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Cloud Nine C959 ErgoTKL split mechanical keyboard review – R

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Cloud Nine ErgoTKL Ergonomic Split Keyboard

REVIEW – Many of us spend a number of time at a keyboard, typing stories, writing evaluations, emails, or different content material, gaming, and different artistic work. We don’t at all times take into consideration what that’s doing to our necks, backs, shoulders, and different areas of our physique if we don’t have the best posture and if our palms are cramped subsequent to one another. Cloud Nine has taken on this problem with their C959 ErgoTKL ergonomic cut up keyboard. What makes it totally different from different ergonomic keyboards and why would you need to buy it? Read on to seek out out if this is perhaps the best resolution on your workspace.

What is it?

The Cloud Nine C959 ErgoTKL is an ergonomic cut up mechanical keyboard with 89 keys and a big, centrally positioned knob, which Cloud Nine refers to as a Smart Wheel, helpful for controlling system quantity and extra. 

What’s within the field?

  • Cloud Nine C959 ErgoTKL cut up mechanical keyboard
  • Esc Keycap (Black)
  • 4x M-Keycaps
  • Braided Linking Cable
  • Braided PC Cable
  • Keycap Puller
  • User Manual
  • Hotkey Card
Cloud Nine ErgoTKL package contents
Cloud Nine ErgoTKL bundle contents

Hardware specs

  • Dimensions: 16.1 x 9.9 x 2.0 inches (40.9 x 25.1 x 5.3 cm)
  • Weight: 4.0 lbs (1.85 kg)
  • Connectivity: USB-A
  • Compatibility: Windows® 8, Windows 10 or later (additionally Mac appropriate)
  • Keys: 91
  • Max Separation Width: 8.0 inches (20.3 cm)
  • Switch Type: CHERRY® MX RGB
  • Key Stroke: 4mm
  • Voltage: DC 5V / 500mA Max
  • Software Support: Cloud Nine keyboard software for Windows 7 and above
  • 2-Year Limited Hardware Warranty
  • 45 Day Risk-Free Trial
Cloud Nine ErgoTKL split apart
Cloud Nine C959 ErgoTKL cut up mechanical keyboard cut up aside

Design and options

The Cloud Nine C959 ErgoTKL is a black mechanical keyboard with 89 Cherry MX RGB keys and a cut up down the center, made up of two separate elements which are related to one another by a brief cable. Unlike many different ten keyless keyboards the ErgoTKL has two columns of additional operate buttons, one on both aspect of the keyboard, in addition to a lock button, and a backlight management button, along with the Print Screen, Pause/Break, and Home keys discovered on many Windows keyboards.

Connected to the left half of the keyboard is a big aluminum backlit knob which by default controls the system quantity. It additionally acts as a button for muting system quantity. By urgent the knob’s button together with the Fn key you’ll be able to change it to different modes, together with a mode to alter the brightness of the backlit keys, scrolling by way of internet pages or different apps, and switching between open functions in your laptop. You may also assign different capabilities to the knob that may make sense to have a rotary management somewhat than utilizing buttons or mouse clicks.

Cloud Nine ErgoTKL rear view
Cloud Nine ErgoTKL rear view

The keyboard has a USB-C enter and comes with a braided USB-A to USB-C cable for connection to your laptop. There is not any USB-A to USB-C adapter within the field so if you wish to join it to a USB-C port in your laptop you’ll want to supply your individual or join by way of a dock or hub. There is an additional USB-A port on the again of the left aspect of the keyboard, helpful for connecting a wi-fi mouse receiver, a wired mouse, a cellphone, a USB drive you need to hold related, or different USB related units. Because of the placement of this port, it’s not simply accessible; I’d suggest solely utilizing it for belongings you need completely related. On the again of every of the edges of the keyboard is one other USB-C connector, used with the included linking cable to attach the 2 halves of the Cloud Nine C959 ErgoTKL cut up mechanical keyboard to one another.

There are giant, detachable palm rests on the entrance of every keyboard which helps to maintain your palms elevated to a correct top whereas typing and supply mushy padding for additional help with much less fatigue. The keyboard has two flip out ft on the entrance of every aspect of the keyboard, permitting 4º or 7º of tilt away out of your physique to assist hold your wrists at their pure angle relying in your setup and choice.

Cloud Nine ErgoTKL tilt options
Cloud Nine ErgoTKL tilt choices

Every key on the Cloud Nine C959 ErgoTKL cut up mechanical keyboard (apart from the lock key and RGB mode key) is absolutely RGB backlit. They’re all Cherry MX RGB keys in both Red, Brown, or Blue fashion. My evaluation unit got here with the Brown keys, which Cloud Nine says is their clients’ hottest alternative.

Installation and setup

The setup consists of taking the varied elements and cables out of the field and connecting them collectively. The included USB cable is lengthy sufficient that it may attain all the way down to a pc on the ground if essential however it additionally comes with a brief Velcro strap to assist with cable administration should you don’t want the entire size. The USB-C finish of the cable plugs right into a connector on the again of the left aspect of the keyboard. There is a second cable and two further USB-C connectors, one on either side, which are used to attach the 2 halves of the keyboard collectively for energy and information. This additional cable is a considerably proprietary use of USB-C connectors and the cable must be inserted in the best route for it to work. Cloud Nine says this cable can’t get replaced with a normal USB-C cable, which is unlucky. I’m unsure why this limitation is in place however it might probably and might be complicated for some in the event that they lose the connecting cable or don’t keep in mind sooner or later to solely use the offered cable.

Once the 2 elements are related to one another and to the pc, the Cloud Nine C959 ErgoTKL cut up mechanical keyboard is able to use. Out of the field, it capabilities as some other keyboard would, with a normal Windows keyboard structure. If all you need is a pleasant ergonomic, cut up, backlit keyboard with Cherry keys, you’re good to go. If you need to customise the capabilities of any of the keys on the keyboard, nonetheless, Cloud Nine gives a Windows software that permits you to customise nearly any key on the keyboard, both changing the capabilities of a key with a unique key or by assigning macros. 

Cloud Nine ErgoTKL profile selection
Cloud Nine ErgoTKL profile choice
Cloud Nine ErgoTKL macro setup
Cloud Nine ErgoTKL macro setup
Cloud Nine ErgoTKL Smart Wheel configuration
Cloud Nine ErgoTKL Smart Wheel configuration

The two halves of the keyboard might be separated by as much as 8 inches or they can be utilized subsequent to one another, held collectively by magnets. This gives a extra conventional typing expertise, though it’s nonetheless a extra ergonomic structure than a normal keyboard. Cloud Nine sells a 21 inch linking cable if the included cable isn’t lengthy sufficient on your setup.

Linking cable - insert the right way and don't lose it!
Linking cable – insert the best approach and don’t lose it!

In Use

The Cloud Nine C959 ErgoTKL cut up mechanical keyboard is a pleasure to kind on. I don’t often use an ergonomic keyboard so this has been an adjustment for me however as soon as I bought used to the structure and really feel of the keys I really feel like I’m typing simply as quick as I do on my laptop computer or different commonplace keyboards. I can’t say I’ve spent sufficient time with it to know if it has helped with my posture or the pressure on my palms and wrists, however I can see how this could be a greater structure for individuals who spend most of their time at a keyboard.

The additional USB connector on the again of the left aspect of the keyboard is a comfort for one thing you’ll hold related on a regular basis. In my testing I stored the USB receiver for my Corsair wi-fi mouse plugged in there. If you at all times hold a cellphone charger in your desk this could even be a handy place to maintain that cable. Although I’m certain it’s not going to provide the quickest charging and information speeds it’s a handy place to maintain a charging cable plugged in. 

Cloud Nine ErgoTKL comes with clear instructions
Cloud Nine ErgoTKL comes with clear directions

If you take heed to a number of music, watch a number of movies, and even take part in a number of distant video calls, the centrally positioned knob and mute swap is a handy approach to have the ability to management the quantity of no matter you’re listening to. Having three different capabilities only a click on away makes it much more handy should you swap functions quite a bit or have to scroll by way of lengthy internet pages or paperwork. 

The customization choices for this keyboard are full-featured. From altering what the additional keys on both aspect do (together with the included macro key caps), to altering the colour of any or all the keys along with the 19 default backlight choices, to a second layer of capabilities for each key when used along side the Fn key, there are a number of methods to make this keyboard your individual. 

The sound a mechanical keyboard makes is a vital a part of the expertise. I’ll say the sound is generally pleasing to my ears. There is an attention-grabbing spring echo after each key press that some would possibly discover disorienting. My son commented that he didn’t prefer it however I’ve gotten used to it after just a bit little bit of time with the keyboard. Cloud Nine says the Brown switches have “a balanced tactile really feel and a medium audible click on” and I can agree on each. It’s not the loudest mechanical keyboard I’ve used however it’s satisfying to have that audible suggestions each time you press a key. The really feel can be very comfy to me. I don’t really feel like I’ve to press too exhausting for the switches to activate and my typing doesn’t appear to have been slowed down as soon as I’ve gotten used to the brand new structure. I do want to modify the Windows and Alt keys since I do most of my typing on a Mac, although. Thankfully that’s a straightforward course of with the included keycap puller and the preset Mac structure out there by way of the customization software program.

Cloud Nine ErgoTKL macro keycaps and keycap puller
Cloud Nine ErgoTKL macro keycaps and keycap puller

There are two negatives to the Cloud Nine C959 ErgoTKL cut up mechanical keyboard for my part, one among which might be modified with software program, the opposite could be tougher to alter with out a new design. The first detrimental is that the customization software program is Windows solely. It is full-featured and succesful, however providing a Mac model would open it as much as a bigger viewers, a lot of whom are creatives and wish the power to customise a keyboard like this past what Apple permits with its personal {hardware}. There was a firmware replace out there once I first ran the software program and it accomplished shortly the primary time with no points. Since I’ve Windows out there by way of each Parallels and Boot Camp I’m ready to make use of this with my MacE book Pro, though it’s an additional step to run Parallels and boot up Windows simply to customise the keyboard. Not each Mac person may have a Windows set up to make use of this with, nonetheless, so it will be good if Cloud Nine would make a Mac model of their software program.

The second detrimental is the proprietary use of a USB-C cable and connectors to hyperlink the 2 halves of the keyboard collectively. I don’t know that they need to have used some other connector however USB-C is thought for being virtually common in addition to reversible. With this use of these connectors the cable must be inserted accurately at each ends, which I did flawed on the primary strive. Even although I knew the emblem on the connectors needed to be going through up, once I plugged within the second connector I didn’t notice I needed to rotate it 180º to get it to go in proper so the best aspect of the keyboard didn’t work at first. I admit that it’s my fault for lacking that, however utilizing a USB-C connector in a approach that isn’t reversible is simply irritating. I’m unsure what else they may have performed to get round this limitation however I do take into account it to be a detrimental. I might assume they may have simply used common USB-C connections so it wouldn’t matter which approach you plugged all of it in however I’m certain they’ve their causes.

I’ve included some movies under to point out the RGB lighting, utilizing the Smart Wheel, and a pattern of the sound of the keyboard.

RGB Lighting Options:

Using the Smart Wheel:

Audio pattern:

What I like

  • Solid really feel and tactile/audible suggestions
  • RGB lighting choices
  • Customization

What I’d change

  • Mac model of customization software program
  • Don’t use a proprietary USB-C cable to attach the 2 halves collectively

Final ideas

Overall my typing expertise has been a pleasure with the Cloud Nine C959 ErgoTKL cut up mechanical keyboard. With virtually infinite customization choices, a great really feel, and plenty of enjoyable RGB backlighting, this is perhaps the proper keyboard for me as soon as I arrange a everlasting desk to work from at house (so long as I don’t lose that pesky linking cable).

Price: $179.99
Where to purchase: cloudnineergo.com or amazon.com
Source: The pattern for this evaluation was offered by Cloud Nine. For extra data go to their site.