Surefire KingPin M1 review: 60% goodness without breaking the bank

surefire kingpin m1 keyboardSurefire

Verbatim subsidiary Surefire is taking on the 60% keyboard market, with the KingPin M1 successfully making its mark as a budget-friendly take on the smaller form factor. And yes, it’s got some wicked lights.

Surefire, a subsidiary of flash memory giants Verbatim, provides a wealth of PC-focused gaming peripherals. From headsets to laptop stands, Surefire is already at war in an extremely saturated arena. As players around the world aim to condense their impressive setups, 60% keyboards have become a viable way to stay ahead of the competition – with some flair, of course.

The KingPin M1 keyboard might not be the most premium product out there, but its competitive pricing, sleek design, and sturdy construction make it a perfect companion for minimalist setups.

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Key Specs

  • Switch type: Red (Linear)
  • Connectivity: Wired
  • Form factor: 60%
  • Lighting; RGB, 6 modes configurable via keyboard macro
  • Features: 100% Anti-ghosting keys, 3 multimedia shortcut keys, 1ms response time, ABS keycaps
  • Price: £39.99 ($39.99)
  • Where to buy: Surefire

Included in the box: Surefire KingPin M1 keyboard with 1.8m braided USB-A cable, instruction manual


Currently, there are no other colorways for Surefire’s 60% KingPin variant. The KingPin M1 is only available in black, with its understated yet lustrous design compensating for its lack of color options. Immediately, Surefire’s minimalist aesthetic is front and center, as its stark appearance wouldn’t be out of place in the Batcave.

However, we think Master Wayne would probably prefer to see at least some sort of a decal onboard the KingPin M1. Other than Surefire’s signature emblem on the Enter key, you might be disappointed if you were looking for something with a bolder aesthetic. Thankfully, an array of RGB lighting modes save the day here. These are programmable via some simple commands listed in the manual.

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It’s refreshing to see the speed of each effect gain some customization, as this allows synergy with other RGB-enabled products within your setup. The modes are as followed: Flowing, colorful breathing, one click, ripple, single color breathing, and a custom mode. Flowing is likely to be the most popular option here, though we were enchanted by the pleasing ripple effect.

surefire kingpin m1 keyboard with steam deckThe Kingpin M1 works seamlessly with the Steam Deck.

Construction-wise, the KingPin M1 is comprised of Ultra-resistant ABS plastic. Supported by a reassuring weight and a sturdy 1.8m braided USB-A cable, the real stars here lie within Surefire’s buttery smooth red mechanical switches. With a 0.4mm travel time and 100% anti-ghosting keys, the KingPin M1 relays an impressive urgency with each keystroke. Gliding across any part of the KingPin M1 is a breeze, whether you’re cramming in a late-night study session or hopping onto a few Warzone games.

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In addition, the keyboard’s operating force is 50+/-10g. While the keyboard certainly feels excellent to use, for the most part, its form factor does present compromises. Some users may struggle as there are sadly no adjustable height options. Using the arrow keys can be frustrating as they also double for commas and periods. Crucially, the KingPin M1 is shipped with a US layout keyboard – adding an extra hurdle to overcome for the unfamiliar.

Gaming performance

As we aforementioned, Surefire’s foray into a smaller form factor is right at home with reduced setups. During our testing, we also paired it up with the Steam Deck in desktop mode to give it a run for its money. While we traversed the dimensional firefights of Splitgate, the M1 held up its end of the bargain. Movement and portal creation felt sharp, giving it an edge alongside using a controller.

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Mowing down waves of henchmen in Max Payne 3 was an easy task too, as we ducked, dived, and dodged our way to survival. You’ll fare just fine in most FPS titles, though you won’t necessarily find lightning-fast Esports-style performance.

an image of the surefire keyboard softwareSurefire
Users can download complimentary software for further customization.

Connection through Windows and the Steam Deck’s Dolphin OS was seamless, as the M1 is plug-and-play friendly. For further customization, Windows-only users can download Surefire’s keyboard software.

Should you buy it?

Retailing for just £39.99, we’d place our money confidently on Surefire amid the surge of cheaper alternatives founds within the void of Amazon. Though you’ll find many options with a reduced price tag, Surefire’s quality is hard to match at the lower end of the spectrum. Backed by a satisfying typewriter-esque sound, you’ll at least get a taste of the “Thocky” goodness that many enthusiasts lust after.

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Comprising, unfortunately, is the name of the game when it comes to a smaller form factor. Nonetheless, Surefire’s M1 is a solid attempt at mediating peace between smaller and larger form factors. Though, the lackluster customization software leaves plenty to be desired.

If you’re looking to kickstart your PC gaming setup or looking for a dependable Steam Deck companion, the M1 is a great catalyst to get back into the game.


We’d like to see more colorway options in the future, alongside some decals too. However, for now, the KingPin M1 is a budget competitor in the 60% keyboard market.

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