Mionix Wei Keyboard Review 7

Mionix Wei Keyboard Review

Disassembly »

Closer Examination

The Mionix Wei is a full-size keyboard that could easily be dismissed as yet another black-colored keyboard at first glance, but looking closer, we see that there is nothing actually black here. The keycaps are a gunmetal gray in color, as is the plastic case, and there is an anodized aluminum plate that is gray with a hint of metallic blue in it. There is also a yellow Mionix rubber pad to the left, and all these lighter tones (at least relative to the usual black) help differentiate it from a crowd of keyboards. The sample provided adopts a modified US ANSI layout with seven extra keys for media and backlighting controls and a game-mode toggle in the top right instead of dedicated indicator LEDs.

The bezels here are minimal on the sides and bottom, with the bottom bezel having a "Mionix" on the right corner to provide the two understated company markings at the face. The aluminum plate is slightly offset in the vertical axis to where a small gap is perceived and felt here, but not to where anything can really go in and be a hassle. As we can also see here, Mionix adopted floating keycaps and thus, there is no real top on the keyboard despite them claiming the aluminum to be the top. Regardless, it is built very well with no flex under normal operating conditions or even slightly more.

An interesting thing of note here is that the stock keycaps carry on where the replacement keycaps left off in having only a legend per keycap throughout. This makes it easy for Mionix to have the legends in the center and biased towards the top, so they are backlit well and uniformly, but it also means those not familiar with the secondary functionality of keys, such as the number keys on row 2 or the Num Pad, will have a hard time, at least initially. This was definitely a factor that contributed to the dedicated keys we see here, as having pre-programmed secondary functionality specific to the Wei without printed legends would be a terrible idea. The typeface is clean, and this is another keyboard that has its place in any environment - work or play alike.

On the back, we see.. well, nothing much. The entire back of the keyboard is a gargantuan rubber pad, if you will, with "Mionix" spelled out in huge letters along the length of it. As such, it provides plenty of friction to prevent the keyboard from sliding on any desk surface you may have. This also means that there are no keyboard feet here, and perhaps Mionix considered this in the case design to elevate the keyboard that way. We will find out very soon, but in the meantime, another interesting thing here is regarding the keyboard's cable. As we can see, it is non-detachable and comes out in the middle at the top. It is average in length at 6.0 feet/1.8 meters long and terminates in a standard male USB Type-A connectors. USB 3.0 (3.1 Gen 1) is recommended so as to be well above the current draw requirements for all the RGB LEDs here, which should not be a concern for the intended audience today. But as we also see here, part of the cable is coiled in order to produce a section that is first used should you have your computer closer than 6' away, which helps with cable management and everything looking neat. The trouble is when you do need to use the coiled section, in which case the tendency to coil back in ends up applying force on the keyboard, dragging it away from you and towards the computer. Be aware of this as it can be a plus or a cumbersome bother, but nothing in between.

Mionix adopted the same DCS profile with the stock keycaps, which we saw before with the optional replacement keycap sets. We have the usual sculpted rows here thus, and the keycap surfaces are slightly concave as well. We can also see that the case is angled upwards to provide some keyboard elevation in lieu of keyboard feet here. The keycaps are of better build quality than average in terms of the use of thicker material (average wall thickness 1.06 mm), and Mionix claims these to have a full-cover coating to delay the ABS from developing a shine due to finger oils over time. The legends are laser etched here instead of being screen printed as on the replacement set, so time will tell if said coating aids with longevity in both cases.

Mionix has used the extremely popular Cherry MX RGB Red switches here, and although I would have appreciated some switch options, this is a safe bet if there had to be only one. The backlighting here is with SMD LEDs under the switch and the light diffusing through the clear housing on each switch, and we see the use of Cherry stabilizers here as well which, combined with the floating keycaps, aids in easy keycap removal and installation. This also increases light-bleed potential; however, I would expect it to be minimal owing to the darker plate used here.

Here is a look at how the optional keycaps would look, with the Frosting set used as an example. These keycaps do fit in ever so slightly tighter on the switches the first few times, so give it due diligence, especially since the bottom row has different possible combinations. There are indicators on width and the designated row on the underside of each keycap to aid you here.
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