Deck 82 keyboard review: Compact luminescence for mechanical typists

The Deck 82's burly physical build and durable internal key switches ensure its longevity, and its low price relative to other mechanical keyboards solidifies our recommendation for those looking to upgrade their typing hardware.

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The Deck 82 is Deck Keyboards' answer to the high demand for the short-lived compact version of the IBM Model M, also known as the IBM Space Saving keyboard for its 10-key-less layout. The Deck 82 likewise eliminates the number pad found on the right side of traditional keyboards to save room on your desktop, and the whole chassis measures just 12 inches wide by 6 inches deep by 1.8 inches tall.

You'll also notice a keycap labeled "Fn" to the right of the space bar; that key toggles the secondary functions that you can assign to the F1 through F12 keys on the top row, and it's also used to adjust the brightness of the backlit LEDs hidden underneath each of the keycaps. The maximum brightness tops out at 5.25 milliamps (mA), and the steady glow is very useful for working at night or channeling your inner hacker.

Mechanical key switches offer a more tactile typing experience than the standard rubber dome switches you get on stock input devices. On the other hand, the Deck 82 uses linear Cherry MX black switches that give off a smoother, more pillowy feel than the Cherry MX blue series, but do require a little more actuation force to engage.

That said, although the adjusted key layout adds time to the learning curve, we recommend the Deck 82 mechanical backlit keyboard to anyone looking to upgrade his or her input device.

Check out the full review of the Deck 82 illuminated mechanical keyboard.

Pumped on mechanical keyboards but looking to explore other options? Check out our roundup of competing mechanical keyboards.

About the author

Justin Yu covers headphones and peripherals for CNET. When he's not wading through Web gulch or challenging colleagues to typing tests, you can find him making fun of technology with Jeff Bakalar every afternoon on The 404 show.

 

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