CODE 104-Key Mechanical Keyboard - Cherry MX Clear

Availability: In stock

$155.00
Rating
158 Review(s)
CODE 104-Key Mechanical Keyboard - Cherry MX ClearCODE 104-Key Mechanical Keyboard - Cherry MX Clear
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Customer Reviews

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Simple elegance, with a few asterisks. Review by Ian
Rating
I ended up ordering one of these for work to replace the company issued rubber dome keyboard and am very pleased by my selection. I've used several other mechanical keyboards before, as well as several different switch types, and for general typing this is my favorite keyboard by far.

The MX Clear switches are noticeably heavier than MX Browns, but I feel that it improves the feel when doing a lot of general typing. I wouldn't recommend them for heavy gaming, but they have a fantastic feel to them when I'm coding. The tactile bump on the MX Browns, while noticeable, feels like almost nothing compared to the MX Clears. Despite the additional "weight," the Clears are far from difficult to press. It feels like they have the right balance--easy enough to type on but difficult to accidentally trigger.

I noticed some people complaining about the keys with stabilizers squeaking so I ordered some lubricant. While my space bar squeaked a little bit when I first unboxed the keyboard, the squeak quickly went away. Might be an environmental issue, so I'm thinking that's one of those case where your mileage may vary.

I do wish that WASD would have offered to pre-install an o-ring mod with the MX Clear version of this keyboard, though. I ended up ordering a bag of 0.2mm o-rings with this keyboard on a hunch and was glad that I did. Without the o-ring modification you get a loud clack when you bottom out the keys. After I installed the o-rings I found that this keyboard generally makes less noise--even when bottoming out--than the Dell rubber dome keyboard that my coworkers use. Considering this seems to be intended for office use this seems like an odd omission, especially considering the MX Green variant has o-rings preinstalled. In my experience, bottoming out on an unmodded key can be far louder than the clicks that the MX Blues and MX Greens give off.

Another issue is that the num lock, caps lock, and scroll lock lights are difficult to see at certain angles. They are a bit too close to the numeric keypad, causing the slash, asterisk, and minus keys to block them if you're sitting a certain way. While I don't have to consult these lights often, it would have been nice if they were in a more convenient location. The lights aren't labeled, but they follow the almost universal num/caps/scroll positioning.

There doesn't seem to be a way of directly ordering replacement backlight-capable keycaps from WASD. Additionally, there are no options for OS-specific keycaps. The OS keys are just blank keycaps and there is no option to order a Windows flag, Tux logo, or Command key for this keyboard that will allow the backlighting to pass through. Not a huge deal, but it does make the product feel a bit less complete compared to others on the market.

Finally, it is inconvenient to sacrifice the menu key in order to get multimedia functionality and backlight control. I use the menu key quite a bit, so it's a bit aggravating to have to choose between the two. Having dedicated media buttons, like many Logitech keyboards, would be preferred.

Aside from those few complaints, I'm very happy with my purchase. If you've never used a mechanical keyboard before and are looking for a workhorse, this would be a good one to start with. It's truly amazing how just changing your keyboard can improve your accuracy and efficiency. (Posted on 12/30/14)
Just starting out... and loving it! Review by Clayman
Rating
The CODE keyboard is my first venture into the realm of mechanical keyboards and boy, am I loving it -- even after just one day of use. The MX Clears feel great, their response and actuation force is just right for me.

The keyboard does not have any extra buttons or other bells and whistles so it may look rather modest to some but I actually welcome that. Instead, the black matte body and keycaps give it a nice, modern look, sort of like "the stealth fighter" of keyboards.

The backlighting also works pretty well. Each key is clearly legible under any light conditions and there are several brightness levels to choose from so that anyone can pick the right one for them.

All in all, I'm really happy with this keyboard. It's obvious that it was made for programmers and people who spend much of their workdays glued to computer screens.

If I should mention any drawbacks, one would probably be the squeakiness of the Backspace key -- as other reviewers have mentioned. It's not that much of an issue for me but I can understand that other people may see it differently. I bought with the keyboard a packet of the silicone lube in case I change my mind.

Also, as I actually bought two keyboards (so that I can enjoy this typing experience both at home and at work), one of them has a malfunctioning LED under the 'X' key. This is obviously singular problem but it seems that even such a thing can slip through QA (unless it happened during delivery).

But don't let this sway you. The CODE keyboard is still a very nice piece of computer equipment and if you're looking for an excellent mechanical keyboard, there's a very good chance this one will suit your needs. (Posted on 12/25/14)
Quality piece of kit Review by RockVW
Rating
This is a top notch mechanical keyboard and, with MX Clears, my colleagues are not complaining about the background typing noise. Love the backlighting and custom keys that can be purchased.

The downsides, for me, are:
The Return key is too small (I am used to UK sizing)
Have to sacrifice the Menu key to enable the Function key (for switching on backlighting etc)

If you like your ergo style, this is not the keyboard for you (I am not of this camp). I would also personally recommend a wrist pad.

In all, thank you Jeff!
(Posted on 12/20/14)
Keyboard is great overall, Keycaps aren't very durable Review by AGon
Rating
I have the 104 key CODE with clears and I really enjoy typing on it. I'm a software developer so I've been using the keyboard for 8 - 10 hours a day for a few months now and it's holding up well.

The key caps could be more durable. ABS doesn't seem to last very long compared to other materials and many of mine are already shiny due to the fact that I use them so often. I have however ordered another set of PBT keycaps that will help sort that out.

Finally, I wish WASD would have included some instructions on removing the stabilized keys properly. When I got the keyboard many of the stabilized keys were binding and squeaking quite a bit. This was the first mechanical keyboard I had that didn't have the MX style stabilizers.So when I took them off to see what I could do about fixing them and found that there were little plastic clips holding the stabilizer bars in and when I took off the shift key I broke on of the plastic clips.

I didn't find this out until I tried to put the key back on and it wouldn't function properly. I ended up having to order a couple of replacement parts, and now there's a chunk of one of the plate clips stuck inside, and I can't open the keyboard case without voiding the warranty. Not a huge deal but considering the instruction manual consists of only a tiny sheet of paper detailing the function keys and switches on the back they could've put a link to a video on how to remove they key caps properly on there.

Overall, I'm satisfied with my purchase, and would recommend this board to anyone that's looking for a high quality device primarily for typing. You may want to look into other key caps if you do want some more durable key caps that won't show wear as quickly though.

(Posted on 12/16/14)
Very very nice keyboard Review by Simon
Rating
the positive:
I very much like the code keyboard. The mx clears are so far my favorite kind of switches (I prefer them over the reds and browns I've already had).
The backlight is very nice and the brightness can be configured. The idea of the pin-switches on the bottom to change the behavior of some aspects of the keyboard to my liking is very nice - especially being able to change the location of the alt key is a welcome possibility for a mac user.

the negative:
some of the larger keys are a bit squeaky - I had to apply grease to it, in order to keep my co-workers happy. (Posted on 12/5/14)
Typing on it right now Review by Xenon787
Rating
Let's start by saying that I get irrationally giddy every time I type with this keyboard.
I did my research and WASD was at the top of my list for mechanical keyboards. Backlighting was important to me, and the CODE has very pleasant white light, undramatic by comparison to some of the more gaming-centric keyboards out there. The keyboard's understated but pleasant design fits nicely into the rest of my desk habitat.
The media controls are just what I wanted, and the backlight can be cycled through 5-6 brightness settings or turned off altogether.
One thing I wish for is an option for backlit Windows logos on their respective keys, but that's just a personal preference. Overall a fantastic product. (Posted on 12/2/14)
With o-rings nothing needs changing Review by Asmodian
Rating
I have used a lot of different mechanical keyboards and the CODE with MX Clears is my favorite so far.

A "basic" keyboard with with a nice even back light and some useful config options so it can be personalized with an odd tweak or two. Mine has no issues. I really like the MX Clears as well though I recently added some 40A-R o-rings which made it even better. (Posted on 11/14/14)
BEST MECHANICAL KEYBOARD EVER Review by MassiveOni
Rating
I've seen a few mechanical keyboards, but this would have to be the best I have ever used, Cherry My Clear switches are better then red blacks and blues by a mile, and with the key o rings it gets even better.

The only thing that would make it better would be if there was an optional add on to change the color of the leds.

Other than that one tiny complaint, this keyboard is perfect. (Posted on 11/12/14)
pretty good keyboard Review by steph
Rating
Good typing experience, but like most mechanicals the keys sit quite high which may require you to change your desk height to achieve good ergonomics. Not as quiet as I hoped, since the spring on the keys is quite powerful which creates a loud "thonk" when a key is released.

Perfect backlighting, and excellent placement of special functions (play/pause, next, prev, etc...) which make them very easy to manipulate with the right hand (seriously every keyboard should adopt this placement, it's way better than having them with the F-keys at the top). (Posted on 11/5/14)
1 week of use Review by Okuma.Scott
Rating
Full disclosure: this is my first mechanical keyboard since the 90's.

As other posters have said, the backspace key is squeaky. I'll have to look into that lube, although I'm not keen on having to deal with the dirt magnet factor...

I've got no qualms with the DIP switches. In fact I love them in comparison with the software / special drivers required for other fancy keyboards with lighting. If you use a KVM like I do (IO Gear GCS1644), those other fancy-pants keyboards won't work like you'd expect.

The brightness of the indicator lights do NOT vary with with the key light brightness!
They appear to always be lit at the lowest setting.
Also (for me and everyone else it seems) they are not visible normally. I have to sit up to look at them; not ideal, fix this please! (just move them up a bit!)

I disagree with what a previous poster said: "it's perfectly easy not to bottom out with clears". Unless I am being very deliberate and concentrating on not bottoming out, it happens with almost every keystroke. [Please disregard everything you've read about clears being 'heavy"; they aren't] Maybe I'm just a heavy-handed typist (used to dome-switch membranes), but I wish that WASD would have automagically suggested O-rings.

Why doesn't WASD sell back-lit key caps? If my keys wear down (as happened on my previous keyboard, a Saitek Eclipse (PZ30AU)) where will I go for replacement keys!?
WASD offers all kinds of crazy key caps, why not any that are back-lit compatible?

Although I'll probably never switch away from qwerty, it's disheartening to know that switching this keyboard over to another layout will result in messed up key angles "because they're sculpted" - stattenf.

The fact that Jeff Atwood helped design this keyboard swayed me a little bit. I'm a coder by profession and I'm no stranger to Stackoverflow. I went looking for a back-lit mechanical keyboard first and found the CODE, before finding out a SO founder helped create it.

All in all, I'm very pleased. I don't see any reason not to give this a 5 star rating. The keys feel freaking awesome compared to the dome membranes I was used to. This is the best back-lit keyboard available hands-down and so far it has been worth every penny.

Other thoughts:
- It needs a wrist-rest to be used comfortably.
- Why sacrifice the menu key when the right "windows" key is prime for the taking? Give users the flexibility to have both at the same time!!!
(Posted on 10/29/14)

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