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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  • nostaticatall017 - Sunday, December 11, 2016 - link
  • mobutu - Sunday, December 11, 2016 - link

    "water resistance also means easy and safe clearing"


    cleaning, maybe
  • seerak - Sunday, December 11, 2016 - link

    This is nice for a mass-market effort, but if you really want hardcore steampunk, and don't mind paying for the premium materials, there's the Datamancer keyboards on Amazon.
  • ɟooqɐɹ - Sunday, December 11, 2016 - link

    Would go great with some retro audio effects!
  • LordConrad - Sunday, December 11, 2016 - link

    If I wanted a Warehouse 13 style keyboard, I would save up for the original version.
  • jardows2 - Monday, December 12, 2016 - link

    That certainly looks cool, but there's no way in Gehenna I would drop $1k for a keyboard!
  • shelbystripes - Monday, December 12, 2016 - link

    How can a USB keyboard be only Windows compatible? Does it require special drivers to function? If so, how would it work with a BIOS at boot?

    It seems absurd to claim a keyboard is only Windows compatible. If it doesn't work with the standard USB keyboard profile for its country/layout it should be considered defective.
  • Findecanor - Tuesday, December 13, 2016 - link

    It probably means only that they support only Windows, because that is what they have tested it on and is the only OS they care about.

    BTW, there are actually a couple of bugs in both MacOS's and Linux's HID class drivers related to N-key rollover. The bugs do not manifest themselves with every keyboard with N-key rollover but occur in peculiar circumstances. They may have known about there being bugs and decided not to spend time (=money) on finding out what they are and work around them.
  • dravidkotak - Monday, December 19, 2016 - link

    that left shift key ....
  • crw030 - Friday, January 27, 2017 - link

    Bought this keyboard for my wife in January to celebrate a new job, it's HEAVY and has firm key press and braided cord cover. Very similar to her Razer Chroma gamer in how the keys feel, and feels heavy-duty not cheap. She works as an admin assistant greeting people all day and gets constant compliments on how cool it looks etc. Not sure how it would work for gaming (shift key kinda small), she uses it in office situation and LOVES it. Cough, cough $120 office keyboard.

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