Introduction, Specifications, and Pricing
When we got our hands-on the Mionix Castor Ice Cream mouse, we had also received the accompanying keyboard to give us the complete set, if you will. It has taken us a while to get back to the keyboard portion, as we ran into an issue that was partly our problem, and partly on Mionix as well. What we ran into was either confusion on our part or a misplaced firmware upgrade on site, but none the less, when we applied the update we bricked the product. We worked with Mionix to solve the issue, and came up with two things in the process. The first thing I was informed of, was that there was not an update for the keyboard, and I must have flashed the mouse firmware to the keyboard. We take full credit for the fumble, but it did bring up a light bulb moment for Mionix, where after my mistake, they addressed the programming so that the mouse firmware can no longer be flashed to the keyboard. While this may seem slightly humorous, and maybe even trivial at best to most, but we are trying to point to the fact that Mionix stood up, and with no blame passed, fixed the issue for everyone else, and also provided us with another sample. In this way, Mionix has proven that they can adapt, they are not afraid to update their products after release, and that they are a company which delivered us service than many others have not in the past.
The idea behind the new keyboards is much the same as what was offered in the Castor. Mionix wanted to step away from the normal products offered by everyone else and develop a line more suited for those who appreciate oddities and products with a bit of added flair and personality. That being said, the accompanying naming scheme follows along to simplify life for those looking to complete the set. There is the Ice Cream model, there is the French Fries version as well, we also find the Frosting, and Black models, all of them geared to match the mouse, as well as also having a set of wrist pads, slash, mouse mats to round out the group too. While Mionix states that these products are geared towards gamers and artists, do not let that limit your decision, as even just to add a bit of style to a machine that sits out for everyone to see and use, you will not be sorry you made such a purchase.
Getting right to the point, the reason we are here now is to look at the Mionix Wei Ice Cream Mechanical Keyboard. Along with the keyboard, we will also be touching base on the Mionix Long Pad Ice Cream as well. All of our images will be of the Ice Cream gear, but we did find out some other things to discuss when the replacement keyboard was sent. The Wei Black we received does have a significant difference to what the Ice Cream provides, and we would not have thought about this as much, had we not had it on hand to observe the change. That being said, we should start our journey on what Mionix is trying to accomplish in this series of products, and deliver a verdict as to whether the Mionix Wei and Long Pad should do on the desk alongside the Castor we liked so much.
Upon visiting the Mionix site, when it comes to the specifications, what we show above is taken directly from them. While limited in what is offered, we do see that the US version of the Wei is a 104-key keyboard, with an MSRP of €189.99. All versions come with Cherry MX Red switches, and each switch has an individual RGB LED inside of the switch body. The software to use with the Wei is Mac OS capable, and of course, there is a Windows version as well. The keycaps can be changed, and Mionix sells sets of them for each flavor, and the Wei is an exposed plate design that uses aluminum rather than steel. To ensure the keyboard will not move around at all, the entire bottom of the keyboard is one large rubber surface, but sadly, there are no flip-out feet.
Once the software is in play, you can address if you wish to use NKRO or not. Otherwise, the keyboard uses 6-Key Rollover mode. The Wei allows for remapping of the entire keyboard, you may use Macros, although the menu is simplistic, there are multimedia key options, and any key can be disabled over one of the five possible profiles. Also, since the Wei comes with RGB LEDs, the Mionix Hub delivers custom, breathing, footsteps, explosion, and rainbow modes for lighting. On each, you can adjust the brightness, and some modes can be set to an individual color or gradient of colors, and again, this can be set to each of the five profiles too.
The Long Pad can be used with your mouse or as a wrist rest for the keyboard, and the latter is the manner in which we will test it out. It is comprised of 10mm thick foam, onto which a layer of cloth has been applied, and the edges are cut with a laser. The top of the pad is stylized, and has images of donuts, fries, shark fins, ice cream bars, and hamburgers, hinting to all of the products in the series, but is said to offer great tracking performance. Since we will not be using this 440mm long and 100mm wide pad for our mouse, we are more interested in the comfort factor of the design.
We saw the MSRP in the specifications for the Mionix Wei, and converting that to US Dollars, the cost would be well over $200. However, when looking around, we do see that Amazon has the Mionix Wei listed, and at just $159.99. The biggest issue with this is that Amazon is only listing the Wei Black version, and to get another flavor, through them, the only option is to grab a set of keycaps for another $39.00 investment. As for the Long Pad, the MSRP is set to €19.99, but Amazon is selling them for only $15 at this time. Taking this route, to obtain the setup you are about to see would set you back $213.99. To be honest, here, that is a crapload of money to spend on a keyboard, but we will give the Mionix Wei a fair shake, and wait until the end to tell if these awesome looking keyboards are worth this sort of coin.
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
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