Packaging and Accessories
We saw this cuboid-shaped packaging employed before with the similar MD600 Barocco RGB keyboard, and it remains quite small and impressive here as well. To give North Americans an idea, this packaging fits into a medium USPS flat-rate box well, which incidentally was what it also arrived in. Mistel gave it a shiny silver layer on most sides to where it is extremely reflective, which made taking photos a tad difficult, but we can see that a combination of matte black and glossy silver adds to the unusual unboxing experience here. The company and product name, as well as the specifications and an illustration of the keyboard, are found on the sides. There are double flaps on each end, which also have seals on to keep the contents inside in place during transit.
The interesting packaging continues with a plain cardboard boxe inside the outer cardboard packaging, which in turn is effectively a pair of boxes with a common edge as seen above. One part is thicker than the other to accommodate more of the included accessories, and both parts have a keyboard half and some accessories included, so be sure to empty everything lest you miss something accidentally. Both parts also have further flaps that keep them closed, so this is a second packaging layer that adds further protection to the items inside.
The first set of accessories we see consists of two cables that will be used to connect the keyboard's two pieces, and those to the computer itself. Both cables are braided in black to match this black keyboard variant I have here, and both have Mistel-branded cable wraps on them to complete the branding. The smaller of the two connects the keyboard pieces, and we see gold-plated, right-angled male micro-USB connectors here. The longer cable goes with mini-USB instead on one end and a standard male USB Type-A connector on the other, both of which are gold-plated as well for some resistance against metal oxidation. It would have been nice to see USB Type-C, especially since this was shown off at Computex this year among other products that have begun adoption of the newer USB standard connector. Note that some older versions used a shorter but coiled cable, and I personally feel this stretched version is better. We also find a useful manual that comes with the product, which is well worth a read if you want to make the most of the built-in programmability and layers onboard.
The next set of accessories includes the same excellent keycap puller we saw with their other keyboards. It comes in a plastic wrap and is a wire-type puller with 301 stainless steel for the metal wires and a dual-composition base (orange ABS plastic and black TPR rubber). Such keycap pullers minimize the potential to scratch the sides of keycaps as compared to the less expensive plastic ring ones, so I am all for it. Following this, in another plastic wrap, are some replacement PBT keycaps in orange, a cream white, and gray (total of four). Three of these are 1u sized and can be used with most of the keys on the keyboard, and the larger one presumably is a replacement Enter key as with previous Mistel Barocco keyboards. There are no legends on these, which means there is no backlighting support either, and they are meant to merely add some flair with Mistel's love for orange showing up here as well. Also, instead of the hemispherical rubber-padded feet we saw before, there are more options included here which are more substantial and allow for something else, which we will take a look at in more detail on the following page.
Lastly, Mistel includes a spare Cherry ML switch in every retail packaging, which is very cool to see. This gives the end user a chance to better understand how low in profile this switch is, and how it works if you decide to take it apart. The pictures above compare this very switch (left) to the Cherry MX Low Profile RGB Red switch (center) and Kailh Low Profile Linear Red (right). This helps provide more context on how the Cherry ML physically stacks up to two of the other, newer contenders in the market today, and we can clearly see that the Cherry ML is the smaller of the three by size and volume alike.