Keyed-Up Labs ES-87 Mechanical Space-Saving Keyboard

I purchased a Filco Zero keyboard back in the fall of 2010. It's a really nice mechanical keyboard with significant tactile feedback, as well a click upon switch actuation. I had to order it from The Keyboard Company in the UK, as the Filco Zero (high resistance with audible click) wasn't available in the US.

I love the "clicky" sound, but not everyone else wants to listen to me type. My officemates weren't keen on listening to me type (to put it lightly). So I added a "quiet" mechanical keyboard to my wishlist. I like a lot of feedback in my switches, so I passed on keyboards that use the Cherry MX Brown switch.

After much waiting and anticipation, Elite Keyboards got stock of the Keyed-Up Labs space-saving keyboard with Cherry MX Clear switches this winter. These switches have much more resistance than the Cherry MX Brown, but are also quiet. Finally, the perfect office keyboard!

I decided to order one this week, and just received it today. I'm happy with my Filco Zero, but I quickly fell in love with the KUL ES-87 with Cherry Clears. The keyboard is thoughtfully designed. It has a wonderful feel, with textured, thick plastic. And the switches feel wonderful.

KUL thought of everything when designing this keyboard. The cord is detachable. The back-side has eight switches to customize operation. Here is what the switches do:

  1. Windows Mode (off), OS X mode (on)
  2. Swap the Left Ctrl and Caps Lock keys
  3. Swap the Escape and Backtick keys
  4. Swap the Backspace and Backslash keys
  5. Requires Shift+Fn for Fn use
  6. Lower polling rate from 125Hz to 1000Hz
  7. Raises rollover from 6-key to N-key
  8. For future expansion

They include a key-puller, as well as different sized keys so that they can be swapped if you customize the keyboard behavior. For example, you can pull the Caps Lock key and the left Ctrl keys, and put in the alternates with the proper sizing. The alternate Caps Lock location even has an LED integrated into the switch, so if you move the key, you don't lose the Caps Lock LED indicator! That is thoughtful design.

More than anything, it just feels wonderful to type with. The resistance gives the keys a solid feel. I'm sure my only regret will be that I didn't buy one the instant they came in stock.