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KBTalking Pro - Brief review :)

Binge

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#1
Today I had the pleasure of picking up my KBTalking Pro keyboard from the Post office. I've had about two hour and a half hours of typing while at my desk with this full sized 108 key Cherry MX-Blue keyboard.



The specs & features of this keyboard DWARF the capabilities of most macro based keyboards.

Main Benefits

Switch between USB (main computer) and wirelessly up to 10 Bluetooth devices for an incredible typing experience on all your favorite devices!
Utilizes industry leading Cherry MX Red mechanical switches. Cherry MX Blue and MX Brown also available on a limited basis.
Dual Layer PCB (IC/PC Board) for solid feel and strongest possible solder points — Results in long term reliability.
Made in Taiwan in a mid-sized factory with great quality control and attention to detail during production. Cost cutting is not a priority here. Highest quality is!
Designed by power users for power users.


Additional Features

Can be used without batteries when USB is plugged in. Full access to all functions including all Bluetooth devices.
Can be 100% wireless if all devices including computer are Bluetooth capable.
Detachable USB cable(1.5m or 5′) for clean look when using 100% wireless mode
Enhanced USB wire and Bluetooth 3.0 multi-pairing technology – Switch between 1 USB wired machine and any of 10 Bluetooth wireless devices.
Mobile Platforms Supported: Google Android 3/4 devices, and Apple iOS 4/5/6 (iPhones, iPads, etc.)
Computer Platforms Supported: Windows XP / Vista / Win7 / Win 8 / MAC OS X (OS 10) or higher
Classic graceful appearance with full QWERTY key layout in a full-size 18.5” form factor.
Graceful hidden indicator lights. (Num, Scroll lock, Caps lock)
Comes with 4 pcs of keycaps for Mac which you can swap (2 “command” and 2 “option”)


Special Keys

Swappable Key Sets: Caps Lock/Ctrl (for Solaris/Unix users), WASD/Arrow Keys (for gamers)

Disable Hotkeys: Windows Key Disable (prevents accidental interruption during gaming), Keyboard Disable (prevents unauthorized use)

PC Only Shortcut Keys: Calculator, Notepad, Task Manager, and more.

Mac Only Keys: Command and Apples keys in Mac mode (includes matching keycaps if you prefer the Mac look)

Special Function Keys: Cooking/food timer (1 minute increments up to 15 minutes), Health/fitness timer (one hour timer with 10 minute break)

General Shortcut Keys: Play/pause, next track, previous track (works on both PC and Mac mode)

Switch between four (4) different operating systems: PC, Mac, Android, iOS. With unique subset of shortcut keys relevant to each operating system.



Specifications

Number of Keys: US 108 Keys

Keyboard Color: Black

Keyboard Type: Mechanical – Using top quality Cherry MX Red keyswitches. Cherry MX Blue (clickier/louder) also available. Cherry MX switches are tested at more than 50 million strike life cycle.

Keycaps: Black with white letters – UV coated for exceptional durability (UV coated, laser engraved Black on black also available on a limited basis). Comes with Mac compatible keycaps (4 pcs – command x2, alt/option x2).

Hotkeys: 27 (See full list of explanations on proprietary hotkeys and functions)

Anti-ghosting/N-Key Rollover: 6-key simultaneous input without ANY conflict/interference (Tested in both USB & Bluetooth mode Any key combinations).

Wired Interface: USB (Detachable cord)

Wireless Interface: Bluetooth 3.0 (Pairs and saves up to 10 devices)

Exclusive Technology: Multi-Pairing Bluetooth (10 devices) with switchable USB connection

Compatible Bluetooth Devices: Google Android 3/4 devices, and Apple iOS 4/5/6 (iPhones, iPads, etc.), Playstation 3

Compatible Computers: Windows XP / Vista / Win7 / Win 8 / MAC OS 10 or higher

Batteries: AA x 2 pcs (not included)

Battery life: Approximately 1000+ hours. (3 hours/day x 365 days)

Accessories Included: User Manual, USB Cable, Mobile device stand, keycaps for Mac (4pcs), keycap puller



Electrical Specifications and Dimensions

Working Voltage: 5.0 +/-0.5 Vdc

Current Consumption: 100mA max

Power Consumption: 0.5 Watts max

Safety Approvals: CE, FCC, NCC, BSMI, SRRC



Dimensions: 450mm x165mm x20mm (Approximately 17.8″ x 6.5″ x 0.8″)

Weight: 1200g (2.64 lbs)
This ridiculous spec sheet aside I do actually have a use for media keys and bluetooth at work. Why would I want to be fingering my phone when I could use the included phone pedestal and use my keyboard to navigate and type? My Galaxy S III works perfectly with the keyboard in Android mode. The 6-Key rollover has kept up with my quick but albeit sub 100 WPM typing speeds. I see no exceptions to the rollover with my PC or Phone.

The Cherry MX placement/board construction and stabilizers feel very solid. This is one of the nicest keyboards I've had the pleasure of using with quality rivaling Filco/Leopold. This would be recommended to anyone I know if they were looking for a hybrid bluetooth/USB full sized mechanical keyboard with multi-OS/device support.
 
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#2
Wow. Switching between USB and BT on the fly. Who'd of thought...

Looked at some reviews, the build is incredible.
 

Easy Rhino

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#3
Let's say I just want a really good mechanical keyboard without the BT stuff. Would the $193 price tag still be worth it?
 
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#4
Ok $200 is a lot for a keyboard but after reading what it can do its well worth the price.
Looks like im going to be saving a bit longer for that new mechanical keyboard I wanted and really it only $60 bucks more then most decent Mech keyboards.
Being able to press a key and switch from my pc to my phone and type a text at my desk with one keyboard = Mind Blown
 
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Binge

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#5
Let's say I just want a really good mechanical keyboard without the BT stuff. Would the $193 price tag still be worth it?
When it comes to the keyboard stuff you are paying for a few things.

Without bluetooth the cost is in large derived from the following components,

A) Switch type
B) Keyboard controller
C) Keycaps (POM/PBT being the most expensive)

Switches in orders of 1000 are about $.78 USD/ea A 104 key keyboard costs 81.12 with the wholesale price in consideration. Say the direct price is 1/2 of that for a far larger order. That's still $40 just for the switches. The keyboard controller is about $2-$20 depending on the features. The keyboard controller in this case probably costs $20 in bulk. The keycaps are PTB in this case which on average cost $40USD in bulk for a 104 key set and basic pad-print legends.

This makes the cost to manufacture an estimated $100 USD for KBTalking if they are doing these in a large quantity. They are a small company so this can probably fluctuate by as much as +/-15%.

You can get an equal quality keyboard and save about $40-60 USD by getting a Leopold keyboard if you are interested in a full sized or 10-key less keyboard.

I would suggest a Leopold mechanical keyboard ($100-$120) for a similar typing experience without the bluetooth features. It would even support full NKRO by PS/2 and a similar USB rollover function.
 

Binge

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#6
Ok $200 is a lot for a keyboard but after reading what it can do its well worth the price.
Looks like im going to be saving a bit longer for that new mechanical keyboard I wanted and really it only $60 bucks more then most decent Mech keyboards.
Being able to press a key and switch from my pc to my phone and type a text at my desk with one keyboard = Mind Blown
Also consider if you have a smart TV. I can tell you mine works with this keyboard.
 
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#7
The only thing i don't like is no back-lit keys id seriously pay like $240 if it had that too.
 

Binge

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#8
The only thing i don't like is no back-lit keys id seriously pay like $240 if it had that too.
KBTalking is one of those companies that releases a non-LED version first to make sure the basic keyboard sells, but they usually offer LED versions.

To be honest it would be very confusing with this keyboard without a multi-colored LED. You have SO MANY TOGGLES if every key were lit it would be hard to tell what functions you have enabled. I would expect if this takes off KBTalking will find a way to make it work.

In the meantime you could always mod your own keyboard ;) Cherry switches allow you to do that but I can't comment if the PCB is LED ready for all switches.
 

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#9
but I can't comment if the PCB is LED ready for all switches.
Find a Phillip's screw driver and let us know;)

On second thought, I wouldn't want to void a warranty if there is a sticker blocking a hole at $200!
 
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Binge

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#10
Find a Phillip's screw driver and let us know;)

On second thought, I wouldn't want to void a warranty if there is a sticker blocking a hole at $200!
No stickers visible. I need to buy a smaller screw driver though lol An answer will be provided tonight most likely.
 

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#11
Nice review binge!! oh how such older style looking/working keyboards are coming back in the world.
 

Binge

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#12
To explain a few of the features I have used today during work.

The keyboard layout will change if you switch the mode of the keyboard or if you use the (FN) key in conjunction with a number of keys.

Example:

(FN)+Numpad 0-9 = Bluetooth select
(FN)+vol down = Android mode
(FN)+mute = PC Mode

Say I have my keyboard wired at the desk. My phone is on a stand paired as the 3rd device with my keyboard. Suddenly I get a text message and the phone vibrates. I would (without needing to unlock the phone) select FN+Num 3. This would enable keyboard connection to the phone. I would then FN+Vol down (android mode) and then release the FN and use the vol up once to turn it from vibrate with no volume to just no volume. F2 is Android Home pressing F2 again or any other key will unlock the screen. I can use the arrow keys to navigate my icons, alt tab for multi-task, or the menu key for android menu. I can go to texting, answer a text without touching the phone and then press F12 to lock the phone screen. Switching back to the PC is (FN)+Num Enter (USB connection) and (FN)+mute (PC mode).
 

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#13
To explain a few of the features I have used today during work.

The keyboard layout will change if you switch the mode of the keyboard or if you use the (FN) key in conjunction with a number of keys.

Example:

(FN)+Numpad 0-9 = Bluetooth select
(FN)+vol down = Android mode
(FN)+mute = PC Mode

Say I have my keyboard wired at the desk. My phone is on a stand paired as the 3rd device with my keyboard. Suddenly I get a text message and the phone vibrates. I would (without needing to unlock the phone) select FN+Num 3. This would enable keyboard connection to the phone. I would then FN+Vol down (android mode) and then release the FN and use the vol up once to turn it from vibrate with no volume to just no volume. F2 is Android Home pressing F2 again or any other key will unlock the screen. I can use the arrow keys to navigate my icons, alt tab for multi-task, or the menu key for android menu. I can go to texting, answer a text without touching the phone and then press F12 to lock the phone screen. Switching back to the PC is (FN)+Num Enter (USB connection) and (FN)+mute (PC mode).
And that's why it's worth the $200. Nice review, thanks. ;)
 

kbfreak

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#14
Let's say I just want a really good mechanical keyboard without the BT stuff. Would the $193 price tag still be worth it?
I would say absolutely, even at $193, but it's going for $169 (plus $9.95 shipping in US). I've had the pleasure of using quite a few mechanical keyboards, Duckys and CM Storms to name a few, but I am surprised how nice the KBT Pro feels. Very nice and solid!:toast: