What we bought: The NuPhy Air75 is the low-profile, Mac-friendly mechanical keyboard I’ve been looking for | Jobs Vox


All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you make a purchase through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission. All prices correct at time of publication.

For as long as I can remember, my primary keyboard has been a standard Apple wireless model. I even upgraded the Magic Keyboard when it came out in 2015. After all, I thought it works with my MacBook Pro, I type relatively well on it, and that’s all I need in a keyboard.

Still, I had a secret craving for mechanical keyboards. There’s a part of me that misses the tactile feel of the chunky keyboards of my youth, especially someone who spends as much time typing as I do. Plus, since I now work full-time from home, I no longer have to worry about annoying my neighbors with my typing noise.

So a few months ago, I decided on a whim to do a little more research on the whole mechanical keyboard thing. It took me a few weeks of research, but I finally found one that seemed to fit all my needs: the NuPhy Air75. As it turns out, I fell down a rabbit hole while researching this space. Ended up reading tons of reviews, watching dozens of YouTube videos, and delving into the product category. I learned about different types of keyboards (full-size, no-keys, 75 percent, 65 percent), different switches (linear, tactile, click), keys, and much more. To be honest, I was a little intimidated by the whole thing, but after doing so much research, I was sold. The sweet clicking sound finally convinced me to get one.

NuPhy Air75
NuPhy Air75


My research helped me identify some important criteria for the keyboard I wanted. First of all, I wanted one with a Mac-specific layout. I know most keyboards will work with both Macs and PCs, but not everyone has a Mac layout and I really prefer the keys to match the OS I’m using. Next, it has to be wireless – I don’t like cables and cords cluttering up my desk. I also wanted the keyboard to support multiple devices so I could easily switch it between my work and personal laptops. Also, I prefer hot switches and keys so I have the freedom to change them if I want. Last but not least, I wanted a relatively low profile keyboard because I didn’t want to use a wrist rest.

So I settled on the NuPhy Air75. It’s Mac-friendly, low-profile, has hot switches, and is wireless, with the ability to connect up to four devices—three via Bluetooth and one via a 2.4GHz receiver. I also really like the 75-percent size because the layout is similar to what I’m used to with Apple keyboards. Best of all, I could also purchase it immediately from Amazon instead of waiting for a bulk order, which is common practice in the mechanical keyboard market. As for the switches, I chose the Gateron Brown tactile switches because I’ve read reviews that suggest they’re a good middle ground between the smooth linear red switches and the more clicky blue switches.

I’ve been using the Air75 for months now and I love it. I admit that it took some getting used to at first. The keys have a relatively short travel distance due to the low profile and I made a lot of mistakes at first. But I soon got used to the layout and typing on it is second nature to me. I love the feel of the brown switches too.

NuPhy Air75
NuPhy Air75


I also really like the overall build quality of the Air75. The aluminum frame is solid and the default PBT (polybutylene terephthalate) keycaps also have a great look and feel. I like that the spacebar and enter keys are yellow and orange respectively. The keyboard has two LED light strips on either side, which I find quite attractive, plus they’re functional; You can configure them to light up when the keyboard battery is low or when caps lock is on. Also, it’s very easy to connect via bluetooth, and it’s easy to swap the keyboard between my two laptops (required to press a function key and the assigned number).

However, I do have a few quibbles. The NuPhy Air75 features RGB lighting, but because the keys are low-profile and not transparent, they’re pretty hard to spot. I haven’t used it at all because it kills the keyboard battery. Another is that due to the low-profile nature of the keyboard, it’s hard to find a third-party keyboard that will fit inside the aluminum frame (there just aren’t that many low-profile keyboards on the market). One of the features of customizable mechanical keyboards like this is that you can easily change the keys to any color and design, but it’s not that easy here.

A few months ago I saw a YouTube video that compared the feel of typing on a mechanical keyboard to that of writing with a fountain pen, and I have to agree. Fountain pens make handwriting such a joy because of how fluid and smooth it is. Similarly, typing on the NuPhy Air75 is a pleasure due to this tactile and satisfying feedback. Now that I’ve tried mechanical keyboards like the NuPhy Air75, I don’t think I’ll ever go back to Apple’s standard models.


Source link

Implement tags. Simulate a mobile device using Chrome Dev Tools Device Mode. Scroll page to activate.