MA­TIAS

Quiet Pro

Computer Shopper - - OFFICE KEYBOARDS - £138 From www.key­boardco.com

VERDICT

This bet­ter-equipped ver­sion of Ma­tias’ quiet me­chan­i­cal de­sign is the one to buy

THIS SHINY BLACK board is ba­si­cally the Mini Quiet Pro on the pre­vi­ous page, but it’s wider and with more keys. It has the same glossy black plas­tic chas­sis, the same muted me­chan­i­cal switches, and the same set of three USB2 ports.

Clearly, the bulk of the ad­di­tional keys are found in the tenkey num­ber pad. This alone makes the Quiet Pro bet­ter-suited than the Mini Quiet Pro for math­e­mat­i­cal or spread­sheet work, and Ma­tias has also added a per­sonal touch: a sec­ondary Tab key, which sits where the Num Lock key is typ­i­cally found on tenkey boards. This is a small change, but a smart one; if you’re fill­ing out an Ex­cel sheet with nu­mer­i­cal data, you’d sooner need to ad­vance to the next cell with a tap of Tab than you would to en­gage Num Lock.

The Num Lock key hasn’t been ditched; it’s sim­ply been shunted up­wards slightly, sit­ting next to the vol­ume and mute con­trols. There are no such ded­i­cated, sin­gle-pur­pose keys on the Mini Quiet Pro, so they’re a very wel­come in­clu­sion that will save you hav­ing to

fid­dle with Win­dows’ vol­ume con­trols or reach for the phys­i­cal knob on your desk speak­ers, or use both hands to en­gage the smaller key­board’s dual-pur­pose keys.

We note that this row of four keys is usu­ally where the Caps Lock, Num Lock and Scroll Lock in­di­ca­tor lights are nor­mally placed; Ma­tias has in­stead added LEDs into the re­spec­tive keys them­selves, like on a lap­top key­board. It’s not a ter­ri­bly in­no­va­tive or orig­i­nal idea, but since it makes room for the me­dia keys, it’s still a good call.

Un­sur­pris­ingly, these ad­di­tions make the Quiet Pro a more ex­pen­sive propo­si­tion than the Mini Quiet Pro, which is fairly costly to be­gin with. How­ever, we’d say it’s worth the ex­tra £20 – not only are you get­ting the in­creased func­tion­al­ity of its ad­di­tional keys, but ex­tended us­age feels ever so slightly more com­fort­able and nat­u­ral, thanks to things such as the wider space­bar and the sep­a­ra­tion of the ar­row keys (which are pushed up right next to and below the right Shift key on the Mini Quiet Pro).

The Quiet Pro also de­liv­ers the same low-vol­ume, high-pre­ci­sion typ­ing af­forded by its me­chan­i­cal switch de­sign. As with the Mini Quiet Pro, each stroke isn’t com­pletely si­lent (which is fine – a com­plete lack of au­di­ble feed­back would be coun­ter­in­tu­itive), but this is still a far more serene-sound­ing key­board than any non-Ma­tias me­chan­i­cal model we’ve used. The key­caps can wob­ble, which isn’t ideal, but un­der­neath is a mech­a­nism with a re­as­sur­ingly sub­stan­tial touch re­sponse.

On top of all this, the gen­er­ous three USB2 ports are here as well, and again, they beat the Ma­tias Se­cure Pro’s charge-only ports by be­ing fully ca­pa­ble of data trans­fer and pe­riph­eral us­age.

An ar­gu­ment could be made that, as the cheaper and more com­pact vari­ant, the Mini Quiet Pro is a bet­ter buy, but since that’s also a wired key­board that’s es­sen­tially con­fined to a desk, porta­bil­ity isn’t much of a con­cern. Thus, our pref­er­ence re­mains with the larger, bet­ter-fea­tured Quiet Pro.

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