loads the Profile 1. It will load a static Blue color. This will enable the Gaming mode as well.
Fn F2 Loads the Profile 2. It will load a static Indigo color. This will enable the Gaming mode as well.
Fn F3 Loads the Profile 3. It will load a static White color. This will enable the Gaming mode as well.
Fn F4 Loads the Profile 4. It will load a static Green color. This will enable the Gaming mode as well.
Fn F5 Loads the Profile 5. It will load a static Yellow color. This will enable the Gaming mode as well.
Fn F6 Starts the Gaming Mode. This will be default disables/locks the Windows key. It is a toggle button.
Fn F10 Play/Pause the current track.
Fn F11 Loads the previous track.
Fn F12 Loads the next track.
Fn Ins Will Load the 6-Key rollover. This is for the legacy mode which may be needed for previous versions of the OS.
Fn Del Will load the N-Key rollover aka 100% Anti-Ghosting feature. This on by default.
Fn ^ This will increase the brightness. (OFF, 25%, 50%, 75%, 100%)
Fn ˅ This will decrease the brightness.
Fn </> This will change the lighting mode.

 

The left and right sides of the keyboard are identical. The top plate is distinguishable from the rest of the frame which is in the black color. The keyboard has an overall slim design. The top sandblasted aluminum plate extends over the sides.

This is the side where the cushioned wrist rest is attached to. This angle is showing the suspended floating design of the keycaps. The overall finishing is top-notch and well symmetrized.

The USB pass-through port is located on the front side of the keyboard. This port allows the user to conveniently connect the USB devices like flash drive etc to the keyboard and gets the full functionality. In order to use this port, make sure to connect both USB cables of the keyboard to the PC.

The XPG SUMMONER has a thick braided cable measuring 1.8m in length approximately. It has two cables at the terminating end. All have gold plated contact points. One is the main keyboard cable and the other (EXT) is for the USB pass-through functionality. The interface is USB 2.0 Type-A.

The XPG SUMMONER has a detachable magnetic wrist rest. It is cushioned which allows for longer gaming sessions at convenient. Its dimension is 445x88x19mm (LxWxH). It has 8 rubber paddings on the backside to avoid scratching on the surface where the keyboard will be placed. There is a brand logo in the middle. The weight of the wrist rest is 191gm.

Let’s take a look at the backside of the Keyboard. There is a sticker pasted on the middle. It has the model of the keyboard printed on it. The keyboard takes 5V DC. The backside has four rubber paddings to avoid scratching on the surface. There are two surface raisers on the top side.

The XPG has bundled 9 red-colored keycaps with SUMMONER to customize the keyboard. These keycaps are for the arrow keys, W, A, S, D, and ESC keys. There is a key puller tool included to conveniently take off the keycaps.

The above picture walks you through on how to record Macros. You have only 20 seconds to record the action.

RGB Lighting

It is time to take a look at the stellar feature of this keyboard which is backlighting (not 16.8 Million RGB colors) with predefined 7 color effects. To control the lighting effect on this keyboard the user has two options. Either use the combination of the Fn and arrow keys and F1-F5 or use the software called XPG PRIME. However, I would like to highlight that there is no control over customizing the lighting effects in 16.8M colors which are a common feature on competitive offerings.

The following lighting presets are available:

  • Static
  • Breathing
  • Trigger (Ripple)
  • Explosion
  • Color Cycle
  • Color Wave
  • WASD

The user can adjust the brightness using the combination of the Fn key and up/down arrow keys. The user has the option to turn off the LED lights altogether.

 

Software

XPG PRIME is the name of the software. The software can be downloaded from their website or click here to download the PRIME. PRIME is not needed as such to control the lighting effect as this functionality is already provided using keys combination as mentioned above and there is no control for RGB lighting customization. But PRIME is handy as it has a Canvas feature which will allow the synced XPG devices to have the same lighting effect.

When you start the program, it prompts to enter the user name and password to login which implies, it would need an active internet connection. There is an option to register a new account or simply login as a Guest.

Upon logging in, the first window will show the connected XPG devices. Note the keyboard layout per Profile 1 is loaded by default.

The drop-down menu has 7 pre-defined lighting modes.

Under basic settings, you can change the language of the software interface and can update the keyboard’s firmware as well as the software itself.

Click on the XPG SUMMONER to load the further options. The default active option is the lighting mode.

The user can create a new profile as well as import/export the current profile with the user’s settings.

Under the lighting option, the user can choose from the pre-defined lighting modes and customize it further subject to the nature of the lighting mode.

The brightness and speed controls are available for dynamic modes only.

Under the Key option, the user can customize each key of the keyboard by assigning different actions from the list.

Under Gaming mode, the user can choose which keys and combinations can be disabled.

Clicking on Macros will load a new interface. This is where you can record and assign the macros.

Conclusion

From SSD and DRAM manufacturers to carrying almost every PC component and system the XPG has come a long way establishing itself as a premium gaming brand from ADATA. We got a chance to take a spin on their premium mechanical gaming keyboard named SUMMONER. The XPG SUMMONER features 100% Cherry MX RGB switches in three flavors which are Speed Silver, Red, and Blue. Personally, all three are my favorite. Our sample has Blue switches. I was using TT Premium X1 RGB Cherry MX Blue Keyboard which happens to also have the same Blue switches. So, the changeover was not difficult. These switches are rated at 50 Million strokes. The keyboard comes in 104/105/109 keys depending upon the localization.

The XPG SUMMONER has a dimension of 449x135x44mm (LxWxH) and has a weight of 951gm. It has a slim design. There is a stunning and beautiful sandblasted aluminum frame on the top in a gunmetal gray color that looks dope in person. I am digging into this aspect of this keyboard making it beautifully outstanding. The RGB lighting bouncing from this top plate gives one heck of an aura and pleasant looks. The XPG SUMMONER has a 100% Anti-Ghosting feature (N-Key Roll Over). They have also provided support for 6-key Rollover. The polling rate is 1000Hz. The keyboard is using 5VDC. The keycaps are made of ABS plastic material. The keycaps are fingerprint magnet particularly the spacebar key. I did not spend enough time with the keyboard to check the durability of the keycaps.

The XP SUMMONER has on-board memory and the user can save up to 5 profiles. The XPG SUMMONER comes with 7 pre-defined lighting modes (Static, Color Cycle, Breathing, Reactive, Rainbow Wave, Ripple). The user can switch among these modes using the Fn key and left/right arrow key. The brightness can also be controlled using keys combination. The RGB lighting is not overly done and is quite subtle to my taste and liking. However, the user can’t customize the RGB lighting other than what is already provided and there is no 16.8 Million colors customization either.

For longer gaming sessions, there is a beautiful, ergonomic, and very comfy cushioned wrist rest in the box which is magnetic for easier connectivity. The XPG SUMMONER has wired connectivity using the USB 2.0 Type-A interface. There are two USB connector cables. One is for the keyboard and the other is for the USB pass-through port of the motherboard. The XPG SUMMONER has non-dedicated multimedia keys using a combination of Fn and F10-F12 keys plus two dedicated keys; a black color volume roller which ups or downs the volume in the stepping of 2 and mute/unmute button. There is a Gaming Mode which automatically locks the Windows key. I have been gaming and typing on the XPG SUMMONER for some time and I did not observe any wobbling, missing of a keypress, chattering, and wrong typing of a pressed key. I love the audible clicky sound of Cherry MX Blue switches. One can simply not go wrong with the Cherry switches. They don’t sound hollow. So far, my experience with the XPG SUMMONER has been good.

XPG is launching a full range of products in Pakistan through their sole distributor M/s Pacific Computers. They have launched XPG brand mall on Daraz as well. The SRP of the XPG SUMMONER is Rs.22,500/- the time of the review (at Daraz). However, the retail price is around Rs.17,500/- depending upon the retailer. Up to Rs.16,000/- is a better price point for this keyboard but at Rs.22,500/- this is a steep price for the set of features offered by the XPG SUMMONER since the competition becomes tough with brands like RAZER, ASUS, CORSAIR have their high-end offerings with rich features.  I would love to see more customization in lighting control and the provision of true 16.8M colors customization as well as the dedicated multimedia keys in this price range. The warranty is for 2 years.

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