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Vortex CORE Keyboard

VSG

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The Vortex CORE is a keyboard that takes up less than half the space as an average full size keyboard. It does this by having just 47 keys in what is referred to as a 40% keyboard layout. With no dedicated arrows, number keys and function keys, it still manages to be an extremely functional keyboard.

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Easy Rhino

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This is an ingenious way to charge more for less. People who buy these are a few keys short of a full set if you know what I mean.
 
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Thanks for reviewing. For sure it is something special.
Apart from why someone needs this abortion (Maybe in a microscopic flat in Tokio?)
What the freaking flying smelling hell is meant by "Good unboxing experience" in the CONCLUSION? Who cares, please? This borders gayness.... if I am allowed to use this sympathic term :)
 

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This is an ingenious way to charge more for less. People who buy these are a few keys short of a full set if you know what I mean.

Cracking me up, but yeah sure is a lot for so little. I would like to get a space saving keyboard but this is ludicrous.


Although many thanks for the review.
 

VSG

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Regarding cost- a CNC machined aluminum case that size alone costs $40 or so, and PBT keycaps in DSA profile another $15-20 minimum. Add in 47 Cherry MX Blue switches at $0.50 each, the PCB and manual labor and this is basically at cost or more. Sure, this is not for everyone but the parts themselves are a reason it costs that much and retailers are telling me they are selling as fast as they can list them. I appreciate that the target audience is limited, and hopefully you can respect that too. Let's make TPU a place to show and discuss all types of products- be it the big gamer RGB type or the out-of-the-norm form factor type :)

Regarding unboxing experience, you would be surprised how many people think that is important. I decided to mention it because it was not the usual two-piece sleeved cardboard job. But I can see why others may not care about it though so I will just talk about it in the discussion and not list it as a pro or con henceforth. Thanks for the feedback!
 

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Fully understand how you reviewed it and had no issue how you did either, have no issue how you reviewed and fully understand that a reviewer has to keep a open mind when doing so.

My comment about it was just preference, i just would of liked it more with number and F keys separate and real adjustable feet for a better feel and view.
 
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VSG

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Fully understand how you reviewed it and had no issue how you did either, have no issue how you reviewed and fully understand that a reviewer has to keep a open mind when doing so.

My comment about it was just preference, i just would of liked it more with number and F keys separate and real adjustable feet for a better feel and view.

Yeah, of course. I am convinced by the concept of layers to where fingers don't have to move much but this size really tests it. There is little leeway in getting things right for everyone and I am not convinced that the Vortex CORE got it right for everyone. Hence the recommendation to check out but not Editor's Choice or Best Value by any means.
 
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Oh yea, the review was excellent. I hope my comment didn''t come across as bashing the reviewer.
 

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Oh yea, the review was excellent. I hope my comment didn''t come across as bashing the reviewer.

Oh, absolutely not. Nothing wrong with it either by the way- I am still learning, and will continue to do so. So any critique is welcome :)
 
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I am in the same mood as Easy Rhino, just beer swinging sincerity, as I said it is an amazing part and a refreshing kind of review, and very deep and technical. Maybe that's why "that triviality" surprised me soo much...
If I am allowed to add, Microsoft is also putting a lot of effort in their boxes, always of complex and surprising inner geometry, making the unboxing (or unboxing experience, :) something special. For sure, as you said, it is a trend. Keep it coming VSG!
 

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Good review. Loved the writeup on the layers. The keyboard is supercute but I really don't see the point, which actually makes a good review more important. The niche products are always hard to find reviews for...
 

VSG

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I am in the same mood as Easy Rhino, just beer swinging sincerity, as I said it is an amazing part and a refreshing kind of review, and very deep and technical. Maybe that's why "that triviality" surprised me soo much...
If I am allowed to add, Microsoft is also putting a lot of effort in their boxes, always of complex and surprising inner geometry, making the unboxing (or unboxing experience, :) something special. For sure, as you said, it is a trend. Keep it coming VSG!

I've always had packaging as a strong consideration in my scoring. For example, I will take at least partial credit for EK changing the packaging for their Vardar fans after I complained about S&H related issues causing a higher than average RMA rate. I feel packaging engineers are the unsung heroes of the industry so it's my little guilty pleasure in mentioning it in reviews :)

But yeah, in retrospect that doesn't fit in as strongly among the pros and cons list.

Good to hear about Microsoft though.

Good review. Loved the writeup on the layers. The keyboard is supercute but I really don't see the point, which actually makes a good review more important. The niche products are always hard to find reviews for...

My goal is to cover different market segments as best as possible, and I have fun learning about new things. I bet most people do too, even if it is merely out of curiosity. I have another such different form factor keyboard I am working on and this is yet another market segment entirely.
 
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Regarding cost- a CNC machined aluminum case that size alone costs $40 or so, and PBT keycaps in DSA profile another $15-20 minimum. Add in 47 Cherry MX Blue switches at $0.50 each, the PCB and manual labor and this is basically at cost or more. Sure, this is not for everyone but the parts themselves are a reason it costs that much and retailers are telling me they are selling as fast as they can list them. I appreciate that the target audience is limited, and hopefully you can respect that too. Let's make TPU a place to show and discuss all types of products- be it the big gamer RGB type or the out-of-the-norm form factor type :)

Regarding unboxing experience, you would be surprised how many people think that is important. I decided to mention it because it was not the usual two-piece sleeved cardboard job. But I can see why others may not care about it though so I will just talk about it in the discussion and not list it as a pro or con henceforth. Thanks for the feedback!

Totally agree with your point about showing anything and everything that might seem interesting, because you never know the public's reaction. Also agree about the unboxing. Presentation means a lot. Examples? Nintendo. Apple. Sony. Enough said.

Now it's time for YOU to understand something. We the public are going to share our perspective and opinions. Like it or not, want it or not, you're gonna get it. Some of us are not going to nice or civil. And let's face it, you've been doing this a little to long to expect anything else.
 
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VSG

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Totally agree with your point about showing anything and everything that might seem interesting, because you never know the public's reaction. Also agree about the unboxing. Presentation means a lot. Examples? Nintendo. Apple. Sony. Enough said.

Now it's time for YOU to understand something. We the public are going to share our perspective and opinions. Like or not, want it or not, you're gonna get it. Some of us are not going to nice or civil. And let's face it, you've been doing this a little to long to expect anything else.

That's great! I honestly want you to share perspectives and opinions as everyone has different trains of thought and I may not have thought of something. That said, I don't see why an open discussion and not being nice or civil have to be mutually exclusive though. Either way, as you said I have had all sorts of comments before so it's not an issue :)
 

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Great review! Love the pictures and the detailed explanations :)

Niche products also need love, I found it very interesting to read about, but I think I will stay with my TKL for now :D
 
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Great keyboard. I'm very interest for Filco Manila Air Bluetooth.
But need keycaps replacement, Filco have ABS. And PBT are very hard to find today.
On all places are out of stock and few hundreds people wait them.
Maybe Ducky sell some sets.

Keyboard I would like to have are...
Filco Convertible 2 Cherry MX Brown
Filco Manila Air Cherry MX Brown
Deck Legend Ice Cherry MX Clear
Cherry MX Board 8.0 Cherry MX Brown
 
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Who is this awesome extremely rigorous meticulous and talented new reviewer?

I must shake his hand.

Thank you VSG, for the greatest keyboard review I've ever had the pleasure to experience.

After reading your review on Wednesday, I purchased the Vortex Core immediately from MechanicalKeyboards.com. They shipped the board out within two hours of ordering and FedEx delivered this morning.

Mine arrived with the MX Cherry Brown housings in all black and not the clear like your engineering sample. It's going to take some time to get up to speed with this tiny board, still learning an all white HHKB Pro 2 from Christmas with non-printed keycaps.

However, my girlfriend took to the Vortex Core immediately loving it's overall cuteness and charm and speedy typing, and for some odd reason she has no issues using the extra function keys and learning the keycaps as she goes. For me it seems like a great deal to learn two new keyboards at one time, so looks like she will be using the Core for the immediate future for casual writing, web surfing, Netflix, etc.

Again, I cannot thank you enough, we printed some of your layer maps from this review but unfortunately some of the character placements Vortex shows on their key maps do not correspond to the actual keystroke with this retail board, and we have not attempted any programming from stock default as of yet.

Thank you once again for an amazing review, TPU should be so proud to have you onboard and on staff. Maybe you can review the new HHKB PFU Fujitsu Bluetooth 60% keyboard, or the HHKB Type S for TPU readers, if keyboard reviews like this one begin to really catch on. :toast:








 

VSG

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Nice seeing you here too, Bruce. Yes, the Fn1 + Shift layer descript is incorrect in the manual- the actual actions are all one row down so for, example, the secondary number key actions (!, @ etc) are on the same row as the numbers from the Fn1 layer descript.

I would love to talk about the HHKB but getting Topre review samples is next to impossible unfortunately.
 

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Hey there VSG Absolutely enjoyed your review of the product. I just got mine today as well and this is an amazing keyboard once you get used to it a bit. It will take a while to get over muscle memory and to get used to the slightly smaller spacing but for someone who would take this back and forth between work and home use this was a good purchase and a great product in my opinion. My only gripe I would have to say is the split space bar. I wish it were a full space bar considering the left section is not programmable.

For the people who do not understand why someone would buy such a keyboard my reasons were portability and space concerns at my home setup. It is understandable that for most people that something like this is a hassle to type on but for someone like me who hates the office keyboards and does not have much space at home for a full size keyboard on his setup this is a perfect match.
 
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VSG

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Hey there VSG Absolutely enjoyed your review of the product. I just got mine today as well and this is an amazing keyboard once you get used to it a bit. It will take a while to get over muscle memory and to get used to the slightly smaller spacing but for someone who would take this back and forth between work and home use this was a good purchase and a great product in my opinion. My only gripe I would have to say is the split space bar. I wish it were a full space bar considering the left section is not programmable.

For the people who do not understand why someone would buy such a keyboard my reasons were portability and space concerns at my home setup. It is understandable that for most people that something like this is a hassle to type on but for someone like me who hates the office keyboards and does not have much space at home for a full size keyboard on his setup this is a perfect match.

Thanks for sharing your experience. Concerning the space bar, I am now hearing that Vortex may be open to releasing a firmware that allows the two space bar keys to be programmed differently if there is enough interest. I would say let them know on their Facebook page, and also let them know you got there from the review here so they know to keep sending TPU review samples :D
 
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