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Posted by _ - - 10 comments

Review: Noppoo Lolita (Prototype Mechanical Keyboard)

*** Disclosure: I received this prototype keyboard from Noppoo for free, but this in no way affects my review of the product.  My opinion does not sway at all regardless if I bought the item with my own money or it was provided to me at no cost. ***
*** NOTE: This keyboard is a prototype build and has not yet been put on market. It can't be purchased currently, and what I'm showing you is NOT an accurate representation of the final product. ***

I just returned back to the U.S. from a business trip to China.  While in China, I decided to meet with the president of Noppoo to discuss purchasing some of their amazing Choc Mini mechanical keyboards. But when I met him, he had a surprise for me.  He handed me a white box that said "Lolita" on it, told me that Noppoo had been working on it for 1.5 years, and that he wanted my opinion on it. So here we go...

Box Included: Lolita keyboard (with Brown switches), a key remover, a bag of alternate panels that fit on the keyboard, a bag of alternate partially-transparent keys (W, A, S, D, Esc, etc), and a Mini USB to USB cable.

First of all I want to note that this keyboard does not use Cherry MX switches. Noppoo has spent 1.5 years developing their own switches that Lolita will be the first to use. The specific keyboard I was given has their Brown switch in it -- Perfect, that's my favorite mechanical switch!

Noppoo's Brown switch inside Lolita

I've used Cherry MX Brown switches for thousands of hours, and I've now used the Noppoo Brown switches inside Lolita for a few hours, so I will make the best comparison I can.  I have requested specifications on this switch from Noppoo and if/when I receive them, I will update this post with that information. But for now, we're going to have to base everything on "feel".  First, the switch is tactile and not clicky.  So far so good. The resistance (the amount of pressure needed to actuate the switch) feels nearly identical to it's Cherry counterpart. Overall, the switch is good.  But, I do have one gripe with it. The switch doesn't feel tactile enough.  When you press down on a Cherry MX Brown switch, you feel the 'bump'.  On the Noppoo switch, the bump is there, but isn't felt quite as much. Overall I think this switch is something to keep an eye on and is a real competitor. The big question is what the price will be when it goes to market...

It's a nice looking keyboard...

Lolita also features some nice media keys via 'Fn' + F keys (pictured below). Some of these functions include opening My Computer, Internet Explorer, Calculator, Music track changing and volume adjustments, as well as toggling the Windows key on/off.  Whether these keys are configurable in their function, I have not yet found a way to do so.

 Extra function keys on the F keys

This panel is removable and replacement panels for it are even included in the packaging.  But I'm not sure why...
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