After stay with Apple keyboard for many years, I'm in search for a new one that can connect to multiple devices and I can carry it with me on the train. Apple keyboard is almost perfect for me except it can't change bluetooth device easily but it ticks a lot of boxes.
- It can connect to the device with wired, this will also make it pair with the device (Apple devices) when removing the wire too.
- It have function keys that can control device functionality like sound volume or monitor brightness.
- It's small, the size is 60% keyboard with extra function keys row.
Surprisingly not that many keyboards tick all these boxes. It's either can't connect with wired or doesn't have function key rows. So I made a compromise and get these two.
Logitech MX Keys Mini #
Logitech MX Keys Mini has layout almost the same as Apple keyboard except some keys are bigger (a lot bigger, especially enter and right shift key.) I got a German layout (QWERTZ) with discount but all the keys are as the same position as QWERTY layout. The different is only the print on the key.
It can connect up to three devices via bluetooth + 1 with Logitech wireless dongle but it can't connect with wired. The wired will only charge the keyboard.
I like the key of the keyboard, it's quiet and soft pressing it also feels firm and have more travel than Apple Magic Keyboard.
The base of the keyboard is aluminium, the light under it is only white led (but that's good for me, I don't like colour led that much) and the whole thing feel premium than other keyboard. It weight quite a bit but not too heave but heavier than some mechanic keyboards. Overall, I like the material and keyboard.
However it has few things that I don't like
- It can customise only some keys in the function row.
- The customisation is not persist in the keyboard but stay with the device that installs the software. So, when I change the emoji key to something else, other device still use that as emoji key.
- Firmware update is confusing. There is no documentation in the Logitech website and in forum, it looks like dongle is required to update the keyboard but it's not come with the keyboard.
NuPhy Air75 original version #
NuPhy Air75 is larger than Logitech MX Keys Mini however, it feels lighter. The material is different, key cap doesn't feel like rubbery or soft like MX Keys Mini. It's more like normal keyboard. The layout is standard and can change to any keys by changing the key cap.
It also can connect up to three devices with bluetooth + 1 wireless and it can connect with wired too! When connect with wired, it works very similar to Apple Magic Keyboard except it won't pair the keyboard to the device with bluetooth automatically. That still needs to press the device key button on the keyboard but the wired itself is great improvement when the keyboard is station at my working desk.
It has different cons compared to MX Keys Mini
- It has extra column key after the enter, which annoys me when my finger want press home but it goes to home key instead.
- It's larger than MX Keys Mini
- Typing sound is a lot louder than MX Keys Mini. (MX Keys Mini is almost silent)
- NuPhy software is mostly Windows based and it feels less polished compared to Logitech.
Although the software is less polished it has opensource software that makes it more configurable than MX Keys Mini. On the Mac, there is Nudelta that makes it configurable almost like on the Windows. The configuration is also persist in the keyboard itself, so switching device doesn't need to install software to configure it again.
Keychron K3 Pro #
Keychron K3 Pro is the last one after I found that my NuPhy has a faulty
M key. It's a bit smaller than NuPhy Air75 because it doesn't have bezel and the weight is a bit heavier.
Compare to NuPhy and MX Keys Mini
- It feels a bit heavier than NuPhy but roughly the same as MX Keys Mini (however as specs, MX Keys Mini is lightest, 506.4g, follows by NuPhy Air 75, 523g and Keychron K3 pro is the heaviest, 525g)
- It can connect up to 3 bluetooth devices + 1 wired similar to NuPhy but no 2.4Ghz dongle like MX Keys Mini/NuPhy.
- I like the key and sound compare to NuPhy
- VIA supported makes configure it a lot better than custom Mac software with NuPhy Air75 (Air75 v2 supports VIA but v1 doesn't support it)
- It can put on top of MacBook Pro 14" keyboard! This is a plus for me compare to NuPhy I can put it on MacBook Pro 16" but not 14"
- Integrated folding legs that can change keyboard angle without need to put anything underneath it. (NuPhy has magnetic rubber raiser, MX Keys Mini raise it by default but can't adjust it)
- Macro key is a bit buggy, I can't map emoji key like NuPhy
What do I choose #
Currently I end up with
NuPhy Air75 Keycrhon K3 pro for now. It's more configurable. It also has a key layout that I used to instead of QWERTZ, so I don't need to refresh my memory that
Z key is now
Y key. The wired connection is also the plus, although I'm not playing game so it's a bit useless (for the fast latency typing) but it's also convenient when I swap the laptop when connecting to the monitor and I don't have to press another button to connect to the device. It also doesn't have defect like my NuPhy that I can't press
M key sometime. I think this is a perfect keyboard for me for now.