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Trust Callaz gaming keyboard review

Cromulent keyboard, crap keycaps

Updated: Apr 19, 2022 2:15 pm
Trust Callaz Keyboard 1

Trust might be an unfamiliar name when it comes to gaming keyboards, this market normally being dominated by the likes of Ducky, ASUS ROG, Razer, and countless others. However, here at WePC, we are always on the lookout for new entrants to the mechanical keyboard scene, so let’s have a look at Trust’s new gaming keyboard, the Callaz, made from recycled materials. How will it fare? Let’s find out.

trust callaz

Trust Callaz mechanical TKL gaming keyboard

Layout
ISO
Form-factor
TKL
Switch type
Outemu Red
Connectivity
USB
Lighting
RGB, 20 modes
Pros
  • Affordable
  • Good build quality
  • Vivid lighting
Cons
  • Awful keycap material
  • unstable switch feel
Tech Specs

Layout

ISO

Form-factor

TKL

Switch type

Outemu Red

Connectivity

USB

Lighting

RGB, 20 modes

Weight

652g

Switch total travel

4.0mm

Switch pre-travel

2.1mm

Actuation force

47g

What’s in the box & setup

  • Trust Callaz gaming keyboard
  • User manual
  • Warranty and legal info leaflet
Trust Callaz Keyboard 32

The unboxing experience is both underwhelming and utilitarian. The Box features fairly informative marketing imagery and a few stats about the key switches which we appreciate as big mechanical key switch nerds. The keyboard itself comes in a thin foam bag alongside the manual and legal leaflet, an almost identical unboxing experience as we had for the Trust Thian wireless gaming headset review. The lack of protective packaging leaves the keyboard quite vulnerable to accidental damage in transit which is unfortunate as we actually quite like this board.

setup is a strong word for getting the TrustCallaz up and running, especially as it has no software whatsoever. Just plug the USB cable into a free port and you’re away, the cable is not even detachable so you don’t need to plug it into the keyboard, this is possibly the truest experience of ‘plug-and-play’ we’ve seen in a keyboard to date.

Design

Between the aluminum top plate, plastic housing, and gamer-esque legends on the keycaps, this is an uninspired gaming keyboard design. Don’t get us wrong, it looks good, but is derivative of every gaming keyboard from the last few years. No chances have been taken here, resulting in the most standard-looking of gaming keyboard we’ve seen in a while.

Happily, branding is all-but-absent on the Trust Callaz, the only branding is a small shield image above the arrow key cluster with ‘GXT’ across it. Curiously, even the underside of the board is entirely void of logos, slogans, or web addresses and that’s exactly how we like it. The legends are nice and clear, and allow the RGB lighting to shine through with ease. While gamer-y in appearance, they aren’t so bullish as to sacrifice readability, which is an issue on far too many keyboards these days.

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That top plate we mentioned doesn’t have a brushed appearance as we’ve seen so frequently recently, but it’s not polished either. It lives in a no man’s land between the two and we have to say, it might actually be preferable to both the aforementioned alternatives. A polished finish is hard to preserve and gets grimy quickly and a brushed finish is a bit overused as of late.

Build quality

The combination of the aluminum top plate and TKL form factor means this board has very little flex to it and feels resultingly sturdy. The flip-out feet on the underside, however, feel very flimsy and feel like they won’t take long to bend or break off entirely. The unremovable Oumetou switches feel securely soldered and exhibit very little wobble in terms of attachments. However, the stems are very loose in the housing of the switch itself, which results in a lot of wobbles. Unfortunately, a look at the key switches brings us to the keycaps and it’s not good news.

These are, without a doubt, the worst-feeling ABS Keycaps we’ve experienced. The texture is akin to a well-used laptop keyboard with an unpleasant shininess and resultingly tack texture. Additionally, the caps produce a very pronounced rattle, which is exacerbated when typing rapidly, it’s not nearly prominent when gaming unless you’re a particularly strong fan of Typing of the Dead.

The build quality, especially for the price point, is excellent overall, with deft use of materials for the main body of the board, however, aftermarket keycaps should be purchased alongside this board as they are truly the stuff of nightmares.

Typing and gaming experience

As mentioned earlier, the Trust Callaz cannot be recommended for typing primarily because of the horrible ABS keycaps and characteristically wobbly Outemu key switches. The combination of caps and switches makes the Callaz a sub-par keyboard for typing and it managed to cause fatigue within a day or so of all-day office use.

Trust Callaz Keyboard 20

The situation is very different when it comes to gaming. Though the Outemu key switches are not as nice as more premium switches from the likes of Cherry, Gateron, or Kailh, they are perfectly decent when it comes to gaming. This is due to the linear nature of the switch and the light actuation force. This, combined with the less keyboard-intensive nature of most games, particularly first-person shooters like CS: GO, Apec Legends, and Valorant. If you swap out the keycaps, your experience will be improved tenfold, so if you buy this keyboard, we recommend the purchase of new keycaps as soon as possible.

Outemu key switches

If like us, you weren’t familiar with Outemu switches, they are a budget key switch brand that offers red, brown, blue, and black switch types, with the characteristics mirroring that of the correlating colors from Cherry MX. We were provided with the red variant that has very close similar characteristics to the Cherry MX Red equivalent, with a few minor differences in terms of pre-travel and actuation force.

Outemu Red key switch specs vs Cherry MX Red

Outemu RedCherry Mx Red
Pre-travel distance2.1mm2.0mm
Total travel distance4.0mm4.0mm
Actuation force47g45g

Here we can see the very minor differences in the key switch characteristics between the two switches. While the total travel distance remains identical, the heavier actuation force and slightly larger pre-travel distance result in a very slightly different feel between the two. The differences are so minor that the majority of users won’t notice the difference, most of the difference comes from the wobble present in the Outemu, due to the less precise manufacturing tolerances.

Final verdict

If you’re on a tight budget and want to dip your toes into the world of mechanical keyboards, the Trust Callaz is a decent place to start. The main body build quality feels sturdy and the design, while derivative, is nice enough and not divisive enough to put anyone off. The Lighting is vivid and the lack of software isn’t nearly as much of a deal-breaker as it was with the Trust Thian headset as keyboards don’t tend to benefit in many meaningful ways from peripheral software packages.

The downsides come in the form of the awful keycaps, wobbly Outemu switches, and how quickly fatigue sets in when typing. If you’re after an entry-level keyboard and do very little typing, we can recommend the Trust Callaz, just make sure you get some nice PBT keycaps for it.

Trust Callaz mechanical TKL gaming keyboard

Layout
ISO
Form-factor
TKL
Switch type
Outemu Red
Connectivity
USB
Lighting
RGB, 20 modes

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