A Closer Look

As mentioned on the previous page, Nixeus is being very straightforward and truthful about the key switches of the MODA, which are Brown switches from Kailh. The mechanical properties and even the color of Kaihl's Brown switches are a direct copy of Cherry's MX Brown switch – a soft tactile switch with nearly noiseless actuation. The selection of switches is largely based on the taste of the user, but these Brown switches are considered the best compromise between gaming and comfortable typing. Actually, many typists prefer the Brown switch to the Blue switch, as it offers the same tactile feeling without the noisy "click" actuation sound.

There is no reason why the copy cannot be as good (or even better) than the original, but Kailh's quality control appears to not to be on par with Cherry's, with larger inconsistencies between the keys. It's not a huge problem, however, as the performance of their switches is usually well within their rated specifications. This is true for the MODA as well, as our texture analyzer revealed that the actuation force of all normal-sized keys was between 46cN and 59cN, well within the 54±20cN specification.

There is virtually no key wobbling at all, even on the larger keys, giving the user a feel of exceptional sturdiness and providing a great typing experience. This level of quality is rare on a keyboard that uses bar stabilizers under the large keys. The company has even applied a little bit of grease on the stabilizers to ensure that they will not wear out in a short amount of time.

Nixeus' approach regarding the indicator LEDs is certainly unique but not particularly effective. The switches beneath the Scroll Lock and Caps Lock keys feature LEDs, but the keycaps are not transparent. As a result, the light is only barely visible around the bottom of the keycap. Although it looks great on camera, the light is not easily discernible in a well-lit room. This is not much of a problem as these keys are rarely used, but it is still something that could be easily remedied nonetheless. The soft light does look good in a dark room though.

Final Words and Conclusion

There is not too much to say about a product as simple as the Nixeus MODA. The aim of the company is clear: provide an aggressively priced mechanical keyboard for users that do not care about advanced features. With a retail price of around $70, it is one of the cheapest mechanical keyboards currently available. Most of Nixeus' direct competition is similar keyboards that are also using Kailh switches, while tenkeyless keyboards using Cherry MX Brown switches cost about $20 more. (Note that keyboards with Blue switches tend to cost a bit less, e.g. here's a Kailh Blue tenkeyless for $60.)

As mentioned above, Kailh's switches are direct copies of Cherry's products, including their durability specifications. With the keyboards that we've tested up to this date, we found that the consistency of Kailh's switches is inferior to their respective counterparts, but their mechanical attributes have always been well within their nominal specifications. As the user experience remains the same, we cannot fault a keyboard for using Kailh switches, especially when it is a product looking to provide the maximum possible value. Unfortunately, the claimed 50 million keystrokes longevity of the switches cannot be tested within the short timeframe of a typical review.

If you are looking for a keyboard that has features such as backlighting or programmable keys, then the Nixeus MODA is certainly not the product that you are looking for. The Nixeus MODA is a "no frills, no thrills" kind of product, meaning that is right only for users that simply want a mechanical keyboard for common everyday use, and more specifically users that want a compact tenkeyless keyboard. It is very comfortable to type with, the quality is acceptable, and the retail price is reasonable. However, if you even consider the possibility that you might need advanced programming features or enjoy a backlit keyboard, then you'll want to look at more advanced models, such as the $100 Rosewill RGB80.

Nixeus MODA Mechanical Keyboard : Introduction and First Look
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  • NotLupus - Tuesday, October 14, 2014 - link

    Damn, that's ugly. Reply
  • WithoutWeakness - Tuesday, October 14, 2014 - link

    I wish they hadn't expanded the case with the top section and wrist rest. Being a tenkeyless space-saving design they should have just stuck with a simpler look. The plastic faux screw heads are all at weird angles and don't add anything but noise to the design. The odd raised and cut-away sections of the wrist rest are also an oddity. I don't mind the inclusion of a wrist rest but it's extremely small and the bottom edge looks like it would dig into the heels of a user's palms more than anything. The extra 1/2" of plastic above the F-key row is unnecessary and the large bump with the USB cord and NIXEUS logo reminds me of the horrible old design of Gigabyte's Windforce GPU cooler.

    Basically if you're considering this keyboard just get a CM Storm QuickFire Rapid for $10-15 more and get actual Cherry MX switches.
    Reply
  • NotLupus - Tuesday, October 14, 2014 - link

    I don't think that's a wrist rest, just a unusual, large bezel. My wrists don't rest that close to the keyboard. Reply
  • WithoutWeakness - Tuesday, October 14, 2014 - link

    It looks like something a budget-oriented peripherals company would try to market as a wrist rest. I agree with you though and I don't think it's doing anything other than getting in the way of using a real wrist rest. Reply
  • Gunbuster - Tuesday, October 14, 2014 - link

    Super ugly, like someones second day in CAD class. I would not pay $30, let alone $70 for this hunk of junk. Reply
  • tyger11 - Tuesday, October 14, 2014 - link

    You can get the CoolerMaster QuickFire TK with Cherry MX Brown for about $89. It is also not ten keyless, but has a combined arrow/ten-key area which is a great design, and is still space saving. Also, no extra bezel issues to be found. There is also a 'Stealth' version without lettering if you're into pissing off other people. :) Reply
  • Samus - Tuesday, October 14, 2014 - link

    Exactly, although my Coolermaster keyboards (I have both the quickfire and quickfire TK) started squeaking a few months ago, mostly the backspace key which you use a LOT on a mechanical keyboard (there is numerous statistical proof that mechanical keyboards increase typo's, at the expensive of increased speed, so this key gets more than usual use.) I'm going to install a set of O-rings in my TK and while I'm in there, grease up the bars like Moda did with this keyboard to see if that helps!

    I don't think I'd cheap out over $20 and get this over a clean-layout Cherry MX keyboard like the Coolermaster, though.
    Reply
  • ctodd - Tuesday, October 14, 2014 - link

    Corsair K65, Aluminum Chassis for the same amount. Reply
  • Laststop311 - Wednesday, October 15, 2014 - link

    Ive have my steelseries 7g keyboard for like 5 years or something and this thing is still flawless. Extremely solid heavy well built keyboard. You could use it as a weapon and smash some 1 over the head knock em out and the keyboard would still be going. It's worth it to spend the extra money cause you basically never have to buy another keyboard again. Reply
  • meacupla - Tuesday, October 14, 2014 - link

    This nixeus keyboard has 3 design flaws...
    1. Non-routable USB cable, which is surprisingly common on mechanical keyboards and disallows you to place something, like a tablet, behind the keyboard, but in front of your monitor.
    2. Excessively large front protrusion that disallows use of an actual palm rest and excessively large top protrusion.
    3. F keys do not have spacing and does not allow touch typing, as rare as it may be for F keys.

    As an aside, I would love to see a TKL keyboard, but one that also packs in a column of macro keys to the left side, or 3~4 keys below the space bar.
    I like my coolermaster storm quick fire rapid, but I'd really love to have some dedicated macro keys on it, without having to buy a keyboard that consumes an excessive amount of right side desk space.
    Reply

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