New year, new blog, new keyboard

I didn't need a new keyboard, so of course I bought one. To my defense, the temptation was impossible to resist. I mean, just look at it.

As usual, I decided to check out reviews after I placed an order. To my surprise, there weren't that many. So I thought I'd do humanity a favor and write down my impressions.

  • The build is solid even though the housing is all plastic. The base has a reassuring heft to it.
  • Generous and surprisingly comfortable palm rest. Not ideal for drumming, though, as it sounds rather hollow.
  • Coming from a Lenovo ThinkPad TrackPoint II keyboard, the concave keys on Tex Shinobi require a few moments to adjust to.
  • The keyboard comes with key caps replacements: out with Win, in with Ctrl.
  • Subjectively, Tex Shinobi's trackpoint feels nicer than ThinkPad's one. Nice enough for me to want to use it--something that never happened before to a seasoned ThinkPad user like yours truly.
  • The Cherry MX Red switches are smooth but slightly on the noisy side.
  • The supplied USB cable is meh. I immediately replaced it with a red nylon cable from Anker.
  • DIP switches: the keyboard has them, but there is little point in changing the defaults. Unless you're not a ThinkPad user, and the Fn Ctrl arrangement bothers you.
  • Bluetooth add-on is a somewhat pricey upgrade.
  • The keyboard is officially compatible with Linux (works fine with Linux Mint and openSUSE), but firmware updates are available as Windows executables. Not cool.

I bought mine from

Hasty snapshots for the esteemed reader's viewing pleasure

The package

Good things come in square packages with a red ribbon.

Package styling

The packaging is styled like a ThinkPad. How cute!

Spare parts

Yay for the replacement keys and a spare trackpoint.

Final result

The end.