All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you purchase something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission. All prices are correct at time of publication.
For as long as I can remember, my primary keyboard has been Apple’s standard wireless model. I even upgraded the Magic keyboard when it was introduced in 2015. After all, I figured it works on my MacBook Pro, I type relatively well on it, and that’s all I need from a keyboard.
However, I had a secret passion for mechanical keyboards. There’s a part of me that misses the tactile feel of the chunky keyboards of my youth, especially as someone who spends as much time typing as I do. Plus, since I now work from home full-time, I no longer have to worry about annoying my cubicle neighbors with the sound of my typing.
So a few months ago I decided to look into the whole mechanical keyboard thing a little more. I researched for weeks, but I finally found one that fit all my needs: the NuPhy Air75. It turns out that I fell down a rabbit hole while researching this space. I read tons of reviews, watched dozens of YouTube videos, and dove deep into the product category. Different types of keyboards (full-size, keyless, 75 percent, 65 percent), different keys (linear, touch, click), buttons, etc. I learned about To be honest, I was a little intimidated by the whole thing, but after all that research, I was sold. That delicious sound of clicking buttons finally made me consider getting one.
My research helped me determine a few important criteria for the keyboard I wanted. First of all, I wanted one with a Mac-specific layout. I know most keyboards will work with both Macs and PCs, but not all have Mac layouts and I really prefer keys that match the OS I’m using. Next, it has to be wireless – I don’t like cords and cables cluttering up my desk. I also wanted the keyboard to support multiple devices so I could easily switch between my work and personal laptops. Also, I prefer hot-swappable switches and buttons so I can have the freedom to change them if I want. Ultimately, I wanted a relatively low-profile keyboard because I didn’t want to use wrist rests.
That’s how I settled on the NuPhy Air75. It’s Mac-friendly, low-profile, has hot-swappable switches, and is wireless, with the ability to connect up to four devices—three via Bluetooth and one via a 2.4GHz receiver. I also really like the 75 percent size because the layout is similar to what I’m used to with Apple keyboards. Best of all, I was able to buy it right away from Amazon instead of waiting for a group order, which is a common practice in the mechanical keyboard market. As for the switches, I chose the Gateron Brown touchpads because I’ve read reviews that suggest they’re a good middle ground between the sleeker Red switches and the denser Blue switches.
I’ve been using the Air75 for months now and I adore it. Admittedly, it took some getting used to at first. The buttons have a relatively short travel distance for how low profile they are, and I made a lot of typos in the beginning. But I soon got used to the layout and writing it is now second nature to me. I also love the feel of the Brown keys.
I also really like the overall build quality of the Air75. The aluminum frame is solid, and the standard PBT (Polybutylene Terephthalate) keys also have a great look and feel. I like that the space and enter keys are yellow and orange respectively. There are two LED light strips on either side of the keyboard, which I find quite attractive, plus they’re functional; you can set them to light up when the keyboard is low on battery or when caps lock is on. In addition, connecting via Bluetooth is very easy, and switching the keyboard between my two laptops is also simple (just press the Function key and the assigned number).
I do have a few nitpicks though. The NuPhy Air75 features RGB lighting, but since the buttons are low-profile and non-transparent, they’re pretty hard to spot. I didn’t use the keyboard at all because it drained the battery. Another is that due to the low-profile nature of the keyboard, it’s hard to find third-party keyboards that will fit into the aluminum frame (there aren’t that many low-profile keys on the market). One of the features of customizable mechanical keyboards like this one is that you can easily change the keys with any color and design you want, but it’s not so easy here.
I saw a YouTube video a few months ago that compared the feel of typing on a mechanical keyboard to that of a fountain pen, and I have to agree. Fountain pens make handwriting such a joy because of how fluid and smooth they feel. Similarly, typing on the NuPhy Air75 is a pleasure thanks to that touch and satisfying feedback. Now that I’ve tried mechanical keyboards like the NuPhy Air75, I don’t think I’ll ever go back to the standard Apple models.
Leave a Comment