Who shrunk the keyboard? Taptek brings mechanical keys, LED lighting


Typing is a chore — no two ways about it.

I’ve used a keyboard almost daily since I took a typing class back in high school.

I’m a fairly decent typist, but I do more than my fair share of backspacing to correct my mistakes.

I’m not a snob when it comes to choosing a keyboard. I’ve mostly been happy with whatever keyboard came with the computer I was using. I’m sure most people don’t give them a second thought, unless they make their living using a keyboard all day.

I do find the evolution of keyboards to be fascinating. I’ve watched them change from large, loud and clicky to slim, sleek and quiet.

My Macbook Pro has very thin, flat keys that make hardly a sound when I type. Those older keyboards used actual switches under each key, which gave a satsifying click when you hit each letter.

Now mechanical keyboards are having a renaissance.

Take a look at keyboards at your local electronics store and you’ll see that the most expensive models have keys with mechanical switches.

Most of the new mechanical keyboards are large ones that are aimed at gamers.

I’ve been testing a much smaller mechanical keyboard called the Taptek keyboard from Vinpok.

The Taptek is a compact keyboard, with key spacing equal to the keyboard on my Macbook Pro. The design is minimal, with a brushed metal base and black or white keycaps.

Cool lighting

What will strike you first about the Taptek is the backlighting.

Each key has an RGB (multicolor) LED, and you can scroll through 19 backlight modes, some of which put on quite a light show.

I was amused to scroll through all the light modes. Most of them were very pretty, but a few looked more like a dance floor than a keyboard. I finally settled on a single color for the backlit keys, but it was very easy to change the colors.

Overall the lights are what will get the most notice from your office mates.

What you’ll notice is the action on the mechanical key switches.

For me, they have just the right amount of travel and a satisfying click that isn’t overly loud.

I’ve been annoyed by loud keyboards in the office before, and the Taptek passes my annoyance test.

I am amazed at the speed I can type with this keyboard, but I can’t say it’s improved my accuracy much.

The Taptek keyboard is very versatile. It can be used wired (via microUSB cable) or wirelessly (via Bluetooth).

The keyboard can also connect to Windows and Macintosh computers as well as iOS and Android devices. It can keep its pairing to up to three devices.

You order your desired keyboard layout, which includes Mac- or Windows-specific modifier keys, but either model works on all devices.

The Taptek has a rechargeable battery that I have yet to exhaust in my few weeks of testing.

The keyboard is only 16 millimeters tall and the switches are made to be used up to 50 million times.

If you are a mechanical keyboard aficionado, Vinpok says the Taptek’s switches are similar in feel to Cherry switches.

Pricing and availability

The Taptek keyboard is available for preorder on Indiegogo or by going to www.vinpok.com and searching for Taptek.

The keyboard will eventually retail for $199, but the limited-time early bird price is $89. That may rise a bit, depending on demand. Shipping will begin in January 2019.

Pros: Sleek, small, wired or wireless connection, great backlighting.

Cons: Retail price is expensive, so buy early.

Bottom line: Nice mechanical keyboard that will travel well in your bag.

———

Jim Rossman writes for The Dallas Morning News. He may be reached at jrossman@dallasnews.com.



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