60% small form factor keyboard was generally despised by the regular consumers as it integrates most of its function keys into the FN layer. Despite so, in recent years, it is slowly gaining popularity through the individual brand’s product awareness campaigns.
In this review, I will be sharing my personal user experience with the Leopold FC660M PD, a 66-key mechanical keyboard.
What’s in the box
- Leopold FC660M PD
- USB Type-A to USB Mini Type-B cable
- Ring keycap remover
- Alternative Caps Lock & Control keycap
- User manual & documentation
The beauty of a small form factor is not just the space-saving feature, instead, by just using the FN key combination you can literally access to all the function keys without having to lift up your hands to reach out to the physical key.
If you’re familiar with a traditional 60% keyboard such as the POKER and Ducky Mini series, those keyboards have a 61-key layout and as we mentioned earlier, the missing physical arrow cluster and function keys made it a difficult keyboard to pick up and use immediately. The introduction of a 66-key layout brings back the oh-so-important arrow cluster while still keeping the footprint in check. Besides, the added width also allows an extra 2 navigation keys on the top left corner.
Robust Build Quality
Leopold sticks to the conventional chassis instead of trying to impress the general crowd with the current trending floating keys design. I personally believe chassis with a top cover provides the best typing sound and improves the rigidity of a keyboard. The FC660M PD has both black and white colour chassis is to match the themed keycaps which we will discuss further in the latter part of this review.
Rubber paddings under the chassis and the tip of the kickstand keeps the keyboard steady when typing.
The removable cable design allows users to use custom USB cables.
Cherry MX Switches
Just like its bigger brother – Leopold FC900R PD, the FC660M PD also comes in a variety of Cherry MX key switches:
- Cherry MX Red
- Cherry MX Brown
- Cherry MX Black
- Cherry MX Blue
- Cherry MX Pink (Silent Red)
- Cherry MX Silver (Speed Silver)
- Cherry MX Clear
Robust Stabilisers and Padded Spacebar
True to Leopold’s standard, their Cherry-style stabilisers felt more way more stable compared to other keyboards with similar stabiliser configuration. It has somehow become a unique characteristic of Leopold’s keyboard. We could only deduce that they have factory pre-lubed while the padding between the backplate and PCB further strengthen the stability when bottoming out the long keys.
Double Shot PBT Keycaps
As we move on to the keycaps, this is probably the fanciest stock keycap I have ever seen on a mass-produced keyboard. First of all, the colour scheme. Dubbed as the “Swedish”, clearly, the colour tones are heavily inspired by the Swedish flag – striking yellow and contrasty blue.
Secondly, the double shot PBT at 1.5mm thickness makes this set of keycap a joy to type on. Not to mention the legends on it has smooth and rounded corners. Clearly Leopold knows how to make a set of good keycaps to pair with their boards.
One thing to take note is that, due to the intervention of the arrow cluster, the left Window key and the right shift has to be changed slightly. That means, your standard custom keycaps will not fit this keyboard.
The Leopold FC660M PD did not disappoint. For a mass-produced mechanical keyboard which everyone can buy off a shelf, Leopold manages to find ways to maintain the top-notch quality be it the chassis robustness or the consistent stabiliser feel. What makes the keyboard stands out from its competition is inclusive of high-quality double shot PBT keycaps. Mind you that this is not any regular double shot you could get from Taobao, the legends have fine details which are a sign of intrinsic engineering on their moulds.
Of course, the FC660M PD is just a smaller version of the FC750R PD & FC900R PD, hence they literally share all the characteristics that make them great in the first place. Hence, users can just pick the size they want. On top of that, with up to 7 switch choices and multiple keycap colour schemes to choose from, users are certainly spoilt with options if they could accept the RM489 price tag.
- Excellent build quality
- 7 choices of Cherry MX switches
- High-quality double shot PBT keycaps
- USB Mini Type B