8BitDo Review

8BitDo is taking a nostalgic trip down memory lane with its first-ever mechanical keyboard, designed to evoke the classic Nintendo consoles of yesteryear.

The Retro Mechanical Keyboard, as it’s fittingly named, comes in two distinct colour schemes. One sports the black, grey, and red hues reminiscent of the NES, while the other is inspired by the Famicom, the Japanese counterpart. The Famicom variant features a more rustic shade of red and swaps the grey for a brighter white, even adorning most of the keys with hiragana. This makes it not only a stylish accessory but also a potential learning tool for those brushing up on their Japanese.

The keyboard is more than just a pretty face, though. It boasts some impressive hardware as well. The tenkeyless layout means there’s no number pad on the side, and you’ll spot the iconic ‘B’ and ‘A’ buttons at the bottom, which are programmable for any macro you fancy, like Control-C on ‘B’ and Control-P on ‘A’. This customisation is handled through 8BitDo’s Ultimate Software app. The design is rounded off with a Power LED light in the top right corner and vintage-style analog knobs on the left, adding to its 1980s charm.

Under the hood, the Retro Keyboard doesn’t disappoint. Each key sits atop Kailh Box V2 White switches, known for their gold-plated springs which are anti-corrosive, dustproof, and offer a quicker rebound for a smoother typing experience. Plus, the switches are hot-swappable, giving you the flexibility to install your preferred hardware.

Connectivity-wise, the keyboard offers both wired and wireless options. You can connect via a USB cable or go wireless with Bluetooth Low Energy or 2.4GHz WiFi – and yes, a 2.4GHz adapter is included. The battery life is quite impressive too, with up to 200 hours of use from a 4-hour charge.

Officially, it’s compatible with Windows 10 and above, as well as Android 9 and above. However, a company representative mentioned to Engadget that it also works on Macs, though they didn’t specify the operating system.

So, if you’re a fan of retro gaming and looking for a mechanical keyboard that’s as functional as it is nostalgic, the 8BitDo Retro Mechanical Keyboard might just be the perfect fit for you.

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