Nixeus MODA Mechanical Keyboard Capsule Reviewby E. Fylladitakis on October 14, 2014 9:00 AM EST
With the exception of the Raptor K40 and a few HTPC options, all of the keyboard reviews we've posted this year are advanced to top-tier mechanical keyboards. Today we are going to look at something fundamentally different: a budget mechanical keyboard. Nixeus supplied us with a sample of the MODA, a tenkeyless USB keyboard that has been designed with simplicity and economy in mind. Even though the notion of calling a $70 keyboard a "budget" product appears rather controversial, the Nixeus MODA is one of the cheapest mechanical keyboards that money can buy. What kind of a mechanical keyboard can $70 get you? Read on to find out.
Packaging and Bundle
We received the Nixeus MODA in a typical cardboard box with a fair aesthetic design. The company clearly indicates that the Brown switches of the keyboard are supplied by Kailh. Such honesty is rare and refreshing, as most companies that are not using Cherry MX switches either try to conceal the fact or go as far as rebranding the switches as their own design.
Only a few extra keycaps and an extraction tool are supplied with the Nixeus. Of course, nothing more is really necessary for a typical keyboard. The eight extra "gaming" keycaps are for the arrow keys and the WASD keys. These keycaps have the same ergonomic shape as the originals, with the only real difference being that they are bright blue and the character is engraved on them. The engraved characters are very difficult to discern, but more importantly as we've mentioned in numerous of articles before, it is very rare for a gamer to actually swap keycaps prior to gaming, which is why several companies started to skip including extra keycaps in their keyboard bundles.
The Nixeus MODA Mechanical Keyboard
The Nixeus MODA is a relatively simple looking, compact tenkeyless keyboard. In order to reduce the width of the keyboard to just 40cm (about 15.7in), the company customized the layout a bit. There is no gap between the arrow/special command keys and the main board, while the presence of the five extra media keys forced Nixeus to remove all gaps between the ESC/F-keys row as well. The five extra keys can be used to control the volume of the system (up, down, and mute), bring up the home page in your browser, and launch your e-mail application. No software is required for any recent OS for these keys to work.
The MODA has an all-plastic chassis with a non-removable short wrist rest. Decorative faux screws and basic geometric shapes can be seen, hinting that the company tried to give the MODA a more aggressive look. Aesthetics are a subjective matter but we think that these did more harm than good, as a plain design would look much better than weird-looking plastic screw heads, especially for office/business use. Beneath the keyboard, there are two typical tilt adjustment legs and anti-skid rubber pads. Nixeus uses a typical thin USB wire with a gold-plated connector, which is understandable for a product that has been designed with value in mind.