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February 19, 2017

Mistel Barocco MD600 Mechanical Keyboard Review

By: Low Chern Lin



60% layout mechanical keyboard might not be as popular as a full-sized mechanical keyboard that comes with fancy RGB lighting and dedicated macro keys, but there are mechanical keyboard enthusiasts who prefer a smaller, multi-functional keyboard like the HHKB Pro 2, Vortex Poker, Filco Minila, Ducky Mini, etc.  

The Mistel Barocco MD600 we have here today is a new contender in the local mechanical keyboard market targeting at the group of enthusiasts that cherishes 60% layout mechanical keyboards and its programmable features. Let's move on with the review and special thanks to Ultimatch Solution Sdn Bhd for the provision of the review unit.

(The Mistel Barocco MD600 retails at RM599)


The Box

As the Mistel Barocco MD600 comes in a small and compact packing that is not easy for one to tell from distance, if there's a keyboard stuff inside the box.

The Accessories

From the accessories box, you'll find a user manual, an extra R2 PBT keycap for the Enter key, a metal wire keycap puller, a micro USB male to male coiled cable and a mini USB to USB cable.

The Mistel Barocco MD600

The Mistel Barocco MD600 is a 60% layout mechanical keyboard with ergonomics consideration in mind, in which the keyboard can be split into 2 different section and can be positioned according to the user's preference to minimize the discomfort on the wrist even after prolonged usage.


From the side, we can see the curved profile on the keycap for improved ergonomics. It's not really a new thing but it's a good feature to have, especially when Mistel is promoting the MD600 as an ergonomic split keyboard.


We compared the keycap from the MD600 (grey) against the some of the keycaps we have and we can see that it's almost as thick as the vintage Cherry doubleshot keycap. As it's almost twice as thick as most average keycap, bottoming a key gives a deeper and solid clack. 




Switch wise, the MD600 uses Cherry MX switches and Cherry stabilizers for longer keycaps. The MD600 we have here uses a pretty uncommon Cherry MX Clear switches, one of Cherry MX variant that is widely used for 'ergo' clear mod by the mechanical keyboard enthusiasts community. If you haven't got the chance to experience one before, the MX Clear gives a similar tactile bump feedback to a MX Brown, but a slight extra resistance and higher actuation force of 55g.


Like most 60% layout keyboard, the MD600 has quite an amount of function keys to compensate for its small footprint. There are 2 space bar for each section of the keyboard to cater for both left and right thumb user, and the extra unused space bar can be assigned with a different function to meet the user's need.

A more advanced feature of the MD600 is that the keyboard comes with a total of 4 layer, with the default and unchangeable layer, and 3 programmable layer that supports time delay and up to 32 keystrokes for each key. Thanks to this, the left section of the keyboard is a great alternative as a gamepad similar to Razer's Orbweaver and Tartarus.


At the back of the keyboard, you'll find quite an amount of mini USB and micro USB ports. The keyboard can be used separately on either the mini USB or micro USB interface, or to be used together by daisy-chaining both together using the micro USB to micro USB coiled cable that comes together in the accessories pack. 


Moving on to the bottom of the keyboard, you'll find 4 rubber pads on each section of the keyboard that is meant to provide some extra grip so that the keyboard  doesn't slips during usage.



If the keyboard height isn't enough for you, the MD600 comes with a 2 level adjustable keyboard feet to meet your needs. 

User Experience

While not everyone actually need this, NKRO is pretty much one of the feature that people are looking for when it comes to choosing the 'right' mechanical keyboard nowadays. The Mistel Barocco MD600 is no exception.




So, what's the big deal about the Mistel Barocco MD600? If you like small footprint keyboard, 60% layout keyboard like the Vortex Poker, Filco Minila, Ducky Mini, the Mistel Barocco MD600 will fit in the list. 

The extra advantage here is that rather than bending your wrist like what most user will do, you can split the MD600 to match your current posture so that you won't have to bend your wrist like you normally do. We have gone through weeks of office work and gaming session with the MD600 and we can definitely feel the difference after going back to a normal keyboard. 

With our wrist straightened, the chances of having discomfort on the wrist and pain on the tendons are greatly reduced and we can move our fingers faster for long hours gaming and work. 

Final Thoughts
For those who is looking for a mechanical keyboard for gaming, the ergonomic split design does offer better comfort and can potentially improve your performance. Still, getting the Mistel Barocco MD600 is a waste if you don't actually utilize the offered features - especially when the keyboard itself will cost you a staggering price of RM599.  

Cost aside, exploring the 3 programmable layer features that the Mistel Barocco MD600 offered is a fun experience for us. If you're a keyboard enthusiasts who love small footprint keyboards, multi-function keys, programmable macros, the Mistel Barocco MD600 is a great choice to serve that purpose.

Pros
  • Clean, solid build quality
  • 3 programmable layers 
  • Macro function support time delay and up to 32 keystrokes for each key
  • Comes ready with thick PBT key caps
  • Good accessories kit, i.e extra PBT keycaps, metal wire keycap puller
  • Full key rollover (NKRO)
  • 2 level keyboard feet design 
  • Good workmanship 
Cons
  • Doesn't comes cheap
  • Could have used micro USB instead of mini USB
  • Could use longer coiled mini USB to mini USB cable 
  • Could use larger rubber pads for improved surface grip
Subjective
  • 60% layout keyboard isn't everyone's choice of keyboard

 

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