July 21, 2023

Keydous NJ98: An 1800 3-Mode with an OLED and a Knob.

Keydous NJ98: An 1800 3-Mode with an OLED and a Knob.
Keydous NJ98 doing the 'Subway Pose'

Yes, I have a thing with Keydous keyboards; I've not met one I did not like. Starting with the NJ80, I have enjoyed their designs thoroughly, previous to this, the NJ68 Pro, is one of the favorites of my collection.

Keydous NJ68 Pro or Thinkboard as I've Coined It

Slap a screen and a knob on a keyboard and you've instantly gained my interest. But Keydous does not just hang their coat after adding these features, they make thought out decisions about other aspects of the keyboard aiming and striking a balance of features and comfort for the end user.

One item of note, the 1800 layout that Keydous chose to go with includes a full size right shift, making this keyboard instantly compatible with more keyboard sets, any which are meant for full size keyboards as some keycap sets do not include the kitting to cover a standard 1800 with the shorter Shift key.

Now, I'm not one that MUST have gasket mounted, I do like it, and if there is an option, I would prefer it, built I've plenty of trey mounted keyboards that I have no problem with. Up until today, the Keychron V5 has been my daily base keyboard, or the keyboard I go back to after daily driving a new one. This one is no different, though I am curious about the brass plate and would have requested it with it instead of steel. Despite this "limitation", the keyboard is so well padded and loaded with excellent stock switches (Kailh Box Taro Ice Cream Pro), that there is absolutely no ring or ping on keystrokes. Yes, I am currently typing this blog post on it as it arrived, bone stock. Yes, I do plan to mod and upgrade, the switches are nice, but a bit too light for my taste, and I'm sure that switch pads and Tempest mods will add more life and "pop" to each key stroke.

And yes, the customizable OLED, which can hold three different animations, is a cool feature, the standard display includes connection type, battery level, as well as a cute black cat. I would like to see some more features, like doing a customized GIF but also including battery, WPM, connection mode, OS, etc. and I do believe that Keydous is working on such upgrades, as each keyboard with a custom screen I have received have improved over the previous one.

Keychron V5 - No longer my backup daily driver

One feature, that I almost missed is the built in calculator. By pressing Fn + Numpad Enter, the keyboard will go into a calculator mode allowing the numpad to act just like a calculator with the OLED providing the display. None of the input goes beyond the keyboard and I guess, if ever I'm without a PC, I can always flip it into wireless mode and have the sue of a full sized calculator!

The software is easy enough, though the latest version now includes a user uploaded section for custom light effects as well as screen GIFs. I already had a small collection of OLED animations and I am pretty simple when it comes to lights, set one color that compliments the keycaps and I'm good.

All in all, I've got to say, this is another home run from Keydous in my opinion, it's become my daily for the foreseeable future and I have already begun to hatch my plans for modifications, though if you have any ideas, I'd love to hear them.

Keep Calm and Keyboard On