Sometime before COVID work from home began, I was thinking about ways to reduce the wires at my desk. I switched from a wired trackball to a wireless trackball, and the next target was my wired mechanical keyboard. Back then there were few options for wireless mechanical keyboards and I chose the iKBC CD87 BT.
This is an economical tenkeyless mechanical keyboard which uses Bluetooth for the wireless connection. It uses Cherry MX keys (yet another reason why I wanted it) and I got the one with Cherry MX Blue keys (I like tactile and audible feedback). This keyboard is created by a Taiwanese company, but I was able to order it from Amazon US and it was delivered with no hassles. Since it uses Bluetooth, no dongle needs to be attached to the computer and it also comes with a wired USB connection too, just in case.
The setup instructions and all the special
Fn key combinations came printed on a small page. The keyboard has 4 dip switches underneath, which can be toggled to change some settings.
To use in Bluetooth wireless mode, the keyboard needs 2 AAA batteries. There is an on/off switch at the bottom which needs to be turned on for wireless to work. Pairing it as a Bluetooth device with my Windows computer was straightforward.
I used it in wireless mode enthusiastically for a few months, but was ultimately disappointed due to these reasons:
Disillusioned by the wireless mode, but still in love with the Cherry MX Blue switches, I decided to give wired mode a shot and I am happy with that.
The wired mode works, no matter if the on/off switch is off, and doesn’t use the batteries. In this mode, it is a good (though not exceptional) keyboard. There are routes underneath to guide the USB cable through center, or left or right making the cable management on the desk a tad tidier.
This keyboard has a lot of heft and weight and I like that while I use it. It is also very minimal and black and that is nice.
Fn + Ins: Switch to QWERTY layout.
Fn + Home: Switch to DVORAK layout.
Fn + PgUp: Switch to COLEMARK layout.
Fn + R: Press and hold this until you see the two lights (Caps and Scroll BT) flash 3 times. This restores factory settings. Note: The
Rhere depends on the keyboard layout currently set (see above). I find it best to put it to QWERTY layout first, so that the
Rkey I am pressing is actually R in both the layout and the actual keycap.
1: DOWN, 2:DOWN, 3:DOWN, 4:DOWNto get the default settings.
If I were to buy a wireless mechanical keyboard the next time, I think I would still want one with Cherry MX keys, but one that uses a dedicated 2.4G wireless receiver and not Bluetooth. I have seen enough problems with Bluetooth mice, trackball, keyboards and headphones, none of which occurs with wireless devices that use their own 2.4G wireless receivers. I think the pain of adding yet another receiver dongle to the computer is far lighter than the pain of pathetic lags and sleeps with Bluetooth.