Mini Quiet Pro
A more peaceful take on the mechanical keyboard, generously equipped with USB connectivity
THE MATIAS SECURE Pro( Shopper 349) gave top billing to its 128-bit AES encryption, which would ostensibly prevent anyone from remotely peeking at your inputs. As far as threats go, however, the logistics of keyboardhacking put it pretty far down the severity list, leaving its secondary special feature as the best thing about it: a mechanical key switch that’s just as quiet as a rubber dome.
As it happens, you can ditch the encryption altogether with the Matias Quiet Pro and this, the tenkeyless Mini Quiet Pro. These keyboards lack the Secure Pro’s wireless capabilities but share its switch design, general look and, in the Mini Quiet Pro’s case, exact shape.
In fact, the wire poking out the back is the only obvious indication that this is a different model to the Secure Pro. Typing on those hushed-up key switches is just as we remember; the lack of clear auditory feedback, which in this case can be easily drowned out by the bustling of an office, might actively discourage some mechanical converts, but
those who prefer a lighter touch will certainly appreciate the Quiet Pro’s combination of forceful touch feedback and minimal noise.
While Matias’ switch design lacks the well-defined crispness of Cherry MX Browns and Blues, or the gratifying chunkiness of Topre’s capacitive keys, it’s still leagues ahead of standard rubber domes. The actuation force required is greater than most, which reduces the likelihood of inputting the wrong key by accidentally brushing it and encourages firm, confident strokes.
It’s a shame, then, that the keycaps are so prone to wobbling, which result in a somewhat less cohesive feel when typing, particularly at slower speeds. We’d expect better build quality from a keyboard costing this much, though it is fairly solid otherwise. The fully adjustable legs on the underside are particularly strong – impressive, considering this is normally the most structurally fragile part of a keyboard.
The Mini Quiet Pro also makes a significant improvement over the Secure Pro: although both models have three integrated USB2 ports, the Secure Pro’s are only able to charge other devices. The Mini Quiet Pro’s are much more fully featured, allowing you to plug a wired mouse into the keyboard or use it as an easy access point for removable storage drives, which is great if your PC is hidden away under a desk.
We were also pleased to see full-size Enter, right Shift and Backspace keys, despite the board’s narrow dimensions. Still, other sacrifices have been made in pursuit of size reduction; there are no dedicated media controls, as there are on the larger Quiet Pro, while the cluster of keys typically found above the arrow keys (Print Screen, Scroll Lock, Home and so on) have been combined either with the Function keys, or with each other.
Since the Mini Quiet Pro and the full-size Quiet Pro are, underlyingly, the same keyboard, for office use it’s arguably better to get the larger model even if it is more expensive. Still, the Mini Quiet Pro knows its job, and does it well.