Like any programmer I use a keyboard practically every day, and finding a decent keyboard that’s right for you can be somewhat of a lottery. Being sick of my spare keyboard which feels like typing on some squishy sea creature (my usual keyboard developed intermittent keys), I decided to visit a retail store so I could actually feel the key action on some display models. Going in expecting to be disappointed with an array of £100+ keyboards, I was pleasantly surprised to find a mechanical keyboard at the somewhat more realistic price of £35, proper travel on keys, with £ # and `symbols all where they are supposed to be.
The keyboard in question is the ADX FIREFIGHT MK04, which turns out to be a Winbond device (ADXMK0419) apparently the ADX brand is just a rebadging operation for Currys / PC World. While some might not like the deeper travel common with mechanical keyboards, I prefer this feedback and I’ve very quickly got used to it. Thankfully the twee RGB lights can be toned down so as not to be distracting, while you don’t look at a keyboard that flashing pulsating light in your peripheral vision can be irritating. The keyboard does remember the settings when it looses power.
Somewhat surprising is the weight of the keyboard, the designers are obviously thinking that weighty signals quality, but this keyboard is almost a kilo in weight (I kid you not I weighed it!) There’s got to be a big solid lump of metal in the base ! almost bordering on ridiculous.
The actual layout is good including a number pad and full cursor key block, despite that bit extra travel in the keys, they seem well spaced without anything feeling like an awkward stretch.
I’d been on the look out for a decent keyboard for a while, but loathed to try the gamble by ordering over the internet – keyboards really are one of those products you need to actually handle before you buy.
So while I’m not usually a fan of box shifters with staff that don’t really know much about what they are selling, it seems in this case they have been able to provide a decent quality product, at a realistic price, wonders will never cease…