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
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
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
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
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
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
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 genuine 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
Hardcore PC gamers take their keyboard seriously. When milliseconds are the difference between winning and losing a responsive mech can give you that slight edge over your opponent. For years the original RK-9000 was the benchmark for Rosewill mechanical gaming keyboards.
That said, the previous version had it’s flaws; primarily a mini USB port that was prone to failure if presented with too much pressure from external forces. Fixing that problem while implementing a few other small changes was Rosewill’s goal with the updated version, model RK-9000V2. Continue reading