So, how about some keyboard pron?
As far as a review goes:Installation
This couldn't be easier to install:
- Unlatch the 4 locks on the bottom of your plastic housing - a butter knife works great, apply just enough pressure and then they unclip.
- Disconnect the white connector and use a screwdriver to unscrew the ground pin.
- Remove the entire keyboard assembly from the plastic housing - the cable will stay behind (You can undo the ferrite core around the ground, and remove the cable from the housing, if you wish)
After you get the keyboard out of its original housing assembly goes as follows:
- Attach two brass feet using provided hardware (short countersunk screws)
- Fold cable over to allow it to connect, and connect it to keyboard PCB - the tab should face the top of the PCB as you connect it.
- Align the two pieces of the case and insert all 4 screws
- Tighten them in a standard cross pattern so that things go down evenly
- Install rubber pads on brass feet, and on indicated machined portion of the bottom of the case
Yeah, it's heavy, makes the keyboard feel quite substantial when held. The weight has an added benefit - it provides additional resistance for the rubber feet - this keyboard isn't going to move unless you want it to - this is great. The case is generally cool to the touch - I enjoy this sensation, even though most of the time you won't be touching the case of the keyboard, rather the keys; other users may wish to take this into consideration - though it should be obvious given its metal construction.
The brass feet seem to be slightly tarnished - though I'm certain this can be cleaned up and further prevented with very little effort - they are just dull and matte instead of bright and glossy like they are in the eBay pictures - to be expected, not going to dock the seller or producer for this one, it's the nature of the beast. The rubber pads are very high quality 3M permanent self-adhesive pads, though the ones for the brass feet are not cut perfectly to size, I don't think this affects their merit at all - the portion that isn't covered isn't going to be making contact with any surface a keyboard should be on, so it won't affect performance.
When assembling my case, I found that the screws on the edge with the USB ports were very difficult to thread properly, and tighten down. This is due to the underlying support structure being very close to the screw shank, and I'm not certain it would occur with every keyboard manufactured as it could be within the fault tolerance of the machining. It didn't prevent the case being put together, and it certainly doesn't affect it's usability, but it is another small quality discrepancy. The anodization is a nearly perfect finish, with small imperfections in places where they are warranted, generally around tightly machined bits. It's a very thick and durable layer as well, very abrasion resistant - as I made the mistake of allowing the two halves of the case slide against each other without any visible marking. All of the fasteners were Black Oxide metric (M3?) and hex drive. They were also all slightly tarnished (which happens pretty easily with black oxide fasteners).
The USB Hub is unfortunately only USB 2.0, though this is of little concern for me as I will likely only be using it for small low powered devices anyways - not heavy file transfers. The other concern with the USB hub, and the Mini-USB connector on the keyboard is that this removes ALL cable management features of the keyboard. This isn't a huge concern to me, and I'm considering building my own cable with a right-angle Mini-USB cable to make the cable drop more gracefully to the surface of the desk.
As far as the typing experience goes, they angle of the keyboard is slightly less pronounced, and the keyboard is a smidge taller. Using my usual wrist rest I find that this makes the keyboard more comfortable to type on overall, though more time is needed to pass proper judgement on that. The rubber feet and overall weight/density of the case seems to deaden the noise of the clack from bottoming out, but not by enough for it to revolutionize the audible footprint of the clack.
Overall, I'm pretty nitpicky, and all of the "issues" with this case are minor quality discrepancies - most of which are unavoidable given the materials and processes used. Aesthetically it is incredible, and something one has to see in person to appreciate. Precision machining with fairly tight tolerance is always a thing of beauty. Coupled with a fantastic finish and hefty weight - I couldn't be happier. The minor quality discrepancies, and cosmetic blemishes are all pretty easy to rectify and are of no fault
to the manufacturer or seller. My only real negative is the removal of the cable management features of the keyboard. I'd give it an overall 4.8/5, the issues with it are so negligible that it shouldn't really be of concern, though when one is expected to pay almost $400 for a single purpose product - the quality control should be impeccable. Given that I purchased this at a reduced price of $200, I suppose it is acceptable.Edited by Xaero252 - 12/15/13 at 2:43pm