Author Topic: Chinese USB Hall Effect Keyboard - Review and Impressions  (Read 37806 times)

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Offline XMIT

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Re: Chinese USB Hall Effect Keyboard - Review and Impressions
« Reply #350 on: Wed, 08 March 2017, 20:34:42 »
I do have a magnetic screwdriver, but I can't recall if it was there at the time. Is the keyboard that sensitive to external magnetic fields?

Not that sensitive, no. The screwdriver would have needed to be within 1cm or so.

Offline chyros

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Re: Chinese USB Hall Effect Keyboard - Review and Impressions
« Reply #351 on: Wed, 08 March 2017, 21:19:00 »
I do have a magnetic screwdriver, but I can't recall if it was there at the time. Is the keyboard that sensitive to external magnetic fields?

Not that sensitive, no. The screwdriver would have needed to be within 1cm or so.
Good to know. Nah, I don't think that was the case. It hasn't reocurred since I put the case back on, though.
Check my keyboard video reviews:


Offline dante

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Re: Chinese USB Hall Effect Keyboard - Review and Impressions
« Reply #352 on: Thu, 09 March 2017, 12:06:40 »
XMIT are you going to offer stiffer springs next time?  70g isn't stiff enough.......

Offline zslane

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Re: Chinese USB Hall Effect Keyboard - Review and Impressions
« Reply #353 on: Thu, 09 March 2017, 13:01:37 »
Do the 70cN springs feel like 45cN MX springs at least?

Offline dante

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Re: Chinese USB Hall Effect Keyboard - Review and Impressions
« Reply #354 on: Thu, 09 March 2017, 13:04:21 »
Do the 70cN springs feel like 45cN MX springs at least?

I don't have 45g switches in my vicinity but they barely felt stiffer.  I have to imagine the 50g feels something like Gateron Clears......

Offline XMIT

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Re: Chinese USB Hall Effect Keyboard - Review and Impressions
« Reply #355 on: Thu, 09 March 2017, 13:24:12 »
I'm starting to look into 85g springs for next time.

Offline zslane

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Re: Chinese USB Hall Effect Keyboard - Review and Impressions
« Reply #356 on: Thu, 09 March 2017, 13:34:15 »
Does the old stacking-nickels trick not work for assessing effective switch actuation and spring resistance?

Offline opensecret

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Re: Chinese USB Hall Effect Keyboard - Review and Impressions
« Reply #357 on: Thu, 09 March 2017, 13:51:27 »
Does the old stacking-nickels trick not work for assessing effective switch actuation and spring resistance?

On my 50g board, 7 nickels (35g) seems to be enough to actuate. 

In terms of the typing experience, it feels similar to a Cherry red to me, but I've never tried a Gateron clear.  I like a low actuation force, so I'm happy with the board.
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Offline zslane

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Re: Chinese USB Hall Effect Keyboard - Review and Impressions
« Reply #358 on: Thu, 09 March 2017, 14:32:56 »
That is consistent with what I've heard about them. A 70cN HE spring should feel like a 45-50cN MX spring, but it would be interesting to see if the nickel test confirms it.

Offline dante

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Re: Chinese USB Hall Effect Keyboard - Review and Impressions
« Reply #359 on: Thu, 09 March 2017, 16:40:34 »
XMIT, after reading your response in a MassDrop thread concerning a badly QC'ed board I feel bad for you.  manofinterests pointed out some issues in a prior video but it's not your fault if the factory isn't following your guidelines!

I don't know if it's wise to reward bad behavior but given the low price of such a unique product perhaps bump up the cost for Round 2 so the factory can throw extra QC workers at the problem?  I don't think $159-$179 is too unreasonable.  Yes the number of units may go down however that may help increase the quality.

Offline XMIT

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Re: Chinese USB Hall Effect Keyboard - Review and Impressions
« Reply #360 on: Thu, 09 March 2017, 17:00:05 »
I'm considering a bunch of things right now. I don't want to comment about anything that isn't final yet but a higher price is very likely. I'm not sure "more workers" is the problem, it's "better workers".

The manofinterests thread is a different but related issue. He threw me under the bus with a board that didn't go through my QC, I reached out to him to help fix the issue, things sort of ended there. It's interesting to look back at it now: he raised some issues that I told the factory about, that did not show up in my prototypes, and that should have been fixed, but still cropped up in production. I'm doing an interview with Top Clack and he'll be on it so it will be interesting to see how that goes. I'm expecting a bunch of questions about quality control and Round 2.

As I've said elsewhere, we're all on the same side here: we all want a really nice keyboard.

Offline Niomosy

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Re: Chinese USB Hall Effect Keyboard - Review and Impressions
« Reply #361 on: Fri, 10 March 2017, 00:09:30 »
Got mine today.  Opened it up and managed to plug it in for a little bit to try out on the laptop.  I don't have enough time tonight to really dig into it and get a proper set of caps on it to use on the desktop as I'm going to be off to bed early tonight.

No damage or problems with it thus far so it's at least not another story like the one on Reddit.  The 50g springs are definitely lighter than MX reds but not as much as I thought they might be.  I do notice the difference a little bit though.  I've got the heavier springs in case I decide to go with something heavier but for now I want to see how these go.  I'll likely throw on some caps tomorrow and give it a proper go.  Probably going with some SA caps.  Sound-wise, my wife chimed in that the new board is louder.  I think it's not really louder but the sound that is there is higher pitched so it's probably more obviously heard.  That's stock caps, though.  Curious to see how that changes with other caps on there.

Online klennkellon

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Re: Chinese USB Hall Effect Keyboard - Review and Impressions
« Reply #362 on: Fri, 10 March 2017, 02:06:29 »
Hire Unicomp to make them!

jk

Offline sneaux

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Re: Chinese USB Hall Effect Keyboard - Review and Impressions
« Reply #363 on: Fri, 10 March 2017, 11:18:04 »
XMIT, great that you're going to be on TopClack. Any idea when? I'm really curious to hear the story of this massive keyboard haul that is referenced all the time, hopefully it comes up!

Offline XMIT

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Re: Chinese USB Hall Effect Keyboard - Review and Impressions
« Reply #364 on: Fri, 10 March 2017, 11:21:01 »
Current plan is to be on Top Clack next Thursday, March 16th at 6pm Pacific time. Stay tuned! Hopefully I'll finish watching HaaTa's feature by then.

Offline dante

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Re: Chinese USB Hall Effect Keyboard - Review and Impressions
« Reply #365 on: Fri, 10 March 2017, 12:13:08 »
Hire Unicomp to make them!

jk

Please don't.  The similarities I see between the Unicomp and XMIT are they are both priced too low.  Come on now, you are in a market where people are buying $200+ (Realforce) rubber domes.  Now maybe if you had a competitor I can understand wanting to stay competitive.

I guess what I'm trying to say is right now the economy is relatively (compared to 2007-2009) stable.  Don't be afraid to ask for more money to deliver a better product.  Remember these are not independent switches so everyone is kind of locked into whatever board these are in.

Offline Neo.X

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Re: Chinese USB Hall Effect Keyboard - Review and Impressions
« Reply #366 on: Fri, 10 March 2017, 12:41:18 »
The 70g switch feels mushy to me, I will try to swap to 50g spring. Anybody tried lubing the switches? Maybe just lubing the spring?

All those keyboards will be lost in time....

Offline opensecret

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Re: Chinese USB Hall Effect Keyboard - Review and Impressions
« Reply #367 on: Fri, 10 March 2017, 16:12:48 »
The 70g switch feels mushy to me, I will try to swap to 50g spring. Anybody tried lubing the switches? Maybe just lubing the spring?

My 50g feels smooth and linear with a fairly light actuation force, which is what I was hoping for.  On the way down, it feels pleasantly soft or gentle,  a bit like how i feel about Topre switches.  Of course with linear switches there’s no tactile feedback short of bottom, but  I would not describe the feel as mushy.  But I’m not sure what mushy means in the case of your 70g switches.   It’s hard to put keyboard feel in words.
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Offline zslane

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Re: Chinese USB Hall Effect Keyboard - Review and Impressions
« Reply #368 on: Fri, 10 March 2017, 16:26:13 »
Yeah, it's tricky conveying such a subjective experience.

I use the words "mushy" and "weak" to describe the switches on my Noppoo EC108Pro because they offer extremely light resistance (~35cN), don't bounce back very quickly, and make a soft shuff shuff shuff sound. The overall sensation is that you're typing on linear switches that might be broken, not that you're typing on a good tactile switch.

Offline SpAmRaY

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Re: Chinese USB Hall Effect Keyboard - Review and Impressions
« Reply #369 on: Fri, 10 March 2017, 17:22:22 »
Hire Unicomp to make them!

jk

Please don't.  The similarities I see between the Unicomp and XMIT are they are both priced too low.  Come on now, you are in a market where people are buying $200+ (Realforce) rubber domes.  Now maybe if you had a competitor I can understand wanting to stay competitive.

I guess what I'm trying to say is right now the economy is relatively (compared to 2007-2009) stable.  Don't be afraid to ask for more money to deliver a better product.  Remember these are not independent switches so everyone is kind of locked into whatever board these are in.

A realforce is not 'just' a rubberdome like you get with your dell desktop they are quality keyboards and if you've ever disassembled one that becomes very clear looking at the internals. And don't forget the awesome keycaps you get on realforce boards as well.

Insinuating these keyboards are even in the same league is laughable at best. I mean if you compared it to a royal kludge maybe, but there again  there's a reason those are so cheap.

I'm glad I stayed away from this buy and while I'd love to try one some day I'll never buy from massdrop.

Glad to see Xmit trying to get things figured out for people having problems though.

Offline XMIT

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Re: Chinese USB Hall Effect Keyboard - Review and Impressions
« Reply #370 on: Fri, 10 March 2017, 17:28:32 »
Well, I hope you get to try one as well. I know a number of GHers have these boards. If you're going to Keycon I'd expect at least one to be there!

Offline opensecret

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Re: Chinese USB Hall Effect Keyboard - Review and Impressions
« Reply #371 on: Fri, 10 March 2017, 18:24:35 »

A realforce is not 'just' a rubberdome like you get with your dell desktop they are quality keyboards and if you've ever disassembled one that becomes very clear looking at the internals. And don't forget the awesome keycaps you get on realforce boards as well.

Insinuating these keyboards are even in the same league is laughable at best. I mean if you compared it to a royal kludge maybe, but there again  there's a reason those are so cheap.

I'm glad I stayed away from this buy and while I'd love to try one some day I'll never buy from massdrop.

Glad to see Xmit trying to get things figured out for people having problems though.

As a Realforce fan, I agree that everything about them says high quality, including the keycaps.  But I'm happy that I did sign up for XMIT's board. Partly, that's because I got lucky and had very few of the problems that other people encountered.   I knew this was an experimental run and there were no guarantees of perfection.  The XMIT board isn't yet as well-rounded as an RF, but that's not a surprise for a first time out.   I've switched out the original keycaps, but otherwise I'm having a great time playing with this board.  In addition to Topre, I' like Cherry red switches, and this board feels like a smooth high quality variant.  At half the price of a RF board, it also feels like an excellent buy.  Granted, I have too many keyboards, but I think this is one I'll get a lot of use out of.
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Offline OfTheWild

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Re: Chinese USB Hall Effect Keyboard - Review and Impressions
« Reply #372 on: Fri, 10 March 2017, 18:50:40 »
Can anyone provide information about these particular SMD RGB LEDs? like model/brand/source to buy?
-Dana

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Offline dante

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Re: Chinese USB Hall Effect Keyboard - Review and Impressions
« Reply #373 on: Fri, 10 March 2017, 20:48:08 »
Hire Unicomp to make them!

jk

Please don't.  The similarities I see between the Unicomp and XMIT are they are both priced too low.  Come on now, you are in a market where people are buying $200+ (Realforce) rubber domes.  Now maybe if you had a competitor I can understand wanting to stay competitive.

I guess what I'm trying to say is right now the economy is relatively (compared to 2007-2009) stable.  Don't be afraid to ask for more money to deliver a better product.  Remember these are not independent switches so everyone is kind of locked into whatever board these are in.

A realforce is not 'just' a rubberdome like you get with your dell desktop they are quality keyboards and if you've ever disassembled one that becomes very clear looking at the internals. And don't forget the awesome keycaps you get on realforce boards as well.

Insinuating these keyboards are even in the same league is laughable at best. I mean if you compared it to a royal kludge maybe, but there again  there's a reason those are so cheap.

If you buy a Realforce and enjoy it then great!  Nothing wrong with that at all.  But most people would think you are bat **** crazy for spending $200+ on a board that feels like a solid feeling Dell.  Yes the keycaps / shell are nicer - but not $200 nicer.  YMMV.

Perhaps this was a bad example.  The point I wanted to get across to XMIT is Topre can't keep these in stock and given there are no other Hall Effect boards out there he should take advantage of that to give the factory more of an incentive to make sure things go out the door correctly.

But maybe I'm wrong.  Ellipse has hundreds of thousands of dollars floating around on his GB and the factory is still screwing up things occasionally.
« Last Edit: Fri, 10 March 2017, 20:49:54 by dante »

Offline zslane

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Re: Chinese USB Hall Effect Keyboard - Review and Impressions
« Reply #374 on: Fri, 10 March 2017, 22:38:25 »
But most people would think you are bat **** crazy for spending $200+ on a board that feels like a solid feeling Dell.  Yes the keycaps / shell are nicer - but not $200 nicer.  YMMV.

To be fair, most people would think everyone here who gets a hard-on for their favorite custom-built board is bat**** crazy. $75 for a single spacebar? $250 for an aluminum case? $400 for a "collectible artisan"? Most mechboarders are a special kind of insane or they wouldn't be here.

Online klennkellon

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Re: Chinese USB Hall Effect Keyboard - Review and Impressions
« Reply #375 on: Sat, 11 March 2017, 01:20:39 »
Hire Unicomp to make them!

jk

Please don't.  The similarities I see between the Unicomp and XMIT are they are both priced too low.  Come on now, you are in a market where people are buying $200+ (Realforce) rubber domes.  Now maybe if you had a competitor I can understand wanting to stay competitive.

I guess what I'm trying to say is right now the economy is relatively (compared to 2007-2009) stable.  Don't be afraid to ask for more money to deliver a better product.  Remember these are not independent switches so everyone is kind of locked into whatever board these are in.
Unicomps QC isn't THAT bad though. All of the issues I have seen on Unicomp boards stem from creaky cases with poor molding quality.

Offline dwolvin

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Re: Chinese USB Hall Effect Keyboard - Review and Impressions
« Reply #376 on: Sat, 11 March 2017, 09:50:12 »
Oops- since I have been here more than DesAuth I thought I should say over here- got my 87-Key / Black/Clear Acrylic case / 50-gram spring weight board- keys have no flash, nothing broken, love the looks and action.  Going to try the stiffer springs eventually, but really happy.

Sucks about the QA issues, I have lived over in the gulf and asia a bit, and it's hard to explain to anyone who has never been outside the EU / USA how different the culture thinks and functions.


Offline dante

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Re: Chinese USB Hall Effect Keyboard - Review and Impressions
« Reply #377 on: Sat, 11 March 2017, 10:56:37 »
Hire Unicomp to make them!

jk

Please don't.  The similarities I see between the Unicomp and XMIT are they are both priced too low.  Come on now, you are in a market where people are buying $200+ (Realforce) rubber domes.  Now maybe if you had a competitor I can understand wanting to stay competitive.

I guess what I'm trying to say is right now the economy is relatively (compared to 2007-2009) stable.  Don't be afraid to ask for more money to deliver a better product.  Remember these are not independent switches so everyone is kind of locked into whatever board these are in.
Unicomps QC isn't THAT bad though. All of the issues I have seen on Unicomp boards stem from creaky cases with poor molding quality.

You're correct, it's not as bad as some in the GB however by pricing these boards so cheap one has to wonder if Unicomp sacrificed R&D dollars that could of went towards things like new molding / SSK / silencing, etc.

This is what I hope XMIT can avoid.
« Last Edit: Sat, 11 March 2017, 11:08:27 by dante »

Offline opensecret

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Re: Chinese USB Hall Effect Keyboard - Review and Impressions
« Reply #378 on: Sat, 11 March 2017, 11:24:07 »


You're correct, it's not as bad as some in the GB however by pricing these boards so cheap one has to wonder if Unicomp sacrificed R&D dollars that could of went towards things like new molding / SSK / silencing, etc.

This is what I hope XMIT can avoid.

I agree with your basic point that it's worth going for a higher price point if that makes a difference in quality.  It seems as if most of the problems with this drop came from the vendor's failure to meet XMIT's specs, and maybe some of that was because the margins were thin. 

Meanwhile, my board escaped most of the problems, and after I dropped a $30 set of caps on it, it's going good.162603-0
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Offline saxophone

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Re: Chinese USB Hall Effect Keyboard - Review and Impressions
« Reply #379 on: Mon, 13 March 2017, 13:10:47 »
I got my keyboard today. Bamboo TKL

Verdict: mmmmm it smells really lovely

First impression: overall good, the return stroke is really loud depending on how you type. Perhaps applying a dab of silicone/rubber sealant with a needle to the right places would deal with that. Otherwise it's quite good. The wood surface is a bit rough and there's a lot of wood dust in between the panels so I'll try sanding the surface with fine grit cloth and then clean + repaint using "antique" style enamel coat. We'll see how it ends up. Rest is all good.
« Last Edit: Mon, 13 March 2017, 16:44:40 by saxophone »

Offline Neo.X

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Re: Chinese USB Hall Effect Keyboard - Review and Impressions
« Reply #380 on: Mon, 13 March 2017, 13:24:30 »
I have been typing on my 70g version for a week now, I have to say that I still prefer  vintage black or lubed Gateron black.

The main issue to me is that the switch feels loose and also there is too much cushion when press down on it, feels mushy instead of crispy like MX liner switch. Not to mention the noisy upstroke sound.

I also have the 50g spring pack, I am wondering if the lighter spring will feels better?
All those keyboards will be lost in time....

Offline opensecret

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Re: Chinese USB Hall Effect Keyboard - Review and Impressions
« Reply #381 on: Mon, 13 March 2017, 19:57:48 »
I have been typing on my 70g version for a week now, I have to say that I still prefer  vintage black or lubed Gateron black.

The main issue to me is that the switch feels loose and also there is too much cushion when press down on it, feels mushy instead of crispy like MX liner switch. Not to mention the noisy upstroke sound.

I also have the 50g spring pack, I am wondering if the lighter spring will feels better?

I wonder if the 50g is quieter.  My board is quieter than I expected -- the noise is mostly on the upstroke, but it's not that loud.  When I test it next to a board with o-ringed Cherry browns, the XMIT is higher pitched but noticeably quieter.
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Offline Niomosy

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Re: Chinese USB Hall Effect Keyboard - Review and Impressions
« Reply #382 on: Mon, 13 March 2017, 22:50:26 »
I have been typing on my 70g version for a week now, I have to say that I still prefer  vintage black or lubed Gateron black.

The main issue to me is that the switch feels loose and also there is too much cushion when press down on it, feels mushy instead of crispy like MX liner switch. Not to mention the noisy upstroke sound.

I also have the 50g spring pack, I am wondering if the lighter spring will feels better?

I wonder if the 50g is quieter.  My board is quieter than I expected -- the noise is mostly on the upstroke, but it's not that loud.  When I test it next to a board with o-ringed Cherry browns, the XMIT is higher pitched but noticeably quieter.

I've got the 50g springs on right now.  It's about as noisy as my MX reds board but the sound on my reds board is more from the caps than anything.  The noise on the XMIT 50g board is more from the switches themselves.  The Ducky board with GMK caps is a lower sound while the XMIT board with stock caps is definitely higher pitched.  I still haven't had a chance to replace the stock caps on it with some SA caps but I would expect that to change the sound profile a bit.  Might try the GMK caps on there as well but we'll see.  I'm not always the most interested in playing the key swapping game.

Offline opensecret

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Re: Chinese USB Hall Effect Keyboard - Review and Impressions
« Reply #383 on: Tue, 14 March 2017, 10:18:13 »

I've got the 50g springs on right now.  It's about as noisy as my MX reds board but the sound on my reds board is more from the caps than anything.  The noise on the XMIT 50g board is more from the switches themselves.  The Ducky board with GMK caps is a lower sound while the XMIT board with stock caps is definitely higher pitched.  I still haven't had a chance to replace the stock caps on it with some SA caps but I would expect that to change the sound profile a bit.  Might try the GMK caps on there as well but we'll see.  I'm not always the most interested in playing the key swapping game.

Caps do affect the noise.  Compared to the stock keycaps, a set of oem-profile Tai Hao's that I put on the XMIT produce slightly lower noise and lower pitch.  I noticed a particular improvement with the spacebar, which I find less distracting with the new cap.
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Offline Data

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Re: Chinese USB Hall Effect Keyboard - Review and Impressions
« Reply #384 on: Tue, 14 March 2017, 20:13:03 »

I've got the 50g springs on right now.  It's about as noisy as my MX reds board but the sound on my reds board is more from the caps than anything.  The noise on the XMIT 50g board is more from the switches themselves.  The Ducky board with GMK caps is a lower sound while the XMIT board with stock caps is definitely higher pitched.  I still haven't had a chance to replace the stock caps on it with some SA caps but I would expect that to change the sound profile a bit.  Might try the GMK caps on there as well but we'll see.  I'm not always the most interested in playing the key swapping game.

Caps do affect the noise.  Compared to the stock keycaps, a set of oem-profile Tai Hao's that I put on the XMIT produce slightly lower noise and lower pitch.  I noticed a particular improvement with the spacebar, which I find less distracting with the new cap.

I can confirm this as well.  I swapped in a set of Vortex PBT shine-thru caps from another drop and they improved the typing feel and sound considerably.  Enough to notice a difference anyway. 

The caps that come with the board are just adequate.  I wasn't going to leave them on unless they managed to blow me away somehow, so I don't really consider it a loss.



Offline adevriesc

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Re: Chinese USB Hall Effect Keyboard - Review and Impressions
« Reply #385 on: Tue, 14 March 2017, 20:45:20 »
I put Cherry wob doubleshots on my beta XMIT keyboard. Frankly, thicker is better for this switch mechanism. I think that's why so many old Hall Effect keyboards have absolutely massive doubleshots.


Offline Niomosy

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Re: Chinese USB Hall Effect Keyboard - Review and Impressions
« Reply #386 on: Tue, 14 March 2017, 22:22:27 »

I've got the 50g springs on right now.  It's about as noisy as my MX reds board but the sound on my reds board is more from the caps than anything.  The noise on the XMIT 50g board is more from the switches themselves.  The Ducky board with GMK caps is a lower sound while the XMIT board with stock caps is definitely higher pitched.  I still haven't had a chance to replace the stock caps on it with some SA caps but I would expect that to change the sound profile a bit.  Might try the GMK caps on there as well but we'll see.  I'm not always the most interested in playing the key swapping game.

Caps do affect the noise.  Compared to the stock keycaps, a set of oem-profile Tai Hao's that I put on the XMIT produce slightly lower noise and lower pitch.  I noticed a particular improvement with the spacebar, which I find less distracting with the new cap.

Yup, that's basically what I expected and experienced with my Ducky.  I'll hopefully get some caps on tomorrow when I finally have some spare time, then give it a proper run on the desktop. 

Offline zslane

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Re: Chinese USB Hall Effect Keyboard - Review and Impressions
« Reply #387 on: Wed, 15 March 2017, 12:29:03 »
It would be great to hear from someone who put fully sculptured SA on one of these boards (and some photos would be awesome too).

Offline Niomosy

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Re: Chinese USB Hall Effect Keyboard - Review and Impressions
« Reply #388 on: Wed, 15 March 2017, 13:58:58 »
It would be great to hear from someone who put fully sculptured SA on one of these boards (and some photos would be awesome too).

If work will finally let up, I'll be doing that today.  If not, this weekend most likely.  I've got Troubled Minds that I'll be throwing on with 50g springs. 

Online ander

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Re: Chinese USB Hall Effect Keyboard - Review and Impressions
« Reply #389 on: Wed, 15 March 2017, 17:54:47 »
...Overall, the switches are quieter than I expected...

If you really mean the switches, and not the keys—well, yeah, they're HE switches. You probably meant the keys, though.


I'm starting to look into 85g springs for next time.

Cool! Wonder how close that'll end up feeling like a Model F?


I do have a magnetic screwdriver...

Yes, we've heard that about you.  :?D


The similarities I see between the Unicomp and XMIT are they are both priced too low.  Come on now, you are in a market where people are buying $200+ (Realforce) rubber domes.  Now maybe if you had a competitor I can understand wanting to stay competitive... I guess what I'm trying to say is right now the economy is relatively (compared to 2007-2009) stable.  Don't be afraid to ask for more money to deliver a better product...

That said, you have to admire XMIT for keeping the prices on these initial models so reasonable. Because these are so unlike other boards being made today, he could've decided to use "prestige pricing" (pricing something extra-high to emphasize its novelty). Instead, he encouraged more of us to opt in. He's clearly interested in feedback, too, and working with his manufacturer to create even better stuff—and the more people you have using your keyboards, the more you can learn about how they're performing. It seems to me one of his primary concerns is building a brand people can trust.


Insinuating these keyboards are even in the same league is laughable at best. I mean if you compared it to a royal kludge maybe, but there again there's a reason those are so cheap... I'm glad I stayed away from this buy...

That said, dude, you'll never really know what you think of these boards till you try one. As peeps point out all the time here, keyboards are notoriously subjective.

My board's waiting at the P.O., so I won't have my mitts on it till tonight. But I'm guessing it'll be so smooth, my initial reaction might be that it felt "cheap". That's what happened with another Chinese board I acquired recently, with Gateron Blacks. They were so smooth, the board felt insubstantial. Only after doing some real typing on it did I realize what a quality thing it was.


Unicomps QC isn't THAT bad though. All of the issues I have seen on Unicomp boards stem from creaky cases with poor molding quality.

For what it's worth, those creaks are easily fixed, and the molding flaws are usually insignificant (e.g. some "bloom" on a case's bottom, which you normally don't even see).

Not to get too far off-topic, but: Keep in mind that original IBM/Lexmark Model M's sold for $300–400 each, in '80s/'90s dollars, and were sold in such quantities they had to be shipped off by rail. (That rail siding still exists beside the Unicomp factory.)

Unicomp's making a valiant effort to keep BS boards alive—not to make huge profits (which is unlikely with such a niche product anyway), but because they think the BS board is an engineering marvel that's worth keeping around. To encourage people to try them, they're keeping them under $100. What's more, they're making them in the U.S., which is practically unheard of these days.

To pull off all that, some concessions were necessary, as long as the true BS typing experience was preserved. They've done that, IMHO, which is pretty amazing. So I think we KB enthusiasts can cut them some slack.
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Online fohat.digs

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Re: Chinese USB Hall Effect Keyboard - Review and Impressions
« Reply #390 on: Wed, 15 March 2017, 18:09:32 »

decided to use "prestige pricing" (pricing something extra-high to emphasize its novelty)


Personally, I am not swimming in money and that is why I have never owned a Realforce.
These developments may succeed in short-circuiting my desire to get one of these.

With the original order near the $100 price point I would have been at the front of the line if a light-spring, tactile version had been on the list. It looks like the variant that I would want is now many weeks or months away, and that the price will continue to escalate for the entire waiting period.

And will the "retail" version be of lower quality than these "boutique" models that we see here and on Massdrop?
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Offline Niomosy

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Re: Chinese USB Hall Effect Keyboard - Review and Impressions
« Reply #391 on: Wed, 15 March 2017, 18:28:59 »
So, update on my XMIT board.  As requested, and as I was eyeing doing, it's now on SA caps using Troubled Minds.

Thoughts

The thicker caps do help the sound a bit.  I still wouldn't mind trying out GMK caps on here to see what tonal differences they make but switching out for SA was definitely noticeable.  The sound is much lower pitched now.  That spacebar ping remains there and annoying, though.

Typing on 50g springs with SA seems to be better than on the stock caps.  At some point I may try the 70g springs as I picked them up in the buy.  I will say that the switches don't quite feel as solid as MX reds so the 70g springs have me curious.  Overall typing on them is still pretty solid but I do seem to have a bit more a preference for MX reds than these with the 50g springs.

In swapping the caps, I did have one problem with the space bar.  The switch went along with it.  Easy enough to pop back in but something to be mindful of when swapping out the caps as I expect most will do.  I also noticed the right Shift key not working at first for whatever reason.  A handful of presses and it seems to be fine now.  Hopefully no one gets into any real problems there.

Noticed one other thing when putting the SA caps on.  It seems some of the SA caps are simply falling off the board.  The provided caps stay on without problem but A and J, for me, seem to just sit on there but you can turn the keyboard upside down and they'll fall off.  I tried a GMK A key and it had no problems staying on either.  Haven't pulled out my DSA caps to try those out yet.  I'm not really blaming the keyboard on this one.  Seems more the caps I've got than the switches.  Still, something to keep in mind given the popularity of SA profile caps.

edit: One other thing I just caught.  For me, the \| key is occasionally getting stuck partway down.  It looks like it rubs up against the ]} key.  Bonus, it's another lose cap though it didn't quite come off when I was originally turning it over.

Here's a pic of the board. 


« Last Edit: Wed, 15 March 2017, 18:34:03 by Niomosy »

Offline Ultraman

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Re: Chinese USB Hall Effect Keyboard - Review and Impressions
« Reply #392 on: Thu, 16 March 2017, 01:26:23 »
So mine also came in today, however it did not arrive in very good shape. Slight damage internally that peers through the acrylic, really loose switches, and chips all around the board. Pretty bummed....

XMIT I really hope your next drop goes well. It actually is a pretty nice board

Any eta on the tactile version?
« Last Edit: Thu, 16 March 2017, 01:28:49 by Ultraman »

Offline saxophone

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Re: Chinese USB Hall Effect Keyboard - Review and Impressions
« Reply #393 on: Thu, 16 March 2017, 04:58:30 »
3 switches came lose for my delivery as well. just pushed em in and it worked fine

Offline Ultraman

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Re: Chinese USB Hall Effect Keyboard - Review and Impressions
« Reply #394 on: Thu, 16 March 2017, 09:47:16 »
That's pretty much what I did, but a couple of the switches won't clip into the pcb and end up bending it. So now I'm just rocking out on the board without my right and up arrow keys.

Offline dante

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Re: Chinese USB Hall Effect Keyboard - Review and Impressions
« Reply #395 on: Thu, 16 March 2017, 10:56:26 »
XMIT, I look forward to seeing you tonight on Top Clack.

For those who haven't watched here is the link: https://www.twitch.tv/topclack

Offline Fullcream

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Re: Chinese USB Hall Effect Keyboard - Review and Impressions
« Reply #396 on: Thu, 16 March 2017, 14:47:16 »
After reading all the scary stuff here and in the MD discussion. I was getting nervous before receiving my board. Surprisingly my 60% acrylic board has nothing majorly wrong with it. Apart from the loose stabiliser cutouts which cause a lot of stabiliser rattle.

After reading up a bit I can't remember if anyone mentioned the mushy bottom out on all the switches? I didn't like the feel. After popping out the switches I noticed 4 tabs on the bottom of the slider. Clipping them off works just the same as clipping cherry stabs. (Sorry if that was mentioned already) But now there is a nice uniform bottom out clack on every switch.

I also made the mistake of ordering the lighter springs. So I just stretched all my springs. Does anyone ever do this? and now It's amazing.

Just going to lubricate stabilisers and glue those parts in solid that are rattling around in the plate cutout to make it all solid and I'll be really pleased with it.


Offline zslane

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Re: Chinese USB Hall Effect Keyboard - Review and Impressions
« Reply #397 on: Thu, 16 March 2017, 15:42:57 »
I look forward to a version of these boards that you don't have to open up and "fix" (lube, clip, re-spring, etc.) in order to make them feel right.

Offline saxophone

  • Posts: 116
Re: Chinese USB Hall Effect Keyboard - Review and Impressions
« Reply #398 on: Sat, 18 March 2017, 20:31:02 »
Comments on mine:

Actuation height may vary depending on switch. I bought a TKL board, where 2 keys would actuate at light press with no O-rings, 8 of them would actuate at light press with 1.5mm O-ring and the rest worked fine with 2.5mm O-rings. This would be the the part I'm the most disappointed over as you'd expect hall-effect to be consistent.

Some of the switches comes with defect/malformed hooks. Deformations vary, most common ones would be short (can't latch onto PCB), "hunchback" (rounded/bump on the top, difficult to press through PCB) and "spineless" (bent at 30-40 degrees instead of 90 degrees, can't latch onto PCB)

The bamboo board also gets a lot of problems when exposed to moisture. This is my own fault since painting it = moisture but I'm writing this down for anyone who wants to try same stuff:
-The middle wood section will bend/distort after absorbing water. Mine bent a lot and broke in two locations from the tension while I was screwing together top and bottom pieces. If you want to paint the board keep all 3 parts screwed together tightly to prevent bigger distortion.
-The distances for the top section warped a bit, making the stabilizers no longer fit perfectly with the keycaps when slotted into the holes for stabilizers. This results in the keys using the stabilizers getting stuck after pressing them down.

Lastly, I suggest scrapping the selling the board pre-assembled and instead simply sell the board as kits. There's no risk from damaged wares due to sloppy assembling and the parts will probably arrive intact provided that it's shipped in a reasonable packaging. People who'd care about hall effect are most probably at enthusiast anyways. They'll probably want to fiddle with the board themselves so paying for pre-assembled pieces seems like waste of money to me. Oh and include more spare switches. Looking at current quality the 3 spares is far from enough. I'd be looking at somewhere of 9-13 spares to be on the safe side. I would really appreciate if I could get another 10 of them sent to me so I can have consistent actuation point on all keys across the board.

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Re: Chinese USB Hall Effect Keyboard - Review and Impressions
« Reply #399 on: Sat, 18 March 2017, 20:42:07 »
Comments on mine:

Actuation height may vary depending on switch. I bought a TKL board, where 2 keys would actuate at light press with no O-rings, 8 of them would actuate at light press with 1.5mm O-ring and the rest worked fine with 2.5mm O-rings. This would be the the part I'm the most disappointed over as you'd expect hall-effect to be consistent.

Some of the switches comes with defect/malformed hooks. Deformations vary, most common ones would be short (can't latch onto PCB), "hunchback" (rounded/bump on the top, difficult to press through PCB) and "spineless" (bent at 30-40 degrees instead of 90 degrees, can't latch onto PCB)

The bamboo board also gets a lot of problems when exposed to moisture. This is my own fault since painting it = moisture but I'm writing this down for anyone who wants to try same stuff:
-The middle wood section will bend/distort after absorbing water. Mine bent a lot and broke in two locations from the tension while I was screwing together top and bottom pieces. If you want to paint the board keep all 3 parts screwed together tightly to prevent bigger distortion.
-The distances for the top section warped a bit, making the stabilizers no longer fit perfectly with the keycaps when slotted into the holes for stabilizers. This results in the keys using the stabilizers getting stuck after pressing them down.

Lastly, I suggest scrapping the selling the board pre-assembled and instead simply sell the board as kits. There's no risk from damaged wares due to sloppy assembling and the parts will probably arrive intact provided that it's shipped in a reasonable packaging. People who'd care about hall effect are most probably at enthusiast anyways. They'll probably want to fiddle with the board themselves so paying for pre-assembled pieces seems like waste of money to me. Oh and include more spare switches. Looking at current quality the 3 spares is far from enough. I'd be looking at somewhere of 9-13 spares to be on the safe side. I would really appreciate if I could get another 10 of them sent to me so I can have consistent actuation point on all keys across the board.

Hrrrrmmmm..



Does the firmware allow recalibration of actuation voltage ?

That could possibly alleviate some of the problems with inconsistent distances.