The Ncore Retro Aluminum mechanical gaming keyboard is a nice step up on the MK Retro we saw first. Adding in more functionality in the form of LED backlighting, many modes to choose from, and a look as if it were a backlit typewriter from the early 1900s is a slick touch to the overall appeal.
We liked that there are not only default modes which work with all of the LEDs in sync or using one of the preset groups. We also love the fact that you are not just stuck to those as the limit either. While you are stuck to just white colored LEDs, you can set each key on or off, to suit whatever setup or pattern you are trying to accomplish.
The Ncore Retro aluminum is solid, there are no vibrations, the textured finish against the chrome cap rings and exposed beveled edges is sleek and elegant, and in almost every sense, it takes us back to the days before computers, when you lugged around a metal framed typewriter to write a paper. Best of all, everything capable of being done is all contained within the keyboard, with no need for drivers, you can quickly change things on the go, without having to dig through the software, slowing you down.
If we did have anything to mention, when it comes to oddities, we do have to mention the LED lighting. While we can appreciate the look that Nanoxia was going for with this design, and might be why there is no mention of gaming in the product name, many gamers want the light to shine through the keycaps. Based on what we see in the feature set, we are designating this as a gaming keyboard due to what it offers over a standard keyboard. Had they not used FPS, COD, RTS, etc. on the numbers, we would just say it is a customizable LED keyboard, but Nanoxia is crossing over the line, leaning towards gamers with this keyboard. That all being said, you could look for a different keycap set, but by doing so, you change the largest appeal of what the Ncore Retro is designed to be. That is the only downfall we can see most users finding fault with, as everything about the Ncore Retro Aluminum keyboard works as intended, and left us wanting little for our primary day to day use.
The Ncore Retro Aluminum mechanical keyboard does lack some of the latest and greatest features found in many other options, but it's also missing a huge chunk of the price associated with the other choices. While we do like to tinker with RGB lighting, we tend to default to white most times anyways, and here the lighting is more of a stage presentation under glow, which floods the top plate, and is highly reflected with the rings of each keycap. At just $109.99, bought directly from Nanoxia, which lowers the bar in which we measure this keyboard, bang for the buck goes a long way to many potential customers.
If the MK Retro was almost everything you wanted, the Ncore Retro Aluminum mechanical keyboard fills a few of those lacking aspects. All in all, this keyboard is slick looking, it packs in the nostalgia factor, and at this price, you almost have to try it for yourself.
Chad's Peripherals Test System Specifications
- Motherboard: ASUS X99-E WS - Buy from Amazon / Read our review
- CPU: Intel Core i7 5930K - Buy from Amazon
- Cooler: Corsair H100i GTX - Buy from Amazon / Read our review
- Memory: KLevv Cras DDR4 3000 - Buy from Amazon / Read our review
- Video Card: ASUS GeForce GTX 980 Matrix Platinum - Buy from Amazon / Read our review
- Storage: Intel 730 480GB - Buy from Amazon / Read our review
- Case: SilverStone TJ11 - Buy from Amazon / Read our review
- Power Supply: Corsair AX1200 - Buy from Amazon / Read our review
- OS: Microsoft Windows 10 Professional 64-bit - Buy from Amazon
Product Summary Breakdown
|Overall TweakTown Rating||94%|
The Bottom Line: While the LED lighting could be a deal breaker, the Ncore Retro Aluminum is a terrific mechanical keyboard functionally and aesthetically. Nanoxia took the retro theme to the next level, and even tries to include gamers into their customer base.
PRICING: You can find the Nanoxia Ncore Retro Aluminum Mechanical Gaming Keyboard for sale below. The prices listed are valid at the time of writing, but can change at any time. Click the link below to see real-time pricing for the best deal:
Canada: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon Canada's website.
- Page 1 [Introduction, Specifications, and Pricing]
- Page 2 [Packaging, Accessories, and Documentation]
- Page 3 [Nanoxia Ncore Retro Aluminum Mechanical Gaming Keyboard]
- Page 4 [Ncore Retro Aluminum Continued]
- Page 5 [Inside the Ncore Retro Aluminum]
- Page 6 [Gaming and General Impressions]
- Page 7 [Final Thoughts]
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