Vortex Core Aluminum 40% RGB Dye Sub PBT Mechanical Keyboard

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Vortex Core RGB Mechanical Keyboard

Available Switches

Cherry MX Black thumbnailCherry MX Black
Cherry MX Blue thumbnailCherry MX Blue
Cherry MX Brown thumbnailCherry MX Brown
Cherry MX Red thumbnailCherry MX Red
Cherry MX Silver thumbnailCherry MX Silver
Cherry MX Silent Red thumbnailCherry MX Silent Red



  • RGB LED Primary LEDs: RGB (SMD)
  • RGB LED Control LEDs: RGB


  • Vortex's 40% Board - now with RGB LEDs!
  • CNC Aluminum Frame
  • DSA profile keycaps
  • 4 layers for programming
  • Split programmable space bars


Details and Specifications

Switch StemsMX
Physical LayoutANSI
Logical LayoutUS QWERTY
Frame ColorGray
Frame Bottom MaterialAluminum
Primary LED ColorRGB
Control LED ColorRGB
Hotswap SocketsNo
USB Key RolloverFull
Multimedia KeysYes
Switch Mount TypePlate
Built in Audio PortNo
Built in Mic PortNo
Interface(s)Micro USB
Windows CompatibleYes
Mac CompatibleNo
Linux CompatibleNo
Dimensions3.15" x 9.84" x 1.12"
Weight1.10 lbs
Cord Length60 inches

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  • I have used this keyboard for four years - hands down my favorite keyboard ever. Not a single thing has gone wrong with it. I even spilled two sticky drinks on it with no issues. Really easy to clean, after all. Love the feel and the PBT keys and with a few swaps the thing is so cute. Feels incredible, super solid and heavy - flat profile is no issue given the size and you get used to the key combos for everyday use. Programming and layers and whatnot was easy enough though I did need to glance at the manual on the very rare occasion I would change them. However, I got back into "programming" (MaxMSP, maybe not programming to some) and it did slow me down a bit - granted, I hadn't been using the layers very extensively before then. If you're a programmer (good chance if you're looking at weird keyboards) this thing may take more getting used to than you might expect. It's rather idiosyncratic and I've opted for a full size.

  • I got the RGB version with blue switches. I love it, although it takes a bit of getting used to. This, plus a separate keypad for ten key, is perfect.

  • This is a neat 40% keyboard. I bought it with Cherry MX Silver. I love the minimalism in size and design, also the keycaps are really awesome. Of course it takes a lot of getting used to from switching from a bigger keyboard. I usually roll with a 65%, I imagine if you're coming from a TKL or full size, it's going to be even more difficult.

    I have only 3 complaints and this is why I am not giving it 5 stars, with the first being most unforgivable. The apostrophe is a secondary key on letter 'B'. Let's be honest, it's a punctuation mark that is very often used. It should have been switched with the semi-colon, since semi-colons are used waaay less unless you are programming. But let's be real, you wouldn't be programming on a 40% keeb. But as I am typing this, I am getting a little more used to using the apostrophe.

    Second complaint is that this isn't VIA combatable. Would be great if I could reprogram the keys. Not the biggest deal, because the only thing I would do is switch the semi-colon and apostrophe.

    Third complaint is that the keyboard doesn't come with the latest firmware update. So the function keys (Fn) and Programable Key (Pn) do not work correctly. Make sure to update and I'm not sure why they couldn't do that. also the instructions are not very clear.

  • This is a pretty decent 40% keyboard, perfect for a cyberdeck or other ultra-mobile setup. My first real complaint is that the keycaps were not correctly placed on the device at first, leading me to believe that the entire right half of the keyboard was non-functional. However, a quick look at Vortex's site and one firmware flash later, and I was able to determine the correct layout and adjust the keycaps accordingly. Aside from that, the instructions on editing the backlight color are a little obtuse, but some experimentation will quickly see that corrected. Likewise, the programmable aspect is a bit light on details, with the most intuitive aspect being searching for Vortex's online configurator; I consider this less than ideal, though, as the configurations can only be flashed to the device via Windows. For the money this is probably the best 4-row keyboard you can get, short of building one yourself.

  • 4.5 out of 10
    MX Speed Silver
    This is a really, really nice 40%. The design and keycaps are just excellent.

    The major downside is the apostrophe is the secondary FN key for 'B'. This makes typing very difficult since that is used so often. They really should of swapped that with the semi-colon since that is not used anywhere as much. Otherwise, I would have given 5 out of 5.

    However, I use this as a gaming keyboard and the apostrophe doesn't matter. This is excellent for FPS because it takes up little space. The MX Silvers are excellent too. I wouldn't recommend this for productivity like work because the compactness is just not good for that. And of course, the apostrophe placement is a little ridiculous.

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