MIIIW Black IO 83 Custom Keyboard: The Perfect Fusion of Transparent Black Crystal and See-Through Style!

MIIIW Black IO 83 Custom Keyboard: The Perfect Fusion of Transparent Black Crystal and See-Through Style!

The Black IO 83 Custom Mechanical Gaming Keyboard by MIIIW is a standout product highly recommended by Touchmax. With its exquisite craftsmanship and innovative design, the Black IO 83 provides an exceptional typing and gaming experience, along with outstanding appearance and texture. Whether you're a gamer or a programmer who needs to spend long hours typing, the Black IO 83 can offer a much more comfortable feel and user experience than ordinary keyboards. Join Touchmax as we explore the features that make this unique mechanical keboard stand out!

Design 

Its design philosophy is exemplified in the "Innovation in the Open" message stamped on its spacebar. This approach is evident throughout the entire keyboard, from the transparent case and keycaps to the height and width specifications featured across the keys. Additionally, with open-source QMK programming, this keyboard truly embodies transparency.

The transparent design is the most notable feature of the BlackIO 83, and the pun is definitely intended. The smoked plastic material used for the case and keycaps creates a sophisticated, see-through appearance that enables the RGB lighting to shine brilliantly, surpassing even pudding keycaps. The use of polycarbonate for the keycaps provides unparalleled clarity, making them even clearer than the case material. If you look closely enough, you can even spot the stems that link to each switch.

Featuring a sleek dark design style, the Black IO 83's aluminum alloy body provides a comfortable feel. Unlike other mechanical keyboards, the Black IO 83 focuses on the basics needed for typing and gaming operations, devoid of redundant multimedia keys. 

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Keycaps

The top of the BlackIO 83 case is finished with a high-gloss coating. The arrow keys are available in gold, silver, or purple, depending on the chosen color scheme, and have a similar shiny finish. The keyboard's crystal-transparent polycarbonate keycaps come with specially designed legends, finished with excellent workmanship. Coupled with RGB lighting effects, it looks incredibly cool. The stepped keycap height makes tping fatigue-free, ensuring a lighter feel and effortless keystrokes.

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Lighting Effects 

MIIIW has incorporated customization into the keyboard in various aspects. The keyboard supports wired and wireless use (via Bluetooth or 2.4GHz wireless) and is equipped with per-key RGB backlighting. It has 48-bit RGB backlighting, providing delicate and non-flickering light. With over 40 preset lighting effects and color options for each key, users can personalize their keyboard to their liking. Also, RGB backlighting can be customized with software, allowing users to set their ideal lighting effects as per personal preference. 

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Switches and Stabilizers

The BlackIO 83 features Kailh Jellyfish linear switches beneath the tall polycarbonate keycaps. These switches are both lightweight and extremely smooth, providing an enthusiast-level typing experience straight out of the box with pre-lubrication from the factory. Additionally, the keyboard supports hot-swapping, allowing users to unplug the Jellyfish switch and replace it with a new one without requiring soldering or turning off the keyboard.

The stabilizers on the keyboard are also pre-lubricated, but there was still some rattling when they arrived. As they're plate-mounted, they can be removed, lubricated, and reinserted with ease. Interestingly, the PCB appears to support screw-in stabilizers, although the silicone pad clogs the holes and it's uncertain whether they would be compatible with the polycarbonate plate used in this model. Enthusiasts may want to investigate this further as it could be worthwhile.

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75% Layout

The keyboard features a 75% layout, which strikes a balance between gaming and productivity. It comes with a complete function row, arrow keys, and a variety of navigation and editing buttons on the right side. MIIIW has added a Delete key in place of F13, providing extra functionality. With VIA's straightforward programmability, you can assign any key a secondary function, allowing for complete remapping of the entire keyset. Multiple layouts can be layered to create personalized layouts for different applications and games.

Structure

Now, let's delve into the keyboard's sound and tactile feedback, and how MIIIW manages to achieve a gentle typing experience. The keyboard implements a gasket-mounted structure that utilizes silicone gaskets around the plate perimeter. These gaskets allow for slight flexibility when pressed down, but not enough to cause bouncing during regular typing. Instead, they isolate vibrations from keystrokes, creating a quieter and more damped typing experience.

The gaskets work in conjunction with two additional layers of silicone. A silicone mute pad is located below the plate, which dampens keystrokes and achieves a similar effect to the gaskets by reducing the case's noise while enhancing the switch sounds. Interestingly, this pad also includes a thin layer beneath the switches, comparable to the PE foam found in various custom keyboard kits. Although not identical, it does add extra emphasis to the sound profile. Finally, there is another layer of silicone case foam underneath the PCB that eliminates any hollowness.

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Typing Feel & Sound

All of these features combine to create a typing experience that is gentle, highly dampened, and ideal for lengthy typing sessions in surroundings that don't tolerate loud clacking. Additionally, it's beneficial when you want to concentrate on switch acoustics. No fancy modifications are necessary with this keyboard as it delivers an excellent typing experience straight out of the box.

However, if you've used keyboards with ABS or PBT keycaps before, you'll notice a distinct sound difference with the BlackIO 83. Polycarbonate keycaps have a one-of-a-kind sound profile that differs from a clack or thock, having an almost "clink" quality to them. Although it's not my preferred sound profile, it still sounds satisfactory, especially on a pre-built keyboard, saving time applying mods.

Customizable Programming

Black IO 83 supports QMK/VIA modification, enabling users to customize keys for personalized operation and shortcut key functions.

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Three-Mode Connectivity

Black IO 83 is a three-mode keyboard, and the wireless connectivity feature is worth highlighting. Users can connect up to three different devices via Bluetooth and switch between them on the fly, in addition to maintaining a connection through 2.4GHz wireless. A selector switch on the back of the keyboard and key combinations are used to choose the desired device. The keyboard also includes a slot for the USB dongle, which surprisingly, many keyboards lack. However, it's recommended to use the 2.4GHz dongle for gaming as it provides a wired-like 1000Hz polling rate and only 1ms of input latency. The keyboard is equipped with a 4000mAh battery that requires charging once a week or so, despite the amount of RGB lighting present on the keyboard.

The keyboard's bottom texture is excellent, with anti-skid foot pads to stablize it on the desktop. The adjustable three-stage bracket allows players to adjust different keyboard angles according to their convenience, offering an ideal user experience.

Should you try it? 

MIIIW has done an exceptional job of creating a distinctive and high-quality keyboard in a market that is becoming increasingly saturated with "me too" competitors. It's challenging to distinguish oneself these days, but the BlackIO 83 manages to do just that. There's no denying the eye-catching appeal of the high-gloss finish. The "innovation in the open" design is also one-of-a-kind and intriguing if you have an acquired taste.

So, should you purchase it? If the aesthetics appeal to you, I recommend it. This keyboard provides more than a unique appearance, boasting reliable wireless connectivity, excellent switches, and out-of-the-box sound tuning that saves modding time. It's a well-crafted keyboard that delivers an enjoyable typing experience right away. If you're looking for a high-quality, durable, comfortable, beautiful, and practical mechanical keyboard, Touchmax believes that the Black IO 83 is undoubtedly an excellent choice not to be missed!

 

 

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