Ever had the urge to replace the switches in your keyboard only to chicken out at the last minute. Trust me, you’re not alone. Desoldering and replacing switches in a traditional mechanical keyboard requires knowledge, tools, patience and soldering skills that not everyone possesses. While it would be beneficial to learn the soldering/desoldering process for future projects, there’s a quick and much easier solution that anybody can use to change switches without any type of specialized equipment: Hot swap sockets.
Today I am reviewing the GK64, a fully aluminum mechanical keyboard that makes use of hot swappable sockets for practically effortless switch replacement. Continue reading to see just how simple… Continue reading
Today I have the pleasure of reviewing the Durgod Taurus K320 Nebula, a RGB backlit TKL mechanical keyboard that doesn’t suffer from the failings typical of most keyboards tailored to the PC gaming community; e.g., cheap build quality, thin ABS keycaps, hideous aesthetics and over-hyped marketing gimmicks.
This particular Durgod gaming keyboard also has a secret hidden under the hood. Silenced Cherry MX linear switches for much quieter gaming experiences and tolerable noise levels for typing in the workplace. Just how quiet are they? Does a dampened switch hurt the key feel? Let’s find out… Continue reading
On the hunt for a quiet keyboard? If so, you’re probably aware that mechanical keyboards are popular for a variety of reasons, but quietness definitely isn’t one of them. That familiar clicky sound mechanical keyboard users have grown accustomed to is great feedback for typing when your alone, but around others can be a real nuisance.
The answer to this noisy problem is dampened switches. And I don’t mean simply grabbing a bag of O-rings and adding them to your existing keyboard’s switches. O-rings can help to reduce impact noise, but only slightly and they destroy key feel. If you want a truly quiet mechanical keyboard with minimal alteration to feel the switches themselves (non-clicky) must be internally dampened on both the downstroke AND upstroke. O-rings and other similar products only lessen sound on the downstroke from the keycap making contact with the switch housing. The quiet mechanical keyboards reviewed below go to great lengths for noise reduction through the use of dampened switches, lubed stabilizers, case liners, high quality keycaps and other sound dampening modifications. Continue reading
You may be familiar with Cooler Master as a manufacturer of gaming related products and peripherals. Despite mechanical “gaming” keyboards often receiving a bad reputation among enthusiasts, Cooler Master has actually released a number of highly regarded mechanical keyboards over the years.
They have a new product releasing soon, the Cooler Master SK621, which is the first release from their new SK600 line of wireless mechanical gaming keyboards available in Full Size, TKL or 60% layout. The SK621 wireless mechanical keyboard is unique in many ways. It’s Cooler Master’s first wireless mechanical keyboard to hit the market, with connectivity provided by means of Bluetooth 4.0 and detachable USB Type-C for wired charging. Continue reading
After starting my research for keyboards to rank on this list I quickly discovered the market for wireless mechanical keyboards is akin to a barren wasteland. There seems to be a demand, but the supply just isn’t there yet. Wired mechanical keyboards are somewhat of a small niche themselves (though growing rapidly). Tech 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 a reliable connection with low latency and no added input lag.
Still, more choices for a good wireless mechanical keyboard with low input lag, durable build quality and reliable Bluetooth connectivity is something 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. We’ll be examining five of the best currently available wireless mechanical keyboards to see if we can find a viable board or two that will please casuals and enthusiasts alike.
I don’t even own one myself, though I hope to remedy that in the near future. (Update: I have now tested the Anne Pro and TADA68 Pro.) Continue reading
The ability to program your mechanical keyboard and assign different functions to specific keys may sound like a luxury feature, but in some cases it becomes a necessity. Anyone who’s ever used a tiny, space-saving form factor keyboard — I’m talking 60% and smaller — knows their default key layouts can be a challenge when the number of dedicated keys is limited. Having the option to customize a key to your desired function can alleviate these shortcomings, making your typing experience more intuitive. Taking the time to choose the best programmable mechanical keyboard according to your own personal preferences will result in comfortable and faster typing with less errors.
Not only that, but many programmable mechanical keyboards allow the user to setup macros. A macro key can initiate and perform a series of multiple recorded inputs with a single keystroke. This feature is popular among gamers, as it allows advanced combos to be successfully pulled off with 100% accuracy. They have practical purposes too. Any tasks that requires the same repetitive input can be programmed to a macro key. Even something as simple as having your email address bound to a specific key to quicken logins and the process of filling out forms. Continue reading
Are you looking to try a mechanical keyboard for the first time? Everyone has to begin somewhere, but for newcomers to the hobby it can be overwhelming if you’re not aware of a few basic attributes associated with mechanical keyboard switches. Let’s start by ignoring the many different brands and variations of mechanical keyboard switches and just focus on the three main switch types you’ll most likely encounter in your search: Clicky, Tactile and Linear. Continue reading
Well made mechanical keyboards are usually on the thick and heavy side. “Built like a tank” is a term often thrown around when describing them. It’s this perceived build quality that’s one of the major reasons many users are initially drawn to mechanical keyboards.
Metal backplates. Sculpted keycaps. Full travel mechanical switches. A rigid case and high quality PCB. All these components require extra space and the weight quickly starts adding up. Thin & light isn’t normally present in the marketing of mechanical keyboards. The HAVIT HV-KB390L low profile mechanical keyboard I’m reviewing today is attempting to buck that trend. Continue reading
Generally speaking, the stock keycaps found on low to medium budget mechanical keyboards are lacking in quality. That’s because keysets are one of the easiest areas where manufacturers can cut corners to reach a lower manufacturing cost so they can obtain higher profits. The reality is average consumers aren’t even aware of the quality difference between thin ABS keycaps and thick PBT.
Keyboard enthusiasts know better. For most of us, replacing and upgrading stock keycaps to something more substantial with premium materials and high wear resistance is a priority. Continue reading
Today Massdrop added a listing for a 65% wireless (Bluetooth 4.0) mechanical keyboard from a brand called Keywalker. The keyboard has 68 keys in a compact form factor similar to the TADA68 Pro. It includes dedicated arrow keys while only being one column wider than a typical 60% form factor mechanical keyboard. The switches are Cherry MX in either tactile (brown), clicky (blue), or linear (red/back) variants. Continue reading