PLU ML-87 (Cherry MX Brown)

intealls

21 Jun 2011, 14:14

This is a review of the tenkeyless PLU ML-87 Cherry MX Brown mechanical keyboard.

Looks
Apart from the indented line around key sections, it appears to look virtually identical to the white Filco Majestouch, PLU even seem to use the same exact font on the keycaps. It looks better in real life than in photos, it is really, really white and crisp.
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plu-back.jpg
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Functionality
The keyboard offers media key functionality to control volume, start a calculator/browser etc. This added functionality is activated by using the PLU-button (which has replaced the context key) + the F-keys. Another nifty feature for gamers is that the right Windows-key has been replaced with a LED-lit key that disables the left Windows key. The Caps Lock and Scroll Lock LEDs are blue, and insanely bright.

Rollover
The keyboard does not have NKRO, and is 2KRO. Personally, this does not bother me, and I haven’t experienced any blocking problems during actual real-world usage yet.

Build quality
The build quality seems very good to me. The switches are plate-mounted and the keyboard weighs about 1.1kg, and feels very sturdy. The only problem I’ve encountered is that the fold up flaps that raise the keyboard feel very plasticky. I don’t use them, but they are very thin and flimsy, and it feels like they could break easily.
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I think the keys use the Filco-style stabilizers, they feel a lot better than the Cherry corp ones, and the feel during the bottom part of the travel does not change.

The lasered keycaps are about as thick as Cherry corps thin PBT, and feel very similar. I don’t know what material they are made of (I suspect ABS).
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Closing comments
The main selling point of this keyboard is its very competitive price. I got this for 70 EUR shipped from China through Obook. A Majestouch would cost at least twice as much, and I’m not sure it’s worth it for NKRO and improved build quality. Perhaps I’d see things differently if the Filco keycaps were better. As it is now, you get 90% of the board for 50% of the price.

Also, this is the first time I’ve purchased stuff from Taobao using a broker. Obook were excellent, fast shipping and great correspondence. They gift-marked the parcel, just as instructed. Can’t recommend them enough!

+ Price
+ Build quality
+ Nice keycaps

- 2KRO
- Plasticky fold-up feet
- Lets be honest, It’s a shameless Majestouch clone

I’d give it 7.75/10.

Useful links:

http://www.pcwaishe.cn/thread-125256-1-1.html <- teardown
http://store.taobao.com/shop/view_shop- ... 85df9f.htm <- PLU taobao store
Last edited by intealls on 21 Jun 2011, 22:40, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
webwit
Wild Duck

21 Jun 2011, 14:21

Nice review! I've tried a lot of shopping services in Asia, and in the end I found out they all suck. Oh sure, they are great when things go well. But when things don't go well, they all cower away behind zero service and zero insurance. They will take your money, but won't take any heat. All the ones I tried have anti-buyer protection.

intealls

21 Jun 2011, 14:26

That's a damn shame, thanks for the heads up. I was a bit suspicious of the sheer amount of buyer information Obook provided me with (I didn't bother reading it all, figured it's only 70 EUR, so it was worth the risk), but it worked out in the end.

ripster

21 Jun 2011, 19:09

PLU ~ Filco. Keys are different. Case is every so slightly different. They cheaped out on the rubber feet part.
Image

The chinese are getting quite good at cloning. I hear the Chinese Yamaha Guitar clone they sell in Africa is quite good.

intealls

21 Jun 2011, 21:11

ripster wrote:PLU ~ Filco. Keys are different. Case is every so slightly different. They cheaped out on the rubber feet part.
Well, that's pretty much what I stated in the review. Didn't know about the keycap part, but the Filco keycaps appear to be shit anyway.

Also, if you're going to use logical expressions, do it right. PLU ~ Filco does not make any sense. PLU negates Filco? What are you trying to say? You can't use that as an operator in that context. What if Filco were false and PLU were true? What would the expression evaluate to?

If you meant to use it in a mathematical context, you're still off. PLU approximates Filco? I don't think that is what you are trying to say.

Bottom line is, they're both plate mounted keyboards with plastic cases. Apart from the keycaps and build quality differences, they should be very similar to type on.

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