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on September 7, 2011
I love computer peripherals but hate paying a ton of money for them. Since I edit video for a living, I've gotten accustomed to upgrading my computer more often than most and spending well over a hundred bucks (starting point) on anything from headphones, to mics, to camera accessories, to software. However, when it came to purchasing a new keyboard, I was daunted at the prices associated with mechanical keyboards.

After doing a ton of research, I found the following.

Razer's Black widow is overpriced and poorly constructed.

Das Keyboard is a dream to type on, but the USB ports are on the right side (right by your mouse hand), there are no multimedia controls, there are no mic / headphone inputs on it, and it costs around 140.

Thermaltake's Meka G1 is a really well built beast but uses Cherry Browns, had no real multimedia functions, and has no left hand windows key. This was a killer for me as I use the windows / command key all the time in my work. Again, over 100 dollars.

I read a few more reviews and came to the conclusion that the XArmor was in the sweet spot of features, build quality, and price. It feels phenomenal to type on and its often overlooked that the body of the keyboard is covered in a beautiful matte non slip / non stick rubberized material. This is in stark contrast to other, super shiny, fingerprint prone keyboards.

Also, it comes with four stylish bright orange keys (and a key remover) designed to replace the WASD constellation used in FPSes. It is a great choice that no competitors to my knowledge provide!

When I removed these keys, I noticed there seemed to be LED diodes beneath, but they are not wired... Maybe I could solder them power? If anyone knows the answer to this question, please let me know!

Lastly, if it's not obvious from the screen shots, the keyboard comes with a nice wrist rest covered in the same material.

All and all well worth it and a wonderful companion to my Razer Death Adder!
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on August 20, 2011
Let me start by saying this is my first mechanical keyboard in forever (I had an IBM Model M a long time ago, and have since been through many other keyboards). It feels much better than the rubber dome keyboard that came with my last desktop, but it is substantially noisier. The switches, while heftier than the rubber dome, also have a lighter feel than the Model M. While overall I am happy with the purchase given the price, there do seem to be some strange design decisions. First off, you need 2 usb ports (or a USB+PS/2 port) in order to use the keyboard and usb hub. If you want to use the passthrough for headphones and the microphone, you have to plug in 4 cables. Although I understand that some people will want to use the ps/2 connector, if they made a USB-only version of this it could cut down on the number of cables. Secondly, if you take off the keycaps (there is a tool included for this), you'll notice that there are actually LEDs in the base of the keys. Although I haven't gotten them to work, I suspect with minimal effort you can turn this U9Plus into a U9BL (the backlit version of this keyboard), since the hardware seems to be there.

Mechanical switches give better tactile response
Fairly cheap for a mechanical keyboard

Noisy when in use
Lots of cables to plug in if you want to use all the features
Not immediately obvious on how to use function keys (its LSHIFT+F1 for mute, LSHIFT+F2 for vol-, etc)

EDIT: I've decided to edit this review and finally raise the score from 4 to 5 stars, as I've had this model for several years and it's still going strong. In fact, I had bought other models with similar cases recently, and I have to say that the build quality of the original is actually far superior (it has outlasted all replacements to date). The (replaceable) keycaps have developed some shine from the wear, but otherwise the keyboard is still in great shape.

While on the subject of keycaps, it turns out that this keyboard has a non-standard bottom row, making it hard to find replacements for the spacebar, windows, crtl, and alt keys. Max keyboards sells a keycap kit which is compatible. This is not a major issue, but is something to keep in mind if you want to customize the board.

It is a pity that this model no longer appears to be in stock; I have used it almost daily for the past four years and the pros massively outweigh the cons, especially given the low price when it was available.

For those wondering, the Max Keyboard Nighthawk X series uses this same case and appears to have comparable build quality, although I have only had mine for 6 months or so (I use it at work). The Nighthawk does not have a PS/2 connector and has a braided cable, and also includes backlighting. The Nighthawk is more expensive than this one (even accounting for inflation), but seems reasonable given the extra features. I just hope it lasts as long as this one has.
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on December 26, 2011
Like many others, I've been on the Mechanical Keyboard fence for a while now. I've read about the cherry switches and how they give you a great "tactical feel". I've seen forum goers gushing over their sleek keyboard designs and their slightly faster than average response times. There was no question I wanted one. But the biggest question for me (and likely the same for you too if you're reading this review), is a keyboard really worth $100?

Short answer is, yes.

I was not disappointed when I typed out my first string. I was weary on whether or not I would actually feel a difference. There is absolutely a clear difference between a mechanical keyboard and a regular dome keyboard. The feeling you get is great and very satisfying. There is an obvious clacking noise, but for myself it just adds to the experience. This may be a problem if you share a office or room with someone. The jury is still out on whether or not it will make me a better typer, though I have already found myself missing less and less keys.

The keyboard itself is very nice in design and structure. It is very heavy (or at least the heaviest keyboard I've ever held). It has a nice soft texture and feels great when typing. The print on the keys are big and bold. It comes with an optional wrist pad made with the same material that feels wonderful. This keyboard feels far from cheap.

Some of the more popular mechanical keyboards are marketed toward gamers. They come with tons of macro keys and are generally designed to look cool and different, but in the end come out looking ugly. This board is the complete opposite. It is a classic keyboard through and through with zero additional keys. You will not look out of place using this board in your office. The iOne U9Plus is the most basic looking mechanical board I've seen on the market. I'm perfectly happy with that.

The board also comes with a lot of extras like the fore mentioned additional wrist pad. You will receive four orange keys with no facing if you would like to replace your WASD keys. You receive a key remover as well. Great for cleaning. Although no macro keys, included on the F keys are media keys for volume adjustment. Just simply use SHIFT+the key top use them. (which wasn't mentioned in the manual, which I found odd. You also get two USB ports, microphone port, and a headphone port.

Bottom line:

Is a mechanical keyboard worth getting? If you do actually use your board for typing and not just Facebook checking, YES.

Is this mechanical keyboard worth getting? YES.

Is it worth $100? YES. It is sleek, heavy and feels great. It feels like an expensive product.

There is however, one con.

There are a lot of cords. But a little cable management can hide them easily.
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on August 7, 2013
User manual? They should have skipped it all together. Why put in only 22 minutes of work on a UM when it needs a whole 25 minutes to make it usable and worth while?

Greatly enjoyed typing on this KB. Nice tactile feel and use.

Back-light never worked. (OK, now realize it was not supposed to. You have to open it to get it to do that.)
Would get 'no type' keys every once in a while.

Sent it back to the warehouse. They are apparently spending weeks testing and testing and testing it...
I wonder if I will ever hear anything?

(OK, next day after review I got it back so I will put it from 2 stars to 4 stars. Also, the company I bought it from Urban Identity was excellent and Nice through this! They get 5 stars.)

XArmor - not sure what happened to them. Don't care. They are not there to help out. KB I have had a broken key socket for the clip that sticks into the back of the shift key and that the metal clips slide into. The key actually had a very small amount of paper over the male part of the clip that goes into the key hole on the back of the shift key.

Also, cord now hangs loose and does not seat and hold into the KB. This was not a 10 or 20 year KB as it easily could have and should have been. Heck, I still have my very nice HP Keyboard from ~2001 or so. Still works well.

Recommend a Mechanical KB where the keys float on top of the case instead of sinking into it. Easier to clean.
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on October 13, 2011
I bought this for my wife after she read an article on the benefits of mechanical keyboards. She is a environmental attorney, and spends A LOT of time at her computer sifting through documents and writing memos. I tried the XArmor U9Plus Cherry MX Blue Mechanical Keyboard with Wired USB Port out for myself, and it is REALLY nice! From my experience, it is like the transmission on a Harley Davidson Night Train. HD transmissions have a very agricultural feel to them. There is nothing fancy, nothing slick to them. Gear changes are felt and heard. With this keyboard, every keystroke is felt and heard as well. For tactile people, this is a very comfortable keyboard.
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on August 18, 2012
Great feel, perfectly smooth typing, clear and readable manual (which is not common from obscure companies with multiple east Asian translations). I emailed tech support about the backlight either not working or not working how the manual describes, and several days later I have received no reply. I took off a star for the tech support thing, because the backlight is not so important.
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on August 23, 2012
I bought this keyboard a few months ago and am only now reviewing it. To me waiting a few months to write a review is the only real way to do it. Unless something is absolute garbage then it should work for a week or two right.... So I have used this a couple months before I wrote the review.

So anyway, the keyboard still works and works great. I am very happy with it. It is very easy to type on. I experience less fatigue using this than a traditional keyboard (important for writers and programmers). It makes nice clicking sounds when I type, which I enjoy. Typing is much smoother than the pressure sensor keyboards and I feel much more secure when I type knowing that the keys are actually working when I type.

As you may have gathered, I purchased this primarily for typing and for that role it works great. I also do some gaming on it (League of Legends and a few others). It works great. I tend to be a heavy masher in games so even the old sensor types worked for me, but this one is definitely smoother.

Works great
Good for Typing
Keys feel good when you push them
Typing is faster on this than a sensor and with less hand fatigue
It makes nice clicking sounds when I type
It also has some extra connectors in case you want to connect your mouse to your keyboard (I don't but I could if I wanted to).
Fairly priced at the lower end of mechanical keyboards

It is a little on the heavy side. That doesn't really bother me, but I guess it might if I kept the keyboard in my lap a lot.
It makes clicking sounds when you type (I actually like this but some people might not).

Would I recommend this product? Yes.
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on March 11, 2012
I purchased this keyboard for everyday use on my computer; typing emails, surfing the net, bookkeeping. WOW! I wanted "clicky" and I got it! Not only that, the feel is SO different from a regular keyboard, and it is fast! These are happy keys and your fingers fly as you type. If you work with numbers, it's like the difference between a Monroe calculator and any cheap model, it keeps up with you and is built to be comfortable and fast. This is even better than I expected and I'm HAPPY. Yes it's costly, but if you have a moment (or day) when you want to buy yourself a little gift, this is it. 10 stars out of a possible 5!
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on March 5, 2012
College student that games a lot here, and might I say that this keyboard is perfect for on and off the clock. When I need to type an essay, it has fantastic action, and when I need to hot key a few things then button mash (I jest, obviously), the anti-ghosting abilities help with that also. It is an amazing product that I wouldn't hesitate to buy again!
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on October 6, 2011
This is my first mechanical keyboard in 10 years and I am never going back. The feel is amazing and as long as you don't mind the clack of the MX Cherry Blues there isn't anything to complain about. I use this for work primarily, but I also am an avid Starcraft 2 player. I won't say it upped my APM, but I feel like I miss keys less.
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