Author Topic: Mistel Barocco MD650L (Cherry ML Low Profile Switches)  (Read 1389 times)

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Offline gamebynight

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Mistel Barocco MD650L (Cherry ML Low Profile Switches)
« on: Sat, 01 September 2018, 12:59:48 »
Hi, all! I'm Chris or GameByNight, whichever you prefer. I review keyboards and other computer gear for MMORPG.com. I just got Mistel's Barocco MD650L in and thought I'd share some thoughts with you all!

First of all, this keyboard is the successor to the Barocco MD600. I reviewed that here last year if you're interested, but suffice it to say that it carries through the defining split and programmability that made that board so popular. They've made a number of changes on the 650L, most notably by outfitting it with Cherry's new ML low-profiles switches but also the move to a full CNC-milled two-part aluminum chassis and custom ABS keycaps with an in-house profile. They've also given it the 65% treatment with a new right-side keyset and four arrow keys.

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Getting to the specifics here, I love the layout. Mistel went with a 65% layout this time around, giving you Del, PG UP, and PG DN along the right side. I tend to like Home and End on my right side, so I reprogrammed mine two swap the Page buttons out and make it feel a little more "at home." No pun intended but I'm pleased by it no less :-)

The new lo-pro switches are nice but I can't help but feel like they'll be divisive.

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The new Cherry MLs only come in a tactile variant that has 3mm of travel and an actuation point of 1.5mm. The stem is also flatter and requires the keycap be fit into it rather than the other way around. The result is a keyboard that can be much thinner than a traditional MK. They have a 45cN +/- 20cN actuation force but because of their design, the tactile bump feels much higher than a Cherry MX Brown - almost immediate, in fact. This gives them a distinct feeling compared to something like an MX Brown. In normal use, I like how they feel. With the aluminum case, they definitely "tap" more than "clack" and so would be perfect for an office. When you press a single key slowly, though, it almost seems to catch ever so slightly because you can feel the tactility very clearly on the upstroke as well. Now, it doesn't actually catch, but it's different to be sure. In actual use, I don't consciously feel that, so I don't necessarily consider this a con so much as a quirk of the switch type.

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Mistel quotes the height at 19mm and you can tell how thin it actually is without going full-on into Apple and chiclet territory with the caps. In fact, they've developed custom ML keycaps for this board. They're ABS but have a standard PBT thickness to them and they feel good under my fingers. They also have a bit of shine out of the box which should go a long way to hiding any shine that may crop up over time. Still, I do wish we would have gotten the PBT/Dye-Sub treatment here.  The stem and height difference also mean we'll be waiting a while for custom keycaps.

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Programming is as easy as ever. With a couple of quick key combinations, you can remap keys anywhere or record and place macros across multiple layers. Under your standard layer, you have two additionals. As a gamer, I tend to put use one of these as a gaming set and the third for any work macros I need. You can tell what layer you're on using the handy indicator lights on the bottom right.

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Another smaller but still neat addition this time around is that you can combine both halves. It didn't click with me at first that this is what you were supposed to do with that long bar. I know, I know... But you have the choice between putting two small tilt feet on each corner of each half or doing what you see above. I attached all of my small tilt feet and then looked around wondering where the heck I was supposed to put the long one. A good dose of caffeine later and I realized that I was an idiot. It does work very well though when tightened all the way down and is a nice concession for folks who may think they want a split keyboard and realize after the fact that they were mistaken.

Overall, I really like the MD650L. If you have the opportunity, I would really suggest trying out the new Cherry ML switches and seeing if you like them. It took me a bit to get used to them but they definitely have a feel all their own, even compared to the Kaihl Choc Whites I picked up in July. One is clicky and one isn't so it's not a good comparison, but the MLs just feel heavier due to that fast actuation point.

Anyhow, I hope you enjoyed the review! I like sharing these over here where I can because, at MMORPG, I'm speaking to a gaming audience which can be a bit trickier than talking to other enthusiasts. At this point, I've reviewed close to 50 MKs over there, though, so if you're ever bored, stop over in the comments and say hi. You can always find me lurking around here too :-)

All of that said, I find myself in the lucky position of being able to check out LOTS of different keyboards. If there's something you'd like to see, drop me a PM and I'll see if I can arrange a review for here and MMO :-)


« Last Edit: Sat, 01 September 2018, 13:02:20 by gamebynight »
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Offline SpAmRaY

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Re: Mistel Barocco MD650L (Cherry ML Low Profile Switches)
« Reply #1 on: Sat, 01 September 2018, 13:10:19 »
So are these new cherry ml switches or the same ones that have been around since 1996??

« Last Edit: Sat, 01 September 2018, 14:12:31 by SpAmRaY »