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First, a confession: I’m not typing on the Mercury Rocketeer keyboard right now. It’s not because I don’t love the design, the colors, the keys, and the switches. It’s because I can’t use the type of keyboard the Rocketeer is without driving myself nuts.

This keyboard, a collaboration between designer Zslane and Massdrop, is a 60% layout. This means its about as big as a standard typewriter but doesn’t have arrow keys or a number pad. This means, in practice, you have to press a function key to access the arrow keys and other things that you might be used to if you use a lot of command lines and shortcuts.

That said, as a lover of mechanical keyboards I will try to use this one as often as I can to write. The key travel is amazing, the sound is satisfying as a Selectric, and the design is wonderful.

At $250 it’s a bit steep but the entire package, from the wonderful keycaps to the aluminum case, are very well executed. I could definitely seeing this be a writer’s keyboard a la the Freewrite or a second keyboard for those who need very few of the key commands that I depend on.

The bottom line? I love this thing. But because of my typing and work style I can’t use it. If you’d like me to send it to you, please comment below and I’ll ship it out to a lucky reader.

SPECS

  • Designed by Zslane
  • Produced by Massdrop
  • 61 keys
  • Powder-coated die-cast aluminum frame
  • Custom 60% PCB
  • Kaihua hot-swap switch sockets
  • QMK firmware
  • Cherry-style stabilizers
  • Aluminum or brass switch plate
  • Dual USB-C connectors
  • SA doubleshot ABS keycaps
  • Dimensions: 12.1 x 5.4 x 1.5 in (30.7 x 13.7 x 3.9 cm)
  • Weight: 32.2 oz (912 g)

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By John Biggs

John Biggs is an entrepreneur, consultant, writer, and maker. He spent fifteen years as an editor for Gizmodo, CrunchGear, and TechCrunch and has a deep background in hardware startups, 3D printing, and blockchain. His work has appeared in Men’s Health, Wired, and the New York Times.

6 thoughts on “Review: The Mercury Rocketeer Keyboard”
  1. I love it! The colors are great, and I need a better typing keyboard. I’d be happy to take it off your hands.

  2. I would love a keyboard like that. Additionally I love your site and have it in my Feedly app every day. Great stuff.

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