This is a review of the Diatec Filco Majestouch 2 Tenkeyless keyboard, the ISO 88 key version with Cherry MX Blue switches and UK layout (Model FKBNMC/UKB2). This review unit was made available to me by the Keyboard Company
, where this keyboard is listed for 103 EUR, along with several other versions (different switches and different layouts). The keyboard will be returned after review.
The Filco Majestouch-2 is a basic, no-thrills keyboard. That is, you won't find glossy design elements in it, wild curves stabbing your eyes out, backlit keys, usb ports, media keys or a detachable usb cable. Me, I like it better with the first couple of these features missing, but that is personal taste. I don't like "crap" on my keyboard. But since this is an expensive keyboard, it could have done better by providing a detachable cable or offering a function layer for media keys or something like that.
I find the aesthetics of this keyboard very pleasing. Diatec invented the term tenkeyless with these series, but none of the copycats have managed to reproduce the exact classic curves of the Majestouch.
This keyboard has Cherry MX Blue mechanical switches. For those who bump into this page and are not familiar, this is the same keyswitch as found in Das Keyboard and various other (gaming) keyboard such as from Razor. It is clicky & tactile, takes little force to actuate, and has a wide following. Other popular switches include the Cherry MX Brown and MX Red. Unfortunately, almost all modern mechanical keyboards are based on Cherry switches. These are good switches, that is not the problem, but your choice is limited to Cherry. Besides that all modern mechanical keyboards come from only two or three factories. So in the end, the Filco will feel much alike to Das Keyboard or whatever other new brand. What justifies the higher price tag, while it is more basic?
The answer is build quality. As soon as you take this keyboard out of the box, it is apparent that this is a heavy, firmly build keyboard unlike the cheap things which come with your pc or are for sale at your local shop. This is a fine, professional keyboard. The large keys have Filco stabilizers
instead of Cherry ones, and although this makes keycap swapping more difficult, I much prefer the feel of these, and that's where it counts. Typing on this keyboard is a pleasure. It is firm, reliable, and the quality will shock anyone used to rubber dome keyboards only. It is also of higher quality than the mechanical tenkeyless competition I tried that undercut its price.Keycaps
However, it is not all roses.
This keyboard has known keycap problems. They look stylish and feel fine, but the problem is that the print will start to wear off and the caps will become glossy, although the period and amount of heavy usage this takes seems to highly fluctuate among users. One thing is sure, whether it is months or years, the caps will wear sooner than the switches, and that is a shame. Diatec took this problem to silly levels by releasing a "Ninja
" version in this keyboard range, with labels in front, and stating in the press release this would eliminate the problem of disappearing labels. I like how the Ninja looks, but this reasoning is silly.
It is silly, because keycaps are made for fingers, and this is a keyboard at a professional price. The print should not wear off. However, all this said, there must be some sympathy for a company putting a keyboard like this in the market. Double shot keycaps would require a large investment and would make this keyboard much more expensive. You have to be realistic and put this keyboard at some price point in the market where you get a return. Topre keycaps are better, but the keyboards are also twice as expensive or more.
If it wasn't for this problem, the Filco would be like a Porsche 911. This is called a luxury sports car
by wikipedia. But actually, you will find more luxury in a normal, mid class car. A Porsche has basic luxury. But drives like a dream. This keyboard also has basic luxury (no media keys, etc.) but performs its primary function, typing, at a top level. Alas, Topre boards are the Porsches in the keyboard world (if you like those switches), and Filco offers a payable alternative for the rest of us, but with bad tires. Or something like that. Oh well.Key ping
There have been reports from users complaining about a key ping
problem. I found this keyboard had one pingy key as well. Besides the click, it produces a secondary, pingy sound. Various solutions are offered, and reseating the spring seems to solve the problem. Note that now I looked for it, I also found the same problem on a Majestouch-1 board. While this is not a big issue to start with, and not hard to solve if it irritates you, I also think this should not get past quality control and for this price one should get a keyboard without this (potential) problem.Majestouch 1 vs Majestouch 2
According to the official product info
, the "PC board got all renewed! It devliers you a better duration, quality and typing feel! Double layers is adopted for a new board. Through a hole of each switch has been firmly soldered. With this, it can release any excess load or vibration that you make when you type in to a board not only to a metal plate inside. It enables you to enjoy a better typing feel!"
Well that is great. But I can be short about this. I compared this to a Majestouch 1 keyboard with Cherry MX Blues (see picture below), and without opening her up, I could find no difference in feel or otherwise whatsoever.Conclusion
Despite some lack in true innovation since the first version, if you're looking for a no-nonsense, high quality tenkeyless mechanical keyboard, the Filco Majestouch-2 still sets the standard. This is probably the best tenkeyless keyboard with Cherry switches currently available, with Leopold the main challenger.Pros:
Looks great (may be subjective)Cons:
Keycap print and finish won't last
No USB ports, media keys or other extras
More expensive than competitionRating:8 / 10
- Professional mechanical keyboard