If you haven’t noticed by now, the two most popular trends in mechanical keyboards among gamers and enthusiasts are compactness and RGB backlighting. A compact keyboard has one huge advantage over full size boards. Ergonomics. Fans of small form factor mechanical keyboards appreciate how much space they free up the for their mouse, allowing for greater range in mouse positioning and less hand movement to input data.
RGB backlighting, on the other hand, is less practical and mostly in demand for aesthetic purposes. The goal being to appear as flashy as possible so they might draw attention from potential buyers. Today I am reviewing the Redragon K553-RGB USAS, a TKL (TenKeyLess) mechanical keyboard that follows both these trends with omission of the numpad and addition of per-key RGB LED backlighting. Continue reading
There are certain words, phrases and acronyms used by mechanical keyboard enthusiasts that will leave the average person who’s unfamiliar with the subject scratching their head. As with most hobbies, the terminology can be confusing and it continues to evolve as the hobby grows. The purpose of this glossary is to provide a quick, easy way to find definitions for the terms you don’t know and expand your mechanical keyboard vocabulary. Continue reading
I recently bought the new RGB version of the popular Redragon USAS K553 mechanical keyboard for testing and review purposes (look for that in a couple weeks). I connected it to my Windows 10 machine and watched as the LED lights went through a “boot up” pattern. I opened up Firefox and tried typing a URL. Nothing happened. I pressed down the Windows key. Nothing. Uh-oh. Not a single key on the keyboard would input a character once pressed. Was my shiny new mech dead on arrival? Read on to find out. Continue reading
Break out your soldering iron, the MiniVan kit is back on Massdrop. The MiniVan is a 40% fully programmable (all keys) mechanical keyboard with staggered keys. The full kit includes a CNC milled aluminum case and mount plate, PCB, Cherry stabs, cone shaped feet, 46 switches in your brand of choice (Cherry MX, Gateron, Zealios or Matias), MX compatible PBT keycaps (laser etched legends or blank) and a detachable Mini USB cable. Continue reading
When I started writing this post I wanted the list to be a lot longer. I quickly discovered the market for wireless mechanical keyboards is akin to a barren wasteland. The demand just isn’t there. Wired mechanical keyboards are somewhat of a small niche themselves and enthusiasts willing to pay the premium to own one are almost always looking for the best performance possible, which admittedly isn’t usually offered via wireless solutions. This is especially true for PC gamers who require low latency and no input lag.
I don’t even own one myself yet, though I hope to remedy that in the near future (review added for the Anne Pro). Still, more choices for a good wireless mechanical keyboard is something I think many in the mechanical keyboard community would welcome with open arms. Since I’m currently on the hunt for one of my own I thought I would share what I’ve learned from my research. Let’s take a look at five of the best currently available wireless mechanical keyboards and see if we can find a viable board or two that will please casuals and enthusiasts alike. Continue reading
There are two primary types of keycap puller tools used in the removal and replacement of keycaps from a mechanical keyboard. The wire type, which is constructed from two thin metal wires attached to some sort of handle. The other is known as a plastic ring; a simple design with a ring shape and two prongs molded into a single plastic piece. Plastic ring pullers are commonly bundled with mechanical keyboards. Which of these keycap removal tools is better at its job? That’s what we’re discussing today. Continue reading
Mechanical or rubber dome? They’re actually a little of both. Topre produces a electrostatic capacitive switch (key actuation is signaled electrically) that many users consider a hybrid between rubber dome and mechanical switches. Others simply aren’t willing to label them as mechanical because they make use of a rubber dome. Let’s discuss a few key facts about Topre switches and you can form your own opinion. Continue reading
Up for review today is one of the best budget mechanical keyboards money can buy. Starting at $40, the Qisan Magicforce 68 is a compact 65% keyboard comparable to boards costing two or three times its asking price. However, the model being examined now is the slightly more premium version, which adds a white backlight and genuine Cherry MX (Brown in this example) switches. The cheaper model uses MX clones.
The premium version, while not quite as budget friendly as the $40 basic model, is still a good value at the current price range of $60-$70; especially if you value real Cherry MX switches over the various clones. Is it worth the extra $30 over the non-backlit version with “inferior” switches? Read on to see the results. Continue reading
Click to enlarge and see animated, Source: Wikipedia
The buckling spring keyboard was invented by Richard Hunter Harris and later patented in 1977 by IBM. Its name actually derives from how the physical mechanism works when actuating a key, with a spring being put under pressure and “buckling” between the keycap and a pivoting hammer, creating a distinct mechanical auditory feedback.
The buckling spring switch design has undergone several revisions to reach its current form. Initially, it was hard to predict the direction the spring would bend in as it’s attached to the key at only two points of contact. If the spring were to bend in the wrong direction no contact would be made and the circuit wouldn’t complete. Continue reading
Although original ALPS switches are no longer manufactured, the clone ALPS created by Matias stay true to the originals. What makes ALPS so different is their tactile feeling and the distinct “click” sound that they make. This is especially true for the ALPS spring switch.
They were first introduced in 1983 and today Matias offers three versions of ALPS-type switches. They are the quiet click, click, and quiet linear switches. Each has its own benefits and specific uses. Continue reading