Silitek SK4100R-2B review

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01 Apr 2021, 20:28


Today my Silitek dome with slider keyboard arrived. I picked it up because I've seen very little about these keyboards in terms of how they feel, and so I wanted to try it out for myself and let people know what I thought. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to test this keyboard at all since I don't own a 5-pin DIN to PS/2 adapter, so I'm going purely off build quality and feel here.

Upon first impressions this keyboard is very light, and after cleaning it (seeing as it was kinda mucky when it came) I discoverd that it has no backplate inside and is pretty much entirely plastic. The only reinforcement comes from the actual chassis, which isn't too thick but sufficiently holds it together, and the barrel plate that holds the sliders and where the PCB for the switches screws into. Yeah, instead of a membrane this keyboard uses a PCB where the conductive domes make contact, which I found interesting as everything is basically housed in the PCB, like all the chips and even the lock lights. Most of the keyboard is held together with screws but the bottom of the keyboard is held on by clip tabs that are quite sturdy. It's also got a really short coiled cable and flip out feet which are similar to what you'd find on a Quietkey, which are nice since they have two points of elevation.


The keycaps, I believe, are pad printed PBT which are paper thin but relatively clear. I was afraid I'd break them by removing them (but luckily not). Weirdly, there were only two keys that were stabilised, and the stabilisers used were these cherry mounted inserts that carry the stabiliser bar and allow it to move backwards and forwards freely. However, the keycaps probably don't do the switches any justice, of which are a kind of light tactile rubber domes using an MX mount slider. They aren't mushy, but the bump isn't very pronounced either. They're a little bit like using MX browns (haha meme) because of the gentle bump, except these obviously have a steeper bump as the dome collapses. Not bad, but not my cup of tea considering during the time I found this keyboard, I was in the market for a Packard Bell 5130--which are supposed to have extremely tactile rubber domes. The sliders on this Silitek though are really smooth and felt quite greasy to the touch, so they'd either been pre-lubed or the plastic may have just been really smooth.


Everything else like aesthetics of the boards is fine... The look is pretty clean and the lock light sticker is pretty sleek looking, baring the only semblance of a brand aside from the identification sticker on the back. Usually I'd be less worried about looks if the switches in the board felt good, and these are decent if you like light switches with some tactility but I thought I'd throw my opinion of the looks in anyway. It's fine, it doesn't look overtly swagger or offensive.

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01 Apr 2021, 21:50

Need to get your paws on a DIN adapter. Most of the good boards have that AT connector rather than PS/2; largely because it defined the earlier, better made era.

Conductive domes / membrane domes tend to suck compared to capsense domes because you’ve got to really mash them down to send a key press. Jamming your fingers down into that mushy end of the key throw is what gives bad domes their reputation.

So you really ought to type for real on this keyboard before final judgement is what I’m saying. DIN 5 is calling you.

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