lofree mechanical keyboard review: A retro experience for mechanical keyboard lovers

Hardware Reviews / Reviews / Tech
mechanical keyboard

This thing screams retro and for good reason, it’s designed to sort of resemble a typewriter. Guys like me remember typewriters.

TA-ratings-93Using a mechanical keyboard is an acquired taste but there are a lot of people that absolutely love them. I’ve never been much of a mechanical keyboard user so when lofree contacted me and asked me to review their latest Indiegogo effort, the lofree typewriter inspired mechanical keyboard, I thought it would be a great chance to try something different. Read on for the full review of the lofree keyboard.

This entire review was typed using the lofree keyboard.

Specifications

  • Bluetooth mode
  • Wired mode
  • Small and portable
  • Round spherical keycaps
  • Gateron Blue mechanical switches
  • Mac/iOS mode
  • Android/PC mode

What’s In The Box

  • lofree typewriter inspired mechanical keyboard
  • Users manual and documentation
mechanical keyboard

Beautiful design!

Design

In a word, slick. Of course, there is much more to say about the design of this very interesting looking keyboard but it’s just really slick and sleek. This thing screams retro and for good reason, it’s designed to sort of resemble a typewriter. Guys like me remember typewriters. Typewriters are what we learned on way back in the mid-80’s and for those longing for some nostalgia, look no further than the lofree.

Let’s start along the right side of the device, this is where most of the action, in terms of switches is. There is the MicroUSB port for charging your keyboard as well as for using it as a wired keyboard should you need to. Then there is the combo on, off, and Bluetooth button which is pretty self-explanatory. Finally, there is the Mac/iOS, Android/PC mode button which automatically configures the keyboard to the OS you choose.

The bottom of the keyboard also has very nice thick rubber feet that give the keyboard a nice incline toward the user as well as bring it up from the desk just slightly. On top are the keys and oh what beautiful keys indeed. These things are classic typewriter style keycaps and they are absolutely stunning. lofree sent me the Turquoise Blue color which is actually very nice, though I personally like the Sandstone Black. The Black keycaps contrast nicely with the blue color and the overall design here is brilliant. This keyboard is really well designed from aesthetics to function.

Ease of Use

I’ve used mechanical keyboards in the past in passing and never for more than a few minutes. The learning curve to use one of these is probably going to be very different from person to person but I found I took to this keyboard really well within the first few days. It didn’t take long to get used to the extra travel in the keys. Coming from a Mac keyboard and MacBook Pro keyboard this thing has a much more exaggerated travel than those keyboards.

Setting up and pairing via Bluetooth is simple and not any different than any other Bluetooth device. The keyboard layout is marked for both Mac and PC and the buttons on the side are self-explanatory. Overall, if you’ve used mechanical keyboards in the past then you won’t have any problems using this one. If you’ve never used a mechanical keyboard before you will likely have a small learning curve to overcome but if I can do it in a day or two, you can too.

Performance

This thing is like typing on butter. I mean when you first start it takes a bit to get used to it but once you’re there it really is smooth and effortless. The keys are well made and very tactile, though I will say if you don’t like the clicky sound you probably just won’t like mechanical keyboards in general. lofree bills this keyboard as portable and while it’s small in stature, it’s a hefty little beast as well. While most won’t have a problem getting this into a bag to travel, the extra weight could be a turn-off for some. lofree claims 15 months of battery life, something we were unable to test.

Price/Value

lofree is funding this project through Indiegogo and to get into one of these will set you back $74USD to start. The perk prices go up from there all the way to $148USD. The price may be hefty for some but the quality of this keyboard speaks for itself. If you’re wondering if the price justifies the build and quality, I would say yes it does.

Wrap Up

This is a beautifully designed keyboard and really makes your work space look amazing. Yes it takes a bit of learning to start typing without hitting all the wrong keys but that learning curve is nearly irrelevant. The build quality, design, and features really make this an amazing keyboard for mechanical keyboard lovers and a great choice if you’re interested in getting into mechanical keyboards.

*We were sent a sample of the lofree mechanical keyboard for the purposes of this review.

lofree mechanical keyboard

$74+ USD
lofree mechanical keyboard
9.3

Design

10/10

    Ease of Use

    9/10

      Performance

      9/10

        Price/Value

        9/10

          Nailed it

          • Wireless and mechanical
          • Nice design
          • Sturdy build
          • Back lit keys

          Needs work

          • A bit heavy for travel and portability
          • Could be pricey for some
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