CNET First Look
Deck 82 keyboardThe Deck 82 keyboard's space-saving design, adjustable backlit luminescence, and low price tag make this fully customizable keyboard a win for mechanical keyboard typists.
-Hi, I'm Justin Yu, associate editor for CNET.com. This is your first look at the Deck 82 mechanical keyboard, but first quick history lesson. The mechanical keyboard trend is growing. Thanks for companies like Deck and Das keyboard producing their own unique takes on the original IBM model and keyboard. So, that one is the really old quickie keyboard that used to come with IBM desktop machines. So, anyway, some people seem to prefer the click-clack nature of these peripherals. So, the new mechanical keyboard we've seen seeing lately like the Deck 82 are modified with mechanical key switches underneath that add a more tactile typing feeling than you would normal sensors with style keys you get on current laptops. So, what makes this one so great that we awarded it an editor's choice. Well, first the Deck 82 is so named because it has only 82 keys. They achieved this by removing the number of pad that normally goes on the right-hand side and that also means that a lot of the secondary functions like num lock, page down, home, etc, those are relocated in different places in board. That takes a little time getting used to it, but the compact layout definitely save space on your desk and let you get your mouse a little closer to your typing hands. Second, the deck 82 has ultra bright back lit LEDs under each of the key caps that illuminate the keyboard and darkness. In fact the bulbs are so bright that they also look pretty cool in broad daylight as well and that tell us that each LED will last at least 200,000 hours or 22 years if you never turn it off. Actually, the whole keyboard is very tough to match as well. The bottom has a bolted in steel plate that make sure it stays put while you're typing and the cherry black MX mechanical switches underneath are rated at 50 million key presses. So, what it is like to type on a mechanical keyboard, well, to answer that, you need to know about the different kinds of mechanical switches available. So most of them, you switch via brand Cherry who in turn used this color coding to differentiate between different types of key switches. The most commonly used and loudest are the Cherry blue switches, but this one actually has Cherry black switches that are not quite as loud and they feel little bit more pillowy rather than clacky because of the longer distance you need to push down on them to engage the letter, 60 grams to be exact. The keys themselves are indented at the top to make it feel like they are molded to your fingers and the whole experience with the light and translucent chassis, it makes feel like you're typing on a keyboard from hackers. So Deck also keeps the door open to modifications on its 82 series keyboard and encourages users to post their hacks on the Deck message board online and you can buy replacement colored chassis if you don't like the blue one. Deck also cover as much on its one year warranty, which is perfect for uses that like to tinker with their gear. You can read all the details on our full review on CNET.com, but that's gonna do it for me. I'm Justin Yu and you just took a first look at the editor's choice winning Deck 82 Mechanical Illuminated Keyboard, thanks for watching.