The Filco Majestouch-2 Tenkeyless Ninja is a japanese mechanical keyboard that sport semi-blank keys, n-key rollover and it's built like a tank... plus, it's ninja!
Here is why I love it and why I think you should do too:
For those who don' t know: mechanicals keyboards engage physical switches when keys are pressed, whilst rubber domes on the counterpart, engage rubber membranes which close the electrical circuit. Latest are cheaper, spill-resistant, usually do not provide a significant tactile feedback; the foremost does, mechanicals are famous for providing a distinctive 'clicky' sound. This helps to relate the action and therefore acknowledge or autocorrect the key press .
Should you bother? Well, if you're going to spend a bit chunk of your career typing, my advice would be to least give a try. Most people I heard of never turned back, me ain't going either. Maybe it won't change your life, it won't increased you productivity significantly except for typing skills. In my perception, each mechanical key pressure tend to feel slightly more significant.
The Filco Majestouch-2 comes with a choice of Cherry MX switches:
- Blu: tactile action, very clicky sound
- Brown: tactile action, moderately clicky
- Black: linear action (no feedback), silent
- Red: linear action (no feedback), silent, requires less force to actuate
I got the brown, in an office environment the blues sound could annoy other people, and due to my typist nature, I preferred a tactile action, with feedback.
It's called a tenkeyless layout, because it lacks a few keys: the numeric pad. This layout tops at 87 keys, while the classic version of the Majestouch-2, tops at 104 keys. The reason for a tenkeyless layout to exist is to allow movement of the mouse closer to your front-center, and portability.
Less keys shouldn't be a problem to the majority of people other than those who use the numeric pad often. Still, separated numeric pads for intensive or occasional numeric typing are also available (yep, Filco makes them too). I find the tenkeyless layout to be very focused and I'm very happy with the choice.
When it comes to keyboards, ninja means without prints on the keys. The justification for this is: no wear on the letters, letters won't disappear entirely nor partially, which can be aesthetically annoying. Then often unspoken reason (big revelation here) is that ninjas are bragging instuments, a person that uses a ninja is supposed to know the location of each character and therefore states to be power user. I'm personally in for the design, but I think also the second category applies.
Shell may be plastic, but the entire keyboard it's quite sturdy, in fact, it is quite heavy. It has a nice matte finish (mine's black, but it also comes in white), details like borders around keys, are well refined. Windows caps are the only caps with printing on top, but the package includes ninja style replacements for your convenience.
Cable is not gold coated, which imho should be no problem at all, it is not detachable, this something I would have expected for easier transportation... butif you're not moving it around to much, should also be no big deal; it is normal/rigid though, not soft or braided, which is a little bit unpractical. The package also includes a Filco strap.
Keyboard has four rubber feets, they must have used some "grand-prix rubber" here because once down, it won't move, and that's very nice, you definitely don't want your keyboard to move around when typing. There are also two additional feet on the back, they allow the keyboard to be lifted a bit and they're also generously rubberized with the same material.
The only branding is a nice and discreet Filco print on the front (glossy black on matte black), two blue standard and plain LEDs on the top-right to signal if CapsLock or ScrollLock are turned on. The Majestouch-2 also supports N-Key rollover via the PS/2 adapter (that's included). N-Key rollever it's a feature that allows detection of multiple fast consecutive key press or multiple key press (combinations of six keys and above).
Filco is the brand name for a division of the Diatec Corporation. Established in 1982, Diatec also sells power supplies, AC adapters and accessories. The main distributor for Europe is The Keyboard Company, while for the U.S. is Amazon. Other suppliers can be found here.
This kind of keyboard is not cheap and will attract attention. I love it, it is definitely quality gear, it will last you a lot of years. Click here to know current price options and reviews. In the following picture the Majestouch-2 sits right next to my Zowie AM mouse, a beautiful duo ain't it?