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Penclic Professional Typist MK1 Mechanical Keyboard Review

Subject: General Tech
Manufacturer: Penclic

Introduction

The Professional Typist MK1 from Penclic is a compact, tenkeyless (TKL) mechanical keyboard with Kailh Brown switches that the Swedish company has designed "for the professional typist that wants to type fast, really fast."

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"Whether you are an engineer writing reports, journalist writing articles, or anyone else who uses a keyboard a lot, you require the best tool for the job. The brown mechanical keys give a distinct feel for when you have pressed far enough and are more responsive than membrane alternatives and the keystroke sound is also suitable for the office environment. These features enable users with extra nimble fingers to type superfast."

A relative newcomer to the PC industry (and one I had not heard of before now), Penclic was founded in 2011 and specializes in ergonomics and "smart, clean Scandinavian design". I can certainly appreciate the clean design aesthetic, which is refreshing after mainly covering products in an industry that thinks PC enthusiasts want RGB lighting on everything and Batmobile-inspired industrial design.

This keyboard may not be targeted specifically at "gamers", (it is called the "Professional Typist MK1" after all) but it could certainly be used in that capacity. Key switches are a personal thing - as is standard vs. TKL (and 60%, etc.) - but Penclic may just have produced a product that can appeal to just about any user.

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Continue reading our review of the Penclic Professional Typist MK1 mechanical keyboard!!


Specifications:

The supported platforms for Penclic Professional Typist MK1 are all operating systems that support HID 1.1. These include Windows XP or later, Mac OSX version 10.1 or later and most Linux/BSD flavors. No extra software/driver installation is needed.

  • Compatible: PC & Mac  
  • Connection: USB cable
  • Keyboard Type: "tenkeyless" 
  • Switch: Mechanical Kailh Brown
  • Weight: 0.91 kg (2 lbs)
  • Size: 351 x 169 x 35 mm (13.82 x 6.65 x 1.38 inches)
  • Cable length: 175 cm (5.75 ft)
  • Warranty: 2 years

Thanks to Penclic for providing the sample for our review.

First Impressions

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The MK1 arrives well-protected, with dense foam surrounding the keyboard for safe transit.

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Inside the keyboard includes minimal paperwork as this is a simple HID device requiring no software.

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And now we'll take a look at the keyboard itself, which has an interesting font for the key labels (I swear the M is a sideways E!).

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The MK1 has a reassuring heft at 2 lbs, and feels very sturdy. The keycaps are slightly concave, and there is a bit of a curve from top to bottom.

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On the back there are four rubber pads to keep the keyboard stationary on your desk, and there are two rubber-tipped feet on the upper corners that unfold to provide a tilted surface, if desired.

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These feet are quite substantial - far removed from the thin plastic on most keyboards.

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Finally, the keys are backlit with blue-ish white LEDs, and the brightness can be adjusted with a simple key combination (FN + arrow up/down), and at the lowest setting the backlight is turned off.

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There is also a switchable pulse mode to the backlight (FN + arrow right to toggle, left to disable).

Usage Impressions

If you've typed on a keyboard with brown switches (Cherry MX or these Kailh switches) you'll be familiar with the feel. There is a springy action that does indeed feel conducive to fast typing, and while brown isn't necessarily a "clicky" switch, you'll certainly make old-school clattering noises when typing on this keyboard. I found the feel - and sound - to be very pleasant, though I wouldn't be able to use this in the room with a sleeping spouse or child.

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The key caps in particular feel very solid, and my fingers found the center of the keys instantly thanks to the concave surfaces. It also felt anchored to the desk, thanks to the weight and rubber pads on the bottom. Overall I really liked typing on the MK1, and the compact size was quite nice on my space-constrained desk. I generally prefer a full-sized keyboard with a number pad, but I adjusted quickly to this. TKL keyboards are quite popular, and I'm probably in the minority among enthusiasts with my ten-key preference anyway.

What's left to say about the Professional Typist MK1 keyboard? Penclic - a name I've just learned this week - makes really high quality stuff if the MK1 is any indication. It isn't inexpensive with an MSRP of $139.99, but in the realm of mechanical keyboards (and ergonomic peripherals in general) it's not out of the ordinary. The keyboard looks great, offers premium build quality, and I found myself typing very quickly and comfortably on it. In fact, I hammered out this entire review standing at my test bench using the MK1! Easily recommended.

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September 13, 2016 | 04:00 PM - Posted by jsm357

i would like to see under the keys nudes please, lemme see them switches babe ;)

September 13, 2016 | 04:51 PM - Posted by Chris_NM

This may be a lot to ask, but I would be interested in seeing a review of ergonomic keyboards with mechanical switches. I have been using a Model M, but pain in wrists + arms are making me think about these ergonomic keyboards.

September 13, 2016 | 06:27 PM - Posted by Lance Ripplinger (not verified)

For the crazy list price, they should have made this washable, and put an anti-microbial coating on it also.

September 14, 2016 | 05:42 AM - Posted by Eric (not verified)

Made in China, not Sweden.

September 14, 2016 | 11:11 AM - Posted by Brad (not verified)

The board looks like a good entry by Penclic into the market, but I'm weary about the price. For $140, most TKL keyboards offer cherry switches, removable cable, and (in some cases) a programmable function layer. For example, here's a Ducky One TKL for sale for $100 with many of these additional features:

https://mechanicalkeyboards.com/shop/index.php?l=product_detail&p=1548

Given this, I feel that this Penclic board is a bit over-priced for what it is, and I hope to see it sell at a more competitive price-point.

September 15, 2016 | 02:25 AM - Posted by Penclic (not verified)

Thx for the review Sebastian, We hope you get to hear a lot more from us in the future.

September 15, 2016 | 12:43 PM - Posted by brisa117

Looks like a nice keyboard, but I have trouble understanding who the actual market is for TKL keyboards, at least in a professional setting. I can see using a TKL if you're only gaming or using this as a casual keyboard, but as a professional, I'm not sure I would even consider a TKL board. Even writing normal boring documents, numbers often come up (address, phone number, terrible email addresses, money, dates, etc.)

Having said that, I often preach the benefits of mechanical keyboards to all of my co-workers. Haha.

September 17, 2016 | 09:42 AM - Posted by Rob27shred

Meh, from the standpoint of a MK enthusiast this is just subpar for the price TBH. I can't see why you would give it a gold rating? Kaihl switches are firmly planted at the lower end of mechanical switches, brown switches are one of the most commonly produced type, the key caps look to be very thin doubleshot ABS cheapies with that terrible "gamery" font on them, then the case looks to be made from plastic as well. I can see absolutely no reason for the price tag or your gold rating!? Am I missing something here?

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