What you need to know
- The Mechlite Nano is a 65% layout wireless mechanical keyboard launching in Q1 2022.
- Red box switches, full N-key rollover, and PBT keycaps are all present.
- Operates wirelessly over Bluetooth or wired over USB-C.
Wireless mechanical keyboards aren't nearly as common as we'd like, but affordable wireless mechanical keyboards are even rarer. Enter the Mechlite Nano from IOGear's Kaliber Gaming brand, debuting at CES 2022 and launching sometime in Q1 of this year for an extremely enticing $80.
Wireless is only over Bluetooth, not 2.4GHz wireless, so it's not necessarily the best idea for gaming, but for those of us who spend all day working, it's absolutely fine. Bluetooth generally will give better battery life, and it's no hardship to simply slap a cable in for the times you want to game. You can also pair with three different devices at a time over Bluetooth, so it's perfect if you switch between a desktop and a laptop frequently.
The design is quite superb, combining a 65% layout with a form factor closer to that of a 60% keyboard, and yet still manages to include a volume knob. When you've used a keyboard with onboard volume controls like this, you miss it when it's gone, so to see it on something so compact is pretty special.
Switches are red linear box mechanicals so they're fairly fast, and they're trimmed with Doubleshot PBT keycaps for quality and longevity. Each key has its own RGB illumination and full N-key rollover means no mistakes. Additionally, for gamers, there's a feature to lock out the Windows key so you don't accidentally pop it up when you're playing, and you have the freedom to program macros and shortcuts as you desire.
The Mechlite Nano looks great, should perform well, and has a price that's perhaps the standout feature. For work or play, a wireless mechanical keyboard at this kind of price is almost unheard of, so it's certainly going to be one to look out for.
For those looking for something more traditional but still on a tighter budget, Kaliber Gaming also has the HVER Stealth, a full-sized, wired mechanical keyboard that will also launch in Q1 for $70. The idea here is subtlety, with a toned-down design while still packing important tech and features for gamers.
The Stealth uses brown box switches while retaining per-key RGB with full customization capabilities, but less glaring. Programmable macros and shortcuts are also here, as is a nice feature to swap the WASD keys and arrow keys easily in-game for left-handers who might find the latter more comfortable to use.
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Richard Devine is a Managing Editor at Windows Central with over a decade of experience. A former Project Manager and long-term tech addict, he joined Mobile Nations in 2011 and has been found on Android Central and iMore as well as Windows Central. Currently, you'll find him steering the site's coverage of all manner of PC hardware and reviews. Find him on Mastodon at mstdn.social/@richdevine