So I’m always watching Amazon for a deal on a keyboard and I found this Gamenote 60% Mechanical keyboard for $32.99 (currently listed for 41.99). I was intrigued by the fact that not only did it have RGB backlighting (even if static) but also having several available effects that are typically not available on such budget options. Also with real mechanical switches. That is something for $32.99 CAD.
This Gamenote keyboard is technically a 70% form factor having more than 68 keys. This does give access to my much asked for Delete key that so many of the keyboard manufacturers ignore nowadays which is nice. This nice thing here is the keycaps are pretty standard in size and you could easily find a kit to replace the standard caps on this keyboard.
That said the included keycaps are not terrible but certainly nothing to write home about. They are cheap painted, shine-through ABS but they do their job. The Gamenote logo on the spacebar would have been better if it was in a different font but at this price I really don’t care.
It’s no surprise that the switches on the Gamenote are not hot-swappable. If they were I would be shouting to the hills on how amazing this keyboard is. And as it is it’s a pretty good keyboard for the price. The switches are Jixian blue switches. Nope, I haven’t heard of Jixian either but they do live up to the clicky nature of blue style switches and in my example seem to the be relatively uniform in their quality and response. None of the switches arrived dead and as I say feel about the same. And the sound really isn’t that bad either though they are just as loud as the Cherry blue switches they are trying to emulate. Of course I cannot expect them to last as long but again the price doesn’t command longevity.
The case is another reason why I picked it up. It’s a floating design. I’ve been trying to find a good floating mechanical keyboard design in a form factor similar to this for quite some time and they just don’t exist. That is enough for me to consider learning to solder and installing my own keys into this case.
There are some bad things though. The keys are a bit wobbly. This is no surprise as we again have these Jixian switches that no doubt don’t have the same tight tolerances of the original Cherry or the running up Gateron. they aren’t terrible but you really notice is on the Esc button. The stabilizers are really clunky. They do not sound good. And that’s coming from a guy that really isn’t that picky about these things. What is really a no-no in my book is putting the, albeit removeable, USB-C cable so far to the right on the front of the case. In my setup that really makes the USB cable tight. Yeah I know, get a longer cable. Some day…
The listing for the Gamenote claims that the case is made of metal. It’s not from what I can tell. That said it seems to be built pretty well offering very little flex under my twisting.
Now I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this keyboard to someone on a budget but at $41.99 CAD there are other options on Amazon that may be a better value proposition. Watch the price and if it goes back down to $32.99 CAD I’d jump on it.