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Turbot 87 key (blue) -- $24 (Free Prime Shipping)

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Promo code: ZZWHBU9M

With the promo code and free shipping, mine came to $26.85—couldn't pass up a deal like that! Thanks, xmagusx! It'll be fun having an MK that cost so little, I won't worry about throwing it in my backpack when the laptop's built-in board just won't do.

Over 30 Amazon reviewers gave it an average 4.5 stars, citing what a good deal it was for the dough (even without the discount).

I'd never heard of the Turbot brand... A turbot is a fish, rather an odd name for a keyboard. Could they have meant Turbo? (Maybe that's the only reason they're selling them off so cheaply?)

The Amazon reviewers say it's solidly made, with a good weight, and that the switches—whichever Chinese MX clone they may be, can anyone tell from the closeup?—are quick and responsive.

Some users did mention that the pad-printed buttons started to wear after only a month or two of use. But most of us end up replacing our buttons anyway, don't we? (We don't replace "caps", of course, unless we're replacing the upper parts of two-piece IBM keyboard buttons... I never understood why people started misusing that term.)

BTW, if you don't need the board within 2 days, you needn't sign up for an Amazon Prime trial. A free U.S. shipping option is available with 1–2 delivery time and no strings attached.

Here's a good review page including a video. (I couldn't help noticing he refers to as a "turbo" with a silent T, LOL).

Woo hoo, my Turbot arrived (the KB, I mean, not the fish), and it'd easily rock at twice the price. I'll get back here and post some pics 'n' comments tonight as soon as there's time. Meanwhile, this is the kind of thing where you can't contain your enthusiasm, so you'll understand why I felt compelled to post this relatively meaningless blurb about it.

[Note to admins: Feel free to move this post to the Keyboards section if you think it's more appropriate there]

Such a deal, this solid and cheap little keeb (LOL, I said "keeb").

They're warehoused in the U.S., so no waiting for shipping from China, as is often the case:

Don't ask me why they decided to call it a "Turbot". They probably had "Turbo" in mind, or something that'd sound like it—but as you may know, a turbot is actually a popular food fish.

At least this board doesn't actually say "Turbot"; it just has a "T" logo. Officially, it's called a:

No, "water-resistant" doesn't mean you can take it swimming; as the board's Amazon page explains:

--- Quote ---Three holes at the bottom of Turbot mechanical keyboards are designed for drainage (Water-resistant with drain holes)
--- End quote ---

It's made by a company called Easterntimes Tech:

Their English website is quite ambitious, with cool photos of the many things they're working on. The English text is obviously a work in progress, though, e.g.:

"Understand That We Start From Here"—that's the company's English motto. Hmm, catchy.

One neat thing they're making is a board where the whole surface is lighted; they call it The Big Show:

Back to the board at hand, though. It was well-packed, using the U-pad method that also makes it easy to re-store securely:

The manual explains the embedded media keys, and how to lock out the Win key. One line particularly caught my attention:

(They can't get just one native English speaker to give these things a quick look? Oh well, have to keep costs down, I guess...)

The cable isn't braided, but it's sturdy and well attached, and a key-puller is included:

The laser-etched legends aren't the crispest I've seen, but they'll certainly do.

My cheap phone-cam made the keys look much shinier than they actually were. There's a bit of shine, but they're not actually slick; they have a slight matte finish.

As long as we're here... If you want to keep any keys feeling and looking good as long as possible, I recommend these two habits:

1. Wash your hands before you type (it's just decent, anyway.)

2. Gently wipe your keys with a damp tissue every few days.

Grime and skin oil, not friction, are what wear keys IMHO. I have boards with pad-printed keys—not nearly as durable as these—that still look great after years of use. 'Nuff said.

The small blue lock-light LEDs are fine, not overly bright (that's just lens flare):

The manual says "Made of metal panel, with matte-finish texture..." That refers to the top of the case. The rest is plastic---but quite sturdy, and textured the same overall:

Outemu blue switches (mounted upside-down, is that normal?) and thin (but solid enough feeling, to me) caps:

If you like clicky, clacky boards, you'll like this one. It's loud---we're talking, like, Model-M loud.

That is, except the stabilized keys (Backspate, Enter, both Shifts, and of course spacebar). They're so well stabilized, they're dramatically quieter than the rest, making a polite little tick tick compared to the other keys's assertive CLACK CLACK.

You can hear the contrast in this audio demo when I hit some stab-ed keys around 0:03. This contrast may bug you, or not. I'm a musician, so I don't mind the aural variety. And if someone's around who doesn't like clickety typing, you get to include some irony:


If you're not into sonic mayhem, this board's a good candidate for O-rings. (I'll probably add some just for the slight speed increase you can get from the reduced travel length.)

The profile's, um, a profile:

So how does it feel? Great! The caps feel solid, and the board's weight and generous rubber feet keep it firmly in place. The F/J position markers are thin and at the very bottoms their keys, so you needn't feel them all the time if you don't want to---something I always appreciate.

As I type, Amazon's price of $30.99 still includes free shipping. And if xmagusx's discount code still works, it knocks off a few more bucks. For that kind of pocket change, this board's a winner, IMHO.


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