In the past few months, I am looking to replace this Acer mechanical because I am using Windows 8 and I am fed up with the lack of Windows key in the Acer keyboard. At the same time, I have a friend who sold me a Razer BlackWidow Ultimate 2013 on Cherry MX Blue. And I also ended up buying a second hand Noppoo 84-key Cherry MX Black keyboard. The Blue is clicky and tactile. The Black is silent and linear. I will review the Matias against the Razer and Noppoo. I didn't try any other mechanical keyboards.
|Box is pretty standard and professional looking. I like the handle for easy transporting|
|I don't know what font they used but I love the big size font!|
|The keys are aligned in a uniform manner. And they are very solid and do not wobble|
|Big and bright white lettering. Notice the slit for LED to light up the Scroll Lock and Num Lock. Also, do note thevolume control keys beside Num Lock and the new Tab key on the num pad for easy data entry|
|Image extracted from diatec.co.jp website|
In comparison, Razer now felt too light. Noppoo MX Black is similarly stiff even though it is a linear switch. I think the stiff feeling is probably the thicker and taller key caps compare to the Razer. It is not a bad thing at all. Rubber dome keyboard or membrane keyboard does not have thick and tall key caps. They are light. I think I can get used to the stiffness. I enjoyed the tactile feedback of the Matias. I find it it is more tactile than the Razer. I would have love the clicky sound but that is only from the Tactile Pro model, which is for the Mac. As I used all 3 keyboards, I tend to prefer Matias > Razer > Noppoo. A better comparison would be with the Noppoo MX Black. It feels a lot like Noppoo MX Black minus the tactility.
Jeff Atwood at Coding Horror recently released a new mechanical keyboard called CODE keyboard. It used the "ultra rare" Cherry MX Clear switches. The keyboards were sold out within weeks on launch and there is no restocking because of the unavailability of the MX Clear. Mr Atwood described the MX Clear as more tactile than Blue and yet more silent than Brown. This is exactly what Matias Quiet Pro reminded me of - more tactile than the Razer MX Blue and it is very quiet. As quiet as the Noppoo MX Black. Perhaps, this alps switch is comparable to the rare MX Clear switch. So if you want the CODE but missed the pre order, you can get the Matias. I have decided to take the Matias to work (because of the quiet keyboard and because I type more at work) and leave the Razer for home use. The Noppoo will probably be my 'traveller' keyboard for LAN parties or something.
The Matias has a few additional features/omissions:
1. There are 3 USB ports - on the left and right side of the keyboard. The third is on the back of the keyboard, beside the cable. The beauty of this is that these ports are powered by ONE USB cable to the PC. The Razer took up two USB ports - one for the keyboard and one as passthrough and yet on the keyboard, Razer only give you one single port, located on the right side of the board where your mouse hand will knock into whatever device you plugged in there (bad design, Razer!!)
3. The Fn key took the slot of the windows Menu key, meaning on the right side of the space bar, there are no Windows key and the Menu key. Some people may not like it. 4. No back light .. I kinda like the Razer backlighting but I don't know what I will do if one of the LED burnt. So, maybe it is good not to have backlighting.
In conclusion, I think Matias Quiet Pro is a solid and quality mechanical keyboard, on par with many of the popular ones made by Filco, Das, Ducky or WASD keyboards. They have a wide range of products from Quiet Pro to Tactile Pro to tenkeyless to a Bluetooth mechanical. The only problem for them in Malaysia and in the region is probably awareness and that they are using alps switch, something that are popular among Mac community. I was pleasantly surprised to find that they shipped their product to non-US/Canada countries out of Taiwan, meaning the shipping cost is a mere US$15. That made this keyboard very attractive for the keyboard enthusiasts in this country. If you owned Cherrys, curious about the rare Cherry MX Clear, heard of alps and Topre and buckling spring and would like to own one each, Matias is something that is reachable.