CUTTING DOWN THE CLICKETY-CLACK
Matias Mini Quiet Pro
CONCLUSION Quieter than most mechanical keyboards, but not entirely silent either.
Mechanical keyboards are the go-to choice for many who spend long hours in front of a computer, thanks to their comfort, reliability, crisp feel and, depending on personal preference, tactile feedback. But there’s one point of contention that can make any mechanical keyboard user the bane of colleagues and family alike - that sound. With a switch under each key, some mechanical keyboards can match even vintage typewriters for the level of racket they produce. And while a few keyboard manufacturers have tried to reduce sound levels with dampening rings under each key, so far they haven’t worked very well and can quite drastically change the feel of the switch too. Fortunately, Matias has taken a different approach, creating a new custom-made switch – actually a modified ALPS switch – dubbed the Quiet Click that promises to retain the crisp feel of a mechanical switch, but with only a fraction of the sound.
The Matias Mini Quiet Pro is a compact mechanical keyboard lacking a dedicated numberpad – although, like many compact keyboards, the right side of the keyboard doubles up as a numberpad thanks to the function key. The arrow keys have been squeezed in next to the right shift and control keys, while the menu button has been completely removed. The navigation keys (insert, delete, home, end pageup/down) are still present, but cut from six to three, with each key sharing double duty.
The keyboard is constructed of a very shiny, glossy black plastic, which unfortunately is quite a fingerprint magnet and also scratches very easily, looking a bit cheap as a result. There’s also a large seam running around the side of the keyboard that is a bit of an eyesore. The keyboard sports three USB 2.0 ports, two on each side, and one on the rear and connects via a removable micro-USB cable. The base of the keyboard has two feet that can be adjusted to different heights but, without any preset positions, the feet only stay in position due to how stiff the hinges are – hopefully they won’t loosen over time.
The keys themselves are quieter than buckling spring or Cherry MX switch keys (even those with dampening rings) but are not exactly silent in operation, and are still quite a bit louder than a membrane keyboard. There’s a noticeable actuation point, which will appeal to typists that like tactile feedback, but the keys don’t feel quite as crisp as Cherry MX switches, and have a slightly soft response. Key travel is also fairly short for a mechanical keyboard.
Overall, the reduced sound from the Matias Quiet Click switch may not be a compelling enough trade-off for the keyboard’s slightly mushy feel in actual use.
The Mini Quiet Pro has three USB 2.0 ports for your other peripherals.