NuPhy Air75 Wireless Mechanical Keyboard
A one-of-a-kind wireless keyboard that provides a great typing experience.
- Ease of use
My favorite new keyboard.
I love playing with keyboards. I guess I’ve always just liked the ‘clickety-clack’ noises they make. I’ve noticed over time though that the right keyboard can really make or break your productivity, too. One of my favorite keyboards in the past 10 years has been a mechanical keyboard by SteelSeries. It is classified as a ‘gaming’ keyboard, but I used it for everything. The key placement and switch feeling were just perfect for me – no matter what I was working on.
That keyboard is quite large though and it’s unwieldy if you end up wanting to move it anywhere. I really enjoy full-size keyboards – the ones that have a 10-key number pad as well as the function/home/page up/page down/insert/delete keys and a full row of function keys. That said, I have become more realistic about desk space these days – especially since I work from home now – and determined that either super slim, non-mechanical keyboards or compact keyboards are the way to go. That is what led me to try out the NuPhy Air75 Wireless Mechanical Keyboard.
The Air75 is an ultra-slim mechanical keyboard that is touted to have the “world’s thinnest PBT spherical keycap, low-latency 2.4G wireless connection, and hot-swappable functionality.” The keyboard has a 75% layout, which is indicative of its name. Air75 is compatible with both Mac and Windows-based computers. Extra keys are included to swap between the systems.
It can connect to up to 4 devices wirelessly with low-latency 2.4Ghz and Bluetooth 5.0 support. In addition to the Bluetooth connection, the keyboard can also connect via USB-C (cable included). It has a built-in rechargeable battery (2500 mAh capacity) that can provide up to 48 hours of battery life. This is 39% more power than the NuType F1.
The keyboard features an ultra-thin aluminum frame and PBT keycaps. The keycaps have an ergonomic spherical design with 4.6mm thickness. The switches are low-profile Gateron Mechanical switches, which are hot-swappable. Three bonus mechanical switches are included with the Air75 so that users can experience different typing experiences. The available switches are:
Gateron Low-Profile Red is a linear-style switch. Its travel path doesn’t have the bump used to provide tactile feedback. The smoother movement makes red switches quieter than tactile and click switches. We recommend it to gamers and office workers.
Gateron Low-Profile Blue is a click-style switch. It has a distinct “click” sound when depressed beyond the tactile point, making it the loudest switch. We know that many typists like it.
Gateron Low-Profile Brown is a tactile-style switch. A good blend of typing and gaming. Brown is widely considered to be the best “middle-ground” switch. Its tactile bump, silent travel, and medium actuation force make it a versatile switch.
The Air75 also has a colorful backlight with more than 21 different color effects. There are two RGB light bars on each side of the keyboard that show different modes. Windows has software that allows the user to customize the lighting effects (Nuphy Console).
IN THE BOX
- 1 x air75 wireless mechanical keyboard
- 1 x usb-c to usb-a cable (1.5m)
- 1 x 2.4g receiver
- 1 x keycap/switch puller
- 2 x magnetic foot
- 3 x extra keycaps
- 3 x extra switches
- 1 x stickers
- 1 x quick guide/poster
- switch type: low-profile gateron mechanical
- layout: ansi 75%
- number of keys: 84 keys
- hot-swappable support: yes
- n-key rollover support: yes
- backlight & sidelight: rgb-led
- backlight modes: 21
- sidelight modes: 4
- mode: 2.4G wireless, bluetooth 5.0 or wired
- battery capacity: 2500mAh
- working time: up to 48 hours (lab test result)
- connection type: usb type-c
- compatible system: macos/windows/android/ios
- angle: 3.5º/ 6.5º with magnetic foot
- operating environment: -10 to 50℃
- Weight: 1.16 pounds
- Dimensions: 12.4 inch x 5.2 inch x 0.63 inch
The NuPhy Air75 has a very nice retail package. The outside of the box features an image of the product (showing approximately 3/4 of the keyboard) and the key features of the keyboard along with the logo of the company and the name of the item. The back of the box shows an animated character surrounded by parts of the keyboard.
The back also has a callout box that shows which type of layout the keyboard in the box has (ANSI, ISO, or JIS). When you pull the sleeve off the inner box, you will find an outlined image of the Air75 on the cover. Upon opening the box, you will see the keyboard and find all the accompanying tools with it.
The USB-C cable that comes with the keyboard is USB-C to USB-A, which was a little disappointing to me since my main computer is a MacBook Air and only has USB-C ports on it. The default keycap option includes a variety of white, gray, orange, green, and yellow colors. There is an alternate version (Twilight) that can be ordered. I ended up with an extra set of those keycaps but opted to keep the default colors on the keyboard.
The first thing I noticed about the keyboard was that it sits flat on a surface. While this mimics the layout of a laptop, which I am very used to, I prefer external keyboards to have a little bit of a tilt to them. I was disappointed that the keyboard did not have any feet to it so that it could be raised. This is easily remedied with an attachable lift like the ESC Flip Pro.
Next, I noticed just how soft the keys feel. The switches I ended up with are the Gateron Low-Profile Red switches. This is the option most recommended for office work so that you don’t disturb others with a lot of clicking. I have to admit that it has just the right amount of click noise for me. The feel of the keys is solid. They have a good bounce to them, but they don’t feel as though they will fall apart if you press too hard on them.
The build quality of this keyboard is exceptional. Honestly, based on the pricing and packaging of this keyboard, it wasn’t what I was expected – at all! The back of the body features a gorgeous plaque in the center that calls out the brand as well as the model of the keyboard. The body feels solid and does not feel flimsy at all.
One of the things I really enjoy about compact mechanical keyboards is that they travel easily. The Air75 has a folio case that can be purchased separately from NuPhy and it’s perfect for transporting with a laptop and wireless mouse so that you have a complete mobile workstation no matter where you go. The body of the keyboard and all the other components are so well put together that you don’t have to worry about its safety – especially if you have the case for it.
There was one small error I found with the keyboard when I first opened it. The “N” key was turned sideways. I was, of course, able to pop the keycap off and replace it correctly with no problems, but it was surprising to find the ill-turned key. That little discovery did lead me to find just how easy it is to swap keys out. With the key puller that is provided, you can simply slide the teeth of the puller beneath the keycap and pull upward.
The cap will pop off the switch and you can decide to pull the switch at that point or swap the key cap. Pulling the switches out is also very easy. I’ve actually gone through swapping out switches for an entire keyboard and it is certainly a tedious process. I pulled two switches out of the keyboard so that I could replace them with the blue and brown switches that were part of the keyboard’s package.
They seemed very easy to pull and replace – easier than I’ve experienced with other keyboards. I did include a short video of the difference between the key sounds below. You will see that I did not put the keycaps back on the switches before testing them. That is because I wanted to be able to show which key was making which sound.
Typing on the Air75 is very enjoyable to me. It reminds me a lot of the aforementioned SteelSeries keyboard from the beginning of my review. I’ve been very impressed with how easy it has been to get comfortable with this keyboard as it usually takes me a few days of work to really ‘bond’ with a keyboard as a part of my workspace. The Air75 fell right in place – as it had always been on my desk.
Another thing I was surprised about was how quickly I adapted to the keyboard layout. As I mentioned it’s very similar to a laptop keyboard in that the keys are closer together. While that doesn’t seem to phase me much when I go from laptop to laptop, it does usually throw me a bit when I go from laptop to external keyboard. This time, it only took me about 15 minutes of typing to really get used to the Air75.
And once I added the lifter to the back of the keyboard, it was even more comfortable. I was able to get a score of 72 WPM with 100% accuracy from an online typing test, which is higher than my usual average.
The NuPhy Air75 has officially earned a place on my desk and become my primary working keyboard. The fact that it doesn’t have a 10-key number pad is unfortunate, but the comfort level and enjoyability I have while using it overwrite the loss of that feature. The style of the keyboard feels retro but has a modern quality to it. The colors make it feel like a gaming keyboard, but they are so subtle that you can use them in a professional setting without too much hassle. The Air75 is a truly unique mechanical keyboard with a bright future in my workspace.