Fashion over form aka the lofree keyboard

So as part of the fun for being on the road at the moment, my “disposable” cheap laptop took a dive just after the NS32032 article.  I’m in a town that has a remarkable manufacturing base, however there is nowhere to get anything even slightly computer related.

But no problem you say, we live in the future, and the future is internet delivery.  While there is no Amazon delivery in China, I went ahead and ordered a bluetooth keyboard and mouse on TaoBao for my existing Windows 10 tablet making it into a quick desktop.  I’ve already used Microsoft ARC mice before, but the bluetooth model is great.  Snap to configure, and it’s a real pleasure to use.  The head is more pressure sensitive, like something Apple would have made, making scrolling a breeze.

But that isn’t what we are here for…

So, having to buy a keyboard sight un-seen, I knew I would have to probably go past the super cheap discount stuff that is labeled bluetooth, but probably isn’t, and look at the higher end stuff.  And that is when this thing caught my eye:

Keyboard

The keyboard set me back 599 RMB, which isn’t too bad, and I have to say I had high hopes for this keyboard.  Yuantong Express thought it was OK to just leave it in the building next to where I’m staying, and didn’t bother to notify me, as it should be somehow obvious.  Although they were fast to deliver, not knowing for 2 days that they had delivered kind of sucked.

Looking at the box, I couldn’t tell if it was some artistic minimalist design, or if this was aiming for something higher end.

Opening the box, and taking out the Styrofoam cover reveals the keyboard in one of those soft plastic bags with a quick start guide, and an accessories box.

tThis is the enclosed USB charging cable.  The keyboard itself boasts of a 4000 mAh battery.  I would hope it would last a long time, however I do enjoy the back-lighting so I’m sure that greatly reduces the longevity.

The keyboard itself feels really solidly constructed.  It doesn’t suffer from being made out of weak or inferior plastic.  The keys feel nice to the touch, kind of reminding me of the older Italian keyboards with their nice rounded and indented keys that fit nice on your fingertips.   The backlight makes looking at it, and looking for keys pretty easy to spot.. which brings me to the bad spot.

Being a reduced form-factor keyboard, this isn’t built as something you can just pick up and touch-type with ease.  While I do know how to touch type, the big gotchas are the right shit being incredibly small, and the number row is literally one off.  I find myself drifting to the up arrow half of the time I want to shift, and always a number off.  It can be a bit irritating, but the keyboard looks so nice it’s almost forgivable.

I would worry about shoving this thing into a bag, and traveling with it, as the keys sit high, and I’d hate to break it.

When I started to write this, I went to look it iup, and it turns out it was actually on indiegogo.com.  Interestingly enough that means I paid $90 for this keyboard, that is currently $125+shipping.  Although me being in China means I win out in shipping.

In all it’s not the worst keyboard I’ve used, and will end up taking a little getting used to.  But when compared to something like the Microsoft Surface Pro type cover, this is about a billion times better.

As a bonus they threw in a simple tablet stand.  I’d overlooked the need for one, so having it included with the keyboard was a nice bonus.

For anyone who cares, this is where I bought it.

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About neozeed

What is there to tell? I've loved UNIX like things since I was first exposed to QNX in highschool (we had the Unisys ICONS!), and spent the better time of my teenage years trying to get my own UNIX... I should have bought Coherent in retrospect.. Anyways latched onto Linux in 1992, and then got some old BSD admin books and have been hooked on the VAX BSD & other big/ancient things since...!

7 thoughts on “Fashion over form aka the lofree keyboard

      • I mean, you COULD swap the caps, then rebind everything at the OS keycode level. (That works, even for VMs – but it won’t if you change host OS or need to be at firmware…) Alternatively, if possible, maybe even clobber the keyboard firmware?

      • That sounds suspiciously like a lot of work.. lol

        I’ll probably have to look into it later on though

  1. I switched to TrulyErgonomic keyboard a few years ago. First few weeks were hell due to completely different vertical arrangement of keys, but once I got used to it it was so much better.

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