Pros: ABS plastic, looks and overall keycap build quality, customisation options, customer service, large list of compatible keyboards, price
Cons: Worldwide availability
Review Date: March 2016
First of all, I would like to thanks Max Keyboard for sending me a plethora of Cherry MX keycaps for review (also compatible with Kailh/Gateron/Razer switches) – it’s an absolute pleasure and I’m really honoured to have received such a big collection! Also check my Mechanical Keyboard Guide: Cherry MX, Gateron Switches – Max Keyboard Falcon-8 Review!
Here’s what I got sent:
- UK Link to the Translucent Top Print = £36
- Max Translucent Keycap Set (Top Print) = $50 at Max Keyboard or $50 on AmazonUSA.
- ISO Layout Custom Color Cherry MX Keycap Set = $40 (105-key & Top Print) At Max Keyboard
These keycaps were UK ISO layouts, designed for my custom Lamborghini painted Logitech G710+ and Cooler Master QuickFire XT Cherry MX Brown mechanical keyboards.
To complement this written review, here’s my video review:
Let’s get on with this review!
Max Translucent Keycap Sets
I received both the top and side printed translucent keycap sets to use on my white-backlit Cherry MX Brown Logitech G710+, as I wasn’t too sure how they would work on my keyboard, given that my keyboard’s illumination is white and the keycaps have white writing on them. I initially felt that the top printed ones would look and be the best, given that it’s similar to my vanilla keycaps on my G710+, but I was glad I got both sent as a comparison.
First off what do you get in the packaging – you’ll find the keycaps on two separate rows, where you’ll have the full ISO and ANSI layouts, alongside the full Numeric keypad, arrow keys, function keys and even a few cool caps that have “panic” and such written on them. You’ve also got a strong plastic keycap remover, which is absolutely needed when you’re plucking out all your keycaps from your current keyboard and replacing them with the new Max Keyboard ones. More so, in the long-run it’s useful for general maintenance, as you can easily remove the keys to clean out your keyboard.
I ended up installing the front-side printed keycaps, as due to my white LEDs, they completely obscured the lettering. So, if you’re thinking of getting one or the other, I would seriously consider asking myself a few questions:
- How is the lighting on my keyboard (where is the LED located)
- What colour is my LEDs or what colour will I be using the keyboard with the keycaps on
- When the keyboard is off, do I prefer having the keys blank (from the top) or with writing
Depending on your answers, it will and might direct you to knowing which keycap print is better for you. In my case, I prefer having a matte finish when the keyboard is off, like seeing the keys I’m typing on (whereby white LEDs obscure the white writing on the keycaps) and like using my keyboard with the LEDs permanently on at max brightness.
Now in terms of the keycaps themselves, I found them to be made out of a good quality plastic, which I presume is ABS plastic. The keycaps themselves have a somewhat unique feel to them, where they are slightly textured, giving you a nice sense of touch when you’re typing fast. The build quality is also great, where the stems are strong enough to withstand impacts and over my G710+ felt better made.
The looks of the keycaps is unique in my opinion. They give off a glowing/ghost/smoky effect, which is very nice to look at and always makes me mesmerised looking at them.
In conclusion, I’ve got zero complaints about the keycaps, as they’re cheap to buy, are made out of good plastic, look fantastic and will work on a huge array of mechanical keyboards out there. What’s not to love about smoky-looking keycaps!?
ISO Layout Custom Color Cherry MX Keycap Set
These keycaps were designed for my Cooler Master QuickFire XT, which is a non-backlit Cherry MX Brown keyboard. As I’ve got an ISO keyboard layout, I was sent the respective keycaps that fit the UK layout – if you happen to have an ANSI keyboard layout, there are separate keycaps that Max Keyboard make!
Through Max Keyboard’s website, you’ll be able to fully customise the keycap’s colours, writing and various styles (such as having a Mac or Windows layout, among others). This will present you with a huge amount of customisation and all of which results in near enough the same price!
In my case, Max Keyboard surprised me with what they sent me – providing me with the alphanumeric, top number keys and part of the numeric pad in black, whilst the rest was in orange. This combination makes my CM XT look absolutely spectacular – I can’t quite stress how cool the look is and the amount of comments I get at work from my cool-looking CM XT! To add to this, Max Keyboard printed “Totally Dubbed” in orange on the black space bar – legendary!
In terms of the keycaps, they’re well made by having ABS plastic as a material. The keycaps have a strong stem, and a decent weight to them. In comparison to the ones found on my CM XT, I found them to be a slight bit lighter on touch, but felt really smooth to type on. In comparison to the translucent keycaps I also received, these custom colour keycap set had a normal feel to them and didn’t have that slightly different textured feel of the translucent keycaps.
Overall, I was really impressed by the keycaps, but more so the level of customisation that’s available to you – allowing you to customise and personalise your keycaps to your liking. The only complaint is that there’s no key puller included by default, but you can add that to your purchase for an additional $5.
Conclusion & Closing Thoughts
It’s safe to say that I’m very impressed by the Max Keyboard keycap sets – both of which are impressive to me. I personally prefer and love the translucent keycaps, but that also ties with my love for backlit keyboards, like my G710+. Both keycap sets are made out of high quality plastic and I would definitely recommend it to anyone looking to customise and personalise their mechanical keyboards!
My only complaint is the availability of these awesome keycaps. They can be easily be bought and found on Max Keyboard’s website, where they can post internationally, but then you’ll have to pay a customs and import fee, which often adds considerable cost to otherwise inexpensive keycaps.
Hope you enjoyed my review!