Hello fellow Deskthority users. A few weeks ago I received a WASD Semi-Custom 104-key keyboard with Cherry blues as a review sample because I wanted to preview the quality of their keyboards for everyone at Deskthority, so that they can be more informed buyers.
Let's start with the keyboard.
I've been using this keyboard for about two weeks now. Let me preface this entire review by saying I generally am not a Cherry keyboard person. For two years my daily driver has been a Unicomp “Ultra Classic” 104 in pearl white. WASD has changed my opinion on Cherry boards as a whole. They use Costar as their OEM, like Filco, Rosewill, etc but this is very much not “just another Costar board”.
The board that they sent me had 40A-L O-rings preinstalled which at first I was a little wary of because O-rings usually significantly reduce the key travel on the board making it unpleasant to type on. However, these rings are thinner than the other ones and they provide an appreciable amount of silencing without significant reduction in key travel. The keyboard uses a braided, attached cable with rather excellent strain relief.
They also do some other manual tweaks to the board that many other Costar boards do not. All of the stabilizers are greased with premium silicone grease. One thing that is very important to me that this does is reduces the squeak and ensures that all of the stabilized keys depress smoothly and uniformly. The additional grease also eliminates the stabilizer “chatter” which you may find on some other Costar boards. They also tweak the spacebar stabilizer, because from the factory often they are quite warped and it causes a scratchy sound in the spacebar which I have noticed on one of the Filcos I have used. They also adjust the right side of the stabilizer to reduce spacebar chatter on the right compared to the left. The entire key depresses very uniformly and overall I am very impressed with the attention to detail because of these tweaks.
Many other manufacturers just crank out whatever comes out of the factory and then just put it in a box and ship it off to the consumer. This is very readily apparently not so with WASD. As part of the sample, some additional O-rings and colored keycaps were included as a quality sample. I did not like how the other O-rings reduced the travel of the keys so I left the 40A-L ones on for the majority of my time with the keyboard. The keyboard can be used with either PS/2 via passive adapter (for full n-key roll over, which I used) or USB.
Now, the packaging.
The keyboard arrived to me double boxed, one outer plain brown cardboard box to protect the inner, professional retail packaging box during transit. UPS usually beats the crap out of their packages so this is definitely welcome and necessary in this day and age. Also included was a packing slip, which usually isn't worth pointing out but since WASD is so attentive to detail it was signed-off by the preparer of the keyboard and the packer of the box.
Moving on to the company.
I personally dealt with Weyman Kwong, who in my experience has been very professional and knowledgable about the product his company makes. Any questions I had he generally had an answer for and the ones he did not he was able to find out and respond to me promptly. I only really had one complaint, and that was the slow time from the initial communication to the time I had actually received this review unit.
I had contacted WASD back in April but I then got caught up with some things so we didn't get around to figuring out a keyboard until July. It was shipped on August 7 via UPS Ground and I received it the following week on the 15th. Since they are a California based company and I am here in Pittsburgh, PA, UPS takes 6 business days to bring it across the country.
All in all, WASD is a great company to do business with and I definitely foresee making some purchases from them in the future. (and maybe even more reviews!)