Received this keyboard a week ago and have been using it extensively since. I spent a long time looking for a keyboard to replace my venerable IBM Model M as my daily board. Nothing wrong with the Model M (made in 1989 and still working flawlessly!), but needed a Command key for occasional use with a mac, and a TKL model for ergonomic reasons. If they weren't the unicorns of the keyboard market, I'd buy a IBM SSK (with additional Command keys) in an instant!
I'd spent a year using a Cherry Brown equipped DAS keyboard at work, and despite it being well made and nice to use, I always felt a little cold about the typing experience. The same applied to Cherry Blue, Green and Black boards that I was lucky enough to try out around the same time. So I dug out my Matias Tactile Pro 2 from the drawer and spent a week on that.. it was apparent after only a few hours that, compared to Cherry switches, I much preferred Matias switches for their feel, less so for their noise. Did the same with my vintage Wang 724 (Alps orange switches) and confirmed my feeling.. Alps FTW!
With a little help from the lovely folk at The Keyboard Company, I discovered Matias Quiet Click switches and keyboards built with them. Ended up with a choice between Matias Mini or the KBP V80. Decided against the Matias mostly because of its glossy finish which, like the DAS did, would drive me nuts. KBP V80 it is then.
Sadly these are not made in a UK key layout, but lucky me.. I've worked with enough USA layout boards over the years to have become bi-lingual. Onto the keyboard itself: it's well made, although the plastic casing is not to the standard of a vintage 80s made device. It has a nice-to-the-touch matte finish, with rounded edges and no sharp or pointy bits. The keys have a similar matte feel (as mentioned in another review) which I rather like. Keys that are too shiny don't feel good to me, but these are perfect; just enough texture to prevent slipping, and beautifully dished. The switches are insanely quiet compared to those found in the Tactile Pro 2, and the keys are considerably less wobbly too. These were my two main complaints with the Matias, so I was delighted with this board the moment I first typed on it. There is some variation in the noise made by each individual switch - some keys emit a distinct click upon actuation, although it is very quiet. Most are almost silent. This is barely noticeable when typing though. The key action is sublime. Nicely weighted and highly tactile.
Finding fault, I would say that the Caps and Scroll lock LEDs are too bright, although my keyboard is invariably in low light. The removable cable is less than ideal, and has a habit of finding its way out of the channel in which it sits. This movement will likely destroy the connector eventually so I may have to apply a little glue to keep it in place. The 'Win Lock' function key could do with a light to show when it's activated. There are no USB pass-through ports, although this is not a deal breaker. The USA layout.. well, you get used to it. There are very few options for a Matias switch equipped keyboard in a TKL layout, so it's a modest compromise that rewards you with a fantastic typing experience.
No half stars available, but this deserves 4.5 out of 5. Highly recommended!!