Despite the mark on mechanical keyboards, not a lot of PC users have actually tried a classic mechanical typewriter, with round keys as well as the distinctive look, feel and sound. For those feeling nostalgic, Nanoxia this week introduced a keyboard with a retro look and round keys, which resembles the steampunk keyboards used by the Warehouse 13 characters in their office. One of the important things to mention is that this mechanical keyboard is also water resistant.

Despite its classic yet fancy look, the Nanoxia Ncore Retro is a modern keyboard based on the Kailh White switches (similar to Cherry Blue, with an operational force of 50 cN/peak actuation at 60 cN) and aimed at gamers. The keyboard is made of plastic but features chromium plating on each of the keys to give it a distinctive look. The Ncore Retro supports 15 multimedia keys accessed with the help of the FN key as well as typical features of keyboards designed for gamers, such as 6-key and N-key rollover, 1000 Hz polling rate, anti-ghosting and so on. The keyboard uses USB interconnection and is listed to be only compatible with Microsoft Windows. Each of the keys is rated to 70 million presses.

Nanoxia Ncore Retro General Specifcations
Number of Keys 104 105
Switch Kailh White
Multimedia Keys 15 (accessed with the FN key)
N-key Rollover Support Yes
Interface USB 1.1 with 1.8 m cable
Removable Keys Yes
Compatibility Microsoft Windows XP/Vista/7/8/10
Water Resistant Design Yes
Color Black
Color of Keys Black/Silver
Dimensions 465 × 150 × 69 mm
Weight 1300 grams
MSRP €109.99 (incl. 19% VAT)

One of the important features of the Nanoxia Ncore Retro, besides its extravagant look, is its water resistant design. The company did not mention whether the keyboard is IP-rated and thus is capable of withstanding water immersion, but Nanoxia did state that it can withstand a spill of a glass of water over it. In any case, water resistance also means easy and safe clearing.

The Nanoxia Ncore Retro is one of the first keyboards to use Kailh’s white switches to give users a different haptic feeling compared to other keyboards (and a little closer to that of actual typewriters). The Kailh White switches have an advertised tactile force of approximately 61 grams as well as a distinctive click. In addition, the manufacturer claims that its new switches have a life expectancy of 70 million hits per key because of the improved key shaft.

Comparison of Mechanical Keyboard Switches
  Kailh White AZ Linear AZ Tactile Razer Green Cherry MX
Actuation Point 1.9 mm 1.7 mm 1.7 mm 1.9 mm ± 0.4 mm 2 mm/2.2 mm ± 0.6 mm
Actuation vs Reset Point no data no data no data 0.4 mm no data
Total Travel 4 mm 4 mm 4 mm 4 mm 4 mm
Actuation Force 51 g 45 g 45 g 50 g 45-55 g
Actuation Feel tactile linear soft tactile soft tactile linear/tactile
Switch Lifecycle 70 million 60 million 60 million 60 million 50 million
Switch Color white olive mustard green red/brown/

Nanoxia will offer three versions of its Ncore Retro with a German (which means QWERTZ as well as some additional letters), a UK and a US layout. The keyboards will initially be available in retail stores in Europe for €109.99 (that's including 19% tax) this month. The company did not mention US availability, however we would expect it to do so in due course.

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Source: Nanoxia

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  • nagi603 - Friday, December 9, 2016 - link

    The keyboard for when you want to cosplay anything steampunk!
  • Flunk - Friday, December 9, 2016 - link

    Looks uncomfortable and the glossy plastic and chrome make it look cheap.
  • Friendly0Fire - Friday, December 9, 2016 - link

    This looked neat until I read "plastic".

    You can't attempt to do a retro typewriter style with chrome accents and then make it all out of plastic. That's just cheapening the entire thing.
  • nathanddrews - Saturday, December 10, 2016 - link

    Depends on the plastic. How many plastic keyboards have you broken in your life? I have broke all of zero.
  • StevoLincolnite - Saturday, December 10, 2016 - link

    The point he is trying to make is... You can't claim a Keyboard is premium, with a premium look and feel and then go with cheap crappy materials.

    I would assume the "Chrome plating" on the plastic would eventually rub off with use. - Happened on my older phones and tablets and anything else with a similar thing.
  • philehidiot - Saturday, December 10, 2016 - link

    Yeh plastic bad, then no lumps on F and J (I don't use WASD so when gaming I use the F lump to locate myself on the keyboard) and then not back lit. At this price it should be back lit even if a lot of people would turn it off. I often work into the late night with low light for focusing and so a back-lit keyboard is key for me.
  • Gadgety - Saturday, December 10, 2016 - link

    Nice looking. Reminds me of my old Underwood.
  • EnzoLT - Saturday, December 10, 2016 - link

    Waterproof... Thats good for the guys so they can clean up after watching porn.
  • jardows2 - Saturday, December 10, 2016 - link

    My wife would love this. She's a big Warehouse 13 fan.
  • nostaticatall017 - Sunday, December 11, 2016 - link

    Rather like its looks. Speaking of which, it looks nearly identical to the Azio Mk Retro USB Typewriter Inspired Mechanical Keyboard (Blue Switch) MK-RETRO-01 (available in the US), wouldn't be surprised if the same OEM was used, or if perhaps both simply decided to employ the same type of retro vintage kyes, such as offered in the Keycaps Set for Mechanical Keyboard Gaming Keyboard Keycaps 87 keys US Layout Keycaps Retro Vintage Style Magicforce by Qisan.

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