This week I have been mostly playing Sons of the Forest. Although me and Kelvin have something special—he keeps crawling back even when I toss full-size logs in his face, ON ACCIDENT—I don't think even the new best boi of video games (opens in new tab) can live up to my love of low profile keyboards.
This month I have been mostly testing keyboards.
My low profile board was pried from me last week. In it's place, Razer's newest Blackwidow offering. With linear yellows (gross, why, Dave?) and a line of macros on the left side, I've had to basically retrain myself to use it.
Before I fully barreled my way onto the PC hardware scene, I was rather partial to a chiclet keyboard—now hear me out. They were bouncy and felt faster to type on than any standalone keyboard I'd previously had my hands on. Of course, I now understand that past Katie was objectively wrong, and that mechanical keyboards are superior in every way to membrane boards. And yet, as I tapped away on my Razer clicky greens (I know, I've got my flaws), a part of me still pined for the short actuation of a chiclet board.
That is, until I finally got my hands on a low profile mechanical gaming keyboard. Little did I know this would be the start of a beautiful love affair.
My first run in with a low profile mechanical board came in testing the Gigabyte Aorus 17X (opens in new tab), a desktop replacement gaming laptop that made my standard mechanical board feel utterly inferior—seriously, I felt like a fucking maestro typing away on this thing. We were in love.
Gigabyte is the same company that brought us the slimmest gaming laptop with mechanical click clacks, in the form of the Aorus 15G. With the 17X the company took it a step further with sexy Omron tactile mechanical switches (opens in new tab). I'm talking 2.5mm bottom-out, with an actuation point of just 1.6mm. And while I'm aware there are plenty of low profile key switches (opens in new tab) that beat those numbers, this was honestly the speediest typing I'd ever done in my life.
From the moment my old charge Alan told me it was customary to try and type up the majority of the review on the test laptop, in order to get a good feel for it, my fingers were glued to those keys. I did not want to give that laptop back for a lot of reasons, but being a writer > hardcore gamer, the main event for me was that keyboard.
There was a lull in my low profile love affair that saw me exploring all manner of keyboards for work—a necessary evil. While checking out 60%ers, TKL boards, and some weird monkey hand keypad thing (opens in new tab), I discovered that some board's switches are hot swappable. A revelation. Once we reached that cliff edge, my partner and I fell headfirst into the enthusiast keyboard space; his obsession wandering into obscure territory with the Colemak-DH (opens in new tab) keyboard layout (which I frankly can't get my head around), and mine teetering between hot swappable boards and exotic gaming keypads.
Needless to say, we now own a soldering iron.
More recently, I got my hands on the Corsair K100 Air (opens in new tab) with its exclusive Cherry MX Ultra Low Profile tactile key switches (opens in new tab). And man, oh man, I have never been more in love with a key switch in my life. Of course, the board itself comes at a ludicrous price for the honour of typing on the winged, Cherry cherubs of my dreams, but if you got the cash to burn they are so worth it.
Beating out even their sister Low Profile Speed switch's inconceivable 1mm actuation, the Cherry Ultra Low Profile switch actuates at just 0.8mm. Couple that practically undetectable pre-travel with 1.8mm of full travel and I've been swooning with every new word typed.
Oddly, they require a little more force than the Low Profile Speed's 45 centinewtons (cN), and even more than the Cherry MX black switch's 60cN, but there's something about the heavier 65cN that makes the typing feel a little more purposeful.
I guess you can officially call me a low profile convert. Although I've not checked to see if my typing test scores have hit the roof with these new ultra low profile switches, suffice it to say that I'm averse to typing on anything else at this point. I genuinely feel like I've modded myself as a writer. It's been like finally putting on the perfect pair of glasses after years of squinting at things.
I see the mechanical key switch (opens in new tab) light, and it's Cherry coloured.