Bluetooth pairing is straightforward, and you can change the function row to action keys on both Windows and Mac. I’ve personally had good experiences buying switches from NovelKeys, KBDfans, and 1UpKeyboards. The Anne Pro 2 is the easiest-to-program 60% keyboard, so it’s the best starting point if you want an even more compact keyboard. Even though the ABS keycaps are ugly, they’re standard size, which makes them easy to replace with better ones. ). The Ducky One 2 SF has all the keys most people use and cuts the ones they don’t—hitting the sweet spot of size and layout. It also has clearly labeled media keys along the bottom alphabet row, and you can reach Fn plus the volume up, volume down, and mute keys with a single hand. The predecessor to the Tab 60, the Vortex Pok3r, comes with lower-quality ABS keycaps. Plus, it has wireless support. The Magicforce isn’t fully programmable, but it does have DIP switches on the underside for swapping Caps Lock and Ctrl, swapping the OS key and Fn, and locking the OS key. The Vortex Tab 60 is a solid keyboard with PBT keycaps, but it doesn’t come with a manual, and at the time of our testing, it was not as programmable as a 60% keyboard needs to be. The Anne Pro 2 is the most compact of our picks: It’s about an inch and a half narrower than the Ducky One 2 SF because it lacks dedicated arrow keys and the row of navigation keys on the right side. Switch options: We cover all the switch varieties in depth in our introductory guide to mechanical keyboards, but here’s the TL;DR. If you want an even more compact keyboard and you’re willing to retrain yourself to use shortcuts to access arrow keys, get the Obins Anne Pro 2. The Tab 75 is available with a wide variety of Cherry switches, and as with our other picks we recommend MX Brown switches unless you know you want something else. © 2020 Wirecutter, Inc., A New York Times Company, Backlighting isn’t essential, but it is fun. But the Magicforce is a superb budget board with a sturdy (and good-looking) aluminum backplate, and even though the ABS keycaps are ugly, they’re standard size, which makes them easy to replace with better ones. The Razer Huntsman Mini is also a well-made keyboard with quality PBT keycaps and RGB backlighting. Please try again. We recommend the Anne Pro 2 because of how easy and user-friendly it is to customize—a crucial feature in a 60% keyboard without dedicated arrow keys. Its aluminum backplate is solid and stylish, it stays put on a desk, and its open design looks nice. Amazon.com: TADA68 Fully Assembled Mechanical Keyboard with Zealio switches(62g 65g 67g 78g) Plastic case dye subbed keycap (Zealio Switch 67g): Computers & Accessories And its gentle slope is better for your wrists than a keyboard with a steep upward slope at the back. We recommend Cherry, Gateron, or Kailh switches, in that order. MechanicalKeyboards.com offers preorders (though you may have to wait a month or two) and maintains an incoming-shipments page. (The USB-C plug is located on the back-left side.) For compact keyboards that still have all the keys most people need—75% and 65%/68% keyboards—basic customizability is fine. Here’s what to look for and what makes a good keyboard. It can work wirelessly and comes with Mac-specific keycaps. (They’re not labeled on the keycaps, so you have to memorize their locations.) We tested the process on Windows, and it requires basic knowledge of how to navigate file structures in the terminal; we ran into an error because the config file needs to be in the same folder as the app (the directions weren’t explicit about this). After viewing product detail pages, look here to find an easy way to navigate back to pages you are interested in. It’s a 68% keyboard just like the Ducky One 2 SF, but it has superior build quality and a more attractive design. As we narrowed down the contenders, we used the finalists for weeks of constant typing and tested any Bluetooth connections on Windows, macOS, and Chrome OS. The One 2 SF’s shine-through PBT keycaps are some of the best-looking and best-feeling keycaps we’ve tested. If our picks aren’t available in the switches you want or with the keycaps you want, you can preorder at MechanicalKeyboards.com, keep an eye on that seller’s incoming-shipments page, or set availability alerts on Amazon using a price tracker such as CamelCamelCamel or Keepa. I’ve spent thousands of hours typing on all these different kinds of keyboards and switches to land on some reasonable recommendations for people who need only one keyboard. Drop’s instructions say that folks there are working to improve the loading process, so we’ll keep an eye out for updates. If you’re lucky, you might be able to find a model with more durable, better-looking PBT keycaps on Amazon, but they disappear frequently and typically have more limited switch options. This fits your . (We also found that the Magicforce version with PBT keycaps doesn’t rattle or resonate quite as much as the more common model with thinner, cheaper ABS keycaps.). The Vortex Race 3 is the predecessor of the Tab 75. Of the dozens of keyboards we’ve tested, we think the Ducky One 2 SF is the best compact mechanical keyboard for most people’s needs. The manual also details how to customize the RGB backlight, what the DIP switches do, and how to swap the functions of the Esc, Caps Lock, left Ctrl, left OS, left Alt, right Alt, and Fn keys; doing so is a bit tricky, but it does work as stated in the manual. Most are made in Taiwan or China and shipped to the United States in batches to be sold by specialty retailers such as MechanicalKeyboards.com. On top of that, as a fun bonus, it has customizable RGB backlighting. Here’s a high-level overview of the terms you need to know to buy the right keyboard for your needs. According to the Anne Pro website, the Anne Pro 2 has a one-year warranty. Since the Magicforce is a budget board, it doesn’t come with many extras; the only thing included in the box is a plastic keycap puller, which we don’t recommend using because it can damage the edges of your keycaps. The Magicforce is available with a bunch of different switches of varying quality. Without the included feet, the Alt lies completely flat; you could also attach the feet to the back to provide a gentle slope akin to the One 2 SF’s default position, if you prefer. The Alt doesn’t come with any extra keycaps, but the package does include a nice aluminum-handled wire keycap puller, a metal tool to change out the hot-swappable switches, and two magnetic aluminum feet. It sounds a bit louder and cheaper because of its more resonant backplate, but it still provides an enjoyable typing experience. The Drop Alt offers the best typing experience and the most customization with hot-swappable switches and full programmability, but it’s expensive. That opens up a ton of size, layout, switch, and programmability options, but such keyboards are less readily available, tend to be more expensive, and require a lot more tinkering. Kimber Streams is a senior staff writer and has been covering laptops, gaming gear, keyboards, storage, and more for Wirecutter since 2014. As explained above, it’s possible, but confusing, to customize the One 2 SF. It also works with both Windows and Mac out of the box, though you need to swap the OS key location in macOS or go through the full programming process if you want to move it. Plus, the Alt is fully programmable and has hot-swappable switches, so you can try different switches without having to break out a soldering iron. Plus, it’s expensive. Unable to add item to Wish List. This could be fixed with a future firmware and software update from Vortex, and we’ll retest the Tab 60 if that happens. At 12.38 by 5.13 by 1.5 inches, the Tab 75 takes up a bit less horizontal room than the One 2 SF or the Alt. Your question may be answered by sellers, manufacturers, or customers who purchased this item, who are all part of the Amazon community. The Tab 75 has a full function row at the top but doesn’t take up more horizontal desk space. Copyright © 1995-2020 eBay Inc. All Rights Reserved. If you frequently use the function row of keys along the top of the keyboard, we recommend the Vortex Tab 75. The Alt is the most ergonomically friendly compact keyboard we’ve tested. (We recommend Browns.) Mechanical switches come in three main varieties: linear, tactile, and clicky. (The Leopold FC660M doesn’t have media keys at all.) If you already love the HHKB layout, you don’t need us to tell you to get this keyboard, and if you’re not sure, you probably don’t want it. The Ducky One 2 Mini is the 60% version of our top pick, the One 2 SF. Many shine-through PBT keycaps have ugly fonts with lines through some legends (what’s printed on the keycap), which is a result of the way PBT keycaps are designed, with a cross of plastic bars under each keycap. We’ll retest it if this changes with a firmware or software update. If you’re willing to pay more for an even better typing experience and a keyboard that you can tinker with—but you don’t want to learn how to solder—get the Drop Alt. Unlike our other picks, the Tab 75 lacks feet to adjust the angle—what you get is what you get. You can always buy different keycaps and add them later, but compact keyboards are more likely to have non-standard keycap sizes that are a little trickier to find replacements for. The black model we tested came with an extra spacebar and a handful of bright red accent keycaps for the arrow keys, Esc, Enter, and 1.75u Shift key. The Anne Pro 2 is available with a bunch of different switches and can connect via USB-C or Bluetooth.

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