Showing posts with label Mechanical Keyboard. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Mechanical Keyboard. Show all posts

Monday, May 27, 2024

Curated Delights: Melodi Picks

May 27, 2024 0 Comments

Introducing Melodi Picks!


Whether you're a seasoned gamer or just starting out, having the right gear can make all the difference. That's why I'm thrilled to introduce my curated affiliate shopping page, your one-stop destination for everything mechanical keyboards, artisan keycaps, Nintendo Switch accessories, and games.


Since I like virtual window shopping and finding a good deal or two most of the times,  this is a page where I've handpicked the best products (and deals) in each category above.  I have purchased most of these, and others are really a good deal which I found. So if you are in Singapore, or South East Asia in general, you are in for a treat because sharing is caring! πŸ˜†


For international readers you could try your luck and see if you are able to purchase, but anything international would be under the "Other Links" section. 

 If you have not signed up for Shopee and want to get S$5 off your first order, sign up 🠊here🠈😊 Alternatively, if you already have an account but have not bought anything yet, you can still get S$5 off your first order with this code 7L6EM9H
Do note that if you are viewing it on mobile it will check if you have the app first, if you do it opens in the app, just click ok and you would get to the listing page. Happy Shopping!


Remember to compare prices and shipping costs, and check reviews across the different sellers / platforms!



Artisan Keycaps

  1. [Keycap Series: A Shopee Guide to Affordable and Good Quality Artisan Keycaps]
  2. [Keycap Series: Featuring Artists of the Month]
  3. [Beginner's Guide to Artisan Keycaps: Everything You Need to Know]



Nintendo Switch

  1. [IINE Splatoon Nintendo Switch Joypad Review]
  2. [HORI Nintendo Switch Split Pad Compact Review]
  3. [Top 5 Cheap Switch Accessories You Definitely Need]
  4. [Accessories Bundle for Nintendo Switch Sports]





Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Keycap Series: Featuring Artists of the Month

May 22, 2024 0 Comments

Enjoying art and fun shouldn't come with a hefty price tag; it can be both high-quality and affordable.


Welcome to this monthly new series where I will be spotlighting talented keycap artists whose work I have come across and purchased from them as I love their designs. With reasonable pricing and shipping options that have proven worthwhile to me, here I am sharing them with you. Whether you're in search of intricacy, uniqueness, or affordability in artisan keycaps, I hope you find inspiration and the opportunity to support these creators.


Getting into the hobby and into the rabbit hole of artisan keycaps can be a bit overwhelming for the pocket as one artisan keycap can cost as much as a whole set, with some costing more than S$80 (not including shipping fees yet). And let's not get started on shipping... If you are in Singapore or South East Asia, sometimes shipping from overseas sellers are more than S$20-40+!😡


[Beginner's Guide to Artisan Keycaps: Everything You Need to Know]


Hopefully this list helps you as it did me (especially if you are from South East Asia) and support the lovely artists who are doing a wonderful job, and making it a little bit more easier for you and your wallet in personalizing your mechanical keyboard!


*Do note that these are based on my own experiences and thoughts, so remember to always check the reviews before committing to anything.

Think an artist (who is not on this list and fits the bill) should be added, do let me know in the comments below on where are they and why they should be added! πŸ˜†

Artists Featured:

  • 2024
    • April: πŸŽ wildapplestudio
      • Pricing (per keycap): an average of S$15 to S$80+ (US$11 to US$60+)
      • Shipping to Singapore: less than S$10 (US$8)
      • Shipping Internationally: depends on your location but should be reasonable
      • Wait Time: Orders usually are shipped out within 7-10 working days, then about 11-14 business days for international shipping (to reach you). 
      • Style: 🧚 Whimsical / Fantasy / Sweet 🍬
      • Material: Polymer clay, protected with UV resin
    • May: 🐢 shopqwerkycaps
      • Pricing (per keycap): an average of S$35 to S$65+ (US$25 to US$50+)
      • Shipping to Singapore:  S$3 (US$2.50)
      • Shipping Internationally: around S$10+ (US$8+)
      • Shipping to US: Free shipping for the first order for over US$35
      • Wait Time: Orders usually are shipped out within 7-10 working days, then about 11-14 business days for international shipping (to reach you). Do ask to confirm for the shipment details. For Singaporeans, once it's been shipped out you should get it within 2 working days.
      • Style:  πŸ¬ Fantasy / Gaming / Pop Culture / Nature Inspired / Anime πŸ“Ί
      • Material: Polymer clay, PBT keycap, Matte glaze or UV resin glaze.
    • June: ???
    • July: ???
    • August: ???
    • September: ???
    • October: ???
    • November: ???
    • December: ???

Monday, May 20, 2024

Keycap Series: May Artist Featuring shopqwerkycaps

May 20, 2024 0 Comments


For the month of May we have R who owns shopqwerkycaps and makes artisan keycaps & digital stickers! She is based in Singapore which makes shipping so much more affordable at S$3. Her keycap creations range from an average of S$35 to S$65+, which was a draw along with the unique designs. πŸ˜† 


[Keycap Series: Featuring Artists of the Month

[Beginner's Guide to Artisan Keycaps: Everything You Need to Know]


I first came across R works on Carousell and went to check it out. Etsy, again won as there were discounts being offered at that time. There were so many adorable designs, but ultimately I decided on 3 Pokemon themed keycaps - Minunm, Plusle and Litwick. 😍


R was responsive and so nice to help time the delivery for me so that I would be able to receive them at a period convenient to me. Packaging was on point: each keycap was bubble wrapped and placed in their own little bag, along with their "birth certificate" which added that special touch. They arrived in a good condition along with 3 adorable stickers! 




was really responsive when arranging for the delivery. It was an overall good experience and I would definitely be getting more caps from her in future.  πŸ‘

Artist Info

  • Style: πŸ¬ Fantasy / Gaming / Pop Culture / Nature Inspired / Anime πŸ“Ί
  • Pricing (per keycap)an average of S$35 to S$65+ (US$25 to US$50+)
  • Shipping to Singapore: S$3 (US$2.50)
  • Shipping Internationally: around S$10+ (US$8+)
  • Shipping to US: Free shipping for the first order for over US$35
  • Wait TimeMy order via Etsy took about 5 working days to get processed. Once was dispatched (the benefits of being in the same country πŸ˜€), it only took 2 working days to reach me.
  • Material: Polymer clay, PBT keycap, Matte glaze or UV resin glaze.

πŸ’— Loves

πŸ’— Animal & Pokemon Themed Keycaps.
πŸ’— Light weight and easy to install the keycaps. It fit my switch perfectly.
πŸ’— The evenness and smoothness of the end product.
πŸ’— Does not look mass manufactured and has individualism.
πŸ’— Good quality and amicable, responsive artist (to address and concerns or questions). 
πŸ’— Reasonable shipping price and overall pricing.


Remember to compare prices and shipping costs across different artisans and platforms to find the best fit for your budget!

Social Media / Shop:

Have you gotten any keycaps from shopqwerkycaps ? If the answer is yes, let me know in the comments below what you loved and what did you get! 


[Keycap Series: Featuring Artists of the Month

[Beginner's Guide to Artisan Keycaps: Everything You Need to Know]



Wednesday, May 15, 2024

First Look: CIDOO ABM066 Barebones Kit Alice-layout Review

May 15, 2024 0 Comments


Finally, I have my very first Alice-layout keyboard! Well it might just be the barebones kit without the full set of switches and keycaps, but it also cost much less on Lazada. I managed to get it on sale (as always) for under S$40! The last I checked it is still cheap and going for about S$65-120 currently. So if you are interested, you can find it here or check search on Lazada.


With some left over Akko Jelly Blues (tactile), Orange (tactile), and Pinks (linear), I decided to go for mixed tactile and linear experience. I also happened to have a cute cat themed keycaps set that I thought would go well with it.



Delivery was not so fast, taking about a 7 days to arrive. Confirmation of the order took about 2 days and once confirmed it was on its way. One thing to note if you are buying from Lazada Choice is that is can be a sort of gamble, sometimes the order gets cancelled and you lose out on the best price at the time you ordered. Other times the seller takes almost forver to pack and send out the item. There’s also no way to contact the seller except through the Lazada help chat support (not the chat bot). The good thing is when the order goes through, the joys of receiving your items which you got at a deal is oh so sweet. 😁


Given the price point, I guess I cannot complain that it arrived in its box and nothing else. There was no protection, but thankfully it arrived intact (the box was a little beaten but it survived). It came with a manual guide, cable and keycap / switch puller. 



Adding the ‘Flesh’ to the BareBones Kit Experience

As mentioned earlier, the concept of affixing the switches into the board was quite novel and seemed simple, but the execution was another story. Some of the switches were not affixed securely resulting into the switch and keycap being loose. Not knowing how much strength to use and not wanting to break the board can be pretty nerve-wracking. That and the fact that you would expect the switches to fix nicely and easily. But I am not complaining since this was on sale and is working as it should. Alternatively if you are interested in an Alice-layout but want less of having to assemble your own, you could get it pre-assembled with switches and keycaps already on it. 

But if you  want to try and have some sort of sense of accomplishment putting on your own switches and keycaps, this could be a good option. 😎


Now this being my very first Alice-layout and a barebones kit no less, it did take me a while to figure out how to affix the switches. It could be me or the fit of the board, but it took some effort to get the switches to fit (the key is to find the right angle and push it in). It was initially a tad loose for the “right shift” and “? “ buttons but I took them out and out them in again and made sure they fit in tightly (usually there would be a click when you’ve gotten it right).



I have not yet customised the digital screen so it is stuck on 01 April, but I’ll get to it … eventually. Here’s a video I found which gives a pretty good overview about the aesthetics and an overview of the RGB light effects and hot keys.  



Typing Experience

I would say that having this split does make it ergonomically friendly for the left and right hands. The only thing is getting used to it. I found myself having to look at the keyboard or risk hitting the wrong key, also my left hand is really used to hitting the ‘y’ key and keeps on mistaking the left shift key for the ‘a’ key.πŸ˜‚ So that’s probably something to get used to (that and the interesting fact that there is a ‘b’ for both the left and right spilt of the board).


For the moment (for this post and just using the out of the box default settings), the experience typing on an Alice-layout is pretty refreshing. It’s supposed to nurture a healthier typing posture and reduces strain; let’s see how this goes.



Default Settings and Connecting to devices

The out of the box key mapping should be alright for a Windows system. I am using it currently on an iPad Pro and the copy / paste key, display home shortcuts are not as I would expect (or I just need to get used to the layout). Other than that it is alright.


Connection to an iPad or Android device is relatively simple, just set the keyboard to Bluetooth setting, and turn on Bluetooth for your device which you want to connect to, press the FN + Q / W / E to pair. The keyboard can be simultaneously connected to 3 devices at a time. 


If you want to connect to a computer (Windows / Mac), you also have the option to connect it via the USB cable it came with or simply use the USB for the 2.4GHZ. Of course you have to remember to adjust the keyboard setting for the 2.4GHZ connection.


What I love

πŸ’•The split layout (takes some time getting used to but so far so good).

πŸ’•The LCD screen with the battery indicator so it gives a good visual cue how much power is left.

πŸ’• The RBG effects, adds that something special when you are typing.

πŸ’•Being able to customize the key mapping and LCD screen.

πŸ’• The default setting for the ‘b’ key being on both the left and right side gives it more flexibility for the hands.

πŸ’• The ability to swap out the switches and keycaps for personalization or a different keep experience is tthe reason why I got it.

πŸ’• The ease to use right out of the box, to connect and start typing  away.

πŸ’• The quality of the build which made my tactile switches and cat theme keycaps produce a nice mellow thocky sound.


Not so much

πŸ’” It is not as easy to affix the switches, resulting in loose switches and keycaps (till you find the right angle to get them in).

πŸ’” Customization for the LCD screen has to be done via a driver (on a Windows system).


So, there you go my first look at and review of my experienc with the CIDOO AM066 Barebones Kit Alice-layout. Given that the loves are more than the not so much, I’ll say give it is with a try. For those of us located in Singapore, you can get it here for about S$65 or cheaper when it is one sales from Lazada.


For those you who are not really into mechanical keyboards (yet), I would still recommended you try the Alice-layout. If you think that the typing noise is too loud you could always swap them out for silent linear switches that would sound not more noisy than the normal laptop membrane keys. And at this price, it really is worth a try so that your hands are not strained when you are working for long periods of time at the computer.


Have you tried the an Alice layout keyboard before? If the answer is yes, let me know in the comments below how your experience was! 



Monday, May 6, 2024

Beginners Guide to Artisan Keycaps: Everything You Need to Know

May 06, 2024 0 Comments


You just got your very first mechanical keyboard and discovered a whole new whole of  keycap sets and artisan keycaps. There are just so many options that you do not know where to start and what to do to get those adorable or fancy keycaps you see people posting about. 


If you're seeking guidance on purchasing keycaps without the hassle of scouring Reddit, forums, and endless Google searches (or Discord groups), then this comprehensive guide is just what you need!


Styles of Keycaps

  • Keycap sets: Perfect if you want to change out your old keycaps or simply want to give your mechanical keyboard a new look without having to buy a new one. Any design you can think of as long as it is not the "normal" looking keycaps and comes in enough pieces to fit your keyboard. 
  • Accent Pieces: Usually used on a lesser used key like "Escape" or simply a center piece(s) for your keyboard.
    • Custom: Anything you can imagine is probably able to be turned into a keycap based on your imagination and vision, along with the skills of the artist.
    • Resin/Polymer Clay/Blanks/Novelty - Based on the artists interpretation and inspiration they create their keycaps and you buy them if you like them from their store or google forms (via raffle sales) etc...

Price

If you are looking for value then getting keycap sets for more keys might be more worthwhile instead of an individual keycap which can cost about the same. 

In general, retail prices can range from S$10-90+ for a single keycap (depending on its detail, the price set by the artist and what you really think it's worth).


Where to Buy

For those of you who are in Singapore (or South East Asia) and are on a budget but still want an accent piece (or two), then Shopee is a good place to look for keycap sets and artisan keycaps which can typically range from S$10-60+. 

If you are wondering what is Shopee, it’s basically a shopping platform like Amazon but with pricing closer to Temu. They have an app for Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines and Indonesia, mostly for the South East Asian countries. Besides the (probably) more affordable (cheaper) pricing, shipping is either free or less than SGD$2 (for majority of the sellers). The only downside is that you need a local number and address for each of the country app. 

 If you have not signed up for Shopee and want to get S$5 off your first order, sign up 🠊here🠈😊




For everything else, the keycaps can range from S$35-100+ for just one little keycap, and that does not include shipping yet:

  1. Raffle Sales: Usually, the artists will promote and open raffles sales on their limited designs on Discord, Reddit and/or Instagram. Interested buyers try their hand and sign up  for a chance to win the opportunity to buy those keycaps. Google forms are the usually methods for signing up and PayPal a very common payment method. No one knows how many actually sign up and only the artists knows how many pieces they really have for sale. If you get an invoice, you've "won" else try again the next time. These might be pre-orders or fulfilment orders where they just sell the limited amount they have made/will make.
    • ✅Pro: 
      • Most of the time the designs are limited and one of a kind. So perfect if you are looking for that perfect keycap.
      • Payment via PayPal is always good for buyers (buyer's protection).
    • ❌Con: 
      • For Raffle Sales, you cannot buy it even if you want to, you have to be "lucky" to win a chance to purchase the marketed one of a kind creations.
      • Depends on what the artist is selling so designs may be limited or no longer available once its run its course.
      • Usually in USD$ and can be pricey (that’s not even including the shipping yet). 
      • Tax is not included (explicitly), so there might be a chance for it to get stuck at customs.
      • The use of Google Forms and collecting your address might be a privacy concern for some.
      • As they are mostly made upon order, it might take a month or so for you to receive your keycap.


  2. Online Shops: Some artists choose to create their own online shop using Shopify, Wordpress or similar to sell their creations. Paypal should always be the preferred choice of payment as that would offer buyers a little more protection and getting their money back (just in case since they do have Buyer's Protection).   
    • ✅Pro: 
      • Sellers can provide better discounts or cheaper shipping due to (probably) lesser platform fees.
      • Some designs are only available on the online shops. 
      • Mostly ready stock, you might not have to wait so long to receive the keycaps as they are usually already made and ready for a new home.
      • Other than the above, there is no other benefit for buyers per se. But more so the freedom and flexibility for the sellers as they are not restricted by platform rules and fees etc...
    • ❌Con: 
      • Depending on the artist / sellers IT savviness, your data might be compromised if security fixes are not taken care of and breaches occur.
      • Not all online shops convert the currency for you. So make sure you check the final price and currency before check out to make sure you know the amount you are paying for.
      • Usually in USD$ and can be pricey (not even including the shipping yet). 
      • Tax may or may not be included, already so there might be a chance for it to get stuck at customs if it’s not included. 
      • Anyone can create their online shop and fulfilment of those orders can be a tad sketchy at times given the trend nowadays with online scams and security breaches. They can close shop and disappear with little to no avenue for any recourse if things go wrong.


  3. Amazon: You'd be surprised that Amazon also has keycaps for sale, but I rather go to Shopee instead as they are more reasonable in pricing and have greater variety. 
      • ✅Pro: 
        • Assurance and ease for refunds if things go wrong (most of the time). At least they have a contact us / support section should the seller go missing in action or the delivery did not reach you.
        • As a platform, it has a reputation to uphold and should have a higher sense to stay updated for security breaches.
        • Free shipping (for most sellers).
        • Tax is already included, so it definitely saves the hassle of calculation and payment.
      • ❌Con: 
        • Limited variety.
        • Expensive (overpriced most of the time on Amazon)
        • There’s always a chance if things going wrong when you buy things online. 


    1. Shopee:  For those of us in South East Asia (and Singapore), Shopee should not be unfamiliar to us. They do have a wide range of keycaps at affordable prices.  
        • ✅Pro: 
          • Assurance and ease for refunds if things go wrong (most of the time). At least they have a contact us / support section should the seller go missing in action or the delivery did not reach you.
          • You can search and look at different designs from various sellers all from one place without have to leave.
          • As a platform, it has a reputation to uphold and should have a higher sense to stay updated for security breaches. If anything goes wrong, they should be responsible. 
          • Free shipping (for most sellers).
          • Tax is already included, so it definitely saves the hassle of calculation and payment.
        • ❌Con: 
          • Long delivery times (sometimes 6 to 12 or more working days)
          • Taking a risk on sellers or listings which do not have any reviews. 
          • There’s always a chance if things going wrong when you buy things online. 


      1. Etsy: Some artists open their store on Etsy, a site which is essentially a platform for sellers to sell their handcrafted items (for a Singapore context, it's like Shopee and Carousell combined).
        • ✅Pro: 
          • Tax is already included, so it definitely saves the hassle of calculation and payment can also be via PayPal. 
          • The cool thing is there are occasional discounts which make it more friendly on the pocket. Discounts can be very worth it sometimes.
          • Unique keycap designs that you cannot find elsewhere, all in one place. 
          • Makes it easier to search across sellers all in one platform. Not having to look and search for individual seller's shop one by one.
          • Assurance and ease for refunds if things go wrong (most of the time). At least they have a contact us / support section should the seller go missing in action.
          • As a platform, it has a reputation to uphold and should have a higher sense to stay updated for security breaches.  If anything goes wrong, they should be responsible. 
        • ❌Con: 
          • Some sellers have really ridiculous international shipping fees probably due to the additional fees the platform imposes(?).
          • Some listings are really overpriced markups from Aliexpress or Taobao. So check with caution before you check out.
          • Lack of consistency -  Each store has different shipping pricing and policies. 

      Artists

      Enjoying art and fun shouldn't come with a hefty price tag; it can be both high-quality and affordable (as much as possible)!

      That said, I will be featuring keycap artists whom I have come across and bought from them as I love their designs. Their pricing and shipping options are also reasonable and worth it (to me), so here I am sharing them with you so you can support them too if you are looking for intricate, unique and reasonably priced artisan keycaps and shipping. 




      Remember to compare prices and shipping costs across different artisans and platforms to find the best fit for your budget!



      Tuesday, April 30, 2024

      MACHENIKE K500W vs RK71 Mechanical Keyboards

      April 30, 2024 0 Comments

      Mechanical keyboards have become an essential tool for gamers and typists who demand precision and comfort. In this review, we'll be pitting two compact contenders against each other: the MACHENIKE K500W and the Royal Kludge RK71. Both promise a compact form factor without compromising on performance, but let's delve deeper into their features to see which one emerges as the ultimate compact mechanical keyboard.


      Design and Build Quality:

      The MACHENIKE K500W and RK71 share a compact, tenkeyless design, making them suitable for users who value desk space. The K500 boasts a sleek aluminum top plate that not only adds durability but also gives it a premium look. On the other hand, the RK71 features a more minimalistic design with a plastic case but still maintains a solid build.


      Both keyboards come equipped with a variety of switch options. For this review, we had the red switches for both keyboards; providing a smooth and pleasant linear experience. The MACHENIKE K500W offers customizable Cherry MX switches, allowing users to tailor their typing experience. The RK71, on the other hand typically features Gateron or similar switches, providing a similar experience and actuation force.


      Performance:

      Typing performance is a critical aspect, and both keyboards deliver a satisfying experience. The choice of switches, whether Cherry MX on the K500W or Gateron on the RK71, ensures reliable and responsive keystrokes.


      Both keyboards support N-Key rollover and anti-ghosting, crucial features for gamers who need every keystroke to register accurately. The compact layout might take some getting used to for users accustomed to full-sized keyboards, but it ultimately comes down to personal preference. Of course if you prefer more keys, then the K500W has more keys then the RK71.


      Functionality and Features:

      The MACHENIKE K500W and RK71 each bring their unique set of features to the table. The K500 includes dedicated media controls, programmable macro keys, and customizable RGB backlighting. The RK71, while lacking dedicated media controls, compensates with Bluetooth connectivity, making it a viable option for users who want a compact wireless setup.


      Customization options are abundant on both keyboards. The K500W's RGB lighting can be fine-tuned using dedicated software, allowing users to create visually stunning setups. The RK71, meanwhile, offers Bluetooth functionality, providing users with the freedom to connect to multiple devices seamlessly.


      Choosing between the MACHENIKE K500W and RK71 ultimately boils down to individual preferences and priorities. The K500W  impresses with its premium build, customizable Cherry MX switches, and feature-rich design. Meanwhile, the RK71 offers a more minimalistic approach with Bluetooth connectivity as a standout feature. When you have turned off the RGB settings on both keyboards, there is a light indicator to tell you the K500W being turned on, whereas the RK71 does not light up when you turn it on. Of course, if you did not turn off the RGB setting then this might not be something which would be a factor to consider which to get.


      If you prioritize a robust build and extensive customization options, the MACHENIKE K500W might be the ideal choice. On the other hand, if a more compact design are your priorities, the RK71 holds its ground admirably. Both models are Bluetooth and wirelessly compatible too. Regardless of your choice, both keyboards prove that compact form factors can indeed pack a punch in the world of mechanical keyboards.


      Choosing the right keyboard depends on your specific needs, preferences, and use cases. Both the MACHENIKE K500-B94 and the Royal Kludge RK71 have their strengths, so let's consider a few factors that might help you make a decision:


      MACHENIKE K500W 

      Strengths:

      • Build Quality: The aluminum top plate adds durability and a premium feel.
      • Customization: Cherry MX switches allow for a personalized typing experience.
      • Feature-Rich: Dedicated media controls, programmable macro keys, and customizable RGB lighting.

      Considerations:

      • Size: It is a tenkeyless design, so if you need a numeric keypad, this might be a drawback.
      • Wired: While some users prefer a detachable cable, others may find a fixed cable more convenient.


      Royal Kludge RK71

      Strengths:

      • Compact and Portable: Ideal for users who prioritize portability and desk space.
      • Wireless Capability: Bluetooth 3.0 connectivity allows for seamless switching between devices.
      • Versatility: Various switch options (Gateron, Kailh) cater to different typing preferences.


      Considerations:

      • Build Material: The plastic case might not feel as premium as metal alternatives.
      • Feature Set: It lacks some features like dedicated media controls found in the MACHENIKE K500W . But for everting else there are shortcuts. πŸ˜†


      [Royal Kludge RK71 Mechanical Keyboard Review: Compact Elegance with Versatile Performance]


      Decision Factors:

      Usage Scenario: Consider if you need a compact and portable solution for on-the-go use (RK71) or if you prefer a feature-rich keyboard for gaming and productivity (K500W).


      Budget: Compare the prices of both keyboards and see which one aligns with your budget while meeting your requirements.


      Ultimately, both keyboards are solid choices, so the decision comes down to your budget, personal preferences and how well each keyboard meets your specific needs.


      Which would be your choice? Let me know in the comments below! 

      Thursday, April 25, 2024

      Keycap Series: April Artist Featuring wildapplestudio

      April 25, 2024 0 Comments

      For the month of April, the artist of the month is Apple, who is based in Hong Kong. It's not too far away from Singapore, so shipping is relatively reasonable being under S$10. Her keycap creations range from an average of S$15 to S$80+, which when compared to the other options out there it was one of the pull factors for me (beside the beautiful design of course). πŸ˜† 


      [Keycap Series: Featuring Artists of the Month

      [Beginner's Guide to Artisan Keycaps: Everything You Need to Know]


      In addition to sculpting intricately cute keycaps, Apple also does charms and accessories. I first came across her works on Instagram and went to check it out. Miffy and a Totoro inspired keycap got my attention and I just had to get them as a birthday present for myself.


      They are my very first artisan clay keycaps and delivery was faster than expected. They even came with a cute card and 2 adorable stickers. Packaging was solid: the keycaps came in good condition and were protected with sufficient padding. They even had their little case for further protection to make their way from Hong Kong to Singapore.   



      Ever since the GST (goods service tax) increased to 9% this year in Singapore, and that all goods will be charged GST... it just gets too complicated for me. It used to be for only items over the value of S$400 having to get charged GST, but now with the new rule, even items below that amount will be charged (supposedly). I don't want to have to pay extra just to get my items from Customs or go through the trouble of having to do so. Hence, platforms which already include GST, such as Amazon, Shopee, LazadaQoo10 and now Etsy are a blessing in that aspect as a buyer. 


      The platform I chose to get them this time was on Etsy. It was relatively easy to log in, there are a couple of options to choose from signing up brand new or using an existing Google, Apple or Facebook Account. Apple has her own online website shop as well, but I choose to get them via Etsy simply because the tax was already accounted for (on the platform).

      The ordering experience was pretty straight forward and simple enough: pick what you like, add to cart and check out. Payment was via Paypal. 


      Apple was really responsive and updated once the keycaps were shipped out. It was a fantastic experience. πŸ‘


      Update: I succumbed to her recent April shopdrop. πŸ™ˆ The sleepy Eevee was too adorable, that my hand had a life of it's own and I bought it! 


      This time I tried purchasing it from her online shop instead of Etsy (since it was only available there at the time). It was easy (too easy πŸ’ΈπŸ’ΈπŸ’Έ) to purchase: no log-in was required, just add what you want to cart and check out. The only downside is that there was no estimated period mentioned on when the item would be sent out in the confirmation email. It would be nice to have that mentioned in the confirmation email. But a quick check on the FAQ section mentions that orders usually are shipped out within 7-10 working days, then about 11-14 business days for international shipping.


      In the checkout page, input the address and contact number, then choose the mode of payment - Paypal, Credit card or Apple Pay etc.. I chose PayPal and before I could blink, it was checked out. πŸ™ˆ It took about 4 working days for the order to be processed with an email to inform that it is on its way! 😍


      Once I get the little cutie, I would be writing about the experience from purchasing from the online shop vs Etsy. So do stay tuned for that! 


      Artist Info

      • Style: πŸ§š Whimsical / Nature-Inspired / Gaming / Anime / Food 🍲
      • Pricing (per keycap): an average of S$15 to S$80+ (US$11 to US$60+)
      • Shipping to Singapore: less than $10 (US$8)
      • Shipping Internationally: depends on your location but should be reasonable
      • Wait Time: Orders usually are shipped out within 7-10 working days, then about 11-14 business days for international shipping. My order via Etsy took  a total of 12 days (9 working days) to get processed and reach Singapore (it actually just took 6 working days to arrive from Hong Kong) which is quite good. 
      • Material: Polymer clay and protected with UV resin
      • Location: Hong Kong 


      πŸ’— Loves

      πŸ’— Intricate details and amazing skills in fitting detail into a keycap.
      πŸ’— The evenness and smoothness (clean lines) of the end product.
      πŸ’— Does not look mass manufactured and has personality.
      πŸ’— Good quality.
      πŸ’— Amicable, responsive artist (to address and concerns or questions). 
      πŸ’— Reasonable shipping price and overall pricing.

      Remember to compare prices and shipping costs across different artisans and platforms to find the best fit for your budget!


      Social Media / Shop:

      Have you gotten any keycaps from wildapplestudio? If the answer is yes, let me  know in the comments below what you loved and what did you get! 


      [Keycap Series: Featuring Artists of the Month

      [Beginner's Guide to Artisan Keycaps: Everything You Need to Know]


      Monday, April 15, 2024

      Unleashing the Power of Precision Typing: MACHENIKE K500W Mechanical Keyboard Review

      April 15, 2024 0 Comments

      In the ever-evolving world of gaming peripherals, finding the perfect mechanical keyboard can be a daunting task. The MACHENIKE K500W enters the scene with promises of precision typing, customizable RGB lighting, and a robust build. 


      In this review, we'll dive a little more into the features and performance of this mechanical marvel to see if it lives up to the hype. I got this on sales from Shopee so this will only be based on my experience. You can check out Shopee and check out more reviews before your make your decision to get your very own!


      If you are wondering what is Shopee , it’s basically a shopping platform like Amazon but with pricing closer to Temu. They have an app for Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines and Indonesia, mostly for the South East Asian countries. Besides the (probably) more affordable (cheaper) pricing, shipping is either free or less than SGD$2 (for majority of the sellers). The only downside is that you need a local number and address for each of the Shopee country app. 

       If you have not signed up for Shopee and want to get S$5 off your first order, sign up 🠊here🠈😊


      Design and Build Quality:

      The MACHENIKE K500W immediately catches the eye with its sleek and modern design. The brushed aluminum top plate not only adds a premium touch but also ensures durability. The compact tenkeyless design is a gamer's dream, saving valuable desk space without sacrificing functionality.

      The quality of the keycaps and switches are comparable with the ones which came with the RK71

      The keycaps are made of double-shot ABS plastic, providing a satisfying tactile feel and ensuring longevity. The key switches themselves are customizable, we got the one with the Red Switches. Typing on the K500W is a delight, with the perfect balance of actuation force and smooth linear feeling.


      [Royal Kludge RK71 Mechanical Keyboard Review: Compact Elegance with Versatile Performance]


      In the end, I switched out the keycaps for pudding keycaps to highlight the RGB lighting effects. Of course, they were also on sale and under SGD$25



      Performance:

      The MACHENIKE K500W  does not disappoint with it’s responsiveness and smooth experience on the Red switches: whether you're engaged in an intense gaming session, or typing up a lengthy document, the Red switches deliver a smooth responsive and satisfying linear experience.


      Want a little light effect in your experience? Then look no further at the customizable RGB backlighting which adds a touch of personalization, along with a plethora of colors and effects to choose from. The lighting can be easily adjusted through the dedicated software, allowing you to create your own unique gaming setup. But we are happy with the default options and settings.


      Functionality and Features:

      The K500W doesn't just stop at performance; it offers a range of features to enhance the overall user experience. There are dedicated media controls, programmable macro keys, and a Windows lock, all of which are thoughtful additions that make this keyboard versatile for both gaming and productivity.


      In conclusion, the MACHENIKE K500W  Mechanical Keyboard is a good option for gamers and typists alike who are looking for something affordable and user friendly. Its sleek design, reliable  switches, customizable RGB lighting, and hot swappability (for both switches and keycaps) make it a standout choice in the crowded mechanical keyboard market. With a perfect balance of performance, features, and build quality, the K500W is a worthy investment for those seeking a reasonably affordable and good mechanical keyboard experience.

      Sunday, April 7, 2024

      Keycap Series: A Shopee Guide to Affordable and Good Quality Artisan Keycaps

      April 07, 2024 0 Comments

      This guide will be about sellers on Shopee selling reasonably priced and quality keycaps for Singapore buyers. The best part about Shopee is that there are vouchers which could be used to discount the final price and the best part is delivery is free (just ensure you remember to download the vouchers). 


      If you are wondering what is Shopee, it’s basically a shopping platform like Amazon but with pricing closer to Temu. They have an app for Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines and Indonesia, mostly for the South East Asian countries. Besides the (probably) more affordable (cheaper) pricing, shipping is either free or less than SGD$2 (for majority of the sellers). The only downside is that you need a local number and address for each of the Shopee country app. 

       If you have not signed up for Shopee and want to get S$5 off your first order, sign up 🠊here🠈😊 Alternatively, if you already have an account but have not bought anything yet, you can still get S$5 off your first order with this code 7L6EM9H
      Do note that if you are viewing it on mobile it will check if you have the app first, if you do it opens in the app, just click ok and you would get to the listing page. Happy Shopping!


      Styles of Keycaps

      • Keycap sets: Perfect if you want to change out your old keycaps or simply want to give your mechanical keyboard a new look without having to buy a new one. Any design you can think of as long as it is not the "normal" looking keycaps and comes in enough pieces to fit your keyboard. 
      • Accent Pieces: Usually used on a lesser used key like "Escape" or simply a center piece(s) for your keyboard.
        • Custom: Anything you can imagine is probably able to be turned into a keycap based on your imagination and vision, along with the skills of the artist.
        • Resin/Blanks/Novelty - Based on the artists interpretation and inspiration they create their keycaps and you buy them if you like them from their store or google forms (via raffle sales).


      These sellers from Shopee below are ones which I have bought from before and find their designs matching my aesthetics. Their pricing is also wallet friendly ranging from S$5-$30+ per keycap. Hence sharing them with you because sharing is caring. So read on with caution (for your wallet). πŸ˜›


      If you do find any other artisan keycap sellers with affordable prices on Shopee, let me know in the comments below!

      Seller: wowking|Life Technology Digital

      Looking for adorable and good quality keycap sets for a reasonable price?  Spy x Family, Sanrio Theme or even the cute bear / cat ears keycap sets etc.. The list goes on... 

      Spy x Family Design the purple number keys were a mix and match with the Kuromi set

      I found this seller on Shopee and tried their keycaps. I got the Spy x Family, Pokemon and Kuromi designs and the quality is not too bad for the price.  The delivery experience was not too bad, taking about 8 days to reach me. The keycap sets survived the delivery process and came in bags.

      Seller: Rabbit Keycap Shop

      Cute, affordable and the best part is that it is customizable: you can choose the color of the keycaps! 

      The seller is also pretty responsive to the chat and there are many options to choose from. I've bought from this seller a few times and delivery times are within 6-9 days, which can be considered pretty fast. It is also well packaged and the keycaps came in good condition each and every time. 

      Seller: happykeycap89.sg

      Looking for something more unique and familiar? I stumbled across this seller on Shopee because of the adorable Winnie the Pooh designs! The heart also got my attention.

      Here you can also choose your own keycap color and the type of keycap used is different too, it's XDA which give it a different feeling and profile.

      Delivery time is slightly longer than the other sellers, taking about 8-12 days but each key is bubble wrapped and in a cute bag too.  Their designs are unique and adorable. Workmanship is also good.



      Friday, April 5, 2024

      Crafted Keys: Unveiling the Magic of Artisan Keycaps for Your Mechanical Wonderland

      April 05, 2024 0 Comments

      Artisan keycaps are fascinating in many ways: they represent a fusion of artistry and functionality, adding a unique and personalized touch to mechanical keyboards. The creativity and craftsmanship involved in making artisan keycaps are impressive, with artisans often pouring their passion and skill into creating intricate designs that appeal to a wide range of enthusiasts.


      One of the most appealing aspects of artisan keycaps is their ability to allow keyboard enthusiasts to express their individuality and personality. With an ever-expanding array of designs, colors, and themes, there's something for everyone, whether you're into gaming, pop culture, nature, or abstract art


      Moreover, artisan keycaps contribute to a vibrant and supportive community of keyboard enthusiasts. This community-driven aspect fosters collaboration, creativity, and a sense of camaraderie among artisans and enthusiasts alike,


      However, it's worth noting that artisan keycaps can sometimes be pricey due to their limited availability and handmade nature. Additionally, acquiring certain designs may require patience and persistence, as they often sell out quickly or are traded within enthusiast communities


      Overall, artisan keycaps are a testament to the creativity and passion of both their creators and the enthusiasts who appreciate them. They add a touch of artistry and personality to mechanical keyboards, transforming them from mere tools into objects of admiration and self-expression.


      Let's delve a little more into the enchanting realm of artisan keycaps, where each key tells a story and adds a touch of whimsy to your mechanical keyboard adventure. 


      There are various ways which artisan keycaps are being sold:

      • Promoting via Instagram and having Raffle Sales via Google Forms when a new design is out.
      • Artisan's own website, usually a Shopify, Wordpress or a similar platform
      • Amazon
      • Etsy
      • Shopee  (Both the app and website are relatively easy to navigate and use)
      • Lazada (Use the app and not the website as the website is hard to navigate and use)

      I will be consolidating a list of good quality, unique and reasonably priced artisans which I have tried, and making a more detailed guide for newbies to the world or artisan keycaps.


       So do check out the links below:



      Tuesday, April 2, 2024

      Royal Kludge RK71 Short Keys Guide

      April 02, 2024 0 Comments

      Did you know that there are so many short keys which are not in the manual which comes with the RK71? 


      Check the short keys before to take full advantage of your RK71!

      • FN + Pause = Print Screen
      • FN + Enter = Displays the level of battery 
      • FN + Shift + Esc = ~
      • FN +Del = scroll lock
      • FN + A / FN = S = Switch to Windows-/Mac-mode  


      The known short keys:

      • FN + F1 = My Computer
      • FN + F2 = Opens Windows Explorer

      I managed to get  keyboard from Lazada at a fairly good price during the Black Friday Sales, and so far I am happy with my Royal Kludge RK71 with red switches. The typing is smooth like butter and the fingers are less tired since they are using less strength to hit to keys. The only downside might be that they are too sensitive but after some getting used to it it's really good to use. 


      You can check out my review below:



      What other shortcuts do you know as well? Share it with us in the comments below! 

      Tuesday, December 26, 2023

      Royal Kludge RK71 Mechanical Keyboard Review: Compact Elegance with Versatile Performance

      December 26, 2023 0 Comments

      The Royal Kludge RK71 is a compact powerhouse, offering a tenkeyless design without compromising on features. It comes with71 keys, along with multi-device Bluetooth connectivity and Wired mode, and RGB lighting options. 


      With a focus on portability and versatility, the RK71 promises an elegant solution for users who demand performance on the go. In this review, we'll explore the design, performance, and unique features that set the RK71 apart.



      Design and Build Quality:

      The Royal Kludge RK71 boasts a sleek and compact design, combining a tenkeyless layout with a slim profile. The keyboard's frame is constructed from durable ABS plastic, ensuring a lightweight build without compromising on overall sturdiness. For a keyboard made of plastic, it does have a nice weight to it of around 642g and it feels really solid.


      The low-profile keycaps enhance the aesthetic appeal while contributing to the RK71's compact form factor.

      The RK71 typically comes equipped with a variety of switch options, including popular choices like Gateron or Kailh switches. This allows users to tailor the keyboard to their preferred typing experience, whether they favor tactile, clicky, or linear switches. The RGB backlighting adds a touch of flair to the design, and users can customize the lighting effects to suit your preferences.



      Performance:

      Typing on the RK71 is a satisfying experience. The keyboard provides a good balance of feedback and actuation force, making it suitable for both typing enthusiasts and gamers. The compact layout might require a brief adjustment period for those used to larger keyboards, but it quickly becomes intuitive.


      The wireless capability of the RK71 is a game-changer for those who value flexibility. With Bluetooth 3.0 connectivity, this keyboard allows seamless switching between multiple devices. Want to use your keyboard with your laptop, mobile and tablet? Done. The wireless performance is reliable, ensuring a lag-free experience during both casual typing and intense gaming sessions.



      Functionality and Features:

      The RK71 is not short on features despite its compact size. The keyboard supports N-Key rollover and anti-ghosting, which is essential for gamers and fast typists who require precise and accurate input registration. While dedicated media controls are absent, the compact layout allows for a clean and uncluttered design.


      The keyboard also includes a USB-C port for wired connectivity, offering users the flexibility to choose between wireless and wired setups.


      If you want to customize the RGB options, that is possible via the software which you have to download.



      Overall, the Royal Kludge RK71 Mechanical Keyboard excels in delivering a compact, elegant solution without compromising on performance. Its thoughtful design, customizable switch options, wireless capabilities, and RGB backlighting make it a versatile choice for those who value both style and substance. Whether you're a gamer on the move or a professional seeking a sleek, portable typing solution, the RK71 proves itself as a worthy contender in the competitive world of mechanical keyboards.



      Should you buy?

      I managed to get this keyboard from  Lazada at a fairly good price during the Black Friday Sales, and so far I am happy with my Royal Kludge RK71 with red switches. The typing is smooth like butter and the fingers are less tired since they are using less strength to hit to keys. The only downside might be that they are too sensitive but after some getting used to it it's really good to use. 


      I also managed to replace the keycaps with some really adorable Spy x Family (PokΓ©mon and Kuromi) designs from Shopee since it was the sales period so I gave myself a Christmas present.  The process to remove the keycaps were effortless and not much strength was used - it was a therapeutic process. 


      There are vouchers and sales at Shopee and it is one of my favorite platforms to buy things from. So if you are interested in getting one for yourself or even check out some really adorable keycaps, check out below!


      Who says having lesser keys means lesser joy?

      Check out my guide on the cool key shortcuts below!