The Code Keyboard First Impressions

This may not be a tech product for everyone, but I definitely know it is for me.

My precious code keyboard

Simply put, I love this keyboard

I’ve been eyeing a mechanical keyboard for a little bit. I wanted to feel every keystroke and not have random keys firing off like I did with standard my Mac Bluetooth Keyboard. Before plunking down ~$150 on an input device, I got a keyboard switch tester. And that was only the beginning because I instantly knew that the satisfying click beneath my fingers was something that I had to have, all the time.

I looked at getting either the Das Professional Clicky keyboard or the WASD CODE. I deliberated for about a week or two and finally decided to pull the trigger on the CODE. Boy, was that a great decision.

The Form Factor

One of the main reasons I went with the CODE was for the keyboard’s footprint. I didn’t want to get some huge honking thing that would take up most of desk. Instead, the 87 key, tenkeyless CODE fits nicely on both my work and home desks.

The actual distance between keys is also not too large. I have somewhat small hands which can make some keyboard shortcuts kind of awkward but I’ve definitely adapted. Using vim has also definitely made keyboard shortcuts easy, no more awkward claw hands for me!

Generally, this a good looking keyboard. I enjoy the no nonsense matte black frame and keys. The backlight on the keys themselves is a pleasant blue that is appealing while also not being distracting. The fact that this keyboard looks professional and not something that would be found on a desk riddled with LEDs and Mountain Dew cans really put it ahead of other keyboards I was looking at. I like that this adds a little class to my somewhat dorm-room-chic desk at home.

Keyfeel

The WASD CODE uses standard Cherry MX Blue keys switches. If you’re not super into mechanical keyboards, that statement means nothing to you. Here’s a basic overview of the three types of keys:

  • Clicky and stupid loud
  • Mushy and quiet
  • Smooth and quiet

“Quiet” is used loosely above. All of the key switches make some form of noise, but much to my coworkers dismay, I went with “Clicky and stupid loud” keys. And I don’t care what they say, I love these switches to death.

Blue switches are extremely easy to press. Because of their design, only pushing halfway down on the key registers a click. You might think this would be annoying, but I find it relieving for my hands. I’m not as fast as I was with my old Apple keyboard, but I think that’s more because I’m still getting used to how this keyboard feels.

The CODE’s keycaps are sturdy for the most part. The keys don’t wobble or shake, which is good. Some have less satisfying clicks but I don’t know if that’s from the finger I’m using or keys themselves. It’s not a big deal, but worth noting.

DIP Switches & Function Keys

One really neat feature of the CODE is its built-in customization switches. With six different switches on the back of the keyboard you can change what keys function as. I have mine set up in a pretty standard way; function keys are on and I’m using the Mac layout. You can however change the keyboard layout to Dvorak Windows if your heart desires. I wasn’t a huge fan of flipping the switches when I first got the keyboard but now I’ve come to appreciate the pain you must endure to change the settings because once you have your keyboard the way you like it, changing anything is probably a mistake.

The “function” key layout of the CODE really is unintuitive to me. I don’t get the layout of the media keys at all. I’ve sort of grown used to them, but coming from the standard Mac media keys, what WASD is doing is just odd. This probably is something I’ll get used to as time goes on, but the cumbersome placement of these keys is making it hard for me to place them in muscle memory.

Extra bits

It was driving me insane having the COMMAND key and ALT key switched on the keyboard so I used WASD’s included keycap puller to switch things around a little bit. This process was a little odd at first; a quick guide on how to use the tool would’ve been nice. But once I figured everything out, pulling keys was a breeze.

I wish that the included cable was a USB Type-C connector. I know that’s a far fetched request, but only having a single orientation for the Micro-USB is obnoxious in the days of Lightning cables. I do appreciate being able to run the chord seamlessly under the keyboard for tidy cable management. Having multiple place for the cable to lay under the keyboard was genius addition because I use different orientations for different desks.

All in All

The WASD Code keyboard is a great purchase if you use a mechanical keyboard. It is a little pricey, but if you type as much as I do, you’ll appreciate having something quality under your fingertips. I wholeheartedly recommend this keyboard.

If you work in an office where people have to put up with you, I’d recommend the MX Brown version of this keyboard. I find those switches to be mushy, but they’re much much quieter than what the Blues provide.

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