I am a huge fan of unique pre-built keyboards. I am currently not at the point where I’m going to be building my own mechanical keyboard so it is nice to see options that are not just your standard “gaming” keyboard. The BlackIO 83 really separates itself from other keyboards with its transparent chassis and transparent keycaps. This really allows the RGB lighting under the keycaps to shine through and put on a show on your desk. With the lighting on this keyboard is one of the best-looking that I’ve ever seen! You also get over 40 lighting effects so there definitely is one you’ll like.
Now a keyboard can look great, but it has to be comfortable or you aren’t really going to use it. I was actually pleasantly surprised at how comfortable this keyboard is to use. At first glance I was a bit worried about the polycarbonate key caps, but in use they feel good. They are for sure a departure from PBT keycaps, but they do feel a lot better than ABS keycaps. The Kailh Jellyfish mechanical key switches feel good too, don’t forget to check out our sound test on the previous page.
Now of course if you want to swap out the switches at a later date you can definitely do that as the PCB that MIIIW is using is hot-swappable. You get three different connectivity options with this keyboard too (wired, 2.4 GHz wireless, Bluetooth). You can easily swap between them, and you can connect up to three different devices via Bluetooth.
I would say the biggest downside to this keyboard is that MIIIW does not offer any software with it. It is compatible with QMK or VIA open-source software, but having their own software would have been nice as many people, especially beginners might not know how to use QMK or VIA. Also in our testing VIA didn’t even recognize the keyboard so not sure what that was about. It is also worth noting that MIIIW does not provide any documentation on how to get QMK or VIA working and the links to the software and JSON file are not even on the product page. Having their own software would eliminate these issues and make it easier for people to not only reprogram the keyboard, but change lighting effects and even create their own lighting effects.
Another thing you have to keep in mind with this keyboard is that it will pick up a lot of fingerprints. It would have been nice if MIIIW included a cleaning cloth with it.
At the end of the day I really like this keyboard for what it is. It not only looks great, but is extremely comfortable as well. MIIIW is currently selling this keyboard for $199.99 directly on their website. Overall ThinkComputers gives the MIIIW BlackIO mechanical keyboard an 8 out of 10 score.
– Clear casing + clear keycaps
– Very comfortable
– Hot-swappable keycaps
– Available in 3 color options
– 40+ preset lighting effects
– Solid build quality
– No official software
– Fingerprint magnet
– No cleaning cloth included