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My first mechanical keyboard (Xarmor U9 Plus Cherry Blue) impressions.

post #1 of 51
Thread Starter 
Mechanical keyboards are all the rage now and I decided to bite the bullet and purchase one. I spend a lot of time on the computer and felt like it would be a worthy investment. I wanted to leave my impressions here on the board so hopefully this will aid others who are also looking to transition into a mechanical keyboard.

Before I get into the impressions I wanted to leave little background information myself.

I am replacing my three year old Logitech G11 rubber dome keyboard.

I am very familiar with mechanical switch technology because another hobby of mine is to customize arcade sticks and to play fighting games competitively (high quality arcade sticks and buttons use mechanical switches).

I average over 100wpm, with my fastest recorded speed being around 150 on type racer.

With that said, I purchased my Xarmor U9 Plus a few days ago and got it in today. It's basically exactly like the U9 BL as far as I can tell based on the reviews I've read. Most people who have reviewed or posted impressions of that keyboard will probably have stated everything I will, so parts of this post may seem redundant and for that I apologize.

The keyboard itself looks pretty good. It has a rubberized coating and it feels pretty nice although it does attract finger oil, but can be wiped off.

The model I chose had Cherry MX Blues (they do carry them in brown as well). The typing felt really smooth and I was impressed with the way they felt, although not surprised since I have experience with mechanical switches from playing arcade games.

The keyboard came with a number of accessories, which include the wrist rest (which is also coated in rubber) and 4 extra orange keycaps for WASD and one keycap remover.

Upon removing the keycaps, I was surprised to find LED's on each individual switch. At first I was wondering if perhaps they sent me the wrong model, but I plugged it in and the LED's were non functional. Perhaps it is possible to mod these to get the LED's working, but I didn't bother to open up the casing to check.

O2PMv.jpg

Overall the transition from rubber dome to mechanical is quite enjoyable and didn't take me more than a few seconds to get used to it. This particular keyboard I had a lot of pet peeves with. First and foremost all the larger keys (shift, space, backspace, etc.) felt... kinda different? They felt more stiff and just not as responsive as the typing keys. I read a post on geek hack which showed they used cheap stabilizers, and I found them to feel very... cheap. I took some of the keys off and found that the stabilizers were exactly as shown on the photo I saw prior to ordering. The larger keys also see saw around when you bottom them out. I'm not sure if this is an attribute all mechanical keyboards have since I don't have anything else to compare it to, however, I highly doubt it is.

Another problem I had with it, was that the indicators for the num lock, caps lock, and scroll lock were not very well done. The LED for the numlock was so bright, that it made the caps lock look like it was on because it shined through it. The picture below has caps lock off, but it looks like it is on. Also once you attach the wrist rest it was practically impossible to take off without damaging it.

hinLv.jpg

I did a quick trial test and I was typing just as fast as I normally do. I came into this knowing a mechanical keyboard probably wouldn't really improve my typing or gaming much, but would make it more comfortable and it has proven thus so far.

I'm glad I ordered it from a store with a return policy. I plan on returning the keyboard and moving on to a better quality one now that I've had a chance to try one. (A Das keyboard is what I am thinking of getting now)

I am thinking of switching to browns because although the blues felt nice, I didn't like the actuator for double tapping, as many have stated. The one thing I will say that I miss is having a nice dedicated volume knob and media keys that most rubber domes have. I'm not quite sure why almost all mechanical keyboards lack this feature.

So in the long run, if you want to get a mechanical keyboard, know that if you buy one that is cheaper, you'll probably be lacking quality somewhere. As I hear Razer and iOne(xarmor) use the same OEM, so I assume that Razer quality is around the same as the board I got.

[ame]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_oxX07ERyBw[/ame]
Edited by gl0ry - 6/1/11 at 6:41pm
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post #2 of 51
gratz man, im wayyy to cheap to overclock my keyboard, I keep using super old Compaq keyboards from machines long dead, always PS/2 Connection as well

my mouse is the first to go USB
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post #3 of 51
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by StormX2;13717877 
gratz man, im wayyy to cheap to overclock my keyboard, I keep using super old Compaq keyboards from machines long dead, always PS/2 Connection as well

my mouse is the first to go USB

hah, I am using ps/2 too on the mechanical due to n-key rollover, not that it really matters, but hey, it saves me a usb slot and it has an additional feature so why not!
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post #4 of 51
I have a Razer Black Widow and I like it a lot.
post #5 of 51
Actually other than the keys being the same (not unusual since a lot of keys come from the same handful of companies) nobody has confirmed that Razer uses iOne for ODM/OEM/or anything for that matter. PCBs look completely different.
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post #6 of 51
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ripster;13720268 
Actually other than the keys being the same (not unusual since a lot of keys come from the same handful of companies) nobody has confirmed that Razer uses iOne for ODM/OEM/or anything for that matter. PCBs look completely different.

That's cool then. Just something I read a while back and wasn't sure about.

Can you confirm for me whether or not other mechanical keyboards have this see-sawing problem with keys? It's in my video I'll find you the exact time.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_oxX07ERyBw#t=7m43s

It's something that I really disliked. I am returning the keyboard and opting for a Das cherry brown instead.
Edited by gl0ry - 6/1/11 at 9:48pm
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post #7 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by gl0ry;13717754 
As I hear Razer and iOne(xarmor) use the same OEM
Thanks god this is definitely not true. Xarmor is way a better product than BW.
post #8 of 51
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Solutor;13724333 
Thanks god this is definitely not true. xarmor is way a better product than BW.

lol that avatar is so familiar. I've seen your posts on geekhack and you usually defend the xarmor a lot.

I' not trying to say the xarmor is a terrible product by any means, but it definitely felt cheap to me, and it was my first mechanical keyboard experience, but to be fair I have no other mechanical keyboard to compare it to.
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post #9 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by gl0ry;13720485 
That's cool then. Just something I read a while back and wasn't sure about.

Can you confirm for me whether or not other mechanical keyboards have this see-sawing problem with keys? It's in my video I'll find you the exact time.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_oxX07ERyBw#t

It's something that I really disliked. I am returning the keyboard and opting for a Das cherry brown instead.

Whoah - my Filco doesn't do that. Those "stabilizers" wobble more than Danny DeVito after a few drinks.

#t=7m43s
[ame]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_oxX07ERyBw[/ame]
Edited by ripster - 6/2/11 at 10:25am
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post #10 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Solutor;13724333 
Thanks god this is definitely not true. Xarmor is way a better product than BW.

Who makes the Black Widow then?
Edited by ch_123 - 6/2/11 at 10:06am
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