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Dmitry Dolzhenko

Three months with a mechanical keyboard

Keychrone K8

Even though I use a laptop as my main work computer, the lid is usually closed while the laptop is connected to an external monitor and a keyboard. And for a long time I was a happy Apple Magic Keyboard user. Until this summer, when I impulsively ordered my first mechanical keyboard.

The hype around them has been chasing me for a long time. Nowadays, it seems like every second computer geek uses a mechanical keyboard of some sort. I heard so many people talking about endless customisation possibilities and superior tactile experience, so eventually I gave up and decided to give it a try.

After doing some research and considering what I already knew about the available options, I decided to go with Keychrone, which is probably one of the most popular brands. My model is Keychrone K9 Pro, with brown switches, aluminium frame, and RGB back-light.

The last one turned out to be quite useless as I really have my eyes on a keyboard and not often work in the dark.

The Keychrone K9 has a limited 65% layout and I also made a mistake ordering a version with ANSI layout instead of ISO as on my laptop. So it took a few weeks to adjust my typing habits. But now it feels as natural as my previous keyboard.

Besides the back-light tweaking, the only customisation I did so far is remapping Caps Lock to Left Control. On macOS, one can also do this in the system settings, so I'm not sure if it counts. I may consider using a different set of key-caps to slightly change the look of the keyboard. Not sure that I'm going to customize it beyond that.

I must say that the tactile and emotional experience exceeded my expectations. The keyboard is heavy and solid. It is durable, and it makes an impression that it will serve me for many years. I was afraid that is going to be too loud, but the sound turned out to be just right. Long key travel was something new to get used after years of using Apple's low-profile keyboards, but it diffidently improves the typing experience for me.

After three month of using the keyboard, I still feel a bit excited every time I return to my work station knowing that I'm going to type using my new keyboard. I haven't become a mechanical keyboard enthusiast or a geek though and most likely won't. However, I'm happy that I tried it and unlikely will switch back.

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