If you have been paying attention to the last couple months of keyboard reviews here, you probably knew this review would be coming sooner rather than later. After not one, but three different keyboards sporting typewriter-style keycaps that were inspired by Datamancer products, I simply had to cover the original to wrap up this story.
Datamancer was and still is a relatively small company that arose out of a garage and is today a brand known for its one-of-a-kind computer peripherals that are inspired by various artistic decades in history. They now have an inventory featuring five keyboard designs, matching mice, and even modden monitor designs, as well as the replacement keycap sets that made the whole typewriter-inspired designs a thing. Thanks to Datamancer, we are now able to take a detailed look at one of these offerings.
In their own words:
Drawing inspiration from Victorian era design, the Diviner Keyboard is a modern USB keyboard with a natural wooden frame and vintage typewriter key caps. The chassis is carved from a single piece of choice poplar, a lightweight yet durable wood, giving the border its elegant curves and making room for the important internal parts of the keyboard. After carving, the wood is carefully routed along the edges with a Roman Ogee pattern and then finely hand sanded until the wood has a remarkably smooth texture. Then, the wood is cleaned, stained with a deep red mahogany color, and given time to let the stain penetrate and set into the piece. Two thick coats of ultra clear semi-gloss lacquer are applied to the work after it has been given ample time to set, and then it is wet sanded with ultra fine sandpaper to flatten out any uneven material. Finally, it is coated again with a heavy layer of lacquer to provide a lasting and beautiful finish.That really said it better than I could, but it is still marketing at its finest. The image above is a good indicator of what you get if you were not in the mood to read all that. The Diviner is essentially a full-size, 104-key ANSI layout keyboard in a wooden case with further modding done to the case to make it look like it came out of England in the mid to late 1800s - the so-called Victorian Era. While I am no art historian, the design is either appealing or not, so the context of its origins is secondary in my opinion. Let us begin our examination of also checking how it fares as a functional keyboard by beginning with the specs below.
|Datamancer Diviner Keyboard|
|Layout:||104 keys ANSI layout|
|Material:||ABS plastic top and bottom panels, steel plate, wooden case with brass and plastic ornaments|
|Weight:||1.72 kg / 3.8 lbs.|
|Anti-Ghosting:||Full N-Key rollover USB|
|Media Keys:||Available as a secondary function|
|Dimensions:||202 (L) x 457 (W) x 51 (H) mm|
|Cable Length:||6 ft / 1.8 m|
|Switch Type:||Genuine Cherry MX Blue mechanical switch|