Portronics Hydra 10 Review: A Mechanical Keyboard That Punches Above Its Weight Class
Portronics, known for making Bluetooth speakers, mobile accessories, and wearables, isn’t particularly well-known for making keyboards, especially mechanical wireless keyboards. However, the latest Hydra 10 mechanical wireless keyboard offers some of the best value I’ve seen offered with a keyboard in quite a while.
After testing the keyboard for close to three weeks and comparing it with its closest competitors, I can confidently say that the Portronics Hydra 10 offers a phenomenal typing and gaming experience, all in a wireless package, for under Rs 3,500, despite some minor niggles.
Over the years, I’ve tested numerous mechanical keyboards across different price points, from brands like Cosmic Byte to Keychron. However, the Portronics Hydra 10 offers incredible value for money, especially given how fairly priced it is. Not only does it cost less than many competitors, but it also punches above its weight class and rivals entry-level keyboards from well-known brands like Keychron.
Switch Quality, Design and Typing Feedback
Currently, the Hydra 10 is only offered with red switches, which provide a good middle ground between blues and browns. The response is quite tactile, and there’s that subtle hint of ‘thockiness’ that most mechanical keyboard enthusiasts swear by. I’ve used the Hydra 10 not just for gaming, but also for a lot of typing, including writing this review. And let me tell you, for the price, there’s no better keyboard out there if you want quality sound and even better stabilisers.
The stabilizers don’t feel flimsy and don’t rattle, unlike some wired rivals like the Redragon K617 Fizz 60% and K530 Pro, both of which I’ve personally used. In fact, I would say the stabilizers rival those of the Keychron K2 with its Gateron reds, which costs more than twice as much as the Portronics Hydra 10. This is surprising considering the red switches used for the Hydra 10 are from Jixian, which aren’t as good as switches from the likes of Otemu and Gateron. I believe, the sound may have to do something with the keyboard’s build, rather than the switch quality itself.
The keycaps are also well-designed, with a properly contoured surface for your fingers. The feedback itself, coupled with anti-ghosting, is pleasing and once again, the keyboard punches above its weight class. Despite being entirely made out of plastic, the keyboard doesn’t feel cheap. The weighty feel of the keyboard adds to it, and the weight also makes it sound nice with a subtle, creamy thickness. It’s quite satisfying! The keyboard’s backlight also feels high-quality and has 20 different RGB modes to choose from.
And yes, there is no per key RGB, no support for macros and hence, no supporting PC software hub. For the money it retails for, I can’t complain, but being a gaming keyboard, these features should have been present.
Connectivity and Battery Life
In terms of connectivity, you have both wired and wireless options. While I’d like to go wireless all the time, the battery life is a mixed bag. It will last you a two full working days or a solid 12-13 hours while gaming, but don’t expect much from the built-in 1000mAh battery. However, when using it wirelessly, the supplied 2.4GHz wireless receiver does its job well, and there are no observable lag or latency issues. However, the keyboard does miss out on keyboard height elevation clips on the back, but I’m not complaining as I prefer it this way.
Verdict: Value Champ!
Overall, using the keyboard has been a joy and I was honestly, quite surprised the first time I used the product. Let me put it this way—if a brand like Logitech were to release a 67% keyboard, which has such features and quality, I wouldn’t expect its price any less than Rs 10,000 and that is saying something!
On retail channels like Amazon, I’ve seen the price hovering between Rs 2,800-3,000, and for that money, there are few keyboards, if any, that come close to what Portronics is offering with the Hydra 10. Not only is it a really good gaming keyboard, the typing experience on it is what truly separates it from the rest of the offerings under Rs 8,000. For feedback, I’d like Portronics to build upon this and perhaps offer a full size mechanical keyboard—with the choice of switch type and even introduce fun keycaps—with good font work.
So yes, If you are in the market for a new mechanical keyboard under Rs 3,000 and don’t mind the 68 key size, the Portronics Hydra 10 could be an ideal choice. An absolute steal, get it!
Read all the Latest Tech News here