To help us provide you with free impartial advice, we may earn a commission if you buy through links on our site. Learn more

Adata XPG Summoner review: Doesn’t hit all the right keys

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £110

An adequate mech board, but also one that doesn’t fully develop its own features


  • Detachable padded rest
  • Easily accessible ports


  • Key switches are sluggish
  • No software for setting control

Storage specialist Adata is attempting a big push into enthusiast PC hardware at the moment, branching out from the usual SSDs with cases such as the XPG Invader and XPG Battlecruiser, alongside the XPG Summoner, a full-size gaming keyboard with mechanical Cherry switches.

Buy now from Transparent

Adata XPG Summoner review: Design and features

Design-wise, it’s fairly simple–standard black keycaps sit on top of a grey metal plate, which in turn covers a plastic underside – but that’s also just the foundation upon which Adata has made some nice additions. The biggest, literally, is the padded leatherette wrist rest, which can be quickly attached or detached via magnets. This is, as you can imagine, a lot comfier than any solid plastic wrist rest, and while it’s easy to remove quickly, the magnetic grip isn’t so loose that it slides about. The keyboard itself also plants a firm grip, with rubber feet and a solid pair of height-adjusting legs.

There’s a USB2 pass-through port on the top edge, which is ideal for plugging in a USB headset or removable storage without having to reach all the way to your PC’s I/O panels.

Dedicated media controls, meanwhile, come in the form of a mute button and volume wheel. The latter is particularly well made: ridged for grip and with a satisfyingly tactile sense of torque, it’s both a fast and precise tool for music and video playback.

You also get a choice of key switches: Cherry MX Blue, MX Red or MX Speed Silver. Our review unit came with MX Blues, which differ from the other two options in that they have a tactile bump and an audible click, providing two forms of feedback to let you know an input has registered. This makes them better suited to heavy typing than Reds and Speed Silvers, which are both quiet and lack a bump. However, since a Blue switch requires 60cN of force to depress, compared to the 45cN of both Red and Speed Silver switches, some may find they feel slower and less conducive to fast-paced gaming.

Adata XPG Summoner review: Performance

We didn’t have any objective issues playing on the XPG Summoner. It did feel as if we had to put more effort into each press, but only very slightly, and our fingers weren’t worn out even after a few hours. That said, given the choice, we’d rather use Reds or Speed Silvers for gaming specifically: these switches feel slightly more agile, even if in-game performance isn’t noticeably affected, and the constant clacking of Blue switches can distract from the game’s audio.

We’re glad that the choice is there, then, and the XPG Summoner has a couple of other gaming-focused tricks, too: you can disable the Windows key, to prevent an accidental mis-press bringing up the Start menu while playing, and there’s full N-key rollover so that intentionally pressing multiple keys at once won’t only input a single one.

Unfortunately, this keyboard’s other key features are more limited than its competitors’ equivalents. The RGB lighting, for example, can’t be fully customised: you can adjust brightness and enable a handful of pulsing or wavy effects, but the only way to switch to specific colours is to select one of the six profiles. Each of these has a single colour assigned to it, but you can’t change the exact hue or shade of each profile, or set it up so that some keys are one colour and another set are a different colour. All of these profiles also disable the Windows key, so if you do actually want it enabled, you can only use the default, all-red profile.

The main purpose of these profiles is to organise user-set macros, which in itself is a welcome feature: you can record them on the fly, which is convenient, and being able to arrange them into different profiles means you can have different sets for different types of game, without them competing for button assignments.

Nevertheless, this still means switching the backlighting to a colour you might not want, and there’s no way of reviewing your macros or reassigning them to a different key without inputting the whole thing again. Both this handicap, and the lack of RGB customisation, can ultimately be traced back to how the XPG Summoner has no software utility – Asus, Razer, Cooler Master and many other mechanical keyboard manufacturers provide desktop software to facilitate customisation, but the XPG Summoner tries to do everything with the keyboard itself, and ends up stifling itself as a result.

READ NEXT: HyperX Alloy Elite review

Adata XPG Summoner review: Verdict

For just £5 more, you could get the Asus ROG Strix Flare, which is far more customisable and also offers a choice of Cherry MX switches. Its wrist rest isn’t padded, but is still reasonably comfortable, and you also get a much wider range of dedicated media keys. The XPG Summoner has many of the component parts needed for a great keyboard, but doesn’t currently fulfil its true potential.

Buy now from Transparent

Read more