Review: NuPhy Air60 mechanical keyboard

Want a confession? Well, here it goes: until you test the NuPhy Air60I had never used a keyboard with the key ⌘ command.

Being a Windows user all my life, for me the ⌃ control has always been the most natural, although in practice I have seen that there are not many differences in usage. This was just one of the news that this keyboard awakened in me, as we will see.

The Air60 was also the first mechanic keyboard that I have already used, which certainly was also one of the most interesting points of the experience of using the product. This is one of his main advertising lines: a mechanical keyboard wireless quite portable. At first, I was able to verify that the advertising corresponds to reality, in addition to other points that the use made me notice.

First impressions

As soon as I opened the box, what caught my attention was the size of the Air60: it is actually reasonably compact and thin. It is true that if this is the focus, there are options that can serve you better, especially in terms of thickness. If we consider, however, that it is a mechanical keyboard, I think the result is quite satisfactory. Its dimensions are 297.3×107.2×17.0mm, weighing 453 grams.

NuPhy Air60

When calling, a surprise: LED lights1! like a person nothing gamer, I hated these overly colorful lights that alternate between different colors, looking like a teen party. Through the NuPhy Console program — for my salvation — it is possible to control the lighting, including leaving it all white, which I did. 😅

Here’s a downside (a little annoying) of the Air60 — perhaps, of all NuPhy keyboards: this program. The company itself states that it is in beta version — which I, at least, think is absurd, since it is quite important for the good use of the keyboard. The application does not work well, nor does it have a pleasant interface; sometimes it doesn’t even obey the commands given. To make matters worse, there doesn’t seem to be a version for macOS, which can make it unusable by users of this system.

NuPhy Air60

On a day-to-day basis, I noticed that the colors do not attract as much attention as they might seem, including white. I was hoping it could work as a kind of backlight, but for that purpose, the lights aren’t very efficient. There are also two indicators on the right and left sides of the keyboard, which serve to warn you if the caps Lock is on, as well as when the battery is running low. They have bright, colorful lights, but that didn’t bother me that much.

User experience

Something quite remarkable is the design of the Air60. NuPhy has a very characteristic signature, with the key font different from the conventional one and the keyboard assembly very “exact”, without leaving so much space, to live up to the name of compact. The result pleased me, to the point of being a product differentiator.

NuPhy Air60

Air60 Bluetooth pairing and connection is very stable. I’ve always used it that way, but it’s possible to use it wired with the USB-C cable included in the box (also necessary for recharging), as well as with a receiver that also comes with the product. The connection is quite fast: just slide the key on the back of the Air60, switching between “wired” or “wireless” and you can start typing.

NuPhy Air60

Typing is quite comfortable. In addition to the characteristic noise of a mechanical keyboard, the depth of the keys makes typing better to do, which is amazing to have managed to maintain with the thickness achieved. The cool thing is that, being mechanical, the components have a greater durability, in addition to being possible to individually change the parts of each key.

There’s also another little switch for switching between Windows and Mac modes, considering the key differences. This point made me go through a whole learning curve process. Personally, I think it’s cool to get used to new habits as a brain exercise, but if we’re going to look at the usability of the keyboard for a Windows user, it’s pretty pissed off relearning to do basic tasks. 😛

The drama isn’t unique to this keyboard, but I still think it’s worth mentioning. As the Air60 does not follow the standard of the Brazilian Association of Technical Norms (ABNT) — as it is not even officially sold in Brazil — there is no cedilla, for example, as well as on Mac keyboards. It took me a few weeks to get used to the new shortcuts and even to learn new actions to write accents and graphic signs like the tilde — this one specifically took my patience at times!

In addition, we also have the usual characteristics of any mechanical keyboard. It is possible to remove the keys and exchange them, including a set that is sold separately. I didn’t feel like doing this, despite having received the set, but I still had the experience of pulling it out when accidentally dropping the keyboard, as seen below. To put it back, just press and snap into two latches, quite easily.

NuPhy Air60

We were also sent NuFolio, which I loved! It’s an orange cover that both protects the keyboard and can be used as a stand for the iPad or iPhone, as I use most of the time. There is a magnet on the underside of the keyboard that secures it to the cover. The downside is the apparent low quality of the materials, considering that mine already has the sides worn out after less than two months of use.

NuPhy Air60

I could also prove the portability and how compact the Air60 is. I usually carry it in my bag and it’s not heavy enough to bother me—unless certain books by Hans Kelsen are, no doubt. Overall, the experience was pretty cool, so walking around with the keyboard and iPad, I could build a very light workstation anywhere.

The product’s battery is also satisfactory. With 2,500mAh, NuPhy promises 48 hours of use and a week until it needs to be charged again, which seemed to correspond to reality. The bad thing is that the percentage displayed in the battery area of ​​connected devices of iPadOS is not reliable, so the level suddenly goes from 80% to 20%, when it needs recharging and the left side light flashes red.

It is worth it?

To answer this question, it is necessary to weigh the benefits, negatives and price. The NuPhy Air60 costs $110 (about BRL 575), not including NuFolio, which has the value of $29 (~BRL 157). In my opinion, it’s only worth it if the interest is in a keyboard mechanical wireless and compact. There is no need to be a mechanic, we have cheaper and even thinner options.

Still, I think the investment is worth it if you’re thinking of migrating to a mechanical keyboard, which has greater durability, in addition to providing a cooler experience than conventional membrane ones. The design of the Air60 also pleased me a lot, so it is also a nice differentiator, although not necessarily decisive.

It is worth mentioning that NuPhy does not officially sell in Brazil. If you want to buy the keyboard without leaving your home, you can use forwarder services such as our partner Zip4Me, which sends your packages from the United States to here. 😉

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