We haven't reviewed any mechanical keyboards in a while, so when ASUS' Echelon Gaming Mech popped up, I finally had an excuse to get back into the swing of things.
As I mentioned last week, ASUS has completed its Echelon series by adding a new gaming mouse, and apparently a mechanical keyboard. Whilst the mouse looks unique with its camouflage layer of paint, the mech seems oddly familiar. Which it should, since it looks almost identical to QPAD's MK-85. To be honest, I have seen a great deal of mechs sharing this distinct MK look & feel, so it might be more of a licensing deal than a production one? Maybe.
Still, Echelon and MK85 are very similar, at least in terms of feel and aesthetics. They share the same soft-felt cover, an identically shaped wrist-rest, and even the USB & microphone / headphone dock in the upper right corner.
For someone that has not delved into the mech branch, ASUS seems to be taking the really safe route, before Strix and RoG mechanical keyboards are out. Whilst Echelon looks nigh on identical to MK85, does it at least do anything to separate itself from said model? Well, let's take a look.