Author Topic: Mistel Barocco Keyboard Review  (Read 13438 times)

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Offline ergo_typing

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Mistel Barocco Keyboard Review
« on: Tue, 24 January 2017, 10:00:06 »
Mistel Barocco Keyboard Review

TL;DR

The Barocco is a great ergonomic fully split, 60% keyboard with genuine Cherry MX key switches. The keyboard comes with a nice set of PBT keycaps and is fully programmable. Small in stature, comfortable for typing.



Keyboard Background

To place this review in context, my previous keyboard experience is: Kinesis Freestyle, Ergodox (Cherry Red with PBT caps) and Matias Ergo Pro (quiet clicks). I also used an AEKII back in the day. My main focus with respect to keyboards is ergonomics for a typist/programmer. The model that I'm using is Cherry MX Brown switches in an ANSI layout. Note: this Barocco was provided by Mistel for an un-biased review.

Build Quality

First impressions do count and from the outset, the Barocco keyboard comes in a rather attractive compact box. The box is surprisingly small as Mistel designed it with the two panels of the keyboard parallel to each other rather than in the traditional side by side non-split keyboard box. The two panels are individually boxed within the main box keeping them safe and secure in transit. On the right keyboard panel at the bottom right, there are three LEDs which give you information about what typing mode you're in, what layer you're on and programming mode --- more on this later.

In addition to the keyboard itself, the Barocco comes with a lovely long braided mini usb to regular usb, a curled short micro to micro usb to connect the two panels, a wire keycap puller, a surprisingly orange alternative return keycap and replacement rubber feet. I must say that shipping with additional replacement feet in the box is a fantastic idea --- why don't all manufactures do this?

The keyboard panels are made of a nice matte black ABS plastic which doesn't show fingerprints easily. The panels themselves feel quite dense and have very little flex. The rubber feet on each of the four corners of their respective panels make the keyboard feel secure on the desk when typing. To give a relative feeling of the Barocco with respect to other split keyboards, here are some stacked on top of each other.



Switches and Keycaps

Surprisingly, this keyboard ships with a variety of genuine Cherry MX options: Blue, Red, Brown, Black and Clear. I don't really have much to add other than that they feel the way one would expect nice Cherry MX switches to feel. I think it's great that a relatively niche device such as an split ergonomic keyboard gives switch options at launch.

Now keycaps --- the Barocco comes with a lovely set of thick walled, Poker style PBT OEM profile keycaps. The caps are easy to remove from the stems without feeling loose. The tops feels quite smooth, unlike the 'grainy' feel of Signature Plastics PBT keycaps. Curiously, the front edge of the space bar has that 'grainy' feel. Not that there's anything wrong with that --- just interesting. The legends are a dark grey against the black of the body of the keycap and can only just be felt. Having typed on them for a few weeks, they feel great. How I wish every keyboard would ship with PBT --- Enjoy Your Feeling as it were. The image below shows keycaps from: Mistel, Leopold and Signature Plastics for comparison.

"Keycap Comparison: Mistel, Leopold and Signature Plastics"

Programming

A welcome feature of the Barocco is programmability. There are three areas of programability on the Barocco, that of three discrete sticky layers, one Fn layer and two built in modes. For those unfamiliar, a layer may be thought of as similar to that of the shift key when you want to type the percentage % sign for example. The difference between a sticky layer and the Fn layer is that the Fn layer key mappings are only available as long as the Fn key is held down, whereas the sticky layers are modal.

From an ergonomic perspective, I can only think of limited functionality for the sticky layers -- maybe if you have specific needs for a custom layout in an application, or for gaming perhaps. Whereas the Fn layer presents many possible ergonomic uses.

The two built in modes are typing modes and pre-defined arrow keys. The typing modes are accessed by holding down the Fn key and pressing the a key. This cycles through QWERTY (no light on LED 1), DVORAK (blue light on LED 1) and COLEMAK (green light on LED 1). Nice to have those modes built in saving any lengthy reprogramming of the board out of the box. The second built in mode is the arrow keys -- now this may sound odd on a 60% keyboard but I think it's a reasonable workaround for those wanting the small form factor but being irritated by having to hold down a key just to get to the arrows. To access this mode, hold down the left Win key, the right Alt key and the right Spacebar and then on the right keyboard panel, the Shift/Fn/Pn/Ctrl buttons become up/left/down/right respectively.

Details of re-mapping

At this juncture in the review, I was all ready to write about the quite limited programmability of the Fn layer on the keyboard. How many of the keys were reserved and only a few on the Fn layer were available to the user. You couldn't even remap Fn to Caps lock --- the humanity! But then version 1.03 of the firmware happened. Although this is only a .0x update, it really feels more like a 1.5 at least. Pretty much every key on the Fn layer is now up for grabs. There are a few keys still reserved:

  • The M, Comma, Period and Forward Slash are reserved for switching between the default layer and layer 1, 2 and 3
  • The right Control key is reserved as this is integrated for entering and exiting programming mode
  • The Fn + a key is reserved for switching between QWERTY/DVORAK/COLEMAK mode
  • The Fn + t, Fn + g and Fn + b are reserved for adjusting the timing of firing macros

All of the programming is done on the keyboard itself and only layers 1, 2, 3 and the Fn layer are programmable. So make sure you don't try and do anything on the default layer (Fn + m key) as not much will happen. There are five steps to program a key:

  • Press Fn + right Ctrl (to enter programming mode)
  • Press the desired key to remap (target key)
  • Press the desired key you want to send (source key)
  • Press the Pn (to end the sequence)
  • Press Fn + right Ctrl (to exit programming mode)

To enter and exit the programming mode, you just have to press the Fn key and right Control. LED 3 will then turn solid blue to let you know you're in programming mode. Note: if you re-map the Fn key somewhere else, to enter programming mode again, use the re-mapped location of the Fn, not the original one on the keyboard.

Now you're in the programming mode, you have to pick the key you want to program, and what you want it to do. It helped me to think of it as a target and source. Once you have selected the target key, LED 3 will start to flash blue if the key is programmable (see the exception list above). The source key selection is based on the original key layout i.e. the ones that are printed on the keys, rather than any reprogramming you may have done. In addition to just re-mapping keys, you can also program sequences of keys. When you're finished with your re-mapping, press the Pn key to end the sequence. You can program multiple keys in a row if you want, or terminate the programming mode by pressing Fn + right Ctrl again. Note: if you want to re-map a key on the Fn layer the process is very similar, just hold down Fn plus the desired key instead of just the key at the target key phase. If you've remapped the Fn key, you need to use the new re-mapped location rather than the original.

The special keys Fn and Pn can also be re-mapped but with a difference process. Press and hold the Fn (or Pn) key and the left shift key for three seconds, press the Fn (or Pn) key and choose the new target. I highly recommend trying caps lock for the Fn key as you can then use the left hand to move into the Fn layer with, for example, your left middle finger and control the modifiers with your thumb and index finger. This leaves your right hand free for IJKL for arrow keys.

And if everything goes pear shaped, a layer can be reset by holding down the Fn and R key. LED 2 will flash white 5 times and the layer will go back to the defaults. If you've re-mapped the Fn and want to reset a layer, you need to hold down the original Fn key not any re-mapping you might have done.

Ergonomic Re-mapping

From an ergonomic perspective, one of the biggest wins that may be accomplished with a fully split keyboard is making good use of the two big Spacebar keys. Thankfully, the Barocco sends discrete scan codes from both Spacebar keys so they can be re-mapped to different functions. By default, they both come mapped as space, but I would strongly recommend trying remapping one of them to delete. This enables the typist to spend more time on the home row, without so many trips to the top right whenever a typo occurs. Not that it ever does. Obviously.

I've found a few other re-mappings useful from an ergonomic perspective. As my right hand is now staying on the home row when using the arrow keys via the Fn layer, I've mapped the semicolon key to return. And as I'm a big fan of tabs, I've mapped the O and U keys to move forward and backward respectively (Control + Tab and Control + Shift + Tab on macOS). These minor re-mappings really seem to help key my hands on the home row more frequently, which I find ergonomically nicer.

Programming caveats

A few caveats about the programability of the Barocco, both of which will affect macOS users: the modifiers and the firmware upgrade process.

The modifier keys (Control, Option, Command) are in the wrong order: out of the box the bottom left three keys will send control, command, option. This is easily fixed in macOS within System Preferences -> Modifier Keys. Or can of course be re-mapped on the keyboard directly on a custom layer.

Secondly, the firmware of the keyboard is unfortunately only re-programmable via a windows utility. So macOS users will either need to try a VMWare solution or find an old PC somewhere. Make sure you check that you have the most recent firmware (1.03 at time of writing) as in the earlier releases (1.01), there is a wake from sleep bug. The bug manifests itself when you wake your computer from sleep, you have to unplug and replug the keyboard to make it active. Since updating the firmware I've not seen this bug again. Note: when updating the firmware, the keyboard is reset to factory conditions.

Note: Currently, there is a minor bug in the firmware with respect to the Fn key remapping. To illustrate: when the Fn key has been remapped to say the Capslock key on layer 3 and you then switch to layer 1, the keyboard seems to think that the Fn key is held down until the Fn key in the original position on the new layer is pressed again --- clearing the stuck down key. I have spoken with Mistel and their engineers are working on a fix. I'll update the review when the new firmware is available.

Ergonomics

As this is a split keyboard I think a primary application is for typists concerned with ergonomics. There are three main areas I want to cover in relation to this using the Barocco:

  • 60% keyboards and arrow key usage
  • Panel tenting and tilting
  • Keyboard panel separation

60% keyboards by their very nature involve rethinking how you approach the arrow keys. Two standard techniques are to use either the WASD or IJKL as substitutes for the up, left, down and right arrow keys. The Barocco defaults to using the IJKL on the right hand. But with the new 1.03 firmware, you can re-map to WASD if that feels more comfortable. Having spent some weeks typing using IJKL instead of arrows, it still feels a bit odd. But I have found that my right hand tends to fall into a more relaxed, neutral position without having to contort down to the bottom right of a keyboard to find the arrow keys. So if you're happy with spending time re-learning some very old habits, I think that a 60% layout does offer some useful ergonomic benefits.

A common ergonomic touch typist modification is adjusting the tenting and tilting of each keyboard panel. Tenting, or raising the inside of each keyboard panel up, reduces wrist pronation and negative tilting can reduce strain at the extensor and flexor muscles. Curiously, the Barocco only features feet at the back of the two panels, which only allows for positive tilt. This design decision was apparently adopted to account for the fact that "some people's fingers are not long enough to reach some keys". However, a common solution used in the Ergodox world can be found in the form of the Kinesis Freestyle2 V3 Accessory. You'll need to chop off just the ends of the horizontal section of these and apply some 3M Dual Lock to keep things in place as you can see in the picture. Tenting is definitely worth exploring with the Barocco --- it made for a much more comfortable typing experience.



Finally, the benefits of a fully split keyboard. I'm quite a tall and broad shouldered chap. As such, one of the features that really draws me to fully split keyboards is the ability to move the two keyboard panels quite a way apart from each other to enable a more relaxed shoulder position. The cable which links the two panels of the Barocco together is a high quality curled micro usb to micro usb cable. But for me, it's a little on the short side. I think this is also exacerbated by the curl which seems to want to pull the halves back toward each other. However, as Mistel sensibly used an open standard, micro usb, it was but a short trip to Amazon and I had a nice one meter straight cable for a more relaxed shoulder position. The cable I ended up with was one by Lindy.

(Bonus ergonomic observation: the 6 key is on the correct side.)

Conclusion

The Mistel Barocco is the first widely available 60% fully split mechanical keyboard. The keyboard is well built, programmable and comes with PBT keycaps. Thoughtful accessories are also included in the box. If you've long lusted after a Cherry switched board but just couldn't use them due to ergonomic concerns --- the Barocco might be just what your fingers have been looking for.

Pros:
  • Fully split mechanical keyboard
  • Good build quality
  • Programmable
  • Genuine Cherry MX switches in a readily available keyboard

Cons:
  • No stand alone arrow keys (Barocco is a 60% board, so you knew this coming in)
  • No native macOS firmware updater
  • No Apple style command keycaps



Offline ReadmeDotTxt

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Re: Mistel Barocco Keyboard Review
« Reply #1 on: Thu, 26 January 2017, 01:43:52 »
Nice review. Very detailed and thorough. Thanks for taking the time to do it. Almost don't need to try it to know what it's like.

One of these days I'll pick up an ergonomic keyboard. An ergodox is tempting. I'd just need to find a nice keyset with the right keycaps for it.

Offline ergo_typing

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Re: Mistel Barocco Keyboard Review
« Reply #2 on: Thu, 26 January 2017, 07:23:52 »
Thanks for the kind words!

re keycaps - I think that's another nice part of the Barocco having a relatively normal layout which leads to good compatibility with 60% keycap sets. The obvious exception being the space bar but as that's PBT already it shouldn't be too much of an issue.

Offline mousouchop

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Re: Mistel Barocco Keyboard Review
« Reply #3 on: Thu, 26 January 2017, 12:07:27 »
Great review! Love the detail, and appreciate the inclusion of the caveats related to OS X users. I will have to add this to my list of considerations for my first MK.

Offline wishful_cynic

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Re: Mistel Barocco Keyboard Review
« Reply #4 on: Thu, 26 January 2017, 12:33:52 »
Great review! Love the detail, and appreciate the inclusion of the caveats related to OS X users. I will have to add this to my list of considerations for my first MK.

How can you stand participating here without giving in and getting your first!?!?  Happy shopping! :)

Offline mousouchop

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Re: Mistel Barocco Keyboard Review
« Reply #5 on: Thu, 26 January 2017, 12:50:53 »
Great review! Love the detail, and appreciate the inclusion of the caveats related to OS X users. I will have to add this to my list of considerations for my first MK.

How can you stand participating here without giving in and getting your first!?!?  Happy shopping! :)

I'm pretty good at delayed gratification! I am using my first MK as a prize for completing a 70 hour iOS Programming tutorial course. Currently one month in, and at the 50% mark! I hope to have a board by mid-march!

That being said, I have given in a little. Entered two artisan key raffle sales-- and won a key in each!! :D That has kept me satisfied for the time being...

Offline wishful_cynic

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Re: Mistel Barocco Keyboard Review
« Reply #6 on: Thu, 26 January 2017, 13:46:18 »
Great review! Love the detail, and appreciate the inclusion of the caveats related to OS X users. I will have to add this to my list of considerations for my first MK.

How can you stand participating here without giving in and getting your first!?!?  Happy shopping! :)

I'm pretty good at delayed gratification! I am using my first MK as a prize for completing a 70 hour iOS Programming tutorial course. Currently one month in, and at the 50% mark! I hope to have a board by mid-march!

That being said, I have given in a little. Entered two artisan key raffle sales-- and won a key in each!! :D That has kept me satisfied for the time being...

Collecting artisans before you have your first board??  You're going to be absolutely sucked in! :)  Congrats on the wins - which caps?  At least you got them for retail price and not an inflated aftermarket price. ;)

Offline ergo_typing

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Re: Mistel Barocco Keyboard Review
« Reply #7 on: Thu, 26 January 2017, 14:26:41 »
Nice idea to have a mech as your reward! Anticipation is always a wonderful thing. Are you just looking at split keyboards or mechs in general?

Offline mousouchop

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Re: Mistel Barocco Keyboard Review
« Reply #8 on: Thu, 26 January 2017, 16:06:35 »
Collecting artisans before you have your first board??  You're going to be absolutely sucked in! :)  Congrats on the wins - which caps?  At least you got them for retail price and not an inflated aftermarket price. ;)

A couple good ones! Doom Caps blank artisan, and a KK Furt Reborn! I'm really loving the blanks, so I might be persuaded to trade Furt for a KK Bento Blank in the future. :x

Nice idea to have a mech as your reward! Anticipation is always a wonderful thing. Are you just looking at split keyboards or mechs in general?

Just looking at mechs in general. Specifically 60% boards. Debating between Leopold FC660, HHKB, or perhaps this fine looking board! I'm a programmer, so the ergo aspect is definitely something for me to consider. Especially if I intend to program even more in my off hours. I prize minimalism and compactness, but I try to balance that with functionality when at all possible. I'm also a Japan nut, so the HHKB has brownie points for that (and it may have better OS X support than this particular board).

Offline ergo_typing

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Re: Mistel Barocco Keyboard Review
« Reply #9 on: Thu, 26 January 2017, 16:36:06 »
Once you go mech, you never go back!

re HHKB use with a Mac - it would drive me nuts not having the Ctrl-Option-Command modifier keys all in a line next to the space bar. That's always made the HHKB a non-starter for me. But I'm sure you'd get used to it after a while.

Compact is always nice. For me a fully split keyboard is essential, otherwise I get severe wrist pain when I type (programmer here too). If you can, I would definitely try out some of the different switch types before you purchase to find out what you like. Have you tried a switch tester?

https://www.wasdkeyboards.com/index.php/products/sampler-kit/wasd-6-key-cherry-mx-switch-tester.html

Offline mousouchop

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Re: Mistel Barocco Keyboard Review
« Reply #10 on: Thu, 26 January 2017, 17:21:39 »
Once you go mech, you never go back!

re HHKB use with a Mac - it would drive me nuts not having the Ctrl-Option-Command modifier keys all in a line next to the space bar. That's always made the HHKB a non-starter for me. But I'm sure you'd get used to it after a while.

Compact is always nice. For me a fully split keyboard is essential, otherwise I get severe wrist pain when I type (programmer here too). If you can, I would definitely try out some of the different switch types before you purchase to find out what you like. Have you tried a switch tester?

https://www.wasdkeyboards.com/index.php/products/sampler-kit/wasd-6-key-cherry-mx-switch-tester.html

No sir. Not yet. The closest I have done is visit a Best Buy and type on a few of their boards for a few minutes each. I could identify two boards as MX switches, and I'll assume the third was as well, due to the relative rarity of Topre. I'm going to LA in a couple weeks. Any idea of well stocked electronics stores in Cali that might have a good range for me to try? I've kinda been assuming that mechs might be more marketable there given the concentration of tech firms. Of course I will be picking up a tester should this idea fail...

As for the HHKB Ctrl, I have the JIS layout on my MBA, so I'm used to the control key positioning of the HHKB.

Offline ergo_typing

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Re: Mistel Barocco Keyboard Review
« Reply #11 on: Fri, 27 January 2017, 05:39:36 »
Don't know any keyboard places in CA. But just as a thought, the Barocco is on Amazon so you could always return it if you hated it?

Offline rafaelnonato

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Re: Mistel Barocco Keyboard Review
« Reply #12 on: Sun, 29 January 2017, 19:19:55 »
The bug you made referrence to in your review, namely, the behaviour where if you remap the Fn key you effectively become restricted to a single programmable layer (because once you remap the Fn key if you switch into another layers all the keys will behave as if you had Fn pressed) has been solved in Firmware version 1.03.03. Mistel have not posted that version of the firmware to their website yet. Maybe they're testing more carefully this time before making a public release. I got this version of the firmware directly from them through email.

Offline ergo_typing

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Re: Mistel Barocco Keyboard Review
« Reply #13 on: Mon, 30 January 2017, 05:49:34 »
Excellent that the fix is being taken care of. You have to love upgradable firmware!

Offline rafaelnonato

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Re: Mistel Barocco Keyboard Review
« Reply #14 on: Wed, 01 February 2017, 06:10:47 »
159218-0

And this is a poor man's tenting strategy. Let me tell you that it works great! Oh, and before anyone asks, let me also tell you that I got my keyboard with blank keys by ordering it directly from Mistel.

Offline ergo_typing

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Re: Mistel Barocco Keyboard Review
« Reply #15 on: Wed, 01 February 2017, 14:44:05 »
That looks fantastic with the blanks! And nice tenting  :cool:

Offline spdx

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Re: Mistel Barocco Keyboard Review
« Reply #16 on: Mon, 13 February 2017, 02:19:25 »
Did anyone map FN to right spacebar? which makes SpaceFN layout possible?

I think two spacebars could be an answer for some of us - 60% keyboard lovers.

Offline ergo_typing

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Re: Mistel Barocco Keyboard Review
« Reply #17 on: Mon, 13 February 2017, 07:09:51 »
By SpaceFN  I assume you mean for a dual-mode key? i.e. Press and hold for FN and single tap of the same key for space?

If that is the case, my understanding of the firmware is that dual-mode keys aren't available. So if you mapped one of the spacebars to FN, it would *only* be an FN key. It would be a handy feature to add to the firmware for sure!

Offline xiaoxuesheng

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Re: Mistel Barocco Keyboard Review
« Reply #18 on: Tue, 14 February 2017, 09:45:56 »
GOOD

Offline hector13

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Re: Mistel Barocco Keyboard Review
« Reply #19 on: Tue, 14 February 2017, 19:08:15 »
Can you program two key combos? Like map control-n to send a down arrow key?

Sent from my Pixel using Tapatalk


Offline ergo_typing

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Re: Mistel Barocco Keyboard Review
« Reply #20 on: Wed, 15 February 2017, 09:53:44 »
It appears not with the currently available firmware (1.03.02).

You can remap FN + n for example, but not CTRL + n in my testing. This is on macOS. You could always use a software based remapping tool to accomplish this:

On macOS, Keyboard Maestro is fantastic:
https://www.keyboardmaestro.com/main/

And on Windows, AutoHotkey is pretty powerful:
https://www.autohotkey.com

Offline nxtruong

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Re: Mistel Barocco Keyboard Review
« Reply #21 on: Wed, 15 February 2017, 11:33:48 »
Very long and detailed review bro!  :thumb:

Offline Helspong

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Re: Mistel Barocco Keyboard Review
« Reply #22 on: Fri, 17 March 2017, 02:42:57 »
Thank you for a very thorough review. It made me decide to give the Mistel Barocco a chance, and I gotta say that I was pleasantly surprised. It is a really nice keyboard!

Offline dantan

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Re: Mistel Barocco Keyboard Review
« Reply #23 on: Fri, 17 March 2017, 04:25:55 »
(Attachment Link)

And this is a poor man's tenting strategy. Let me tell you that it works great! Oh, and before anyone asks, let me also tell you that I got my keyboard with blank keys by ordering it directly from Mistel.

Now that they have one successful board under their arms, they need the next one to have tenting and better programming. Using softwares to remap keys is not the ideal solution on a $160 board.

Offline ergo_typing

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Re: Mistel Barocco Keyboard Review
« Reply #24 on: Fri, 17 March 2017, 11:18:17 »
@Helspong thanks for the kind words - pleased that it helped make the decision.

@dantan it's always a tradeoff where to put the programming isn't it? I mean with the Ergodox, I can configure it anyway I want by rewriting the software, compiling it and re-flashing it. But that's not the most consumer friendly method :)

And yes, a native tenting option would be lovely!

Offline dantan

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Re: Mistel Barocco Keyboard Review
« Reply #25 on: Fri, 17 March 2017, 20:58:47 »
@Helspong thanks for the kind words - pleased that it helped make the decision.

@dantan it's always a tradeoff where to put the programming isn't it? I mean with the Ergodox, I can configure it anyway I want by rewriting the software, compiling it and re-flashing it. But that's not the most consumer friendly method :)

And yes, a native tenting option would be lovely!

I think reflashing is something within the abilities of nearly all geekhackers, but the rewriting and compiling is not. At least with Ergodox there are softwares that do most of the work, but less common keyboards get less support. I'm pretty sure there are still way more users of Ergodox than Mistel, and everyone down the line is even less supported.

It always amazes me how much a planck costs and how LITTLE it can do. Seems nobody ever considered making a teensy and led ready PCB for a 60% planck like board. Don't they realize that with 75 (or 73) keys and a PCB that can fit any Poker-compatible casing, you can do way more things without needing keycombos and the use of layers?

Online chuckdee

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Re: Mistel Barocco Keyboard Review
« Reply #26 on: Fri, 17 March 2017, 23:31:22 »
@Helspong thanks for the kind words - pleased that it helped make the decision.

@dantan it's always a tradeoff where to put the programming isn't it? I mean with the Ergodox, I can configure it anyway I want by rewriting the software, compiling it and re-flashing it. But that's not the most consumer friendly method :)

And yes, a native tenting option would be lovely!

I think reflashing is something within the abilities of nearly all geekhackers, but the rewriting and compiling is not. At least with Ergodox there are softwares that do most of the work, but less common keyboards get less support. I'm pretty sure there are still way more users of Ergodox than Mistel, and everyone down the line is even less supported.

It always amazes me how much a planck costs and how LITTLE it can do. Seems nobody ever considered making a teensy and led ready PCB for a 60% planck like board. Don't they realize that with 75 (or 73) keys and a PCB that can fit any Poker-compatible casing, you can do way more things without needing keycombos and the use of layers?

Really depends on what you're looking for, I think.  Especially in this hobby.  You might say little, but some people use it as a daily driver, so there are those that would definitely disagree with you.  It's the ortholinear that got me- not functionality.  And I use my minivan and JD45 quite happily, truth be told.
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Offline dantan

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Re: Mistel Barocco Keyboard Review
« Reply #27 on: Sat, 18 March 2017, 09:39:50 »
Really depends on what you're looking for, I think.  Especially in this hobby.  You might say little, but some people use it as a daily driver, so there are those that would definitely disagree with you.  It's the ortholinear that got me- not functionality.  And I use my minivan and JD45 quite happily, truth be told.

Problem lies in the use of combo keystrokes.

Planck can have 32 layers so that's theoretically a lot of functionality. In practice, you have to remember where each layer lies, and you still need to hold down a key to get at that layer. If you wanna use layer lock, that means one key is taken out of commission by being reserved as the layer key, and you still have to unlock it later.

It is much easier to hit only 1 key rather than 2 or more to get at a function.

Having 2 layers on a 96 key keyboard, is much easier than having 4 layers on a 48 key Planck. And actually your 48x4 key planck won't have so many functions as a 96x2 key, because you need more keys reserved for triggering layers.

Online chuckdee

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Re: Mistel Barocco Keyboard Review
« Reply #28 on: Sat, 18 March 2017, 17:24:28 »
Really depends on what you're looking for, I think.  Especially in this hobby.  You might say little, but some people use it as a daily driver, so there are those that would definitely disagree with you.  It's the ortholinear that got me- not functionality.  And I use my minivan and JD45 quite happily, truth be told.

Problem lies in the use of combo keystrokes.

Planck can have 32 layers so that's theoretically a lot of functionality. In practice, you have to remember where each layer lies, and you still need to hold down a key to get at that layer. If you wanna use layer lock, that means one key is taken out of commission by being reserved as the layer key, and you still have to unlock it later.

It is much easier to hit only 1 key rather than 2 or more to get at a function.

Having 2 layers on a 96 key keyboard, is much easier than having 4 layers on a 48 key Planck. And actually your 48x4 key planck won't have so many functions as a 96x2 key, because you need more keys reserved for triggering layers.
Problem for you, which is valid for you.  Many others use it for their daily driver.  Do you really think the coolness of it would make that many people use it if it didn't work for them?

Like I said, I use my Jd45 pretty much daily at work instead of my laptop keyboard, and am just as productive (sometimes moreso) as on my whitefox that I have on my desktop station.  Different, sure.  But inferior, not so much. If it were, I'd use the option of carrying the whitefox around, damn the weight and size.
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Offline rafaelnonato

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Re: Mistel Barocco Keyboard Review
« Reply #29 on: Wed, 22 March 2017, 21:24:26 »
Did anyone map FN to right spacebar? which makes SpaceFN layout possible?

I think two spacebars could be an answer for some of us - 60% keyboard lovers.

I mapped the left-hand side spacebar to FN, but as the author of the review already said, that then becomes the sole function of the key. I used xcape on linux to double-map the right-hand side spacebar. When tapped it is space and when pressed with another key it is AltGr

Offline joncol

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Re: Mistel Barocco Keyboard Review
« Reply #30 on: Tue, 02 May 2017, 17:40:18 »
Nice review! I just got my Barocco keyboard with custom blanks. Do you know if it's possible to have many Fn keys? When remapping the Fn key normally (to left space for instance), the original Fn key becomes a dead key. Is there some way to keep it as Fn as well?

Btw, here is a pic of the keyboard with blanks:


Offline ergo_typing

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Re: Mistel Barocco Keyboard Review
« Reply #31 on: Wed, 03 May 2017, 05:52:09 »
Thanks  :) Yours looks great with the blanks. What kind are they?

I noticed the same thing about the original Fn key. It doesn't act as a 'dead' key for me (maybe check your firmware version?), just one that isn't re-mapable. In my case (macOS), the original Fn key becomes a command key rather than being non-functional. I've already passed feedback back to Mistel as I would love to be able to remap that key. I'd love to be able to make it a right option key to follow the standard Mac layout.

Offline joncol

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Re: Mistel Barocco Keyboard Review
« Reply #32 on: Thu, 04 May 2017, 05:39:33 »
Yes, you're right, on my Windows machine it becomes another Win key after remapping. The caps are from geekkeys.com: http://www.geekkeys.com/geekkeys-blue-white-blank-thick-pbt-full-keyset/ and http://www.geekkeys.com/geekkeys-dark-grey-blank-thick-pbt-full-keyset/.
« Last Edit: Thu, 04 May 2017, 05:47:15 by joncol »

Offline rafaelnonato

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Re: Mistel Barocco Keyboard Review
« Reply #33 on: Thu, 04 May 2017, 15:38:12 »
I just noticed on their website that they've made available another version of the firmware, v. 1.04.1. I was wondering if anyone tried it.

Offline joncol

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Re: Mistel Barocco Keyboard Review
« Reply #34 on: Thu, 04 May 2017, 15:46:49 »
I just noticed on their website that they've made available another version of the firmware, v. 1.04.1. I was wondering if anyone tried it.

Yes, that's the version I installed when I got the keyboard. I don't know what's new in this version compared to the previous one.

Offline ergo_typing

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Re: Mistel Barocco Keyboard Review
« Reply #35 on: Thu, 04 May 2017, 16:02:27 »
@joncol I'll have to try out some of those geekkeys caps they look great.

re 1.04.1 firmware -> I've asked Mistel for release notes but the main thing I've noticed so far is fixing the Fn remap bug. i.e. When you remap Fn to say capslock and then switch layers, the Fn key doesn't act as if it is pressed down. So a much desired fix :cool:

Offline joncol

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Re: Mistel Barocco Keyboard Review
« Reply #36 on: Thu, 04 May 2017, 17:24:31 »
@ergo_typing: Tell your wallet I said sorry.

Offline tj82

  • Posts: 3
Re: Mistel Barocco Keyboard Review
« Reply #37 on: Fri, 05 May 2017, 04:43:41 »
Does anyone know if it's possible to remap
function Shift to be a normal shift key?
and
function control to be a normal control key?

When I'm using nav keys a lot in excel, I keep forgetting I have to use shift and control before Funct +jkli or it doesn't work.

Offline ergo_typing

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Re: Mistel Barocco Keyboard Review
« Reply #38 on: Fri, 05 May 2017, 05:32:53 »
@tj82 yes and yes  :thumb:
(on a Mac here, don't know if there would be any difference on what's sent to a windows machine)

Offline rafaelnonato

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Re: Mistel Barocco Keyboard Review
« Reply #39 on: Fri, 26 May 2017, 07:17:20 »
@joncol I'll have to try out some of those geekkeys caps they look great.

re 1.04.1 firmware -> I've asked Mistel for release notes but the main thing I've noticed so far is fixing the Fn remap bug. i.e. When you remap Fn to say capslock and then switch layers, the Fn key doesn't act as if it is pressed down. So a much desired fix :cool:

I see. I'm already running a version of the firmware that fixed that (they sent me it over email but never released it on the website). I should try not to update and break something that is already working fine. I was hoping that they'd added extra functionality, such as allowing multiple Fn keys, or mapping a modifier to some other key when pressed and released by itself.

Offline tj82

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Re: Mistel Barocco Keyboard Review
« Reply #40 on: Tue, 27 June 2017, 05:14:14 »
Hi,

If you've got an MD600 don't upgrade the the new 1.04.03 firmware yet. I've upgraded this morning and since upgrading I've been unable to move my function key any more.

I can still swap letters so it appears the programming instructions are still valid. found here: https://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=87193.0

I've reset all layers, and reapplied the upgrade but the function key does not appear to be movable on this release.

Also I can't downgrade as the upgrade tool from previous releases produces an error.

I've contact Mistel via FB.

Time to try and unlearn muscle memory :(

Offline tj82

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Re: Mistel Barocco Keyboard Review
« Reply #41 on: Tue, 27 June 2017, 05:26:07 »
OK, I was wrong it can be moved but it's programmed differently.

to move the FN key:

press FN (original one) and press the Left Shift key, hold them pressed for 3 seconds until LED 3 flashes red.

release the above two keys.

tap the FN key again.

then tap the destination key (in my case caps lock)

that's it, the FN key is moved to the new destination key.

This is documented in their latest release of the manual available as a Dropbox link from here:
https://www.mistelkeyboard.com/keyboards


Offline ragtag

  • Posts: 1
Re: Mistel Barocco Keyboard Review
« Reply #42 on: Sun, 03 December 2017, 17:29:34 »
Has anyone tried simply straightening the curled cable too make it longer, by doing something as barbaric as hanging a weight from it and going over it with a hair dryer or heat gun. Or would this risk ruining the cable? It wouldn't have to be completely straight, just long enough for the two keyboard halves to sit on either side of a 12-13" TabletPC.

I've looked around for Micro USB OTG cables, and they seem to be rather rare. I don't like the red end on the Lindy one, I found another but it has gray plugs, and the only all black one I could find was only 8", so too short. A nice braided black one around a meter in length would be awesome.