XiaoMi’s first shot at the mechanical keyboard market, the Xiaomi Yuemi MK01, was very hit-or-miss. In my review of that keyboard I found it to be a great looking TKL mech with Apple inspired aesthetics and above average build quality. Unfortunately, the MK01 had a couple glaring flaws that severely limited the keyboards gaming performance and usability in general. It only supported 2-key rollover and had problems with key registration when presented with quick, repeated inputs (such as double tapping).
Today I have the pleasure of reviewing Xiaomi’s successor to the MK01, the XiaoMi Yuemi Pro MK02. With their second attempt XiaoMi has not only addressed the obvious shortcomings of their first mechanical keyboard, but they’ve gone a few steps further by upgrading the Yuemi Pro MK02 to a fully aluminum enclosure, genuine Cherry MX switches and USB-C connectivity. Continue reading
The prevalence of wireless mechanical keyboards seems to rise with every passing month. What was once a limited market with few options just a couple of years ago has blossomed into a fast-growing niche with many popular brands hopping on the Bluetooth bandwagon.
Today I am reviewing the Akko 3084, a 75% mechanical keyboard with genuine Cherry MX switches, dye-sublimated PBT keycaps, steel backplate and wireless connectivity via Bluetooth 3.0. Continue reading
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 mechanical keyboard? If so, you’re probably aware that mechanical keyboards are popular for a variety of reasons; silence 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
I love wireless peripherals for their ability to reduce clutter, leave a desk looking cleaner and provide more freedom of movement. After starting my search for keyboards to rank on this list I quickly discovered the wireless mechanical keyboard market is akin to a barren wasteland. There seems to be solid demand for consumers looking to cut the cord, but the supply of high quality mechanical keyboards with some form of wireless connectivity just isn’t there yet. Wired mechanical keyboards are somewhat of a small niche themselves (though growing rapidly).
Computer and tech enthusiasts willing to pay the premium to own mechanical keyboards are almost always looking for the best performance possible, which admittedly isn’t usually offered via wireless devices. This is especially true for PC gamers who require a 100% reliable connection with low latency and no added input lag. Wireless peripheral options are mainly coveted for the sake of portability or aesthetics (no cable management required). Still, a larger variety of mechanical keyboards with low input lag, durable build quality and reliable wireless connectivity is something the mechanical keyboard community would welcome with open arms.
Since I’m currently on the hunt for a new wireless keyboard of my own I might as well share what I’ve learned from my research. I’ll be reviewing five of the best wireless mechanical keyboards (and a few honorable mentions) to see if we can find a viable keyboard or two that’s capable of pleasing casuals and enthusiasts alike. 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 and customize functionality according to your own personal preferences will result in a more comfortable and faster typing experience 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 each of the primary mechanical keyboard switch types.
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