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MAX Keyboard Blackbird Tenkeyless Mechanical Backlit Keyboard Review

By: Chad Sebring | Keyboards in Peripherals | Posted: Dec 11, 2013 3:00 pm
TweakTown Rating: 92%Manufacturer: MAX Keyboard

Specifications, Availability and Pricing




The specification start out with the most obvious bit of the Blackbird and that it is only 75% of the usual keyboard because of its Tenkeyless design. It then goes on to state that these keyboards are using Cherry MX switches, and in this instance we were given blue switches, but browns are also an option. Each switch is individually backlit with four levels of lighting (including off), and even the side panels are lit for extra pizzazz. There is an adjustable sleep mode for the LEDs, and the timer on the keyboard, when the time is up the Blackbird rapidly flashes the lights to notify that the time has expired. Then there are the double shot key caps, NKRO, dual port USB 2.0 hub, braided cable with gold plated connector, and on top of what I mentioned in the introduction, MAX Keyboard also includes a foam wrist pad to raise your hands into a more ergonomic orientation to the keys for added comfort in long sessions of use.


There is also some more technical information listed on the right side. This is where they show the 100mA limitation of each of the ports on the back of the keyboard. This means you may power a corded mouse, but charging phones or wireless mice will likely be a bit much for these ports. I mentioned the individual LEDs, but we did not cover the 50 million click lifespan of each of the Cherry MX blue switches on our board. For the blue option we received, we have a tactile feel, audible click, and the need for 50 grams of force for activation. The other option of brown switches is lighter to activate at 45 grams, is again tactile, but there is no audible click. Since the Blackbird is only 14.75" long and weighs a mere 2.4 pounds, the Blackbird will easily fit in a carry-on bag or even a backpack so it can easily come with you when you are traveling. They list the cabling as about six foot, but it is longer, totaling two meters in length; it is also covered in a braided sleeve, and has a Velcro cable tie on the line so it is easily bundled while in transit.


As I search for anyone who might have stock of the Blackhawk, I am coming up empty everywhere I look. Newegg, Amazon, even all show stock of the older Nighthawk, but none are yet showing the Blackhawk. However, when looking at MAX Keyboard, you can buy them directly from the manufacturer. There is a bonus ordering there too, with a purchase over $89.99 you are given a pop-up notification with the fact they are giving nine translucent key caps to modify your layout, a key puller, and a cable strap (even though the Blackbird already has one), along with the keyboard purchase.


That obviously means that the Blackbird is more than $90, in fact the sales price listed is $149.99 at MAX Keyboard. When I actually added it to the cart and was checking out, I found they also include the R4 1X1 Cherry MX "Clock" key cap set containing twelve caps. Finalizing the checkout process, to get this board to me will also incur another $9 for flat rate UPS or near $15 for UPS ground. That takes the Blackbird near $160 at the low-end, and at that price, this had better be on point because there are many other solutions in mechanical keyboards that will set you back much less than this.

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