Xiaomi is on a running rampage with releasing products left, right, and centre. And this is their entry into the mechanical keyboard world.
LAYOUT & SIZE
This is a tenkeyless keyboard with 87 keys, so we’re missing the number pad, so it makes it slightly more compact, and allows for more natural shoulder positioning, allowing you to move the mouse closer to the centre. It has a completely standard ANSI layout, so replacing keyboard will be absolutely no problem.
DESIGN & BUILD
I was looking forward to seeing this in person, since the pictures looked pretty sleek. But just being honest, I was personally disappointed to be met with a glossy keyboard. To be clear, this is just a personal preference, but I’m sure that many would feel the same. And this is unfortunate, as the rest of the keyboard looks absolutely amazing for the most part. Again, it’s hard not to see the Apple design influence on this keyboard. The white plastic is quite similar to the older Macbooks that were white. But then you turn it over, and it has an absolutely gorgeous aluminium bottom shell, which is very similar again to say the back of an iPhone. It does have a nice silky texture to it, so it’s not as smooth as a Macbook, but this is something I like. There is some faint writing on the back, but again it doesn’t show any logo or anything, so the whole thing is extremely clean. It has a simple rectangular shape with rounded corners and filleted edges, and has no natural incline.
The font or typeface on the keycap is fine, but not the best. I personally dislike the bridging gaps in the characters, but this is done to make it easier to manufacture, due to the double shot nature of the keycap. But this seems to be a rarity with double shot backlit keycaps. And to finish it all off, we have a clean white backlight, which is my preferred LED colour if it isn’t RGB, since it can pair with anything.
These only come in Red’s, and are TTC switches. So these are Chinese clones of the German made Cherry MX keyswitches, so they are pretty much the same, but differ slightly in feel. But they do mimic the colour scheme, so these Red TTC switches are quite light at a 45 gram actuation force, and are linear, meaning that there’s no tactile bump or click, so it’s just a smooth depression. In terms of smoothness, they feel pretty similar to Cherry MX Reds, so to me, they feel just a touch rougher than Gateron Reds.
However on the space bar we have a TTC Black switch, which as you can expect, is heavier and is a linear switch. This does make the space bar less rattly, which is a common problem with very light space bars.
They use Cherry style stabilisers for the longer keys, and they’re really tight on mine. And they’re quite good in that they’re not rattly at all, but consequently are a touch mushy.
The white backlight looks really nice and fitting with the white keycaps, and the white top plate, which also acts as a backplate as well. So the backlighting reflects off the white background to make it more vibrant. The brightness can be controlled via the function key and the up and down arrow keys, allowing you to also turn the lights completely off.
So overall, it’s a very nice keyboard and typing experience. It’s obvious that it’s had a lot of work put into it, with how it looks. The bottom aluminum piece is amazing, and is premium looking and feeling, and is amongst some of the best I’ve felt. But the glossy white plastic top just lets it down, which is really really unfortunate, since it is the part that you will see and touch the most. As said before, they probably had their reasons, which was probably to do with cost, and they would have been pushing into some high end custom tier stuff if they did make it all metal.
The TTC switches are quite nice actually for clone switches, but it only comes in Red’s, so they don’t offer any variety. But I quite enjoyed the typing experience.
But I don’t want to bring the whole thing down because of my expectations and my preferences in looks. It’s still a really great looking keyboard, and the glossy finish is only noticeable up close, but then you tend to forget about it, but some of you might like the glossy finish, and I think they have come out with something different from the rest of the competition, which I appreciate. But at it’s base, it’s a very simplistic keyboard, with just the basic functions, all on a solid foundation.
Thanks again to Banggood.com for providing the keyboard to show you guys, and their continued support.