During my unplanned hibernation in Taiwan last year, I had the opportunity to catch up with the man behind Mistel Keyboard, the name that has brought us several split keyboards in smaller form factors under the popular Barocco series, including the MD600, MD650L, and MD770. Each of these progressively got bigger in size, but none were larger than the surprisingly regular, older MD870 SLEEKER TKL keyboard from Mistel. So imagine my surprise when I heard that the company decided it was time to get going with another larger keyboard, and a full-size one at that. Enter the X-VIII then, pronounced "X8," and thanks again to Mistel for sending a review sample to TechPowerUp.
You might have figured out that the name is a bit of a departure from other Mistel keyboards, with the lack of the "MD" in front and no "number of keys + 0" rule in place. Yet, "X-VIII" can be interpreted as 10-8, which in turn can be taken as 108. That happens to the number of onboard keys here, so "X-VIII" ends up working out after all to denote that this is a full-size keyboard. You might also have noted that the photo above, taken from the Mistel website, looks different from the preview image. I had known last year that Mistel was working on their own keycaps, including perfecting the mold for different doubleshot injected colors. I did not have the time to visit them while they were operating, unfortunately, but the X-VIII is their first product after the sets were done, and there are two regular editions and one limited edition as far as keycap sets and colors go. We are taking a look at the Glaze Blue version in this review, and the edition above is called Gloaming to reflect twilight. The limited edition is BumbleBee, with a characteristic yellow, including on the case itself. All three share the same base, however, so this review helps represent them all as we begin with a look at the specifications below.
Mistel X-VIII Keyboard
108-key full-size form factor in a US ANSI layout, with ISO layout the other option
ABS plastic case, PBT plastic keycaps, and steel plate
1.1 kg/2.4 lbs.
Full N-Key rollover USB, 6KRO in Bluetooth mode if available
Dedicated volume control
138 (L) x 442 (W) x 42 (H) mm
6 ft/1.8 m
Choice of Cherry MX Red, Brown, Blue, Silent Red, or Speed (Silver) mechanical switch