Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Cheap-o Mechanical Keyboard Review. The F21-7D.

In the online PC hardware/gaming communities, mechanical keyboards have gained a bit of a cult following. For years, many people have praised the classic IBM Model M for its fantastic switch design. For those who don't know, instead of using standard rubber membrane switches like many other keyboards, this instead uses a fantastic "Buckling Spring" method to register input. As a result, using the keyboard offers brilliant tactile feedback, as well as there being an incredibly satisfying *CLICK* noise every time a key is pressed.

Since the IBM Model M was created in late 80s/ Early 90s, other companies have designed their own "Tactile" switches. For example, one company, Das Keyboard, specialise in manufacturing mechanical keyboards alone. Other hardware companies, such as SteelSeries, Razer and Rosewill also produce their own branded keyboard. I could bore you with the nerdy stuff about different switch types and actuation forces etc. but i'll save you, for now.

Now, the main problem with these brilliant keyboards is how expensive they are...

Now, me being fairly frugal, put off buying something like the "Razer Blackwidow" simply because paying £80 (~$125) didn't really seem worth it for a keyboard with clicky buttons. However, as with most things, there is always a solution, made from cheap parts and assembled in a warehouse somewhere in China.

The F21-7D

I found this keyboard on Amazon for a price of just £35 ($55). Honestly, I was fairly skeptical about the quality of the thing when i purchased it, half expecting the thing to fall apart within a week. Well after 4 or so months, it's still going strong!

The good
  • Arguably the cheapest mechanical keyboard on the market.
  • Nice tactile feedback from the switches
  • Quality far exceeded expectations.
The bad
  • Bizaare small backspace key takes some adjustment to get used to.
  • No option for plastic WASD keys, silicone only.
  • US ANSI layout only, no UK version 

Overall though, it's great quality for the price and probably the cheapest way of getting a mechanical keyboard.

                                                  Video via youtube user "

1 comment:

  1. Good review. I will look into them. Thanks!!/MemeDoctor