Offended Miao Cyberboard R2 Le Smoking
“For those who need a keyboard unlike some other, the Cyberboard R2 is for you — assuming you’ll be able to afford it.”
- Gasket mount provides a sublime typing experience
- Highly customizable LED grid
- Bluetooth and wired support
- Wireless charging
- Hot-swappable key switches
- Extremely expensive
- Customization takes some effort
- You will likely have to bring your individual switches
Offended Miao released the Cyberboard R2 over a 12 months ago, not less than in spirit. Incredibly low yield rates and unprecedented demand forced the Chinese tech-fashion brand to cancel the project — but after over 400 days of waiting, the Cyberboard R2 Le Smoking marks a comeback. It’s easily probably the greatest keyboards you’ll be able to buy, assuming the nauseatingly high price tag of not less than $670 doesn’t immediately turn you away.
Redesigned and coming on July 10 (at 8 p.m. PT in case you would like to get that F5 key ready), the Cyberboard R2 Le Smoking is finally getting its time to shine, and that’s a fantastic thing. For those who missed out on the Wes Anderson-inspired Cyberboard R3, you’ve one other probability to select up one of the unique keyboards that cash should purchase. And it’s also a rattling good one.
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You’d think design is all the things for the Cyberboard R2 Le Smoking, however the sublime typing experience takes center stage. That doesn’t mean the keyboard isn’t a looker, though. With an aggressively angular design and the signature LED grid on the back, the R2 Le Smoking may be probably the most unique keyboard you’ve ever seen.
Because the name implies, the R2 Le Smoking is inspired by the Le Smoking suit from Saint Laurent — a similarly angled and agile-looking suit the brand debuted in 1966. No doubt, the resemblance is there. 4 angled edges give it a retro-futuristic look that someway manages to feel empowered and petite at the identical time; identical to the suit that inspired it.
Even after almost two weeks of using the Cyberboard R2, I’m still surprised by how premium it feels.
It’s removed from a petite keyboard, though. This might be the heaviest keyboard you’ll ever encounter, weighing in over seven kilos with a full set of switches and keycaps. The burden comes from a bevy of extras within the board — each an aluminum body and plate, three separate PCBs, and a built-in wireless charging connector.
It also comes from the huge 200 LED grid on the back of the keyboard. You possibly can do absolutely anything with the array — I went with a Tetris animation that was available on Offended Miao’s website. That features custom animations, static colours, and useful information just like the time and your battery life, in addition to an indicator for which Bluetooth connection you’re using.
The construct quality is unmatched, making traditionally premium keyboards just like the Logitech G915 TKL feel like bargain bin options by comparison. Even after almost two weeks of using the Cyberboard R2 as my day by day driver, I’m still surprised by just how premium it feels.
Connectivity and ports
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The Cyerboard R2 Le Smoking has two connections — USB-C or Bluetooth. The USB-C connection is the fastest and what I used throughout testing, despite the proven fact that Offended Miao doesn’t include a cable within the box. I actually have to assume anyone spending $700 on a keyboard has not less than a number of spare USB-C cables, but an additional wouldn’t hurt.
Bluetooth works across three devices, which you’ll be able to swap between with ease using Fn + 1, 2, or 3. The LED grid lights up to indicate which connection you’re using, and you’ll be able to keep all three devices paired without delay. Windows is the one supported OS — there’s no toggle for a MacOS layout like on the KeyChron Q1 — but I don’t imagine too many of us might be carrying the Cyberboard R2 around with an Android tablet.
With a wireless charging mouse pad, you never have to worry about topping off your battery.
Even though it’s easy to pair Bluetooth devices, it’s unintuitive. Unlike mainstream keyboards just like the SteelSeries Apex Pro Mini Wireless, the R2 offers no toggle switch. As a substitute, it mechanically switches to Bluetooth while you unplug it. It’s strange while you’re getting arrange, especially with no “on” switch anywhere across the board.
Battery life goes quick with the LEDs blaring — I dropped about 10% over the course of a few hours — nevertheless it’s not too big of a difficulty. The R2 Le Smoking has a wireless charging pad built into the underside of the keyboard that may kick in at any time when the battery reaches 85%. With a wireless charging mouse pad, you never have to worry about topping off, and also you don’t need to worry about wearing out the battery, because the pad switches off when it’s full.
Jacob Roach / Digital Trends
You possibly can completely disassemble the Cyberboard R2 Le Smoking and swap out the switches and keycaps, however the base keyboard kit doesn’t include either; that you must bring your individual. The bundle, which is about $150 costlier at $823, comes with Gateron Ink Black linear switches and Offended Miao’s Glacier keycaps, and it’s a winning combination.
Ink Black switches are heavy, requiring 60 grams of force in comparison with 45 grams on a standard Red linear switch. That makes them ultra-smooth for typing, especially for those who wish to slam in your keys like I do. The sound is smooth and on the high end of hole, and I discovered myself randomly typing sentences into my search bar just to listen to the keyboard in motion a bit of more.
The gasket mount makes it feel such as you’re hammering away on a cloud.
Although you’ll be able to swap in any switches you would like, it’s not the seamless process you’d find on a mainstream keyboard just like the Asus ROG Strix Flare II. And for good reason. Unlike most cheaper keyboards that use a top mount where the switch plate is directly on top of the remaining of the frame, the R2 Le Smoking uses a gasket mount.
The difference is that a small bit of fabric sits in between the switch plate and the remaining of the frame, and it makes a world of difference for typing. You’ll never actually feel the plate moving, however the microscopic give and take it offers when typing makes it feel such as you’re hammering away on a cloud. Consequently, it also means you’ll have to disassemble the keyboard to swap out switches. That trade-off is well price it.
Gaming and typing
Jacob Roach / Digital Trends
For those who’re on the lookout for one of the best gaming keyboard, the Cyberboard R2 Le Smoking isn’t it — and I wouldn’t have it some other way. It’s too bulky to maneuver into a cushty position, the bundled switches are too heavy for twitch reactions, and the keycaps don’t grip in your fingers due their glossy acrylic finish. I’m glad that’s the case, though.
The typing experience is just too good, especially with the Ink Black switches. Out of all the keyboards I’ve reviewed and used, that is the primary time ever that I’ve brought friends into my office and said “you’ve got to do that.”
Lots of your experience will come all the way down to the switches and keycaps you utilize, however the Cyberboard R2 sets you up for fulfillment with its gasket mount. Unfortunately, different switches don’t fix the problems with gaming. Moving the keyboard around is a hassle attributable to how heavy it’s, and slamming your thumb against the frame with a fast mouse flick is a quick strategy to a bruise.
I like using it for keyboard-only games like The Binding of Issac, though, and I attempted to get it working in my beloved Destiny 2 simply because of how great the keyboard feels. Still, for those who’re primarily a gamer, save yourself the trouble (and money) and get something just like the Razer Huntsman Mini. This can be a typing keyboard, despite its retro-futuristic aesthetic.
Software must power hardware, and that’s not the case for the Cyberboard R2. As a substitute of a dedicated lighting and macro program like you’ve with the Corsair K70 RGB Pro, you’ve to design your effects on Offended Miao’s website, download a file, after which load it into the keyboard. You possibly can’t see updates in real time, and you’ve to register to download community files.
This can be a bad system, especially when Offended Miao’s website is liable to slowdowns and crashes. You’re given a variety of options — three lighting layers on the LED grid including animation support, automatic translation of images into the grid, and countless remapping layers — however the trial and error of even getting the web site to work will sap your desire to experiment.
Offended Miao has the suitable idea with community-driven effects — I spotted a picture of Gengar that I loved inside a minute — however the system for installing the consequences holds back any community efforts.
The excellent news is that Offended Miao increased the variety of custom lighting slots to a few over the unique design, and the editor is powerful enough to supply unique, vibrant animations. I just wish it was a bit easier to explore.
Must you spend $700 for a keyboard? No, there’s no reason to. The Cyberboard R2 Le Smoking is beyond the purpose of diminishing returns, and you’ll be able to get something just as nice for less money (especially for those who construct your individual keyboard). What you’ll be able to’t get is the remarkable design, exceptional construct quality, and clear attention to detail that went into the Cyberboard R2 Le Smoking, and for staunch keyboard enthusiasts, it’s money well spent.
Are there any alternatives?
There are counterfeit Cyberboard models floating across the web, but nothing that matches the unique look and construct of the Cyberboard R2 Le Smoking.
How long will it last?
As a custom keyboard that you simply construct yourself, the Cyberboard R2 Le Smoking is only a base which you could proceed to customize and improve over time. It can last so long as you would like it to.
Must you buy it?
Yes, but only for those who’re deeply embedded on the planet of custom mechanical keyboards. Customizing isn’t for the faint of heart, and the value is obscenely high in comparison with mainstream options. Briefly, you don’t need this keyboard. It’s only a matter of for those who want it.