History is cyclical: mechanical keyboards first gave way to membrane keyboards, and now they are again gaining universal love. The “mechanics” have several advantages at once: the variability of tactile and sound sensations from printing (switches of different colors), durability ten to twenty times greater than membranes, and the possibility of customization (replacing keycaps, and even switches in top models). An even more progressive subspecies of microswitches is gradually gaining popularity - optical-mechanical, where pressing is read not by the closure of electrical contacts, but by the interruption of a beam of light. In addition, mechanics come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes: ultra-compact, which fit in a large jacket pocket; sophisticated with low-profile switches and keycaps; and finally full-size with an abundance of programmable macro keys. All this can be complemented by the now fashionable RGB lighting and other options: a volume control roller, a detachable cable and a palm rest, an integrated processor and memory.
The main types of switches are:
Blue or White - classic mechanical switches with a pronounced sound and tactile feedback, as well as an average pressing force;
Red - linear switches without sound click and tactile response, slightly less pressing force;
Brown - a compromise option with tactility, but without sound, they are pressed a little more tightly;
Silver or Speed - linear switches with a shortened key travel and the smallest pressing force.
Also occasionally there are the most tight switches Black and completely silent silent with silicone seals.
Deepcool KG722 is a mechanical keyboard in one of the most compact 65 percent formats. Only 60 percent models are smaller, but they are very specific, as they lack navigation arrows. Whereas 65 percent are reduced by abandoning only the top row of function keys F1 - F12. They are transferred to the number row, while pressing Fn.
All possible Fn-actions on the Deepcool KG722 are conveniently highlighted in white. For example, Fn + Win temporarily disables minimizing application windows so that you do not accidentally crash out of a tense multiplayer game. The most unusual in the case of KG722 is the absence of inscriptions on top of the keys. When viewed straight from the top, the keyboard looks completely black. Only the Escape key is painted in Deepcool's signature turquoise color.
The inscriptions have been moved to the end of the keycaps: when viewed from the user's side, at an angle of 45 degrees, they are perfectly visible. Under the caps are Gateron Red mechanical switches. Now it is perhaps the most widespread and universal solution. They have linear travel with no tactile feedback, medium pressure and no click sound. You can only hear the hit of the keycap on the keyboard substrate. The detachable USB Type-C cable makes this mini keyboard even more portable.
Reason to buy: Gateron Red line switches, 65 percent format, inscriptions moved to the end of the keys, detachable cable, RGB backlight.
Reason not to buy: There is no separate Print Screen key.
Xtrfy K4 TKL Retro - stands for Tenkeyless, that is, the absence of ten keys (actually a little more) of the digital block on the right. If you are not an accountant, then the “calculator” buttons, most likely, are not in demand by you at all. But without them, the keyboard is easier to center on the table and more space is left for the mouse to run. Also, TKL models are called 87 percent.
Built Xtrfy K4 TKL Retro on Kailh Red microswitches with linear travel. There is no tactile or audible feedback when the switch is pressed. And even the impact of the keycap on the substrate is quite quiet, without a metallic ringing. For this, you need to thank the full-width foam rubber noise-absorbing pad. Switches and stabilizers (additional springs for long keys) are lubricated at the factory for smoother operation. The user will no longer have to modify the product.
Implemented full anti-ghosting, that is, the ability to press at least all the buttons at the same time. Whereas on budget office keyboards, the number of simultaneously read keys can be less than ten. This is unacceptable for gaming and, especially, esports keyboards. There are three colors to choose from: Black, White and Retro. The latter is deliberately made of plastic, as if grayed with time, which causes nostalgia for computers from the 1990s.
Reason to buy: Kailh Red in-line switches, 87 percent format, retro styling, factory lube, sound deadening pad, RGB lighting.
Cooler Master CK550 V2 is a living classic of mechanical keyboards on TTC Blue switches (resource 50+ million clicks). In ancient times, when all keyboards were mechanical, they sounded and felt exactly like blue microswitches. A tasty click and a clear response - perhaps this is exactly what it is worth starting to get acquainted with the mechanics.
Well, if the constant clicking turns out to be too annoying for you, or your family members, or colleagues at work, then Cooler Master CK550 V2 exists in modifications with quieter "red" and "brown" switches. Keycaps, by the way, are made in a standardized form, which allows you to replace them with custom ones if you wish, for example, with an alternative language layout or a muffled strike on the metal keyboard substrate.
The keyboard has a built-in 32-bit STMicroelectronics processor based on ARM Cortex-M3 architecture and a flash memory chip. All this allows you to configure both RGB lighting and macros, without the need to install configuration software. However, it is still available and is called Cooler Master MasterPlus+. There is also an ergonomic palm rest for a non-slip finish. There is also a shortened 87% version of the CK530 V2 keyboard.
Reason to buy: TTC Blue click switches, 100 percent format, ARM processor, palm rest, custom keycap compatible, RGB lighting.
The ADATA XPG Summoner is a sandblasted brushed aluminum keyboard weighing almost a kilogram. Another 200 grams is added by a magnetic pad for the hands with a soft surface. Its task is to reduce wrist fatigue and minimize the risk of joint diseases. Unless in the summer heat, the eco-leather cover can soar a little.
Based on linear switches Cherry MX Silver (another name for Speed) with a resource of over 100 million clicks. "Silver" microswitches feature a shorter stroke, making them quicker and quieter to press. Even quieter were only Cherry MX Silent with silicone noise-absorbing pads, but they are no longer in production. There are also modifications of the XPG Summoner with "blue" and "red" switches.
There is a convenient music volume control roller, as well as a pass-through USB port for connecting a wireless mouse. Comes with nine interchangeable red keycaps to highlight the keys most used in your favorite game, such as WASD in Counter-Strike and ZXC in Dota. The RGB glow of the keyboard is configured using the XPG Prime application, which is also responsible for the internal computer components of ADATA: RAM, disks, cooling.
Reason to buy: Cherry MX Silver quick switches, 100 percent format, magnetic palm rest, volume roller, USB pass-through, RGB lighting.
Reason not to buy: Eco-leather can wear out over time.
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