Author Topic: "Mechanical Gaming Keyboard Compact 98 Key Mechanical Computer Keyboard" -Amazon  (Read 5403 times)

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Offline funkmon

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Hello. This is funkmon, and I want to talk to you about my new keyboard. I was talking to people online about building a custom keyboard set, and how much I used to, frankly, tolerate the navless layout, so if I was building a custom keyboard now, I'd have to basically go with something like that.

I was wrong.

I went online and got a cheap as chips 96 key board, and I'm actually very pleased with it for what it is, a mechanical keyboard, but the 96 key layout isn't for me.

It cost me $30 on the internet, and it uses Outemu blues, my preferred MX blue clone. It feels similar, but louder, so that's all I need.

What's it called? Very simple. It's Mechanical Gaming Keyboard Compact 98 Key Mechanical Computer Keyboard -USB Connection Multi-Color Rainbow programmable RGB with Blue Switches,for Windows PC Gamers. Clear concise name. Let's look at it.

Okay, according to the box, it's called a neo-qwerty high-end e-sports mechanical gaming keyboard. Again, it cost me $30. Very high end.

On the back of the box, we can see a few more features, plus also gauge the size of it. The box itself is smaller than my Matias, which is a fairly compact full size keyboard.

Very nice. It appears to have keys, and RGB lighting.

Oh I apologize, GRB lighting. Also I'm pretty excited for my autonomous shaft replacement. There must be a robot in here!

Unfortunately, when I opened the box, it was just a keyboard, and it definitely saves space over a full size.

The keycaps here we can easily assume are doubleshot, considering the weird stencil, and there is backlighting. Let's see if that's true.

Yep, that's doubleshot, and those are Outemu blue switches. Nice! I lucked out on this one, because on the amazon listing, it didn't indicate what switches they were, and it happens to be one of my favourite blue clones, which isn't actually saying a lot, but hey, you know, whatever.

Rounding out the package is a seemingly good braided cable. Let's talk about the keyboard itself, starting with the sound, the keys, and the switches.

It's loud, louder than normal cherrys, but the chassis leaves a hollow ringing sound every time I bottom out.

The keycaps were not good. They do look like they were made by a toddler. While they seem to be ABS doubleshot, they have that awful stenciled gamer font, and they make loud noises on the stabilizers, which, by the way, I love. I am not a fan of wire stabilizers, cause they're hard to deal with, and I just want my keys to not flop about. Give me these post stabilizer things. See the photo above of the enter key so you can see them better.

The RGB effects are true RGB effects, it does cycle through all the colours, and the macro function works. Yes, it has a macro function, and yes, it's built into the keyboard. I like it when I don't have to install an extra piece of software to use that. The macros can record 16 buttons, and, while actually recording them is stupid, using them is fairly simple. The RGB backlighting is customizable per key from the keyboard as well, and there's a function layer on the F keys to do pointless **** like open Internet Explorer.

I quickly replaced the keycaps with an SA set, a Maxkeys Dolch set I believe, and surprisingly, it was almost completely compatible. Standard spacebar, but single unit modifier keys on the right. Luckily, they supplied some generic looking single key modifier thingies. Here, take a look.

To make sure I remembered what was what, since I've been using full sized keyboards most of my life, I wanted nav keys on the numpad. I know where they are, actually, and I still have the muscle memory from the old days, but I did want some separation. Unfortunately, I kind of had to kludge together some **** with some upside down cherries, a minus sign and a Page Down key which was somehow in the right row anyway.

With the SA keycaps, the typing is a lot better, and the keyboard is a lot louder. It's louder than my Matias by a long way, and yes, it's about as loud as my Unicomp Model M, and louder than my IBM Model M. Yes, it's that loud. I do wish it were louder, though. The sound, unfortunately, is very much an MX Blue high pitched cheap click. Very little thock here unless you're absolutely slamming down those keycaps, and the tactility is fairly weak. Some people like that, but not me. I prefer quite sharply tactile switches. Here's what I'll say about the Outemu switches in here: if you like MX Blues or clones, then you'll like these, since they're everything good about the blues, but moreso.

Unfortunately, you can only improve a McNugget so much, and it's never going to hit the level of a KFC drumstick with original breading.

If we look back at that image up there, you see this keyboard with its legs fully extended. I don't think that gives it enough rise. The Matias, and honestly virtually every other keyboard I've ever had can fit into the spot there between my main monitor's feet, with the legs extending over one foot or the other. It saves me space on a shallow desk and I'm too lazy to get a full size VESA mount for 3 ****ing 27 inch monitors. I can Facebook so fast on this ****. So, this keyboard has to be set a little closer to me than I'm used to, but I've fixed that by sitting farther back. I also fixed it by throwing a couple of bottlecaps on the feet and giving them another quarter inch or so, but meh.

The case is solid plastic it seems, but is so thick and heavy, there must be metal in there a lot. The ringing makes this clear as well. It does not flex, it does not squeak. It's just a big ****ing slab of solid something or other. Considering the build quality of this board, it's crazy to me how companies like Cherry can make such obviously mediocre built boards sell for so much. This thing is great! If I paid a hundred dollars for this thing, and it came with the same chassis, I'd be fine. Cable gutters all the way around, too, but no detachable cable.

My problem is the layout. I don't think it's any good, actually. I mean the navless layout is fine, of course, if you must deal with it, and I do say MUST, but I don't like this one in particular, or indeed space saving in general. For example, why the **** is the top right key INSERT?! NOBODY USES THAT ENOUGH TO WARRANT ITS INCLUSION OUT OF THE KEYPAD. Besides, it's already bound to the ****ing zero, guys. If you're going to throw on an extra key, why isn't it Delete? Why isn't it a right windows? Context Menu? something! Insert? This keyboard also has a small gap between the main alphanumeric set of keys and the number pad, which is actually good design, but for some reason it split the arrows, too. This doesn't have to be a problem. The 1800 layout has a small gap between the arrows and the rest of the parts of the board. We could have had something like that as opposed to the right arrow key way off in space like this. I could, of course, rebind the insert key to delete, but whatever.

Anyway, I'm examining the space taken up here on my desk by this keyboard versus a full size. It's smaller, yes, but small enough to give up the convenience of easily finding the nav cluster and typing numbers whenever I want them on the right? Not to me. Now to someone who thinks "man my full size keyboard is just about 3 inches too wide," and is resorting to a space saving design for that, this is infinitely better than a tenkeyless. It takes up the same space, but you can turn it right into number entry paradise with the click of a button, and you can still use the navigation easily. It's a perfectly natural thing, but to me, I'd rather have a much larger board with more buttons so I can do things the right way. Let's not go back in time to the AT layout when we had the Model M fix it for us. :D

I see these guys with a big fat desk and 150 inches of monitors and a $4000 gaming PC and a microphone and headset and crap and then a ****ing tiny ass keyboard. Dude, if you have the space, USE IT. IF YOU HAVE THE SPACE FOR A FULL SIZE, YOU ARE HANDICAPPING YOURSELF BY NOT USING ONE.

That is all.
« Last Edit: Tue, 12 May 2020, 16:35:45 by funkmon »

Offline knightjp

  • Posts: 191
I think I much prefer the white Matias keyboard. Looks really cool and prefer alps switches over the Cherry MX style ones.