CODE 61-Key Mechanical Keyboard - Cherry MX Green

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$128.00
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CODE 61-Key Mechanical Keyboard - Cherry MX GreenCODE 61-Key Mechanical Keyboard - Cherry MX Green
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Everything is peaches and cream but I see room to take things even further! Review by Ty
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WASD got the package shipped ASAP and it arrived in good time (though if I'd been smarter I would've placed the order the day before so I wouldn't have to wait over the weekend.

I knew what I was getting myself into with the 60% VP3 programming and layers. I opted for the CODE 61 over the Pok3r RGB because I have a lot of trust in WASD as a company that I can reach out to if anything goes wrong and will stand behind their products rather than the largely faceless manufacturers of Vortex Pok3r.

Fantastic size, lighting looks good, though i will admit the RGB was mighty tempting so that I could set FN keys as a different colors to identify them (S,D, and F for Vol-, Vol+, and Mute, respectively) for example, but it becomes second nature pretty quickly.

I believe that the documentation with the keyboard is more thorough than the VP3 .pdf that's provided on the product page. It seems to be missing the Media Keys as well as all 4 DIP switch functions on the CODE 61. I'll need to pull out the box, but I believe there was one for moving the arrow cluster from I, J, K, and L to WASD and I'm not sure if the documentation provided told me about using R-ALT+Space to turn right Shift, FN, PN, and Ctrl into an arrow cluster at the bottom right of the keyboard which is nice for flash games when you don't want to be holding an FN key down. Easy to get on, easy to turn off. If I *am* recalling correctly the first two DIP switches were for switching layouts through the firmware (QWERTY, Colemak, Dvorak), while the third was to turn the CapsLock into an FN key. So the fourth was either to simple move the FN from it's key in the bottom right to the Caps rather than doubling up or that's where I'll find my arrow-cluster-to-WASD switch. But that's all on me for needing to pull out the box and info.

It was packaged well. No damage. Loving the Greens even if I get a little fatigue after a while, but I'm sure there's still some adjusting to be done. Backlighting is a very 'cool' (almost blue/purple) white which is nice and cuts through the legends nicely. You can definitely make out where the LED kind of fads out on the larger keys like CapsLock but it looks nice as legends are large and centered. The keys are 'just' the stock ABS doubleshot if I recall correctly and they're fairly slick which is fine by me. The sculpting is great and there's no noise or much wiggle--even with the larger keys. The Space just has the single Green switch with white LED in the center with a stabilizer on either side so I definitely sound like I'm "typing with purpose" slapping that spacebar down with my thumbs, but that's hardly a gripe. Simply the nature of things.

Quality is great and consistent from key to key. Both in tactile response and sound. It's like a fast type writer (or buckling spring as Greens are often compared to), but with a very consistent activation point and pleasurable travel distance.

The side cap printing looks great, but sometimes you need more than the lowest few brightness settings to make them out in the dark depending on your environment.

Unfortunately, however, the side printing on my "M" key that gives me my Default layer with FN + M is at a pretty severe tilt down to the right. I can watch the last letters of "Default" disappear behind my keyboard. So far I've done well with chalking this up to the 'character' of the keyboard, but with the very deliberate center-justified legends and general layout of the CODE 61 it definitely stands out as being the one where it's not "everything in it's place" design of the CODE 61. Although I believe WASD would (or should) be willing to sent a replacement cap if I open a support ticket about it. That is if they don't see it here.

I'm not sure what the extend of the backlight programming is compared to the Pok3r RGB, but I'll bet it's essentially the same with the RGB Gradient fat trimmed off, but I don't believe I saw much about customizing a layer's backlighting key-by-key.

It wouldn't have hurt to see the media key legends on the side of the keycaps. I'd be more than okay to see that on my left-hand keycaps. QWER, ASDF, ZXCV are largely all blank on the side save for "App" on the Z key (still not sure what this is for) and the "Reset" on the R.

My previous keyboard had a function as the second key in from the left at the bottom most of the keyboard that I could hold and use the keys to the left and right to click (it had a built in touchpad) and would love to map up some MouseKeys and being able to use Win + L-Ctrl for left click and Win + L-Alt for right click. As is I'll have to find a way to do that via AutoHotKey and I believe I'm unable to map keys that aren't already on the board which means I can't exactly map up Numpad layer so I can maneuver the cursor around, no matter how clumsy, as I use this from the bed. Looking into 3rd party software as slicker alternatives to MouseKeys or AutoHotKey at the moment.

The bottom has 4 generous, flat, textured, feet. One in each corner. The sculpting is such you shouldn't find a need for legs to lift the back. You definitely get a sense of pride in the craftsmanship and product from the packaging and product itself which I always *love*. I love to see a company take pride in their product and expressing it through packaging and a clear goal or design statement.

Only qualms I've found is that you can't change the brightness of the hit key on the second backlight setting and either I'm not very perceptive but you cannot change the rate or brightness of the slow breathe on the third backlight setting. The messy shot for the Default on the side of the M cap seems very out of place, but is subtle enough to not be a glaring issue most of the time.

I think there's room for improvement with the documentation provided; particularly the VP3 .pdf on the keyboard's description page is lacking in a few things and I'd much rather pull up the provided .pdf than keep the slip of paper around to get lost or destroyed by my toddler. Especially since the 60% keyboard has some different functions than most of the other keyboards provided here. Case in point: the ambiguous state I find myself in with the DIP switches. Although with only 4 to go around, knowledge of the third, and the first two being for key layouts it wouldn't exactly be hard to simply test. Backlight customization has room to grow as well as additional side-cap lettering/legends for media keys and the sort.

Can't exactly program keys in customizable layers that don't already exist on the board so NumPad is out which is unfortunate because it registers differently than the number row. This means special characters through Alt+Numpad are out (Alt+1 6 8 for "¿", for example).

Something i think would be *incredibly* cool would be a sort of Alternative FN key. Whereas I have 'default' alphanumerical letters with their typical Shift variants, but we also get the glorious FN to further utilize the same keys without needing to move our hands much, but a majority of the keys' FN-function is fairly necessary where it is (I J K L arrows, SDF Volume management, TGB time-delay in programming keys, 1 through =/+ for F1-F12). I think it wouldn't be convoluted or difficult to elegantly add an alternative FN key that allows me to keep their default FN-function that makes up for the lack of keys so I can use them for other more niche/personal use programmings. Without hopping a layer to perform an action than pop back (which can feel a little clumsy. Layers feel very similar to 'profile' options on other devices where you might have one set up for a particular software suite or game or even second person).

All-in-all I can't exactly find much I'm truly disappointed in. Trivialities here and there, sure, but it does everything it promised in a very slick, sturdy, versatile package!

Keep up the good work and reputation, WASDKeyboards! (Posted on 10/21/16)
Very good quality, cool Review by Jramb
Rating
Very good quality. Some metallic spring sound occasionally (space bar?) during heavy typing though. But I am very happy with the keyboard. Easy to carry with you.

I switched caps lock to be the Fn key, which is very necessary I think, since Fn becomes vital. (Posted on 8/31/16)

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