First Mechanical Keyboard

A few weeks ago, I bought a new — my first mechanical keyboard. … and I regret it.

This story began a few months ago when I was looking around Facebook and saw a picture of a beautiful keyboard. At that moment, I said to my self that I should buy that kind of keyboard, the mechanical one — with interchangeable keycaps. Next, I start digging to know more about a mechanical keyboard and decide what keyboard should I buy.

My budget is IDR 1,4000,000 or USD ~100.00

First, regarding size, I don’t want a big and beefy keyboard. My first options are TKL (75% board) and 60% board. The problem with 60% is it often doesn’t have arrow keys which are a must for me. There are 60% keyboard with arrow keys though but I don’t like the placement of ‘?’ and right shift which is uncommon. 75% seems good to me, but Fn keys and navigation cluster is a little bit of waste of space because I rarely use them. Hmmm, I keep searching and finally found something interesting, 65%/66% layout with normal layout, with arrow keys but no Fn keys.

Next, I need to find out what 65% keyboards that available on the market right now. Fortunately, there is a website called keyboardcatalog.com that provide this kind of information. After some deep research and thought, the most logical picks are Leopold FC660M, Tada68 or Varmilo VA68M. I personally don’t like Varmilo products, Idk why, I just don’t like it. Tada68 seems to be good, the review in geekhack and deskthority is quite positive but to get this keyboard I need to buy from China. The last one is Leopold FC660M, built like a tank (as they say in geekhack and deskthority), unique and compact layout, also originally from Korea, not China.

So, the keyboard is Leopold FC660M. The next step is to pick what kind of switch and keyboard color. FC660M comes in three switch variant, Cherry MX Blue, Cherry MX Brown, and Cherry MX Red. At first glance, I naively pick Cherry MX Brown among others, from what I read, it has tactile bump and not as loud as Cherry MX Blue. Until I got my hands on my friend keyboard with Cherry MX Red and it feels quite good. As for the color, my fiance suggested that I should pick white color, but when she saw the navy, suddenly she changes her mind. In the end, I’m OK with Cherry MX Brown or Cherry MX blue on navy color.

Time to find Leopold FC660M Navy with Cherry MX Brown/Red on an online marketplace. 5 minutes and got it, CTRL + D. I don’t have money to buy.

One day, I try a friend’s keyboard - 75% layout. For a second, I add Leopold FC750R as an option for me.

… many months later.

Me: Should I buy FC660M or FC750R. FC660M — haven’t tried but I want to buy it. FC750R — I have tried it and feels good

Evil : FC750R

I open up an online marketplace, looking for Leopold FC750R Navy with Cherry MX Brown/Red, checkout, and buy.

… 5 days later.

A courier comes up with my keyboard. Yeay! My first ever mechanical keyboard. After using it for about a week, here’s my impression of this keyboard.

Build quality: Heavy. Built like a tank

Keycaps: PBT, front side printing, low profile, very good for typing

Feels: Cherry MX Red, so light, sometimes it registers a press when I touch the surface of keycaps without any pressure

Accessories: Comes with detachable cable, cable has 3 routing options, has a stepped Capslock keycap, LED for Capslock and Scroll lock

Size: This is a side for me, this keyboard is bigger than I thought, I find it too long for my desk

Overall: This keyboard has A to A- for all aspect, good build quality, good keycaps, numero uno in this price range

As I mentioned before, this keyboard’s size is bigger than expected. I start to lose my interest in this keyboard, rarely use it and finally, I regret buying. I should stick with my first option, Leopold FC660M with Cherry MX Brown/Red.

Now I’m selling this keyboard.