A Closer Look

As mentioned on the previous page, Nixeus is being very straightforward and truthful about the key switches of the MODA, which are Brown switches from Kailh. The mechanical properties and even the color of Kaihl's Brown switches are a direct copy of Cherry's MX Brown switch – a soft tactile switch with nearly noiseless actuation. The selection of switches is largely based on the taste of the user, but these Brown switches are considered the best compromise between gaming and comfortable typing. Actually, many typists prefer the Brown switch to the Blue switch, as it offers the same tactile feeling without the noisy "click" actuation sound.

There is no reason why the copy cannot be as good (or even better) than the original, but Kailh's quality control appears to not to be on par with Cherry's, with larger inconsistencies between the keys. It's not a huge problem, however, as the performance of their switches is usually well within their rated specifications. This is true for the MODA as well, as our texture analyzer revealed that the actuation force of all normal-sized keys was between 46cN and 59cN, well within the 54±20cN specification.

There is virtually no key wobbling at all, even on the larger keys, giving the user a feel of exceptional sturdiness and providing a great typing experience. This level of quality is rare on a keyboard that uses bar stabilizers under the large keys. The company has even applied a little bit of grease on the stabilizers to ensure that they will not wear out in a short amount of time.

Nixeus' approach regarding the indicator LEDs is certainly unique but not particularly effective. The switches beneath the Scroll Lock and Caps Lock keys feature LEDs, but the keycaps are not transparent. As a result, the light is only barely visible around the bottom of the keycap. Although it looks great on camera, the light is not easily discernible in a well-lit room. This is not much of a problem as these keys are rarely used, but it is still something that could be easily remedied nonetheless. The soft light does look good in a dark room though.

Final Words and Conclusion

There is not too much to say about a product as simple as the Nixeus MODA. The aim of the company is clear: provide an aggressively priced mechanical keyboard for users that do not care about advanced features. With a retail price of around $70, it is one of the cheapest mechanical keyboards currently available. Most of Nixeus' direct competition is similar keyboards that are also using Kailh switches, while tenkeyless keyboards using Cherry MX Brown switches cost about $20 more. (Note that keyboards with Blue switches tend to cost a bit less, e.g. here's a Kailh Blue tenkeyless for $60.)

As mentioned above, Kailh's switches are direct copies of Cherry's products, including their durability specifications. With the keyboards that we've tested up to this date, we found that the consistency of Kailh's switches is inferior to their respective counterparts, but their mechanical attributes have always been well within their nominal specifications. As the user experience remains the same, we cannot fault a keyboard for using Kailh switches, especially when it is a product looking to provide the maximum possible value. Unfortunately, the claimed 50 million keystrokes longevity of the switches cannot be tested within the short timeframe of a typical review.

If you are looking for a keyboard that has features such as backlighting or programmable keys, then the Nixeus MODA is certainly not the product that you are looking for. The Nixeus MODA is a "no frills, no thrills" kind of product, meaning that is right only for users that simply want a mechanical keyboard for common everyday use, and more specifically users that want a compact tenkeyless keyboard. It is very comfortable to type with, the quality is acceptable, and the retail price is reasonable. However, if you even consider the possibility that you might need advanced programming features or enjoy a backlit keyboard, then you'll want to look at more advanced models, such as the $100 Rosewill RGB80.

Nixeus MODA Mechanical Keyboard : Introduction and First Look
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  • Sleepingforest - Wednesday, October 15, 2014 - link

    You may be interested in the Poker II. Incredibly compact (only 61 keys!), has room for DIY backlighting, top quality constructions, replaceable miniUSB connection cable, plus a customizable Pn layers (you can program macros to any key you want, and then you use PN+$KEY to access that macro).

    Here's an overview: https://rhinofeed.com/poker-ii-review/
    Reply
  • Mickatroid - Tuesday, October 14, 2014 - link

    Looks like it might fit in my Amiga 1000's keyboard garage. I wonder if it can be busted back to PS2 for use with a converter. Reply
  • Laststop311 - Wednesday, October 15, 2014 - link

    no official cherry mx switches no purchase Reply
  • fawazh - Wednesday, October 15, 2014 - link

    This looks very similar to my Zalman ZM-K500. Reply
  • faster - Wednesday, October 15, 2014 - link

    I do believe that a lot of gamers DO like to switch out the WASD keys. The author's comment that "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" is detrimental to the consumer as "several companies started to skip including extra keycaps in their keyboard bundles".

    As a consumer that likes these key replacements, this active lobbying against them by the staff at AnandTech is somewhat disturbing. I am a fan of the site, but you should refrain from influencing the decisions of manufacturers to the detriment of your readers. Perhaps you should run a new pole as to how many people like the option of replacement key caps?

    I will probably buy this keyboard and Kudos to Nixeus for including the gaming key caps!
    Reply
  • piiman - Saturday, October 18, 2014 - link

    On top of that I think must people either install them and leave them or just don't use them.
    to think gamers would actually switch them every time they want to play a game is silly.
    Reply
  • HardwareDufus - Wednesday, October 15, 2014 - link

    It's a solution looking for a problem. Reply
  • gurok - Wednesday, October 15, 2014 - link

    Is tenkey just a term for the numeric keypad? I've always called it a numeric keypad. When and why is each term preferred? Reply
  • meacupla - Thursday, October 16, 2014 - link

    tenkey, numpad, lots of names for it, but I guess the official term for a tenkey-less would be an 87key keyboard, where as a full keyboard is 104keys.

    And then one smaller is a 67key keyboard.
    Reply
  • schadenfreude000 - Wednesday, October 15, 2014 - link

    If anything you can get a basic Cherry MX Blue keyboard for ~ $59 through monoprice: http://www.monoprice.com/Product?c_id=114&cp_i... Reply

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