Mechkeys JAMESDONKEY RS2 Mechanical Keyboard Overview – A strong retro keyboard for Home windows (and Mac, if…)


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assessment – Has the mechanical keyboard bug bitten you but? If you have not they’re completely value a strive. I used to be pleasantly stunned to learn how a lot I really like typing on them. The most recent Mechkeys to assessment is the JAMESDONKEY RS2 mechanical keyboard. It is a 99 key mechanical case with old-school form and colour, and a rotary encoder to deal with quantity duties. let’s take a better look.

What is that this?

The Mechkeys JAMESDONKEY RS2 is a retro-inspired mechanical keyboard with a quantity pad and multifunction knob that can hook up with your Home windows or Mac through cable, 2.4GHz wi-fi, or Bluetooth.

What’s within the Field?

  • Mechkeys JAMESDONKEY RS2 Mechanical Keyboard
  • 2.4GHz dongle (saved magnetically on the underside of the keyboard)
  • Colour Matching USB Cable – 90º USB-C to USB-A
  • key and swap pullers
  • Quickstart Card and Instruction Handbook

{hardware} specs

keys:99 key structure together with quantity pad + multi-media perform knob
swap: Gateron G Professional Sizzling-swappable Change
backlight: Brilliant White LEDs
connectivity: Wired USB, Bluetooth, 2.4GHz w/ dongle included
OS compatibility: Home windows and Mac
Firmware updateable:sure solely through android
The wheels of the plane: ABS + PC materials, keys are PBT
angle: 3 positions utilizing the flip-down foot
colour: Ancestor Grey (2-tone retro-pc-beige)
construction: Gasket Mounted
battery: 3000mAh
Dimensions: 405 x 140 x 48 mm | 950 grams

Design and Options

The Mechkeys JAMESDONKEY RS2 is a candy wanting mechanical keyboard when you’ve got fond reminiscences of beige computer systems and equipment from the bygone days.

The 2-tone colour scheme and silver highlights across the quantity knob are a superb look in my e book.

The Mechkeys JAMESDONKEY RS2 keys are all PBT and use hot-swappable Gateron G Professional switches for personalisation choices. The keyboard I obtained got here with a brown swap which works very well for the way in which I kind.

There are 3 comfortable rubberized ft on the forefront and two on the again to maintain the keyboard from transferring round. There are 2 further flip-out ft on every again nook to additional improve the keyboard’s inline. These even have rubber ft, so stability is not a problem.

There’s additionally a 2.4GHz USB dongle that is magnetically positioned down the middle. That is very useful for any desktop pc that won’t embody Bluetooth performance.

Within the middle of the rear is a USB-C port and a button to toggle between wired USB and wi-fi modes (both 2.4GHz or BT).

set up

Getting arrange will fluctuate barely relying in your OS and the connection technique you select. Here is what you have to know…

usb: Plug the USB-C finish of the included cable into the keyboard and the USB-A finish of your pc.
2.4GHz: Take away the small wi-fi dongle from underneath your keyboard and have it prepared. On the keyboard, press the Again button to activate the keyboard. After a fast boot-up, maintain down fn and 4 keys for a couple of seconds till the LED begins blinking for 4K. Then insert the wi-fi receiver dongle into your pc’s USB-A port.
bt: On the keyboard, press the Again button to activate the keyboard. After a fast boot-up, maintain down Fn and 1 key (or 2 or 3) for a couple of seconds till the LED begins blinking (for the quantity you pressed). “Choose” the Bluetooth connection in your system within the desire paneJamesDonkey RS2“(Not a typo, it’s spelled incorrectly within the panel).
OS: The keyboard is already arrange for Home windows. Press and maintain to change on Mac Fn and M keys for a couple of seconds till the M LED blinks to verify. To modify again to Home windows, maintain down fn and w keys, There’s a small print on each of those keys to designate (win) and (mac).

If you have to enhance the angle on the keyboard you’ll be able to flip the legs smaller or bigger to achieve ~8mm or ~14mm of top on the rear edge respectively.

The very last thing to say on setup is that on a Mac particularly, I had some bother connecting through a USB hub. Zero issues connecting on to a Mac when utilizing a USB-C to C cable. I used to be in a position to treatment the state of affairs by connecting the cable by means of the hub after which utilizing Fn and M keys To power it into Mac Mode, despite the fact that it was already there. Bizarre. I double checked at a couple of different hubs/docking stations and located it to be hit and miss, so hold that in thoughts.


So out of the gate, I need to be clear that I actually just like the Makekeys JamesDonkey RS2 mechanical keyboard. I am a 100% Mac and iOS person so virtually all of my notes are seen from that perspective. Let’s undergo the excessive factors.

It is a full dimension structure. The spacing appears good, the quantity pad is full sized with giant zeros. All Mac shortcut FN keys work like they need to, from display brightness to music controls.

The quantity knob has a terrific tactile really feel and urgent it mutes the audio (despite the fact that the spec sheet says it has a pause perform).

The desk top is greater than I am used to, however is spot on when used with a wrist strap. Similar goes for angle. The default low place works for me, however there are two extra tilted choices for those who want them.

The form of the keys has the retro really feel of a slender prime with a good quantity of house for the subsequent key, so it is very simple to inform the place your fingers are at any given time. Gentle-colored keys print a darkish, tonal character, whereas darker keys print a black character in order that legibility is nice when there is no backlight by means of every key. There are 3 LEDs between the usual keyboard and the quantity pad. They’re for Num, Caps Lock and Cost Standing.

The grey Gateron switches are a match for my typing type, so I am not more likely to swap them out. That stated, once you take a keycap off, you may discover that there are switches on the PCB board labeled for key perform. I have not seen this earlier than and it needs to be a normal because it makes keycap swap simple eradicating the necessity to take one photograph or swap keys at a time.

So far as how engaging the Mechkeys JAMESDONKEY RS2 mechanical keyboard is, it’s going to depend upon the switches you select and the power you utilize whereas typing. General, with brown Gateron keys, this keyboard has a muted nice sound to click on because of the cotton-drenched layers of building. Here is a fast video with audio to assist discuss the way in which I kind. Your Mileage Could Differ.

Are there any low marks within the James Donkey RS2 keyboard? that relies upon.

The sunshine is simply white and does not let the sunshine by means of, with the power to regulate the velocity of the lighting impact utilizing the lighting type with the FN – / + keys or the FN Esc keys. Listed below are these mild patterns.

On the Home windows aspect, all the things works effectively, together with the additional calculator key. On the Mac aspect, there are a couple of points, all of that are solvable.

I desire to make use of the keyboard in wired mode, primarily as a result of I am away from my pc typically and a wired connection together with unlocking through my Apple Watch wakes my pc up shortly. It additionally removes any have to even take into consideration charging the keyboard (which, by the way in which, lasts as much as 4 weeks). Other than the above drawback with one in all my hubs, the keyboard and all works nice.

Connecting through a 2.4GHz dongle or BT is not an issue both, and I did not discover any conspicuous latency with my built-in Mac keyboard or when utilizing it in wired mode. Nonetheless, as soon as paired, the acknowledged keyboard structure and mapping is, effectively, wonky. Appears an acceptable phrase and rhymes with JAMESDONKEY, which has instructed me the problem has been mounted however I’ve been unable to confirm. Right here is the problem…

All key presses register and, for essentially the most half, map appropriately with key Exception

  • 2 keys: @ is changed with “
  • 6 Keys: with ^ and
  • 7 Keys: & with ‘
  • 8 Keys: * with (
  • 9 Keys: (with 0.
  • – Keys: _ with =
  • = key: , with
  • = key: + with ~
  • [ key: [ with @
  • [ key: { with `
  • ] Key: ]with [
  • ] Key: } with {
  • key: with ]
  • key: , with }
  • , Key: , , with
  • ‘ key: ‘ with :
  • ‘ key: ” with *

For sure, it makes typing on the keyboard loopy. The frequency with which a few of these particular symbols are used makes typing a non-starter. The unusual factor is that it is sort of a British structure, however it’s not even and altering the settings within the system keyboard panel has no impact. James Donkey has already up to date the firmware which supposedly fixes this drawback, nonetheless it brings the subsequent situation.

The firmware replace course of is OTA through Bluetooth which is nice however is simply obtainable utilizing an Android telephone or pill. In my e book that negates the claimed Mac compatibility. I wasn’t in a position to get that replace to work even after borrowing an Android pill. I will give them the advantage of the doubt right here as a result of this needs to be solvable too, and they need to be capable to write a Mac app to replace the firmware. I might say iOS is an possibility, however the keyboard does not work with iOS, so there’s that too.

Lastly, I’m utilizing keyboard with USB cable and need not take care of above points and James Donkey RS2 keyboard is working nice. I do know many customers desire wi-fi, so for those who’re a Mac person who desires a wi-fi keyboard, I might cease for now. If I will replace the firmware anyway I will completely replace this assessment because it’s actually a pleasure to make use of.

what i like

  • Retro-beige look (not going to vanish at work)
  • Sturdy building, adjustable angles and hot-swappable customization
  • Cable, BT or 2.4GHz wi-fi connection
  • worth for worth

what would i modify

  • Improved Mac wi-fi compatibility (particularly the Mac manner of updating firmware)
  • doesn’t work with ios

remaining ideas

The Mechkeys JAMESDONKEY RS2 is a good mechanical keyboard for the worth. It has premium really feel, building and hot-swappable Gateron switches and PBT keycaps. In case you’re on the lookout for a full-size mechanical keyboard, the RS2 is totally value contemplating. In case you’re a Mac person and like your keyboard wired, this can be a must-try. If James Donkey can repair the important thing mapping for wi-fi on the Mac, I will replace this assessment instantly as a result of I am undoubtedly having enjoyable utilizing this keyboard.

value: $99.99
the place to purchase: makekees
Supply: This product pattern was offered by Mechkeys


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