Review: Monokei Standard Keyboard

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Monokei Standard Umboxed

Manufacturer: Monokei

Keyboard: Standard

Color: Dream Lilac

Switch: MX Browns 

Price: $139.00 USD

Website: https://store.monokei.co/collections/keyboards/products/monokei-standard 

PROS:

  • Amazing typing feel
  • Compatible with macOS / iOS / Windows / Android
  • Pairs with up to 4 devices
  • Customizable keys and switches with a puller kit
  • Comes in 4 colors (Dream Lilac, Suave Blue, Blush Pink, Classic White)
  • Heavy solid case
  • Quiet for a mechanical keyboard
  • Both wired and wireless options
  • Compact and stylish

CONS:

  • No customization software or backlighting
  • No dedicated media control keys or volume dial
  • No wrist rest
  • No USB passthrough 
  • Expensive compared to similar models
Monokei Standard Boxed

UNBOXING

The first thing I noticed about the Monokei Standard was how solid it felt.  Weighing in at around 2 lbs, this keyboard won’t be sliding around on top of your desk.  It comes with 10 customizable keys along with both a switch and key puller, a USB-C to C cord, and quick start guides.  The additional keys have symbols instead of labels which is helpful when jumping between macOS and Windows devices, and different colored “Enter” and “Esc” keys for accent. The Standard doesn’t have any folding feet on the bottom but instead measures from 1 inch in height in the front to 1.5 inches in the back for a 5-degree typing angle.  This places the keyboard much higher off the desk than most models, so users will definitely want to invest in a wrist rest since this model doesn’t come with one. The keycaps have a slightly textured finish, and switches are available in Cherry MX Reds / Silent Reds / Browns and are swappable.  The Standard is a tenkeyless (TKL) board which makes it a space saver for your desk but not so great for data entry. 

Monokei Standard Umboxed
Monokei Standard Keys

FEATURES

Pairing it up to both my Windows and macOS devices was simple and easy, and the Standard allows up to 4 devices, so switching back and forth shouldn’t be a problem.  For those who prefer the wired experience, it comes with a 6 ft USB-C to C cord, not USB-C to A, so plan accordingly.  There are no dongles or receivers since Bluetooth is the only wireless option.  It should also be noted that the Standard doesn’t have a USB passthrough which can be useful for things like swapping out external hard drives and other USB devices with ease. My biggest complaint about this keyboard is that for $139, I expected some customization software, but since the Standard doesn’t come with any, users can expect no macros, no programmable keys, and no lighting effects. This may seem like a feature only for gamers but custom macros can be a useful productivity tool, especially when having to do repeatable tasks at high volume.  Monokei’s 30-day battery life seems adequate, but not having any way to check the battery life without a gauge may make charging it more frequent. 

Monokei Standard Return Key
Monokei Standard Esc Key

CONCLUSION

If you need a keyboard that works with multiple devices, is easy to use, and feels great, the Monokei Standard is a great choice. It doesn’t have a lot of extra features or any customization software, so it’s not the best option for gamers. However, if you need a simple and comfortable keyboard for work and have to switch between different operating systems, the Monokei Standard is a great option. It costs $139, which is a bit expensive compared to other mechanical keyboards with similar features, but if design and feel are important to you, it might be worth it.

Monokey Standard Customized
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John Vieira

Former AP Biology, Game Design, and EdTech teacher now serving as the Instructional Designer for the New York Jets.

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