Katie Wickens, Opinionated Person
This week I’ve been playing mostly Sons of the Forest. Even though me and Kelvin have something special—he keeps crawling back even when I ACCIDENTALLY throw full-sized logs in his face—I don’t think the new best video game boy does either. (opens in new tab) can live up to my love of low profile keyboards.
This month I’m mostly testing keyboards.
My low profile board was taken from me last week. In its place, Razer’s newest Blackwidow offering. With linear yellows (gross, why, Dave?) and a macro bar on the left side, I basically had to train myself to use it.
Before I fully entered the PC hardware scene, I was rather partial to the keyboard – now hear me out. They were sturdy and felt faster to type on than any standalone keyboard I’ve owned before. Of course, I now understand that old Katie was objectively wrong and that mechanical keyboards are superior in every way to membrane boards. And yet, as I poked away at my Razer clicky greens (I know, I have my flaws), a part of me still pines for the brief activation of a board.
That is, until I finally got my hands on a low-profile mechanical gaming keyboard. Little did I know that this would be the beginning of a beautiful love affair.
My first run with a low-profile mechanical board came testing the Gigabyte Aorus 17X (opens in new tab), a desktop replacement gaming laptop that made my standard mechanical board feel downright inferior—seriously, I felt like a fucking conductor typing this thing. We were in love.
Gigabyte is the same company that brought us the slimmest gaming laptop with mechanical clicks, in the form of the Aorus 15G. With the 17X the company took it a step further with Omron’s sexy tactile mechanical switches (opens in new tab). I’m talking 2.5mm down to the outside, with an actuation point of just 1.6mm. And while I know there are a lot of low profile switches out there (opens in new tab) that beat those numbers, this was honestly the fastest typing I’ve ever done in my life.
Since my old charge, Alan told me it was common to try to type the majority of the review on the test laptop, to get a good feel, my fingers were glued to those keys. I didn’t want to give this laptop back for many reasons, but as a writer > hardcore gamer, the main event for me was this keyboard.
There was a lull in my low-profile love that saw me explore all manner of keyboards for work — a necessary evil. While controlling 60% of users, TKL boards and some weird monkey keyboard (opens in new tab), I discovered that some board switches are hot-swappable. A revelation. Once we reached that cliff edge, my partner and I fell headfirst into the enthusiast keyboard area. his obsession with wandering dark ground with Colemak-DH (opens in new tab) keyboard layout (which I honestly can’t get my head around) and mine is torn between hot swappable boards and exotic gaming keyboards.
Needless to say, we now have a soldering iron.
Most recently, I got my hands on the Corsair K100 Air (opens in new tab) with the exclusive Cherry MX Ultra Low Profile tactile switches (opens in new tab). And man oh man, I’ve never been more in love with a key switch in my life. Of course, the board itself is ridiculously priced for the price of typing the winged Cherry Cherubs of my dreams, but if you have the cash to burn it’s worth it.
Even surpassing the unimaginable 1mm actuation of their sister Low Profile Speed Switch, the Cherry Ultra Low Profile Switch actuates in just 0.8mm. Couple that practically undetectable pre-travel with 1.8mm of full travel and I’m swooning with every new word I type.
Surprisingly, they require a bit more force than the Low Profile Speed’s 45 centinewtons (cN) and even more than the 60cN of the black Cherry MX switch, but there’s something about the heavier 65cN that makes typing feel a little more deliberate.
I guess you can officially call me a low profile convert. While I haven’t checked to see if my typing test scores hit the roof with these new ultra-low-profile switches, suffice it to say I don’t want to type anything else at this point. I really feel like I’ve tweaked myself as a writer. It’s like I finally got the perfect pair of glasses after years of looking at things.
I see the mechanical key switch (opens in new tab) light and has a cherry color.