In my last keyboard review (here), I mentioned how enamored I had become of typing with a keyboard that featured mechanical switches under the keycaps. That one was definitely full-size, complete with the 10-key over on the right. Well, what if you don’t want the 10-key, or you simply need a more compact solution for a smaller space? Then something like the Vortexgear New 75 is worth a look.
If you recall, in our prior WFH roundup I mentioned a keyboard as something to consider. At the office, I’m used to using a work-provided external keyboard at the desk. Of course, at home, that wasn’t the case. So, we reached out to some brands to see what we could check out, and one of the first in was the Das Keyboard 4 Professional.
In case you haven’t heard, we’ve got a bit of a pandemic going on right now. Global, even. That means that quite a large percentage of the workforce has shifted to remote working to keep the lights on. While that means network infrastructure has been tested, you might also be testing your home work setup. To that end, we here at KN have some recommendations for you to consider to bolster your productivity. (image credit: Malte Mueller/Getty Images/fStop)
When it comes to keyboards, I tend to be a bit of a luddite (in a sense) – I just take whatever comes along with what the machine has, or whatever external keyboard is provided at the office. If I wanted to annoy my co-workers with my music, though, something like the Knewkey Rocksete would definitely be worth checking out.
The iPad pro is definitely one of the more powerful tablets out there. With it’s pen support, larger screen, and additional capabilities that come with that hardware, there could certainly be a temptation to use it as an ultra-lightweight laptop replacement. If you’re planning to do any sort of writing (text, code, whatever) I’m guessing the pen input is not what you want. For that, you want a keyboard. Well, how about a keyboard that makes the iPad Pro look almost like a MacBook, complete with trackpad? That’s what the Libra keyboard is offering up.
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.
Designed by Zslane
Produced by Massdrop
Powder-coated die-cast aluminum frame
Custom 60% PCB
Kaihua hot-swap switch sockets
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)