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
You may already be familiar with the Chinese brand Xiaomi due in part to their popular line of affordable smartphones. Believe it or not they’re the 5th largest producer of smartphones in the world, behind juggernauts Samsung and Apple.
The Xiaomi Yuemi MK01 (aka the Wyatt Meter in China) I’m reviewing today is the first mechanical keyboard to carry the Xiaomi name. It was actually released thanks to Xiaomi’s own crowdfunding platform. Just a quick glimpse at the MK01 is enough to notice the similar design philosophies between Xiaomi and Apple products. The MK01 may be the solution for users wanting a mechanical keyboard with Apple inspired design to match the aesthetics of your new Mac. Continue reading
The Obins Anne Pro has created a lot of positive hype in the keyboard community. I know it’s been on my radar for review the past 5 months or so. A 60% mechanical keyboard with wireless support (Bluetooth 4.0), true RGB backlighting, Gateron switches, programmability and PBT keycaps for only $80. Sign me up!
A lack of time and backlog of other boards delayed this review longer than expected, but I finally got around to ordering one. I’ve spent the last couple weeks using the Anne Pro as my daily driver. Is the buzz around it merited? Spoiler: Yes. Continue reading
I have a special mechanical keyboard up for review today. The Vortex CORE could end up being a pioneer for 40% form factor keyboards and the future mech market. What makes it so unique? The CORE is not a kit that requires soldering skills for a complex assembly process. It’s not a custom you design and build yourself from the ground up based on a specific PCB. The Vortex CORE is the first mass produced, fully assembled 40% mechanical keyboard for the “mainstream” retail market.
Until now, these ultra compact 40% layouts have been mostly relegated to a hardcore niche audience, even among keyboard enthusiasts. Does the Vortex CORE have what it takes to invigorate the 40% market the same way its predecessor, the Poker series, did with 60% mechanical keyboards? We shall see… Continue reading
Vortex’s next “big” product comes in a tiny package. The Vortex Core 40% mechanical keyboard with aluminum case was just recently listed on Amazon.
The Core is a ultra-compact mechanical keyboard with only 47 dedicated keys. It uses multiple function layers and programmability to provide functionality similar to that of larger keyboards, but with a much smaller footprint for improved ergonomics and space-saving ability. Continue reading
Mechanical keyboards are expensive, especially when compared to typical membrane based keyboards. A high quality mech with solid build quality, durable PBT keycaps and switches from a well known brand (Cherry, Matias, Topre, etc.) will generally set you back in the neighborhood of $150. Over the past couple years a barrage of low-budget mechanical keyboards have hit the market. These boards are very economical, but they typically cut a few corners with build quality. They usually make use of MX style clone switches, not genuine Cherry switches. You’re also not paying a premium for the name brand.
This type of product has made mechanical keyboards a more viable option for the budget conscious crowd. The Drevo Gramr 75% mechanical keyboard I’m reviewing today is one of those economical options. Let’s test this cheap mechanical keyboard and see if it’s possible to provide good build quality, attractive design, reliability, and performance for under $50. Continue reading
An interesting development has occurred today as Cherry, who are well known for their popular line of MX mechanical keyboard switches, now has new ownership. Cherry was previously a subsidiary under the control of technology group ZF Friedrichshafen AG. They have been acquired by GENUI. GENUI is a private investment firm who specifically targets medium-sized businesses in German-speaking countries. Continue reading
Here I am again, reviewing another TKL (TenKeyLess) mechanical keyboard. A few weeks back I reviewed the Redragon K553-RGB USAS, a low-budget TKL mechanical keyboard with RGB backlighting. It was a decent mech, but I did encounter complications with it. There was also some obvious corner cutting in build materials and design to reach such a low price point.
The same can’t be said for the next TKL mech I’ll be discussing below, the Max Keyboard Blackbird with blue ambient side lighting and Cherry MX Red linear switches. Continue reading to learn more about this high-quality TKL and determine whether the premium price is justified. Continue reading
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