In the realm of mechanical keyboards, the NuPhy Air75 stands out as a contender in the race for the ultimate typing experience. As keyboard enthusiasts, we’ve tested a wide array of keyboards, from Topres to mechanical, buckling, membrane, and scissor switches. In our relentless pursuit of the perfect daily typing companion to replace our trusty 2012 MacBook Pro chicklet keyboard, we stumbled upon the NuPhy Air75. With its promise of low-profile mechanical keys with PBT caps and a choice of blue switches, we were intrigued and decided to dive in.
Build Quality and Design
Right out of the box, the NuPhy Air75 makes a strong first impression. The build quality and presentation are exceptional. It’s evident that the designers put considerable effort into crafting this keyboard. We’ve recently tried the Keychron K3 with similar specs, but it fell short due to crowded keys and subpar keycaps. In contrast, the NuPhy Air75 delighted us with its robust yet compact design. The chassis exudes sturdiness, the non-slip feet keep it in place, and the arrow keys are conveniently positioned. The inclusion of both Bluetooth and a wireless dongle adds to its versatility, although labeling the dongle for easy identification would be a nice touch.
The Star of the Show: Low-Profile Mechanical Keys
The real star of the NuPhy Air75 is its low-profile mechanical keys. These keys are a game-changer, offering a unique typing experience. However, the choice of blue switches may not be for everyone. While they provide a distinct “clicky” feel, the keys’ design, with its friendly sculpting and minimal travel, doesn’t quite match the expected clickiness of traditional mechanical switches. Opting for brown or red switches might be a better fit for those seeking a more integrated typing experience, as these switches offer a more harmonious blend with the keyboard’s frame.
The NuPhy Air75’s hot-swappable feature adds an interesting twist. While it may not seem practical to use multiple switch types on a single keyboard, it’s an option for those who enjoy experimenting with typing sensations. The unique design of the keys, although initially unfamiliar, might grow on users over time, potentially leading to a more ergonomic typing experience.
Lighting and Keycaps
Regarding lighting, it’s worth noting that it might not be a significant selling point for everyone. The opaque keycaps somewhat diminish the impact of the seemingly impressive lighting system, resulting in a subdued back-glow effect. Touch typists may find this feature less appealing, and some might even prefer it turned off. The subtle F and J key nibs could be slightly more pronounced for added typing guidance.
Functionality and Firmware Update
One peculiar limitation we encountered was the default behavior of the function keys. Out of the box, they perform non-function key functions (such as brightness and volume control). To switch to primary functionality (e.g., F1 to F12), a firmware update is required. This requirement can be a potential hassle for some users and may warrant consideration when purchasing the keyboard.
Aesthetics and Ergonomics
Despite being a touch typist, the NuPhy Air75 encouraged a change in our typing habits. We found ourselves using our wrists more and seeking a more vertical typing position. This shift could be attributed to the keyboard’s aesthetics or the unique sculpting of the keys, which might make them feel larger than usual. However, with continued use, users might adapt to these changes and develop a more comfortable typing style.
Final Thoughts and Future Prospects
In conclusion, the NuPhy Air75 offers a distinctive and exciting typing experience. It stands out among its competitors, thanks to its design and key features. While the choice of blue switches may not be for everyone, the hot-swappable nature of the keys opens up intriguing possibilities for customization.
NuPhy’s attention to detail is commendable, and their dedication to user experience is evident. With potential room for improvement in key areas, a second-generation version of this keyboard could address some of the minor issues we’ve encountered.
Ultimately, the NuPhy Air75 is a keyboard that has piqued our interest and left us eager to see what NuPhy has in store for the future. We rate this keyboard 4.5 out of 5, leaning towards a 5/5 to promote its strengths over minor drawbacks. For those seeking a unique typing experience and a distinctive design, the NuPhy Air75 is worth considering.