Mechanical keyboards may be all the rage nowadays but it is understandable that the majority of PC users are not willing to pay their premium price. Some manufacturers have been trying to fill in the gap between membrane-based electronic keyboards and mechanical keyboards in various ways, mostly by trying to mimic the feel of a mechanical keyboard on membrane-based designs. We are having a closer look at such a product today, the K650WP from Zalman, which is also promoted as a waterproof keyboard.


Zalman is one of the most well-known names in the computing enthusiast's cycles, providing advanced cooling solutions ever since 1999. During the last half decade, the company was diversifying into other segments of the consumer PC market, such as cases and power supplies, but the progress of the company was slowed down after Moneaul's scandal in 2014. Zalman legally severed their ties with Moneaul and, despite that setback, is moving on as an independent company since then, releasing new products and diversifying into other segments of the PC market.

One of the market segments Zalman entered recently is that of PC peripherals. Back in February we had a look at their first mechanical keyboard, the K700M. Since then the company has released dozens of peripherals, ranging from simple office equipment to advanced gaming keyboards and mice. In this review we will be having a look at the K650WP, a waterproof membrane-based gaming keyboard that has been designed so as to resemble a mechanical keyboard for $30.

Packaging & Bundle

Zalman supplies the K650WP in a typical cardboard box, just enough to ensure the safe transportation of the keyboard. The blue artwork is vivid, focused on a picture of the keyboard itself surrounded by rippling liquid. It should be noted that the keyboard doesn't come with a specified IP rating, most likely due to the low cost nature of the device.

Only the keyboard itself can be found inside the box. Zalman does not supply any extra accessories or parts. 

The Zalman Z-Machine ZM-K650WP Gaming Keyboard
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  • Morawka - Thursday, November 17, 2016 - link

    pretty decent setup for $30 tbo. i might order one just for the hell of it and see how well it handles drinks and soda pop.
  • lefty2 - Thursday, November 17, 2016 - link

    Hope it's beer proof too. It's many a keyboard I have lost by spilling beer on it
  • eek2121 - Thursday, November 17, 2016 - link

    lol you beat me to it. After killing 2 very expensive Razer keyboards I learned my lesson and started buying $20 chinese knock-offs
  • bill.rookard - Thursday, November 17, 2016 - link

    I already know I need several of those... here at work... dang kids.
  • BrokenCrayons - Thursday, November 17, 2016 - link

    Thanks for reviewing a membrane keyboard! I do agree that membrane boards are better with shorter key travel distances, but there's a sweet spot to be found as some keyboards on thinner laptops now have, I feel, insufficient depth to offer a good tactile experience. Besides cooling, thats one of the other reasons why I think making electronics as thin as possible is detrimental rather than beneficial to the consumer/end user/whatever after a certain point.

    Zalman's mistake appears, based on photos alone, to be ignoring the natural strengths of membrane keyboards to offer shorter travel distances. If that was done intentionally to emulate mechanical keyboards or if it was a byproduct of adhering to the fairly standard 101-key designs we dealt with in decades past it was still probably a mistake.
  • Veixtheboy - Thursday, November 17, 2016 - link

    Meh.. It isn't the best looking keyboard and the 30 dollars isn't super cheap for it. Pay 10 dollars more and get an AULA Wings of Liberty. It's waterproof too + its mechanical. They may not be the best switches in the world but it both functions and looks better than this.
  • Eredu - Friday, November 18, 2016 - link

    If I'm going cheap the only choice is scissor switch keyboards. Shorter travel distance and lesser key-wobbling is essential (for me at least).
    I really miss the Logitech UltraX (and curse the lack of true alternatives)...
  • plonk420 - Friday, November 25, 2016 - link

    RIP 3+ UltraXes (and a $30 black friday low profile backlit logitech) due to drinks :I ...i'm back to my original PS/2 UltraX with a soft M key and inconsistently working spacebar. this or the AULA are compelling, but i'll miss the low profile keys
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