Author Topic: Keycool 84 Review  (Read 54321 times)

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Offline Fragil1ty

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Keycool 84 Review
« on: Fri, 16 August 2013, 08:16:01 »
I have recently purchased, well I say 'recently' I ordered this 3-4 weeks ago, but I guess that's the price you pay when you order from the states and when you live over here in England. The product that I went ahead and bought was the Keycool 84 - Grey Version with Mx Cherry Blacks.

Unboxing

The Keycool comes very nicely boxed, the package is very well done. I don't remember it being this good when I went ahead and bought my Noppoo back in 2012. So, you're probably wondering what is included in this glorious purchase? Well you get the following:

  • A very nice and well organised box
  • Keycool 84 (Your desired version)
  • A mini USB B cable, this matches the colour of your case along with a very nice Keycool designed cable tie?
  • 2 x plastic bags. Bag 1: USB to PS/2 adapter with a Red keypuller and Bag 2: An assortment of PBT Keycaps that have a escape key, WASD keys and the cursor arrows.

These are all displayed within the images below.










Initial impression and feel
As you can see from the images above, the Keycool is slightly bigger than my previous Noppoo, only by a MM or too, so don't worry. When I first opened the box to look at the keyboard, I was very impressed, the Keycool looked phenomenal, the grey on black just stood out to me, I had saw pictures prior to this, but this was nothing compared to viewing it in person, any one who likes to look at aesthetically pleasing hardware, you will enjoy looking at this keyboard, as long as you buy the grey version.

The font used on the keyboard is rather nice also, I am a web developer both front end and back end, so choosing the right font for the job is a job that is right at home for me and I think the guys over at Keycool did an excellent job when choosing the font for this keyboard, it's very soothing and easy on the eyes, the only gripe I have at the moment is that the 'capslock' key font seems to be slightly different than all of the other guys, it's like it's more condensed, a lighter version of the font used elsewhere, it's nothing major, but just a small discrepancy.

Because this is a 84 key, keyboard there are going to be special function keys that do tasks that a normal keyboard could do (for example: If you were to press fn + Prtsc / nmLk, this will enable you to use the number lock, that would usually be located on the right side of the keyboard), there are a lot of function keys on this keyboard, which I absolutely love. The only gripe for me on this matter is that of the placement of some of the media keys, for example, the play/previous/back/stop keys are all the way at the top of the keyboard on the F4-F8 keys, which isn't the worst placement in the world, but it can be annoying if you're in a game and wanting the switch the song in a fast manner and you are unable too because of their placement, this would not be a problem for myself as I can reach those keys up there with ease, but it's just something worth pointing out. While still on the topic of media keys / function keys, I have not managed to understand how they are activated or work as of yet, I have tried fn + a Fkey but they do not seem to be activating the commands i am telling them to do, so this will require further investigation.

With me buying the Grey version the lights that come with the keyboard are that of a Neon blue colour, I find this colour to be of a perfect brightness, I did not demonstrate that here in the images, but if requested, I will upload an image with the keys showing the lights enabled(caps lock, num lock etc).

The bottom of the keyboard has 4 rubber feet along with 2 plastic folding feet to raise the elevation of the keyboard itself, I use this elevation as I like to type on an angle and it is a fair bit higher than that of the Noppoo Choc Mini, but it does not cause you any discomfort, so you barely notice it really.

The edges of the keyboard keys are somewhat rounded, they bring a nice aesthetic look to the keyboard which I enjoy, although, it is not as visible on the grey version of the keyboard as opposed to the white version, it is more subliminal on the grey version, so if you're not a fan of rounded keys then just bear this in mind.

Using the Keycool 84, the switches and advantages/disadvantages
I am coming from a Noppoo Choc Mini using MX Cherry Red switches to using this Keycool 84 with MX Cherry Black switches. The Black switches are plate mounted on a black painted metal plate if I am not mistaken and typing on them feels as good as any other key switch that I have used in the past. Going from red to black as a lot of users are nowadays, you will need time to adjust to your new keyboard, as you do with any new keyboard really. As everyone will tell, Blacks? they are just more resistant and less prone to grammatical errors. I personally find myself making less errors while typing and the typing feels much more smooth and relaxed as opposed to typing on reds, I have not had a chance to game on this Keycool as of yet nor have I had a chance to check if it is 100% compatible with the BIOS but speaking on regards of the typing alone, it is fantastic and I would advise most users on reds to make the switch.

The PBT keys that are used on the Keycool 84 have a strange texture and feel to them when you start using them for the first time, the texture is rather hard to explain, but it feels as if it's a pattern is there on each individual key, a smooth pattern, but a pattern none the less. The Keycool does in fact have functionkeys, so far I have not been able to get most of them to work e.g. media keys, sound off/sound on, but the others works such as winlock, numlock, etc, a simple restart may be needed to rectify this.

The Good:
  • Has great construction and feels very sturdy
  • The font and choice of rounded keys is very aesthetically pleasing to the eye
  • Feels very good to type on, but that is down to a choice of keyswitch and not the keyboard itself

The Bad:
  • The differentiation of the fonts on the caps lock and page up, page down. It may annoy people with keyboard OCD
  • Some of the key printing quality is slightly worse than the others, but that's comparing normal lettering to small lettering

Overall? I love this keyboard, I think it was an excellent decision to buy this as a replacement of my former Noppoo Choc Mini, I really don't have anything bad to say about it, the price point is amazing for this board, it feels great to type on, it looks good and in all honesty? It just feels a like a better, more up to date and better constructed version of the Noppoo.

The Keycool 'is' a solid choice if you're looking for a 84 keyboard replacement for the one you currently have.

Keycool 84 vs Noppoo Choc Mini - Deep Comparison (requested by: lexroad)

So where to start really, this is going to be some what of a deep, in-depth comparison of the Keycool 84 vs the Noppoo Choc Mini. I hope this doesn't appear to be too biased, so I will try and adhere to each one of the keyboards strengths and weaknesses, but there is going be obvious advantages over one or the other because they both use different cherry switches.

The build quality
Noppoo Choc Mini - The build quality on the Noppoo is not too bad, the plastic does feel a little bit flimsy and loose at times though and I accidentally broke the front part of the case when trying to remove to get access to the back of it, so I guess that can be your indication of how sturdy this plastic is.

Overall the Noppoo feels somewhat light in comparison to the Keycool, not by much, but there is significant difference in the weight I think this is down to the fact that the Keycool has a  metal back plate and the Noppoo does not.

Keycool 84 - The build quality on the Keycool is the best I have had in a keyboard in a long time, it rivals that of my old (first) mechanical keyboard which was that of a Razer BlackWidow Elite - (MX Cherry Blues). It feels really sturdy and as previously mentioned a good deal heavier than the Noppoo.  The plastic that is surrounding the entirety of the case is really sturdy also, it does not feel as flimsy or as easily breakable in comparison to it's counterpart the Noppoo.

Overall I think the Keycool feels and acts like a much sturdier keyboard, but you have to take that into consideration, obviously a lot of us may enjoy heavy keyboards, but some of us may not and then that may be a negative affect for some people.

I give this round to the Keycool because of the fact that it feels like a better constructed product.

The Key caps and typing feel

Noppoo - As many of you know, the Noppoo uses a lot of custom keycaps because of the way that the keyboard was initially made, it has a custom space bar, along with many other keys that you cannot replace with stand PBT key caps. The keys themselves are a lot thinner then the keys on the Keycool. To be honest, despite the fact that Noppoo has MX Cherry reds, typing on the Noppoo felt really light and not daunting in the slightest, as I remember sometimes typing on my older Razer keyboard, sometimes the keys would annoy me and they would feel heavy, but maybe that's just me being a little too pedantic.

One extremely negative aspect about the keys on the Noppoo is that of the lettering and how easy it is for them to become eroded. Obviously we all know that our fingers contain natural oils which over time do erase some of the lettering on our keyboards, but within a month or me having the keyboard, a lot of the lettering was eroding and to be honest, it wasn't even keys that I was hitting, it was like the side numbers on the included numpad on the keyboard and so on, so that was really upsetting.

One final thing to add to is that the Noppoo has no texture on its keys what so ever, now personally, I like this, it has the matte effect, just a simple black key, some users may find this boring and may want to replace their keys with something more vibrant maybe a grey or a white keycap, but me personally? I was perfectly at home with the matte style finish of the Noppoo keycaps.

Keycool 84 - I'm not sure how many custom keys the Keycool uses, but I am pretty sure that it uses a custom right alt, fn and ctrl key as they are a lot smaller than I have noticed on any keyboard in the past, even the Noppoo, not to say that this is entirely a bad thing, but me personally? I do not like all that much, thankfully this is not a problem for me as I never really use those keys, I only ever use the FN keys (which we will come to later). They keycaps on the Keycool are rather nice to type on, but upon first switching from the Noppoo to the Keycool it was a strange switch, as it's going from a very smooth surface to one that has a smooth but rough texture at the same time, but after a day or two of typing on the keyboard, you don't even notice it anymore to be honest.

One slightly negative aspect about this keyboard is the fact that certain key letting is slightly faded, not that much, not enough to make you think that it is a poor quality board or anything like that, but on the M, N and Capslock key the letting is a tiny bit faded, but that's nothing to be concerned about in my opinion. The lettering seems to be of a higher production value than the Noppoo, it looks as if it has been lasered on in a better than format than the Noppoo, which in my opinion is a huge plus, the longer the keys stay in tact and remain impervious to fading and eroding, then that's all I really care about key wise.

One final thing to add regarding the key caps and the typing feel is that of the keycaps used on the Keycool 84, the keycaps have a very nice texture them (buty they do take a while to get used too, a day or two perhaps, although I adjusted to them in a few hours). They feel nice to type on but with the added weight from the MX Cherry blacks, I am having hard time adjusting to them and this is causing me to question my purchase, because if you are a mechanical freak like I am, coming from reds to blacks, it feels like a downgrade.

I don't know who to give the point to here, there are good and bad of both keyboards.

I will just say that in this section, they both get a point.

Keyboard Switch and functions

Noppoo - The keyswitch that I chose for the Noppoo was that of the MX Cherry Red, in my opinion this is the best switch that I have ever used, it's use for typing is not the best, but it gets the job done just as well and in all fairness, because of the light nature of the red switch, I've found that it makes you become a lot more accurate when using it. Using the switch for gaming is a dream, it just feels so light, that's the only way that I can describe it and in all fairness, I would of gone for a red switch yet again, if that option would of been available.

At first adjusting the switch from blues was somewhat of a difficult one as I was having a hard time getting a consistent typing speed going, my average is 90 and I hit anywhere from 90 to 115 wpm, so when I saw that my typing speed had dropped from that down to 80, I was a little disappointed. I persevered and I was very happy with my choice, to this day I would advise anyone who is serious about their gaming and serious about their keyboards to go ahead and pick up a MX Cherry Red switch over anything else.

So let's get onto talking about the functions and the function keys. I absolutely loved the placement of the function keys on the Noppo, the keys for stop, next, previous and play where all near my left hand which is located near the ASD keys, so that was perfect placement for me, especially when I'm in a game and wanting to switch to a different track (song). They all seemed to work exceedingly well and I did not have a problem with the functions what so ever.

Keycool 84 - The keyswitch that I was 'forced' to use on the Keycool was that of the MX Cherry Black switch, I chose this switch because it was either that or a Blue switch and I was not prepared to go back to that switch as I find it pretty awful for gaming and I do not like the sound or the clicky nature of that switch. I went ahead and got my keyboard and at first it wasn't too bad, (although I have typed the entire post using my Keycool keyboard and I'm not really feeling any kind of fatigue in all fariness). It is true what everyone says really, the MX Black switch is just a more resistant and stiff red, I agree and disagree, the only compelling sign of familiarity that I see with blacks and reds are that they are a linear switch, non-tactile and they are non clicky, apart from that, there is not much of a similarity, I find blacks a lot harder to use and to get used too in comparison to reds, maybe I'm just a red lover and I miss them.

I've got a little bit of information here if you're interested and you're looking to decide between Blacks and Reds, so here is the information:

Cherry MX Black Switches:

Type: Linear Switch
Tactile: No
Clicky: No
Actuation force: 60g (40g - 80g overall)
Key travel: 2mm to actuation, 4mm to bottom.

Cherry MX Red Switches:

Type: Linear Switch
Tactile: No
Clicky: No
Actuation Force: 45g
Keytravel: 2mm to actuation, 4mm to bottom.

                                                          ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The function keys? Sadly for me, I may have got a defect keyboard when it comes to the Functions, none of my function keys actually work, the FN+F12 works fine (that is to enable winlock btw), but If I am playing a video and I enter FN+F7 (Pause), nothing happens what so ever, so that is a major downside for me. I am using Windows 7 and all of these functions were previously working on the Noppoo so obviously this is an issue with my keyboard, but it's not a big deal,  it's not going to make or break the experience for me.

I am not going to give any points out for this round because of the fact they both use different switches and I would be biased because I obviously love one switch more than the other, so you can decide for yourself in this section.

Conclusion

In all fairness, I think I would choose the Keycool only for the fact that I like it a little bit more because of the sturdier construction along with the higher elevation and it just feels as if it is a more sturdy product, but with that being said, it does cost a little bit more. I think I paid $30 than what I paid for the Noppoo.

Switch wise? I would honestly say, go for Browns, they are inbetween both black and reds and they are a common middle ground for those who are having a hard time deciding what switch to get and they are going to be the switch that I next get, whenever I get the chance to.

If you have to choose out of the two? I would say get reds but just be prepared if you're one of those people who gets a bit angry and annoyed, maybe even flustered when you're typing and you are making a lot of mistakes, that happened to me at the start and I found it a little infuriating.
I think over time as you use blacks more and more they become lighter to you, as that is what is starting to happen to me as of now, but I find myself making far, far, far less mistakes on blacks and they do feel like a nice switch to type on, but I am a heavy typist anyhow.
« Last Edit: Mon, 19 August 2013, 12:19:33 by Fragil1ty »
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Offline nightsnack

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Re: Keycool 84 Review
« Reply #1 on: Fri, 16 August 2013, 09:44:41 »
I'm somewhat surprised you went with Blacks. How does it feel switching from browns?

Offline gigibecali

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Re: Keycool 84 Review
« Reply #2 on: Fri, 16 August 2013, 10:52:08 »
Please flip a keycap.
Thanks.
IBM M - UK  |  QFR reds  |  QFR blacks  |  HPE 87 browns  |  HPE 87 blues

Offline lexroad

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Re: Keycool 84 Review
« Reply #3 on: Fri, 16 August 2013, 11:05:36 »
Nice review, I'm looking to buy the keycool 84 or the choc mini and I just can't decide. Since you've used the choc for a while now, can you do a thorough comparison between them if you have the time? That would be most welcomed! :D
Keycool 84 White W/ Reds

Offline Fragil1ty

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Re: Keycool 84 Review
« Reply #4 on: Fri, 16 August 2013, 12:02:22 »
I'm somewhat surprised you went with Blacks. How does it feel switching from browns?

I didn't go with Browns I went with Reds, I didn't typo something did I? I hope not.
But going from Reds to Blacks, it's a pretty strange switch to be honest, its not that they require more force to aqtuate, but they just have more resistance and a bit more stiff, it's hard to explain really, they are quite nice to type on though, I'm not sure what I prefer at this point. I think I'll have a more definitive answer as time goes on, give it maybe 1-2 weeks.

I chose blacks because it was all that was available to me at the time, it was either Blues or Blacks and I don't really like blues, had them in my Razer BlackWidow. And also coming from reds, blacks are the closest thing that are good for both typing and gaming, so yeah, that's why.

Please flip a keycap.
Thanks.

You want an image of the Keycool keycaps flipped, is that it? I can do that for you.





Nice review, I'm looking to buy the keycool 84 or the choc mini and I just can't decide. Since you've used the choc for a while now, can you do a thorough comparison between them if you have the time? That would be most welcomed! :D

Sure thing, I'll get right on that and amend it here.
« Last Edit: Fri, 16 August 2013, 12:15:35 by Fragil1ty »
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Offline PadawanGeek

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Re: Keycool 84 Review
« Reply #5 on: Fri, 16 August 2013, 22:20:00 »
Coincidentally, I'd gotten a Keycool 84 LED Cherry Black about a week or so back, am so liking it! Excellent build quality and pretty damn hard to find in my neck of the woods.....brand-wise, even more so <TKL keyboards. That's why, I'd snagged it w/o a moment's thought since I was in the market for suck keyboards. Anyway, hope you don't mind my sharing the Ketycool love with a couple of pics-
The LED model I have has white LED for all the main keys (it's not as bright as Ducky Shine KBs, its brightest is akin to Ducky's medium), a few special function keys are have Green LEDs.

Noticed that it was a tad dusty, it was a display set, thus I'd gotten it at a discount, so I removed the keycaps and gave it a thorough cleaning...

BTW, did yours come with some novelty key caps? I was surprised mine came with these....
« Last Edit: Fri, 16 August 2013, 22:35:18 by PadawanGeek »
Topre: HHKB Pro 2 Grey | HHKB Pro 2 White | Topre RF 103UB-55G + Yellow PBT key caps | Topre Type Heaven + Blue PBT keycaps | Leopold FC660C | CoolerMaster Novatouch TKL + Miami keyset | CoolerMaster Novatouch TKL + Sanctuary Keyset
Cherry MX: DS2 78 Version | DS2 Special Ed White keycaps | DK9087G2 Pro | Ducky Shine 2 YOTD | Ducky Shine 3 YOTS | Yellow Ducky Shine 3 MX White | Ducky Shine 3 MX Green | 2x Filco MJ Ninja | Leopold FC660M Clear | Storm Trigger Green | CM QuickFire TK Blue | DK9008 | KC  84 LED Black | White KC 87 Brown | DK9008S Blue | KBT Race 2 Blue | KBT Pure Pro MX Blue | KBP V60 Mini MX White | KBP V60 Mini MX Green | KUL ES-87 MX Clear
Buckling Spring: Lexmark Model M (1993)

Offline gigibecali

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Re: Keycool 84 Review
« Reply #6 on: Sat, 17 August 2013, 07:58:04 »
Yes. That's it. Thank you.

Don't be sorry about the blacks, just get some o-rings and they're going to be much better than reds.
They seem a bit hard but it's because of their insanely long stroke (as in any other MX).
IBM M - UK  |  QFR reds  |  QFR blacks  |  HPE 87 browns  |  HPE 87 blues

Offline Fragil1ty

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Re: Keycool 84 Review
« Reply #7 on: Sat, 17 August 2013, 09:03:31 »
Yes. That's it. Thank you.

Don't be sorry about the blacks, just get some o-rings and they're going to be much better than reds.
They seem a bit hard but it's because of their insanely long stroke (as in any other MX).

Yeah man, no problems. They're going to be my next purchase, I get paid on Friday, so I'm going to order them o-rings, I don't want to get anything too dampening, so going to go for these: http://www.wasdkeyboards.com/index.php/cherry-mx-rubber-switch-dampeners.html the 40 A-L versions though.

Coincidentally, I'd gotten a Keycool 84 LED Cherry Black about a week or so back, am so liking it! Excellent build quality and pretty damn hard to find in my neck of the woods.....brand-wise, even more so <TKL keyboards. That's why, I'd snagged it w/o a moment's thought since I was in the market for suck keyboards. Anyway, hope you don't mind my sharing the Ketycool love with a couple of pics-
The LED model I have has white LED for all the main keys (it's not as bright as Ducky Shine KBs, its brightest is akin to Ducky's medium), a few special function keys are have Green LEDs.
Show Image

Noticed that it was a tad dusty, it was a display set, thus I'd gotten it at a discount, so I removed the keycaps and gave it a thorough cleaning...
Show Image

BTW, did yours come with some novelty key caps? I was surprised mine came with these....
Show Image


And no, by all means, share away! the more exposure to this awesome keyboard the better.
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Offline six7777

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Re: Keycool 84 Review
« Reply #8 on: Sat, 17 August 2013, 16:30:10 »
Good review - I just ordered mine with MX blue ~ looking forward to receiving it.

Offline Fragil1ty

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Re: Keycool 84 Review
« Reply #9 on: Sat, 17 August 2013, 19:46:07 »
Good review - I just ordered mine with MX blue ~ looking forward to receiving it.

Oh awesome, you wont be disappointed! Although I'm having a few problems at the moment, my media keys don't seem to be working at the moment which is a little bit on the annoying side, so yeah.
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Offline PadawanGeek

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Re: Keycool 84 Review
« Reply #10 on: Sat, 17 August 2013, 20:15:20 »

Oh awesome, you wont be disappointed! Although I'm having a few problems at the moment, my media keys don't seem to be working at the moment which is a little bit on the annoying side, so yeah.
Oh? What isn't working? I just tried out the media keys on mine, works with VLC player......I guess more so with WMP since it's the default media player. I'd once crapped about another KB I'd gotten, complaining that the LED did not work......my very first MKB, a Storm Trigger, turns out I'd not enabled backlight by pressing Fn/Storm + F1. What could I say, 'twas my very first mech....
Topre: HHKB Pro 2 Grey | HHKB Pro 2 White | Topre RF 103UB-55G + Yellow PBT key caps | Topre Type Heaven + Blue PBT keycaps | Leopold FC660C | CoolerMaster Novatouch TKL + Miami keyset | CoolerMaster Novatouch TKL + Sanctuary Keyset
Cherry MX: DS2 78 Version | DS2 Special Ed White keycaps | DK9087G2 Pro | Ducky Shine 2 YOTD | Ducky Shine 3 YOTS | Yellow Ducky Shine 3 MX White | Ducky Shine 3 MX Green | 2x Filco MJ Ninja | Leopold FC660M Clear | Storm Trigger Green | CM QuickFire TK Blue | DK9008 | KC  84 LED Black | White KC 87 Brown | DK9008S Blue | KBT Race 2 Blue | KBT Pure Pro MX Blue | KBP V60 Mini MX White | KBP V60 Mini MX Green | KUL ES-87 MX Clear
Buckling Spring: Lexmark Model M (1993)

Offline nightsnack

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Re: Keycool 84 Review
« Reply #11 on: Sun, 18 August 2013, 03:40:42 »
Oops, I had a memory that you were coming from something light, so it was red.

Offline Fragil1ty

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Re: Keycool 84 Review
« Reply #12 on: Sun, 18 August 2013, 08:18:28 »

Oh awesome, you wont be disappointed! Although I'm having a few problems at the moment, my media keys don't seem to be working at the moment which is a little bit on the annoying side, so yeah.
Oh? What isn't working? I just tried out the media keys on mine, works with VLC player......I guess more so with WMP since it's the default media player. I'd once crapped about another KB I'd gotten, complaining that the LED did not work......my very first MKB, a Storm Trigger, turns out I'd not enabled backlight by pressing Fn/Storm + F1. What could I say, 'twas my very first mech....

My function keys don't appear to be working, I'm assuming they're compatible with Windows 7 and what not, so not sure what's going on there, like for example, I'll hit fn + f8 when watching a video on VLC player and it does not stop the video, it's a little disappointing as I do not know why they are not working.

The only function keys that appear to be working for me are that of the winkey lock, num lock and scroll lock, the function keys appeared to work fine on my Noppoo. :(

Oops, I had a memory that you were coming from something light, so it was red.

And yeah it's easy to get those two mixed up, don't worry about it! :P
« Last Edit: Sun, 18 August 2013, 08:27:59 by Fragil1ty »
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Offline PadawanGeek

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Re: Keycool 84 Review
« Reply #13 on: Sun, 18 August 2013, 08:52:53 »
You may need to RMA that unit, mine's working......although the volume up and down function doesn't seem to work, mute does though. Stop, pause and play work.....
Topre: HHKB Pro 2 Grey | HHKB Pro 2 White | Topre RF 103UB-55G + Yellow PBT key caps | Topre Type Heaven + Blue PBT keycaps | Leopold FC660C | CoolerMaster Novatouch TKL + Miami keyset | CoolerMaster Novatouch TKL + Sanctuary Keyset
Cherry MX: DS2 78 Version | DS2 Special Ed White keycaps | DK9087G2 Pro | Ducky Shine 2 YOTD | Ducky Shine 3 YOTS | Yellow Ducky Shine 3 MX White | Ducky Shine 3 MX Green | 2x Filco MJ Ninja | Leopold FC660M Clear | Storm Trigger Green | CM QuickFire TK Blue | DK9008 | KC  84 LED Black | White KC 87 Brown | DK9008S Blue | KBT Race 2 Blue | KBT Pure Pro MX Blue | KBP V60 Mini MX White | KBP V60 Mini MX Green | KUL ES-87 MX Clear
Buckling Spring: Lexmark Model M (1993)

Offline Fragil1ty

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Re: Keycool 84 Review
« Reply #14 on: Sun, 18 August 2013, 09:21:44 »
You may need to RMA that unit, mine's working......although the volume up and down function doesn't seem to work, mute does though. Stop, pause and play work.....

I mean, the F1 - F12 keys work, they just don't work when I'm using them with the FN function, if I press F1 in a browser for example, I'll get the help window or f3 for the search window and so on.

I would RMA it, but it'd take 3 weeks to get there, 3 weeks to get back, it's just an awful lot of hassle.
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Offline melt

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Re: Keycool 84 Review
« Reply #15 on: Mon, 19 August 2013, 14:37:09 »
Just got my Keycool with reds last week.  First time with reds.  Holy crap, my new favorite switch all thanks to the Keycool.  Plus the board itself I think is stellar.  Great build and I like the form factor of 75 percenters now, for desktop use.  I got mine with the white LED's.  Key caps are silky smooth good match with the reds! :D

Offline lexroad

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Re: Keycool 84 Review
« Reply #16 on: Mon, 19 August 2013, 15:39:45 »
Thank you "Fragil1ty" I did not expect such an honest in-dept comparison, god this community is awesome :D

Considering everything, I will go with the white keycool 84 with red switches from qtan which is about 94$ shipping included, noppoo's are really hard to find theses days and they cost practically the same (even more, don't know where you bought your choc for 70$).

As switches go, I have only used mx-blues on a razer blackwidow and they were cool coming from a membrane contraption but, I kinda had trouble typing on them, sometimes they were unresponsive or sometimes it felt like they were doing stuff on their own (bad at explaining  :p), so I decided against tactile feedback switches. Moreover a lot of people say that going from blues to reds is a magical thing which I am so ready to enjoy. :D

Keycapwise I think I would love the PBT texture coming from the cheap ABS on the blackwidow and if not, I can always change them considering keycool's compatibility.

Thank you again for taking your time making this awesome review, I hope it'll help others as it's helped me !
Happy typing!!
Keycool 84 White W/ Reds

Offline Fragil1ty

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Re: Keycool 84 Review
« Reply #17 on: Mon, 19 August 2013, 20:16:21 »
Thank you "Fragil1ty" I did not expect such an honest in-dept comparison, god this community is awesome :D

Considering everything, I will go with the white keycool 84 with red switches from qtan which is about 94$ shipping included, noppoo's are really hard to find theses days and they cost practically the same (even more, don't know where you bought your choc for 70$).

As switches go, I have only used mx-blues on a razer blackwidow and they were cool coming from a membrane contraption but, I kinda had trouble typing on them, sometimes they were unresponsive or sometimes it felt like they were doing stuff on their own (bad at explaining  :p), so I decided against tactile feedback switches. Moreover a lot of people say that going from blues to reds is a magical thing which I am so ready to enjoy. :D

Keycapwise I think I would love the PBT texture coming from the cheap ABS on the blackwidow and if not, I can always change them considering keycool's compatibility.

Thank you again for taking your time making this awesome review, I hope it'll help others as it's helped me !
Happy typing!!

You are more than welcome, I'm happy to help to be honest. And yeah going from blues to reds, it's absolutely amazing, the different sensation you get while typing, it's just great, you will not be disappointed I promise. I wish I had gone to qTan now over mechanicalkeyboards.com as qTan has a lot better shipping options for international use and he actually has reds? god damnit, I wish I had gone to him first.

You may need to RMA that unit, mine's working......although the volume up and down function doesn't seem to work, mute does though. Stop, pause and play work.....

I mean, the F1 - F12 keys work, they just don't work when I'm using them with the FN function, if I press F1 in a browser for example, I'll get the help window or f3 for the search window and so on.

I would RMA it, but it'd take 3 weeks to get there, 3 weeks to get back, it's just an awful lot of hassle.

They're just amazing keyboards aren't they? I think Keycool are going to take Noppoos place to be honest and become the next go to 84 keyboard, in my opinion.
你搞砸了

Offline PadawanGeek

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Re: Keycool 84 Review
« Reply #18 on: Mon, 19 August 2013, 22:54:35 »

They're just amazing keyboards aren't they? I think Keycool are going to take Noppoos place to be honest and become the next go to 84 keyboard, in my opinion.
I don't know about that, but I did tell the local distributer that he should be focusing on <TKL KB's, there seem to be great interest in such KB's. When I'd posted pics of my 84 LED, I'd gotten some enquiries as to where I had gotten it....Keycool seems to be a brand that these keyboard enthusiasts seem to acce[pt and want. I certainly like mine, it's now my daily driver for my 2nd rig,
Topre: HHKB Pro 2 Grey | HHKB Pro 2 White | Topre RF 103UB-55G + Yellow PBT key caps | Topre Type Heaven + Blue PBT keycaps | Leopold FC660C | CoolerMaster Novatouch TKL + Miami keyset | CoolerMaster Novatouch TKL + Sanctuary Keyset
Cherry MX: DS2 78 Version | DS2 Special Ed White keycaps | DK9087G2 Pro | Ducky Shine 2 YOTD | Ducky Shine 3 YOTS | Yellow Ducky Shine 3 MX White | Ducky Shine 3 MX Green | 2x Filco MJ Ninja | Leopold FC660M Clear | Storm Trigger Green | CM QuickFire TK Blue | DK9008 | KC  84 LED Black | White KC 87 Brown | DK9008S Blue | KBT Race 2 Blue | KBT Pure Pro MX Blue | KBP V60 Mini MX White | KBP V60 Mini MX Green | KUL ES-87 MX Clear
Buckling Spring: Lexmark Model M (1993)

Offline Mad_Doktor

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Re: Keycool 84 Review
« Reply #19 on: Wed, 21 August 2013, 13:15:36 »
Great review Fragil1ty, it allowed me to compare and contrast my own experience with a Keycool 84 w/ black switches that just arrived at the office :)

I completely agree with you about the font, it looks great but for myself, my pad printed keys seems to be slightly faded in quite a few areas. Otherwise, no complaints.

Otherwise, I love the feel and the force required for each keystroke. Most importantly, it's much quieter than my mx blues so awesome for the office (typing on the kb as we speak at work, lol).

Shameless plug: I bought my KB from www.banggood.com with free shipping. Arrived in 13 days so well within the expected time frame of 7-15 days. They had a good deal at the time I bought it (sub $75) but no LEDs.

edit: BTW, does the small right shift bother you at all? I find that I have this tendency to slide my ring finger from the arrow key to the R-Shift.

md
« Last Edit: Wed, 21 August 2013, 13:44:40 by Mad_Doktor »
CM QFR - Cherry Blue | CM Storm Trigger - Cherry Brown | Keycool 84 - Cherry Black | Corsair K95 - Cherry Red | IBM Model M '93

Offline six7777

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Re: Keycool 84 Review
« Reply #20 on: Wed, 21 August 2013, 14:42:16 »
Just received mine today - the yellow led with blue mx.
It's a cool keyboard - this is my first smaller board, and it's crazy how small these things are, but I like it.  I know it will take some getting used to.  The 87 might be more my size, not sure yet.
I like how I have WAY more desk real estate though.
The key feel is pretty good, and I like the sound.
I was using the Ducky shine 2 with blue ..
The weight of this board is nice ... for something this size, I guess it's pretty heavy/which is what I wanted.  The LED's aren't as bright as Ducky's ... but all I need ...
All in all, very happy with it - granted, have only been using it for a few hours now .. got it from mech keyboards - my second board from them - good service, fast shipping ...
thanks again for the review which helped me pick this one ..


keycool 84 led yellow keyboard cherry mx blue by six7777, on Flickr

Offline lexroad

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Re: Keycool 84 Review
« Reply #21 on: Thu, 05 September 2013, 06:22:31 »
Finally received mine after some FedEx drama. Had to bike 15 km to their depot because they didn't bother calling the number on the package.
I ****ing love it, everything about this keyboard is as I expected it to be, love the form factor, love the reds, love the pbt, love the white.
The only weird thing about it was the space bar, it felt flimsy and not as consistent as the other keys, so I installed 2 additional stabilizers and it feels heavenly now.
The media keys work fine both in windows and linux and had no problems using it in the BIOS.
Surprisingly I got a cloth protection pouch which I thought only came with keycool 87s and a chinese mousepad which is rather nice, pics below sorry for the quality.

Thank you Fragil1ty for guiding me towards this keyboard and I hope you find a way to like your keycool too.









« Last Edit: Thu, 05 September 2013, 09:17:37 by lexroad »
Keycool 84 White W/ Reds

Offline PadawanGeek

  • Posts: 660
Re: Keycool 84 Review
« Reply #22 on: Thu, 05 September 2013, 08:50:32 »
Woot! Woot! yet another satisfied and happy Keycool owner.....seems pretty soon we can form a club of our own if this keeps up.:D
Topre: HHKB Pro 2 Grey | HHKB Pro 2 White | Topre RF 103UB-55G + Yellow PBT key caps | Topre Type Heaven + Blue PBT keycaps | Leopold FC660C | CoolerMaster Novatouch TKL + Miami keyset | CoolerMaster Novatouch TKL + Sanctuary Keyset
Cherry MX: DS2 78 Version | DS2 Special Ed White keycaps | DK9087G2 Pro | Ducky Shine 2 YOTD | Ducky Shine 3 YOTS | Yellow Ducky Shine 3 MX White | Ducky Shine 3 MX Green | 2x Filco MJ Ninja | Leopold FC660M Clear | Storm Trigger Green | CM QuickFire TK Blue | DK9008 | KC  84 LED Black | White KC 87 Brown | DK9008S Blue | KBT Race 2 Blue | KBT Pure Pro MX Blue | KBP V60 Mini MX White | KBP V60 Mini MX Green | KUL ES-87 MX Clear
Buckling Spring: Lexmark Model M (1993)

Offline microsoft windows

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Re: Keycool 84 Review
« Reply #23 on: Thu, 05 September 2013, 09:38:09 »
LOOKS LIKE YOU GOT YOURSELF A GOOD KEYBOARD THERE.
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Offline uzoc

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Re: Keycool 84 Review
« Reply #24 on: Tue, 17 September 2013, 14:32:02 »
Great review(s)
What are the height of the keycaps?

Offline CPTBadAss

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Re: Keycool 84 Review
« Reply #25 on: Tue, 17 September 2013, 14:41:55 »
Probably OEM keycaps. Looks like 1x mods on the right side of the space bar, 1800/short right shift, and 6.25x space bar. Might be a bit hard to replace the caps.

Could you open the case up and comment on the PCB?

And could someone take a picture of the underside of the keycaps...maybe alongside an SP cap or another keycap?
« Last Edit: Tue, 17 September 2013, 14:45:34 by CPTBadAss »

Offline Fragil1ty

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Re: Keycool 84 Review
« Reply #26 on: Fri, 20 September 2013, 23:10:39 »
Just thought I'd do a quick update here, within a week or so, I am going to be receiving a new Keycool 84, this time around it's going to be a POM Black version /w Reds.

I will be doing a brief review on this, so if that interests anyone, then look out for it on here in a week or so. :)
你搞砸了

Offline kinghajj

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Re: Keycool 84 Review
« Reply #27 on: Wed, 25 September 2013, 19:50:58 »
I'm getting the same POM version but with Blacks. Tracking info says it left HK about five hours ago! Can't wait to have my first linear board.

Edit: Holy crap, just got a message from DHL that it's coming tomorrow! That was quicker than expected. Ordered from qtan's store on the weekend with regular shipping.
« Last Edit: Thu, 26 September 2013, 00:34:12 by kinghajj »

Offline Pacifist

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Re: Keycool 84 Review
« Reply #28 on: Wed, 25 September 2013, 19:54:39 »
Just bought a 84 with browns from banggood for 60 shipped

its coming in 2 weeks

Offline r3n4m3

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Re: Keycool 84 Review
« Reply #29 on: Mon, 21 October 2013, 15:29:49 »
Coincidentally, I'd gotten a Keycool 84 LED Cherry Black about a week or so back, am so liking it! Excellent build quality and pretty damn hard to find in my neck of the woods.....brand-wise, even more so <TKL keyboards. That's why, I'd snagged it w/o a moment's thought since I was in the market for suck keyboards. Anyway, hope you don't mind my sharing the Ketycool love with a couple of pics-
The LED model I have has white LED for all the main keys (it's not as bright as Ducky Shine KBs, its brightest is akin to Ducky's medium), a few special function keys are have Green LEDs.
Show Image

Noticed that it was a tad dusty, it was a display set, thus I'd gotten it at a discount, so I removed the keycaps and gave it a thorough cleaning...
Show Image

BTW, did yours come with some novelty key caps? I was surprised mine came with these....
Show Image


I'm also interested in this keyboard, and I have a few questions about it:

Are all stabilizers Cherry’s-like? Can you make more a screenshots on full-size and without keycaps?
I saw that in the kit with keyboard have are Costar stabilizers, can they be replaced in case, if don’t like mounted?
Are this keyboard have holder for USB-connector in the kit? Like this: KeyCool 87 Close, KeyCool 87 Open
How to use that key on this keyboard? 
Are LOCK-keys illuminated, if backlight is off?
If I will need to replace key-caps to blank, with which caps I'll have a problem? Which of these are not standard?
How well the cable placed and held in the grooves?
What makes the second Scr-LOCK :D ?

What is the quality of the keyboard in comparison with Filco and Leopold?

PS: thanks for Answers : )
PS2: want to buy KeyCool KC84LED Green or White or Yellow (not sure yet, maybe worth waiting a version with changing colours as KC22LED with Cherry MX Clear?) with Cherry MX Red.
« Last Edit: Mon, 21 October 2013, 15:41:13 by r3n4m3 »

Offline r3n4m3

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Re: Keycool 84 Review
« Reply #30 on: Sun, 27 October 2013, 06:58:26 »
anybody? someone? anyone??? :'(
« Last Edit: Sun, 27 October 2013, 07:06:48 by r3n4m3 »

Offline redwald

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Re: Keycool 84 Review
« Reply #31 on: Fri, 20 December 2013, 15:41:07 »
Just bought a 84 with browns from banggood for 60 shipped

its coming in 2 weeks

Very interested in getting one, but banggood price is now $86.
Did it really go up that much in 2 months?

Offline Pacifist

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Re: Keycool 84 Review
« Reply #32 on: Fri, 20 December 2013, 15:55:34 »
Just bought a 84 with browns from banggood for 60 shipped

its coming in 2 weeks

Very interested in getting one, but banggood price is now $86.
Did it really go up that much in 2 months?

during a sale that was 10% off plus another $10 off got it to $60

Offline redwald

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Re: Keycool 84 Review
« Reply #33 on: Fri, 20 December 2013, 16:20:45 »
Just bought a 84 with browns from banggood for 60 shipped

its coming in 2 weeks

Very interested in getting one, but banggood price is now $86.
Did it really go up that much in 2 months?

during a sale that was 10% off plus another $10 off got it to $60

Guess I snoozed and I loozed.  :'(

Offline Pacifist

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Re: Keycool 84 Review
« Reply #34 on: Fri, 20 December 2013, 17:46:26 »
Just bought a 84 with browns from banggood for 60 shipped

its coming in 2 weeks

Very interested in getting one, but banggood price is now $86.
Did it really go up that much in 2 months?

during a sale that was 10% off plus another $10 off got it to $60

Guess I snoozed and I loozed.  :'(

it was a while ago.......

Offline agodinhost

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Re: Keycool 84 Review
« Reply #35 on: Fri, 20 December 2013, 18:09:39 »
please, there is any chance to see the back of the PCB?
 :D
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Offline Pacifist

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Re: Keycool 84 Review
« Reply #36 on: Fri, 20 December 2013, 18:37:52 »
please, there is any chance to see the back of the PCB?
 :D

I will do so later this week. My dampening material is coming next week and when I open it up I will take a pic for you. BTW if you want to solder LEDs on it, the PCB does not support LEDs

Offline Pacifist

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Re: Keycool 84 Review
« Reply #37 on: Mon, 23 December 2013, 22:47:00 »
please, there is any chance to see the back of the PCB?
 :D

album:
http://imgur.com/a/8zQ5N




Offline ideus

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Re: Keycool 84 Review
« Reply #38 on: Mon, 23 December 2013, 23:13:54 »
Could you please post a picture of the space bar's bottom? I have read the space bar fits the FC660M, is there a way you can confirm it? Thank you...



Offline Pacifist

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Re: Keycool 84 Review
« Reply #39 on: Tue, 24 December 2013, 19:08:18 »
Could you please post a picture of the space bar's bottom? I have read the space bar fits the FC660M, is there a way you can confirm it? Thank you...

Its regular 6.25x

Offline ideus

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Re: Keycool 84 Review
« Reply #40 on: Tue, 24 December 2013, 19:28:54 »
Could you please post a picture of the space bar's bottom? I have read the space bar fits the FC660M, is there a way you can confirm it? Thank you...

Its regular 6.25x


I know its size is standard 6.25x, but I wonder if it has two sets of stems. The standard pair should be 100 mm center to center, and I would like to know it the closest ones are 85 mm. Thank you again.



Offline Pacifist

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Re: Keycool 84 Review
« Reply #41 on: Tue, 24 December 2013, 19:33:14 »
Could you please post a picture of the space bar's bottom? I have read the space bar fits the FC660M, is there a way you can confirm it? Thank you...

Its regular 6.25x


I know its size is standard 6.25x, but I wonder if it has two sets of stems. The standard pair should be 100 mm center to center, and I would like to know it the closest ones are 85 mm. Thank you again.

there are two locations for the stab stems, they are the same as the kc87's

in jdcarpe's review thread there are pics

Offline ideus

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Re: Keycool 84 Review
« Reply #42 on: Tue, 24 December 2013, 19:43:57 »
Could you please post a picture of the space bar's bottom? I have read the space bar fits the FC660M, is there a way you can confirm it? Thank you...

Its regular 6.25x


I know its size is standard 6.25x, but I wonder if it has two sets of stems. The standard pair should be 100 mm center to center, and I would like to know it the closest ones are 85 mm. Thank you again.

there are two locations for the stab stems, they are the same as the kc87's

in jdcarpe's review thread there are pics


OK Thank you.



Offline lilky

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Re: Keycool 84 Review
« Reply #43 on: Sat, 11 January 2014, 14:55:02 »
Great review Fragility!

Quick question: what keycap sets do you need to get for this kind of layout? I've heard a TKL set + tsangan is enough. Is this true?

Offline Fragil1ty

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Re: Keycool 84 Review
« Reply #44 on: Sat, 11 January 2014, 19:03:11 »
Great review Fragility!

Quick question: what keycap sets do you need to get for this kind of layout? I've heard a TKL set + tsangan is enough. Is this true?

I'm not entirely sure, but me personally, I just buy:

I just go here: http://www.wasdkeyboards.com/index.php/products/keycap-set/87-key-cherry-mx-keycap-set.html#ad-image-0 and customise the keys to my liking!

I'm currently in the process of getting some of these keys send to me, the bad part is though that some of the keys will not fit on the keycool, the right alt, fn and ctrl keys, so you'll have to do some work around and what not, so yeah.
你搞砸了

Offline charlaph

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Re: Keycool 84 Review
« Reply #45 on: Wed, 12 March 2014, 11:39:23 »
Great review, I've ordered a white KC84 with black switches, mostly off the back of this very positive review (although I like the small form factor and the price too, so it didn't take much to tip me into a purchase) I'll post up when I get it.

Offline archer

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Re: Keycool 84 Review
« Reply #46 on: Wed, 12 March 2014, 14:58:01 »
Where are these PBT, non-LED Keycool 84s available? I've been looking for a grey one forever now and can't seem to find it anywhere (with MX Reds or Browns).

Offline blighty

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Re: Keycool 84 Review
« Reply #47 on: Wed, 12 March 2014, 15:13:21 »
Great review Fragility!

Quick question: what keycap sets do you need to get for this kind of layout? I've heard a TKL set + tsangan is enough. Is this true?

I'm not entirely sure, but me personally, I just buy:

I just go here: http://www.wasdkeyboards.com/index.php/products/keycap-set/87-key-cherry-mx-keycap-set.html#ad-image-0 and customise the keys to my liking!

I'm currently in the process of getting some of these keys send to me, the bad part is though that some of the keys will not fit on the keycool, the right alt, fn and ctrl keys, so you'll have to do some work around and what not, so yeah.

Outside of group buys and WASD, you can use cherry doubleshots/lasered from g80-3000/8000 boards for the 1.25u mods and g80/81 1800 for the 1u mods.  Spacebar would need to be sourced from somewhere else (SigPlastics, group buys, wasd, EK, wherever). 
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Offline charlaph

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Re: Keycool 84 Review
« Reply #48 on: Wed, 26 March 2014, 15:06:22 »
Well my KC84 arrived today from Banggood, pretty quick shipping at a fortnight for the economy (free) option, it came adequately packed (one corner of the cardboard box was a bit crumpled) and was the full retail version. Only problem is that it's the black version not white like I thought I ordered. Just checked back through my emails and realised I never actually got a confirmation from banggood, so I'm not sure if I've made the mistake or they have. Either way I like the keyboard so I'll keep it. My main issue with wanting a white one is that my computer room isn't very well lit, so at night looking down from the monitor to the keyboard it takes my eyes a couple of seconds to adjust, hence wanting a more legible board.

Fortunately the text on my POM keys is much easier to make out than that on my KBT Oni, so this little Keycool is now my default keyboard for my 'main' PC. I wasn't too sure about blacks when I first tried them, but in use I'm finding them preferable to reds. It's much easier to stop bottoming out, so far no fatigue, although I've only been using it for a few hours, so we'll see about that in due course. I haven't tried gaming with them yet, but I don't find the force needed to type particularly high so I can't imagine it'll be an issue. I think spending many years pounding on membrane non-mechanical keyboards helps in this respect as I do have a rendency to be heavy handed. Speeds are up and mistakes are down compared to reds, but like I say it's early days.

The one main worry that I had when buying this board turned out to be a total non-issue. That of the layout. I don't use the right shift much and because I'm making less errors, the buried backspace isn't causing me any concerns. I didn't think I'd be able to type as fast or make as few errors on this non-standard layout, but in actuality I'm doing better than I was on my perfectly conventional TKL. I put that down to the blacks. I found myself a bit tentative with the reds, I was consciously trying not to type too heavily and that must have been affecting my accuracy because I'm now pounding out just as fast as I ever did on a membrane board and making far fewer mistakes than with the reds, and I'm not missing the backspace when I need it.

Overally I'm very pleased. The only real problem is that I didn't go for the one with clears. I nearly did, but then cheaped out as I didn't want to risk spending that much on a board with a layout that I didn't think I'd like. Damn my cheapskate tendencies!

Offline epsilon

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Re: Keycool 84 Review
« Reply #49 on: Tue, 15 April 2014, 09:21:37 »
Where can I order the same reviewed keyboard from?
I'd like to buy exactly the same!

Thanks in advance!