Sitting at the more affordable end of the mechanical keyboard scale than some of the models on test this month, the Filco Majestouch-2 is a solid, reliable, full-sized keyboard that’s available with a wide range of Cherry MX switches. It’s a no-frills keyboard, but its price and build quality will make it a tempting option for some people.
The most obvious downside of this keyboard, though, is that the vanilla model isn’t much of a looker. Its all-black design is certainly unobtrusive, but there’s not a lot of finesse here – it looks more mundane than minimalist. You can buy the Majestouch-2 in a few more whacky variants though.
There’s one that has a case adorned with luminous skulls, with purple lock key indicator LEDs, a fully pink variant and one with bright yellow keys, among others.
You can also get versions with ‘ninja’ keycaps, where the tops are blank and the legends are written on the side – that’s certainly one way to prevent the legends from wearing away.
Dimensions (mm) 440 x 135 x 40 (W x D x H) Weight 1.18kg Format Standard 105 keys Connections USB (PS/2 adaptor included) Switch type All Cherry MX types Switch life 50+ million keystrokes Backlighting None Extras USB to PS/2 adaptor
Back to this plain version of the Majestouch-2, though, this model makes up for its looks with its build quality. Despite having an all-plastic exterior with none of the metal top plates of other keyboards on test, it still weighs in at 1.35kg and feels strong and sturdy. It’s not quite up there with the Shine 7 or indeed the tank-like build you’ll get on some custom keyboards, but it’s impressively solid for the price.
There’s no backlighting, though, which is an obvious cost-cutting area. While RGB backlighting is a more frivolous addition, single-colour backlighting can be useful for instantly allowing you to see key legends in a darkened room. That said, even just the light from our monitor was sufficient for us to make out the white-on-black legends on these keys.
Even then, though, the keycaps aren’t double shot – the white is just printed onto the surface, and the caps are made from cheaper ABS plastic than the PBT plastic used on some models. They’ll last a good few years, but they won’t have the hardcore longevity of double shot PBT keycaps.
Meanwhile, for extra features, you get basically nothing. There’s no USB passthrough, no extra keys, no extra keycaps in the box and no keycap removal tool or wrist rest either. The cable is also fixed, relatively slim and unbraided. You do, however, get a USB to PS/2 adaptor in the box, so you could use this keyboard with an older machine.
We opted to try the Cherry MX Silent Red switch-equipped version of this keyboard. These switches incorporate tiny rubber patches in the sliding mechanism of the switch, which soften the down and up hits of the switch, significantly reducing the overall clatter of keys. In our testing, the other keyboards averaged between 61.5dB and 70.3dB, whereas this board hit just 56.3dB.
They have a linear action with a 45cN operating force (1.9mm/3.7mm travel); combined with the soft landing, this makes for a surprisingly soft and spongey feel compared with many mechanical switches. It’s a little disconcerting at first, but while the action feels a little mushy and lacks feedback, it still has the responsiveness and reliability of other mechanical switches.
A relatively low price makes this keyboard a decent option for those seeking a simple but solid workhorse mechanical keyboard. With this version’s Cherry MX Silent Red switches, it’s an impressively quiet option too, although it will take a while to get used to the feeling of the switches. The very basic feature set and lack of backlighting are disappointing for the price though.