6 months with a WASD V2 104 key with Cherry Clears

dlightningd

03 Jun 2017, 20:00

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This is my first keyboard review, and it's been a long time coming. I originally won this keyboard from participating in the Deskthority Awards 2016. I received the board in early December 2016, and have nothing but nice things to say about ohaimark and WASD support, who threw in a bonus red ABS esc key for free.

I wanted to use my keyboard heavily before writing up the review, and it's been my primary board for the past 5 or 6 months. I'll start with Pros and Cons, and give my summary at the end.

Pros:
- The switches: I've tried Cherry MX Blues, Greens, Blacks, Browns, as well as a handful from several other companies, but Clears remain my favorite. There aren't a huge amount of options for fullsize Clear boards, and WASD deserve props for supporting them. Switches are largely subjective, but for me, the feel and weight are near perfect, and I haven't noticed any significant weight variation across the entire board.

- The keycap feel: I went with side printed PBT, because I was worried about top print wearing off. These have a great texture which doesn't get in the way, and they don't pick up any grease or oil. They're relatively thick, and don't have a delicate feel like some of the thinner PBT caps I've used.

- DIP Switches: If you don't have a fully programmable board, WASD DIP switches are one of the better alternatives. Support for Dvorak, Mac, and Colemak is fantastic, and swapping Caps Lock with Ctrl is one of the most useful options.

- FN keys: The function commands are genuinely useful, and arranged in both a logical and reachable location.

- Cable management: WASD cases allow 5 different channels for your cable, which is nice.

- Bonuses: A sticker, cap puller, PS/2 to USB adapter, and a few bonus caps.


Cons:
- The Case: The black plastic has a nice texture, which doesn't shine or show too much dust. But the way the housing is finished and put together leaves something to be desired. My $70 CM Storm has less flex in the case, with smaller gaps. The biggest issue is the case right in front of the spacebar, where I rest my thumb a lot when working. Pressing on it causes an audible creak, and it moves horizontally and vertically a few millimeters. I bottom out on a lot of my key presses, and I'm pretty certain that it would be quieter and echo less if the case were more solid.

- Key stabilizers: This keyboard uses Cherry stabilizers, which work fine unless you hit the edge of a key. Particularly on the right Shift, hitting the key on the extreme edges causes the key to become lopsided, and you have to depress the opposite side to balance it out. I haven't had a key become stuck this way, but it can be annoying.

- Keycap profile: largely subjective, but the OEM profile isn't nearly as nice as Cherry profile. WASD does a great job offering custom caps, but there's a large amount of interest in custom keycaps and different profiles, and it would be great to offer additional profiles.

Summary: I'm a software developer, and needed a fullsize board with heavier switches. I loved the monolithic look of the white caps on the black board. Every time I look at it, I'm reminded of the control panels on the Death Star in Star Wars. The cap and switch feel isn't perfect, but it's great, and I never have to worry about cleaning my caps due to oil or dust, since they're white PBT. I really don't like the case, and would have swapped it already if high quality 104 key cases were more widely available. There's very few noticeable cost cutting measures with the WASD board, apart from maybe the cheaper rubber-coated USB cable and lack of full programming. But the case movement and creaking feel cheap after prolonged usage. I hope this is improved with the V3 board, but it's definitely something to keep in mind if you're buying a WASD V2. However, I'd still recommend this board. All in all, I've been more than happy with it for the past 6 months, and intend to use it for years to come.

A (VERY) overdue thanks to Deskthority and WASD for the contest and the great keyboard, it's been a pleasure to type on! :)
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Slom

03 Jun 2017, 20:13

Nice review. I know how much time it would take me to write something up like that, so thank you very much :)

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nnc-tlb

04 Jun 2017, 01:15

thanks.

reading your review I`m happy that I passed on the drop @MD for the WASD v2 (and also the CODE).
too much ping these days.

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czarek

05 Jul 2017, 16:56

Cherry stabs on Costar made keyboard? Picture please.

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TuxKey
LLAP

07 Jul 2017, 21:03

i really wish WASD would up their game. i don’t understand why WASD doesn’t reach
out to someone like HASU to build an alternative controller for the TKL boards like
the code. Certainly a board called CODE should be fully programmable.

i heard a few times about the case on WASD boards.
But still a good friend of mine loves his TKL Code with mx-clears.
i have bad experiences with mass produced large boards with mx-clears.
KUL made a mess of their TKL with mx-clears ping noise and other problems i did not like.

The only board i have with mx-clears that i really like is the Leopold FC660C.
That’s why i’m very happy that mykeyboard.eu sells Leopold boards and other
boards with mx-clears. (all mx-clear boards sold out)

davkol

29 Aug 2017, 21:39

czarek wrote: Cherry stabs on Costar made keyboard? Picture please.
I haven't heard of anything like that since CM Storm Trigger, which had Cherry stabs only because Costar hadn't figured out backlight compatibility yet.

MajorMajor

02 Sep 2017, 03:18

I have a TKL WASD v2, unfortunately I get insane key chatter with it so I don't even use it anymore. Only mech I've ever had with that issue :cry:

Zobeid Zuma

04 Sep 2017, 02:54

What's wrong with the space bar? It looks like it's about to fall off!

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0100010

04 Sep 2017, 17:34

Spacebar has been flipped.

sandylu1995

07 Dec 2017, 12:13

looks great actually. what is that WASD thing?

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