DSI Compact Cherry Mechanical Switch Mac Keyboard SMK-88 USB
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- Sleek design matches with Mac
- Advanced Cherry Mechanical Switch technology
- Comes with built in USB port on end for addition peripheral!
- Works with OS X and up
- Includes USB 1.1 for keyboard and 2.0 for peripherals
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Top Customer Reviews
Also, I really like the layout. The size and positions of all the keys are just about perfect for a compact keyboard. The keyboard doesn't skimp on the size of the Shift, Delete, Return or modifier keys. I thought that the placement of the Up Arrow key being so close to the Return and Right Shift keys would be a problem, but I haven't had any issues with that so far.
There are a few downsides that keep me from giving this keyboard a perfect 5-star rating. First of all, the keyboard does not contain a USB hub. It does have a USB pass-through port, but I'm not quite sure what the point of that is. This seems like an odd omission for a relatively expensive keyboard. Second, it does not have a Num Lock key. It does have a set of keys that do double duty as a numeric keypad, but you have to press and hold down the Fn key to use them. Finally, there are 3 LEDs on the top right, but as far as I can tell, only one of them (the one that lights up for Caps Lock) ever lights up. This is a very minor detail, but as a design freak, these little things annoy me.
NOTE: Not all "Cherry mechanical switch" keyboards are the same. I learned this lesson the hard way when I purchased a Cherry G81-1800LUMUS-0 keyboard last week. The key action on that keyboard was just awful. It required significantly more force to press a key than any other keyboard I've ever used. After a couple days of using that keyboard, my fingers were tired! That's when I decided to place the order for the DSI SMK-88.
I looked around and decided on a Deck keyboard since it appeared to be the perfect keyboard for my needs. It was compact, had mechanical switches and had the added functionality of having backlit keys. I spent a small fortune on it only to find that the quality control of the keyboard was awful. When you pay $133 for a keyboard you would expect that the LED lights would function properly and that the mechanical key switches would operate properly and not feel smooshier than a laptop style keyboard. It was truly awful and to top it off their customer support was even worse. I advise anyone thinking about buying one of those keyboards to think again! They remind me of a white van speaker company. They talk the talk but they sell you something that looks as though it was assembled by a drunken gorilla.
Now comes DSI.Read more ›
I found that SMK-88's look is identical to FILCO's FKB91JU (Japanese keyboard) that also uses Black Cherry switches except key arrangement, color, and FILCO's logo. Both models are made in Taiwan and I think by DSI.
The keytop is manufactured not to be slippery. The font being used is very similar to that of Apple keyboards. Black Cherry sound is not noisy like Blue Cherry's. As you learn you don't need to hit keys to the bottom, the key sound will become softer. Overall, it's nice.
For those not familiar with Cherry switches: The Black Cherry has a comfortable but little heavy feeling. Input is finished when keys are pressed to the mid point, but you'll never know it by key touch. You need to get used to it. If you keep hitting the keys to the bottom, your fingers will get tired. I think DSI's Modular Mac Keyboard KB-MODMAC-U is a good alternative. The Blue and Brown switches are available. I recommend the Brown Switch model that should give you a lighter key touch (but not as light as the Blue Switch model) and a modest tactile feeling. When you pass the tactile point, input is done.
Happily, I discovered this DSI keyboard for the Mac. Each row of keys is on a curved base so that it's easier to tell by touch what key is underneath your fingertips, and the keys give a crisp action when you press them. I think it's hard to put into words the qualities that make some keyboards more of a pleasure to use than others. For me, this DSI keyboard probably suits me best simply because it's so much like the old IBM computer keyboard I learned to type on some years ago. I can tell by touch what key/row my fingers are on, and I can bang out words faster. There are even dedicated keys for some of the major multimedia functions from the Apple keyboard, like music play and volume controls. All around, this has the feel of a good, solid component.
I like this keyboard very much. My accuracy is much higher and I'm enjoying using the keyboard.
I had a slight issue setting it up; I had to plug the keyboard in one of the Mac's USB slots and the mouse in a separate one. In other words, I was not able to do the typical Mac setup of plugging the keyboard into one of the USB slots and then plugging the mouse into the keyboard's USB slot - I had to use 2 slots from the back of the iMac. I believe is because both my mouse and new keyboard are third-party non-Apple products. The easy workaround for this issue is a USB 2.0 hub to create new slots for devices. The keyboard itself, now that it is decoupled from the mouse, works wonderfully and is a pleasure to use.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
My son needed a keyboard replacement, he did much research and decided to order this one. It works great, meets all his needs and expectations.Published on January 29, 2013 by C. A. Bartels
Key layout, style, switch, and size are as good as I expected.
But the cable holders on the bottom are bad. They are too tight and sharp. Read more
The Good: Love the feel. Not clicky but long throw. Keys feel very good. Like old-style good keys.
The Bad. Layout is a PAIN. Read more
This is the best keyboard I've ever owner, not too expensive and was delivered in record time....thanks dsiPublished on July 22, 2008 by J. Reichsfeld
You have a Mac because you want more navigation, programing compatibility, and reliability; why settle for anything less in your keyboard. Read morePublished on July 17, 2008 by K. Kipp
compact Design with cherry Mechanical Switch. The foot print is good and it has all the keys and functions I needed for typing the college paperwork. Read morePublished on July 17, 2008 by G. Tsai