Cheap Mechanical Keyboard

Cheap Mechanical Keyboard

So I’ve been a fan of mechanical keyboards for a while - I’ve purchased a number of the years. The best one that I’ve used to date is the Matias Tactile Pro but that died after a few years of use, but I’ve also tried some of the other ones on the market. I didn’t really have a preference in terms of switches, but I’d tried the Matias ones, and quite liked them.

Anyhow, most of the time, I don’t use a mechanical keyboard. My work keyboard for a long time has been a Logitech K350 as this has provided the best feeling for me when typing for a long period of time, such as a work day. I had one at home, but I’d switched to a Corsair Raptor K30 for gaming, and partly because the K350 I had at home seemed to be having intermittent issues.

The Corsair isn’t a mechanical keyboard, but it’s served me perfectly well for a while.

However, at the minute, I’m living away from home and my desk itself is much smaller than my home desk. This has led to some issues, as the Corsair taking up most of the desk and leaves little room for anything else. I certainly wouldn’t have room for Logitech, as that keyboard is huge! Even using a trackball instead of a mouse hasn’t helped matters to the extent that I thought it would - the trackball obviously not requiring me to move my hand, just the trackball.

So the other solution looked to be getting a keyboard within a numpad. I can’t recall ever having a keyboard without the numpad to be honest, but space was needed, so this meant getting myself one.

There’s plenty of devices out there that I could have got, but I ended up looking at the cheaper end of the market. It turns out that there’s some fairly decent kit out there for cheap. Or I just lucky with the keyboard!

I purchased myself a Tecknet 88 key Mechanical keyboard (and as it’s for gamers, it has RGB). The keyboard itself uses blue switches (they aren’t Cherry ones but a clone) and so the keys have a satisfying click to them. I’ve not used an IBM Model M keyboard, but I imagine this is almost on par with how loud that is supposed to be.

Setup on desk

The keyboard works extremely well. For the price, I’m very impressed. All keys operate as they should, the function keys work nicely on Windows and Mac - the only major issue is on the Mac where pressing play automatically brings up the Apple default Music app, rather than my player of choice, Swinsian. I’m not sure I can change that anywhere or if I could mix it up with a Keyboard Maestro shortcut, but once Swinsian is open and playing, the button works as it should.

However, it does have some questionable features, such as a flashing keyboard…

This gets annoying after a while…

Now, I’m not quite sure why this is needed - I keep mine with the backlight constantly on, though there are different modes of operation (and you can turn it off if you so wish!)

The mechanical switches are blue - whilst they aren’t Cherry Switches, they feel similar. The blue switch matches the blue Cherry switches - in that they’re tactile and clicky, so they’re quite noisy. In fact, with the current Covid lock down, it’s been a bit of a liability, as I’m not able to type whilst using my microphone, as the key strokes are getting recorded and transmitted! It happens when using Microsoft Teams (which is understandable, as the microphone is always on) but it’s also happening when I’m using Discord (which picks up my voice, or in this case, keyboard sounds, to transmit)!

I’m not sure if it’ll last as long as Cherry switch based keyboard, but at £30, it’s a steal. Overall, it’s an excellent keyboard if you wanted to try out a mechanical keyboard (or like me, had a small space that needed a keyboard).