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Low-Profile Travel Keyboard Review

·2 mins
Reviews Gear
Omar Amin
Omar Amin
Loves boxing, FOSS and Selfhosting

I travel quite a bit for my job which means I end up on customer sites and in hotels rooms armed with nothing but a laptop and my bluetooth mouse (Logitech MX Anywhere 3). The problem is, I hate laptop keyboards. All laptop keyboards. I don’t mind them for short bursts but anything more than a couple of hours and I start to get antsy.

I’ve been keeping my eyes open for a decent low profile keyboard because when you travel often, bulk is the enemy and a full sized mechanical (even a 65%) is way too big. Consensus (Reddit!) says the best keyboards in this space are the lowfree flow84 and the nuphy air v2. The major downside to both of these is that they are reported to be quite noisy which is a pretty big issue for me sine I’ll be primarily using it in open plan offices.

When searching Aliexpress, I came accross the XINMENG C68. In the listing it gives an option for “Mute Axis” which means silent switches! Now, I’ve never heard of Xianmeng and so have no idea about their quality and their reliability but for the reasonable price of $40 I thought I’d give them a go.

Now that I’ve received it, I can say I’m pretty impressed. It feels decent to type on (if a bit mushy which is normal for silent switches), there is no rattling from stabilisers, the keycaps are ok and the battery life lasts more than 2 days so far on 2.4ghz.

This is a 68% layout so you lose the function row and don’t even think about a numpad, but I’m ok with that. I rarely use the F-keys and hitting Fn-num to get them is fine with me. There’s also very little customisation that you can do. The switches are not hot swappable and there is no software to change bindings. This is also fine with me for a work keyboard where I’m mostly working in the office suite with a touch of VS Code if things get spicy.

All in all, I would recommend giving it a try.