What We Bought: The NuPhy Air75 is the compact, Mac-friendly mechanical keyboard I’ve been looking for | Engadget

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For as long as I can remember, my primary keyboard has been Apple’s standard wireless model. I upgraded to the Magic Keyboard when it was introduced in 2015. After all, I think it works with my MacBook Pro, and I type relatively well on it, which is just what I need from a keyboard.

However, I had a secret lust for mechanical keyboards. There’s a part of me that misses the tactile feel of the chunky keyboards of my youth, especially as someone who spends as much time typing as I do. Plus, since I work from home full time now, I no longer have to worry about annoying the neighbors in the cabin with the sound of my typing.

So, a few months ago, I decided out of nowhere to look at everything a little more mechanical keyboard. It took me weeks of searching, but I finally found one that seemed to fit all my needs: NuPhy Air75. As it turns out, I fell down a rabbit hole when researching this space. I ended up reading tons of reviews, watching dozens of YouTube videos and delving deeper into the product category. I learned different types of keyboards (full size, keyless, 75 percent, 65 percent), different switches (linear, tactile, and click), keycaps and much more. To be honest, I was a little intimidated by it all, but after all that research, I’m sold. That wonderful sound of keys being clicked finally got me thinking about getting one.

Novi Air 75

Engadget

My research helped me establish some important criteria for the keyboard I wanted. First and foremost, I wanted a Mac-specific design. I know most keyboards will work with both Macs and PCs, but not all of them have Mac layouts and I really prefer the keys to match the operating system I’m using. Next, it has to be wireless—I don’t like wires and cables cluttering my desk. I also wanted the keyboard to support multiple devices so I could easily switch between my work and personal laptops. Plus, I prefer hot swappable keys and keycaps so I can replace them if I want to. Last but not least, I wanted a relatively low-profile keyboard, as I didn’t want to use a wrist rest.

That’s how I settled on the NuPhy Air75. It’s Mac-friendly, low-profile, has hot-swappable keys and is wireless, with the ability to connect up to four devices — three via Bluetooth and one via a 2.4GHz receiver. I also like the size at 75 percent, as the layout is similar to what I’m already used to with Apple keyboards. Most importantly, I can also buy it right away from Amazon instead of having to wait for a mass order, which is common practice in the mechanical keyboard market. For the switches, I chose the Gateron Brown tactile switches as I’d read reviews that said they were a good compromise between the smooth, linear red switches and the clicky blue switches.

I’ve been using the Air75 for months now, and I adore it. I will admit that it took me a while to get used to it at first. The keys have a relatively short travel thanks to being low profile and had a lot of typos to begin with. But I quickly got used to the design, and writing on it is now second nature to me. I like the feel of the Brown keys, too.

Novi Air 75
Novi Air 75

Engadget

I also really like the Air75’s overall build quality. The aluminum frame is solid, and the virtual PBT (Polybutylene terephthalate) keycaps have a great look and feel, too. I like that the spacebar and enter are yellow and orange, respectively. The keyboard has two LED light strips on either side that I find very attractive, as well as practical; You can customize it so that it lights up if your keyboard’s battery is low, or when caps lock is on. Plus, it’s very easy to connect via Bluetooth, and switching the keyboard between the two laptops is also simple (it’s just a matter of pressing the assigned function and number key).

I do have a couple of lice, though. The NuPhy Air75 has an RGB lighting feature, but since the keys are low-profile and not transparent, they are very difficult to notice. I ended up not using it at all because it drains the keyboard battery. Another is that due to the low-profile nature of the keyboard, it’s hard to find external keycaps that fit into the aluminum frame (there aren’t a lot of low-profile keycaps on the market). One advantage of customizable mechanical keyboards like this is that you can easily swap out the keycaps in any color and design you like, but that’s not so easy here.

I watched a YouTube video a few months ago that compared the feeling of typing on a mechanical keyboard to the feeling of writing with a fountain pen, and I have to agree. Fountain pens make handwriting fun with the smoothness and fluidity they feel. Likewise, typing on the NuPhy Air75 is a joy due to its satisfying tactile and tactile feedback. Now that I’ve tried mechanical keyboards like the NuPhy Air75, I don’t think I can go back to standard Apple models.

#Bought #NuPhy #Air75 #compact #Macfriendly #mechanical #keyboard #Ive #Engadget

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