31 - 07 - 2014
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Deck 87 Francium Pro Mechanical Keyboard Review

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INTRODUCTION

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

deck francium proa

   If there's something that people value more than a good mouse that is a good keyboard and although in the past there weren't that many models to choose from and almost every single one of those used regular membrane technology keys. To date only 5 keyboards have had the pleasure of sitting on my desk for long periods of time since the early 90s' the Microsoft Natural Ergonomic Keyboard (which i got in 1995), it's successor the Microsoft Natural Pro Ergonomic Keyboard (year 2000), the Logitech G15 Gaming Keyboard (got it back in 2005 if i recall correctly), the Professional Model S by Das Keyboard (roughly two years ago) and finally the Mad Catz S.T.R.I.K.E.7 Adjustable Keyboard (slightly just over a year ago). So as you can imagine i don't easily trust keyboards especially since i don't primarily use them for gaming and thus i only use the best for me but specially designed models like the 87 Francium Pro by Deck (a subsidiary of TG3 Electronics) which arrived on our doorstep a while back are certainly very good candidates.

 

   TG3 Electronics, Inc. is a leading supplier of engineered input solutions. These solutions include; standard and custom keyboards, bump bars, and control panels. TG3 was incorporated in 1986 by its founder, Tom Giles. With an international sales force and the best engineers in the industry, TG3 has grown steadily over the past 23 years. Headquarters is located in a 45,000 square foot, state of the art facility in Kenosha, WI. TG3 also has a major manufacturing interest in Zhuhai China and Hong Kong. TG3 sells into a very diverse marketplace that includes but is not limited to; medical, industrial, point of sale, military, mobile data, telecommunications, white goods, and gaming. Whether your input requirements are large or small, complex or simple, TG3 can handle your application from concept to completion.

 

   As you can definitely see from the list of keyboards I’ve used in the past only one out of the five that have landed on my desk for extended periods of time featured mechanical switches so I’m not going to tell you that mechanical keyboards are the only way to go since that would obviously go against what I’ve been doing for over two decades. The truth of the matter however is that mechanical switches have a much longer lifespan (up to 50 million actuations) and far better audible/tactile feedback compared to regular membrane ones features that go a long way especially for hardcore gamers and professionals. The 87 Francium Pro may seem way too basic and it lacks the numeric keypad but with it Deck takes things a step further compared to everyday mechanical keyboards since they didn't only use LED illuminated Cherry MX mechanical switches (brown ones in our sample) featuring Full N-Key rollover but they have also made it so that the user can create his own LED effects thanks to the built-in NUC123 32-bit Cortex™-M0 microcontroller (runs at 72MHz and features 10-bit ADC with 20KB SRAM) and use macros linked to keys directly from the keyboard (without the use of software). I'm certain that you're all quite curious to see how all these translate in real-world use so let's not keep you waiting any longer.