Author Topic: Keycool 84 (white pbt, black stems)  (Read 7323 times)

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Offline DamienG

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  • Posts: 315
  • Location: Redmond, WA
    • DamienG
Keycool 84 (white pbt, black stems)
« on: Fri, 19 April 2013, 03:14:01 »
So I ordered this keyboard for my wife from mechanicalkeyboards.com to use and it arrived today. Here's my first impressions.

Good

Size: Very good, nice and compact but still keeping a lot of the useful keys. I don't personally think I could go any smaller as I like my function keys and arrow cluster.

Packaging: Nice box, comes with some additional accessories such as a cap puller, WASD cluster in purple, arrow cluster in blue and a red escape key plus a mini USB detachable cable.

Build quality: Overall feels good. The keys have a nice texture to them and the board feels solid (it does have a plate) but still light. Nice balance.

Function key: fn+fkeys work well under Windows 8. No drivers needed.

Black stems: My wife had her heart set on these having test driven a bunch of keyboards at Fry's that had various switches (but all 104 key+). I was skeptical but they're not too bad for short bursts. Makes me think my clears are going to be awesome possibly without the ergo mod.

Bad

Cap printing: Pretty terrible. Most of the letters are okay but once you get into words the quality shows quite badly. Inconsistent alignment and some words seem stretched even across one key. Also fades out a bit where the printing was not so good. Has the look of a dot matrix printer with a roller that slips.

Top row: I love that the F-keys line up with the numbers but the top row isn't raised enough. It should be raised about 5mm. It actually even looks wrong when you're sitting at the keyboard.

Lighting: For some reason I thought it had backlighting but it seems difficult to know which exact Keycool 84s do. This one doesn't. The LED lighting is also different from the mechanicalkeyboards.com photo - theirs shows orange LEDs for the locks and this one has a nicer green. The problem is the green is so bright and the caps are only thin PBT that it shines right through the front and not just through the clear part. In fact, the clear part is somewhat redundant given how bright it is.

Overall
A very nice little keyboard with a good feel and compact size only really let down by the key cap print quality.

[)amien
« Last Edit: Fri, 19 April 2013, 03:51:43 by DamienG »

Offline gigibecali

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  • Location: .ro
Re: Keycool 84 (white pbt, black stems)
« Reply #1 on: Fri, 19 April 2013, 03:31:36 »
Thank you.

Does it also come with the small plastic bits needed to mount the stabilizers?
IBM M - UK  |  QFR reds  |  QFR blacks  |  HPE 87 browns  |  HPE 87 blues

Offline quake4mhg

  • Posts: 491
  • Location: BC, Canada
Keycool 84 (white pbt, black stems)
« Reply #2 on: Fri, 19 April 2013, 03:42:26 »
Thanks for the review. Nice to know the keycap printing. Is this board easy to find replace keycaps? No weird size & row like my Race?

Offline DamienG

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    • DamienG
Re: Keycool 84 (white pbt, black stems)
« Reply #3 on: Fri, 19 April 2013, 03:43:46 »
Thank you.

Does it also come with the small plastic bits needed to mount the stabilizers?

It has Cherry stabilizers under space, left shift, enter and backspace.  Short right shift (1.75x) and caps don't have stabilizers.

[)amien
« Last Edit: Fri, 19 April 2013, 03:49:11 by DamienG »

Offline DamienG

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Re: Keycool 84 (white pbt, black stems)
« Reply #4 on: Fri, 19 April 2013, 03:48:53 »
Thanks for the review. Nice to know the keycap printing. Is this board easy to find replace keycaps? No weird size & row like my Race?
It's standard OEM profile and the majority of the keys should be fine. The hard thing is going to be finding a short 1.75x shift, 1x alt/fn/ctl and then page up, page down and end for rows 2/D, 3/C and 4B respectively.

Blanks for those would probably be easier.  Space bar from my white PBT set (KBC?) fits just fine.

[)amien

Offline blighty

  • Posts: 397
  • Location: New York, USA
Re: Keycool 84 (white pbt, black stems)
« Reply #5 on: Fri, 19 April 2013, 14:33:01 »
Here's a black keycool 84 with Cherry caps.  It took 2 sets, one from a G80 for the 1.25 mods, and the rest from a g80/81-1800 or MY7000 board.

19181-0
LZ ergo (MX silent red) | JER - A06 (MX silent black-red springs) | Duck Lightsaver V2 (MX red) | Duck Octagon V2 (gateron clear) (lifted pads) | Duck Orion V2 (gateron red) | TKC 1800 (gateron silent reds) | Mistel MD770 (MX red with GMK silencing clips) | Realforce R2TSLA-US4-IV | Realforce R2TLSA-US4-BK | TX 75 (gateron clear) | KBDFANS 75 ("vintage" MX blues) | Kinesis Freestyle Pro (MX red) | MS Surface Ergonomic | MS Natural Ergonomic Keyboard 4000 | Filco Majestouch 2 TKL (MX black) | Phantom (Filco case) ("vintage" MX blacks | Spr1t 75% PCB x 2 (MX black and gateron clear) | Cherry G80-1865 (MX browns with black springs)

Offline DamienG

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    • DamienG
Re: Keycool 84 (white pbt, black stems)
« Reply #6 on: Fri, 19 April 2013, 15:01:30 »
Here's a black keycool 84 with Cherry caps.  It took 2 sets, one from a G80 for the 1.25 mods, and the rest from a g80/81-1800 or MY7000 board.
Looks pretty good but is end the wrong profile for that row?

[)amien

Offline blighty

  • Posts: 397
  • Location: New York, USA
Re: Keycool 84 (white pbt, black stems)
« Reply #7 on: Fri, 19 April 2013, 15:10:14 »
[ Specified attachment is not available ]The far right column has the same profile as the function row.  Those keys, the 1.75 shift and the 1 unit modifiers came off of a 1800/MY7000 board. 

19194-1
« Last Edit: Fri, 19 April 2013, 15:12:02 by blighty »
LZ ergo (MX silent red) | JER - A06 (MX silent black-red springs) | Duck Lightsaver V2 (MX red) | Duck Octagon V2 (gateron clear) (lifted pads) | Duck Orion V2 (gateron red) | TKC 1800 (gateron silent reds) | Mistel MD770 (MX red with GMK silencing clips) | Realforce R2TSLA-US4-IV | Realforce R2TLSA-US4-BK | TX 75 (gateron clear) | KBDFANS 75 ("vintage" MX blues) | Kinesis Freestyle Pro (MX red) | MS Surface Ergonomic | MS Natural Ergonomic Keyboard 4000 | Filco Majestouch 2 TKL (MX black) | Phantom (Filco case) ("vintage" MX blacks | Spr1t 75% PCB x 2 (MX black and gateron clear) | Cherry G80-1865 (MX browns with black springs)

Offline jabar

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  • Location: TX, USA
Re: Keycool 84 (white pbt, black stems)
« Reply #8 on: Fri, 19 April 2013, 23:28:29 »
The function row profiles are the same as the top row on most keyboards; you never noticed before because they weren't adjacent and lined up. It does look weird on the Choc Mini too.

I like how the Chinese companies release PBT/POM keycaps for many nonbacklit boards (PLUM, plu.cn, Noppoo, Keycool). I want to see more photos of backlit Keycools, especially 84s.
Leopold FC660C - Max Keyboard Nighthawk X8 - Ducky DK9008 Shine II 78 Edition - Noppoo Choc Mini - Cherry G80-2100HDD - Cherry G80-8113HDPUS - Plu-M87 - Leopold FC700R Ergo Clears - Deck Legend Frost 105 - IBM F PC Keyboard - IBM M 122 (Lexmark) - Apple Extended Keyboard II

Phantom 7bit

Offline Surnia

  • Posts: 146
Re: Keycool 84 (white pbt, black stems)
« Reply #9 on: Sat, 20 April 2013, 23:27:47 »
Damien, do you have closeups of the keycap prints you're talking about? I see a misaligned Fn key..

Could you possibly get a closeup of the lasering itself?

Noppoo Choc Mini with MX Black | Filco 104 MJ2 Ninja with MX Black