My current mechanical keyboard, which is also my first one, is a Corsair Vengeance K65 (Cherry MX Red) and I’ve been using it for about 7 years without any technical problems but over time I’ve had problems with its design. I didn’t care much about the design when I bought it, it’s not like im going to be looking at it for hours anyways, right? and I was used to cheap membrane keyboards. With membrane keyboards I remember trying to play games and having problems with ghosting (not being able to press multiple keys at the same time) which at the time I didn’t even know it was a thing until one day I read about mechanical keyboards, which they supposedly felt better to type because the switches were mechanical and it didn’t have the ghosting problem so I decided to buy one. At the time they were “expensive”, not only because they were starting to get popular but because I was just used to the cheap membrane keyboards. It felt great, the sound and the typing, of course the quality of the product was great.
A few years passed and I stumbled across a few problems. As you might see in corsairs website, the front plate/chassis its made of aluminum which feels and looks good except that the corners, although they look and are round, its still really hard and has caused scratches when I have moved my keyboard. Another problem I had were the colours of the keyboard, it ranges between black and gray which a lot of electronics are made of those colours, so it just blended with everything. The last problem I had was that I started going towards more of a minimalistic design and the keyboard had a lot of extra space at the top and at the bottom and that bothered me a little bit.
While browsing the Internet I stumbled across /r/mechanicalkeyboards and I was surprised people could customize their keyboards so much, even build their own keyboards and they looked amazing, which is what made me want to buy a new one, one that I liked and not just the cheapest mechanical option because it was the new thing.
Browsing for others things in Aliexpress I stumbled a really nice looking keyboard, Aigo A68. It was perfect, its design is compact (65%), I really liked the retro colours of old computers and best of all, it was mechanical and cheap, so I bought it. I couldn’t find many reviews under the product page nor on the Internet, I saw a few videos but none of them showed many details about the keyboard, which is why I’m writing about this mechanical keyboard hopefully it helps others to make a decision.
I bought the Aigo A68 which is a 65% mechanical keyboard but they do have other sizes, at least in their Aliexpress store page, they have A87 (80%, TKL), A100 (96%) and A108 (100%). They have the listed on their website and on their Alixpress store but I did find that apparently “darkflash” is the supplier company for Aigo, you can check their product page they have listed the same exact mechanical keyboards, with the same colour schemes, except that the model name starts with “GD” instead of “A”, so the Aigo A87 is darkflash GD87. Which is why it called my attention that the keyboard itself didn’t have any branding except for a square sticker on the back of it, with the name of the model and a bit of extra information, nothing engraved in the plastic or keys.
The keyboard came in a box wrapped in plastic, inside that box there was another box, in which the keyboard came in. It included the mechanical keyboard, 2 yellow switches, keycap/switch puller and a 1.5m USB-C to USB-A cable. The keyboard itself came in a plastic bag with a plastic top cover that protected the keys. I’d say it was well packaged and protected.
One of the first things you notice is that the keyboard is heavy, it weights 649 grams, which gives it a more premium feeling but oddly enough at the same time a cheap feeling. I personally don’t have much experience with mechanical keyboards as this would be my second one but the Corsair Vengeance K65 although its bigger and has more keys is lighter than the Aigo A68. Overall I really don’t care about the weight too much as I doubt I’m going to be moving with it too much and I definitely prefer that is heavy rather than light.
The keycaps definitely feel nice, the letters look good, although I did notice a small detail in it, for some reason the F keys don’t seem to align vertically that well. I love the colour scheme, the old beige look. It would definitely look better if the backplate was of the same beige colour rather than white but its barely visible, so it doesn’t matter that much.
The keyboard has 4 light indicators, the first one is for caps lock which is really useful, I’ve used keyboards that don’t have caps lock indicator and it can be annoying sometimes not knowing whether you have caps locked on or not, specially when you input passwords and of course you can’t see what you are typing. The second light blinks blue when it tries to connect using bluetooth, and blinks green when it tries using the 2.4Ghz connection. The third light is for when the battery is low and the fourth light turns red when its plugged in and charging. Really liked how they deal with the lights.
On the other hand the keyboard doesn’t have backlight which for me its great as I don’t like it and it wouldn’t go with the old keyboard vibe either way.
Because this is a 65% keyboard, to access the F keys you have to hold the “FN” key. I did have some trouble getting used to it a little bit because the manual didn’t have instructions on how to use the “FN” key. I commonly use “ALT+F4” to close a window but using “FN” wasn’t the same, I had to try different things until I figured out how it worked. First you hold the “FN” key and then press “ALT+F4”, although the keyboard has 2 ALT keys at the bottom, only the one on the left works to close the active window. I’ll probably get used to it.
This keyboard has multiple ways to connect, which is great as you can connect multiple devices without having to unplug things and plug again. There are three keys with Bluetooth (BT1, BT2 and BT3), which you can use each one of them to connect to a different device using bluetooth, then you have the 2.4G which uses a USB connected to the device to connect wirelessly and then there is the USB symbol which changes the keyboard to use the USB-C connection. So you could have up to 5 devices connected to the keyboard, 4 wirelessly and 1 connected with cable.
The keyboard comes with yellow switches from an ?unknown brand? but they feel really nice, they are linear switches and feel smooth and quiet. The nice thing about this keyboard is that you can swap the switches, so if it breaks or stop working you can easily replace them with a new one without having to buy a whole new keyboard.
For the price that I bought it (~46 USD) and compared to the previous one I had, this is a really good purchase. It might not have any fancy lights, like RGB or a screen on the keyboard but I like the simple design. I’d definitely recommend it to someone who is getting into the mechanical keyboard world. I’m really enjoying it and I don’t think you have to spend a lot to get a good looking keyboard. I hope it lasts me long.