Peripheral Matters: Hyperkin PC Hyper Clack Tactile Mechanical Keyboard Review
So admittedly, this post is long overdue. I purchased the Hyperkin PC Hyper Clack Tactile Mechanical Keyboard back in February as a review unit. I missed the review window and so concurrently missed my window to return in. And so it has been retained in the GearWERKz Lab as an in-service unit. I guess that is good in terms of a review because my opinion now is based on more than just a 2 week OpTest, and is informed by some longer term obervation. First up, let's check out the initial impressions video and my commentary from my first week of use with the device.
So at that point, I had not used the Gaote Blue mechanical keys before. The main difference in how these behave as opposed to the Cherry MX switches I am more accustomed to is that the actuation point, that point in the travel distance when the keys actually fire and type a letter, is partway though the travel down to the bottom end when you impact the actual floor of the keyboard. I cannot find the guide where I read up on these right now, but typing on the board as I am now while writing my review, the actuation point seems to be right at the top of the travel distance. I cannot say this particular style is "bad", but I generally prefer the keys to fire at or near the bottom of the travel distance. This is because I am a keyboard "banger"; I type loudly and deliberately and generally prefer to travel the full distance, before the key actually kicks in. This gives me a better feel while typing, especially as I am not a touch typist and have to actually look at the keyboard most of the time while typing. So when I take my eyes off the keyboard momentarily, where I do stroke maybe 3 to 6 keys before my eyes return to the board, I really need to know that I have struck a key within that interval. The key actuating at the top is definitely an acquired taste. I have still not fully become comfortable with the Hyper Clack due to this response model. It's certainly a matter of personal taste; your mileage may vary, and others will definitely acclimate to the response quicker and better than I have.
I feel like the keys on this keyboard are a bit closer together than I am accustomed to in other mechanical keyboards. That may be a phantom impression that is not valid in terms of actual physical measurement. I say that mainly because this is a large keyboard, in my opinion, and requires a bit more desktop real-estate than some of my other keyboards. This is a particular problem for me to manage when playing first-person shooters, as I shove the board far to my left and play on the numeric keypad.
The keyboard is sturdy, and I do not envision having many problems due to wear-and-tear anytime soon. Although I will mention that the one buyer review on Amazon indicates that the purchaser is having issues now 6 months after use. Of course, I rotate between quite a few keyboards, and do not use this particular one as frequently as that reviewer probably does. I personally have not experienced any problems with it, though.
Gaming performance was solid, and that use-case is the category this keyboard is listed under on Amazon. You can check out my commentary within this game-test video from the My Gaming Diary series on the Rounding Off Infinity gaming channel on YouTube below:
Of course, as highly as we focus on the gaming performance for gaming keyboards, the reality is that I use the board for gaming maybe a tenth of the time that I use it in total, and most of the other time I am using it for writing and sysadmin tasks. In that role, it is solid as well, although not the best mechanical keyboard or the best in any other category of keyboard that I own, it is still relatively enjoyable to use. The backspace button feels a bit mushier than I typically experience. There is some subdued lighting at the bottom edge of the keyboard for minor geek cred. I would have preferred true back-lighting of they keys, but the single strip of neon is not the most offensive design, and is certainly better than nothing. The board is heavy and sturdy, and does not move around at all, even with me wailing away on it. The ergos are a bit weird and I have not been able to find the best and preferred typing position for my wrists. The angle the board sits at with the longer support legs in the back extended, gives it too high of a rise for my personal taste. And with the shorter legs used, it feels a bit too flattened. Neither really feels quite right when I am using a gel wrist wrist.
Verdict: 7.5 / 10.0
There are some slightly off quirks with the Hyperkin PC Hyper Clack Tactile Mechanical Keyboard. While I like the retro styling of the board, I would have foregone that in lieu of back-lighting and some more comfortable ergos. As it is, this is a relatively straight-forward keyboard to use that does not do anything really special in the face of the withering competition being fielded by a lot of other manufacturers in the space. It is not the worst mechanical keyboard that I have used, but it is also not the best. My typing speed on the keyboard is pretty solid, although due to that feeling of too much closeness of the keys, I also seem to make more typos than my norm. The Hyperkin PC Hyper Clack Tactile Mechanical Keyboard is relatively inexpensive, and is being sold for $77.28 on Amazon, and has an average buyer rating of 2.0 / 5.0 right now. I feel like that score is highly skewed, and not statistically significant, as it is driven by a single review score. If you are looking for a retro look, this is certainly worth a more detailed assessment. As it is, I would definitely pan the other offerings in this product category for something that has a feel and design more akin to the norm. I have no regrets having made the purchase. Others will need to consider the Amazon buyers review coupled with mine with a healthy grain of salt. From my personal time with the device, most buyers should not have any regrets over buying this. I just don't know if you'll feel like you made the absolutely best choice.