1STPLAYER LANG MK980 Mechanical Keyboard

We’ve previously reviewed the 1STPLAYER UNI-Q DIY Mechanical Keyboard Kit and enjoyed how 1STPLAYER has taken the mechanical keyboard more seriously than ever. Today what we have here is the 1STPLAYER LANG MK980 mechanical keyboard and we’ll see if this keyboard has what it takes to compete in the market.

Video review

1STPLAYER LANG MK980

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As the name suggests, the MK980 is a 98 keys mechanical keyboard. There are a few names that you can call this layout, for example, 1800 layout, 96% layout, or compact size. The big idea of ​​this layout is to keep as many keys as possible while reducing the keyboard footprint. The numeric keypad is brought closer to the input area by slightly shifting the group of arrows down and repositioning some of the navigation keys. Of course, some keys are removed altogether and you will have to rely on combinations of functions to trigger it, like Print Screen. This makes this user manual extremely important as the shortcuts are not printed on the keys.

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Maybe this is the reason why this quick user manual is actually a piece of sticker and it fits perfectly under the keyboard. Now some might complain why 1STPLAYER doesn’t stick it right away, are they lazy?

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Well, personally I think it’s better because not everyone would want to have a big chunk of user manual stuck under their keyboard. Having it prepared allows users to decide for themselves.

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The main reason they don’t print the text of the extra shortcut functions on the keys is largely because of their decision to use this unique set of keys – the cost. The keycap has an MDA profile which is extremely rare even for the custom keycap market. This means it is not as produced as Cherry, OEM, DCS, SA, XDA profile keycaps.

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Besides that, it uses PBT material for high durability as well as thermal sublimation printing method. Personally, I really like the feel of typing on this keyboard. The MDA profile is a pleasure to type due to its added key surface.

If you don’t like the fact that SA is too big, you might like MDA because it’s almost as big as the standard OEM profile.

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Two different color options are available for the MK980, black and white. The keys will have a matching color scheme to match the chassis.

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One thing I noticed is that the black colored version will also come with a white colored plate for better RGB light distribution.

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Under the keyboard you will find 4 rubber feet and a set of double height kickstands. The 4 rubber feet do not hold the keyboard well in place because the keyboard is way too wide.

If you use the kickstand, it will solve the problem.

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The positioning of the USB-C port could have been better as the current port is so old school and can be very difficult to plug in if you are using a custom cable with a slightly thicker header.

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As for the switch option, Malaysian units will only ship with a Gateron Yellow linear switch. Since this keyboard supports hot swap function, you can just buy any switch you like and customize it as you like. 1STPLAYER also included under PCB foam padding and factory lubricated stabilizers. To be fair, I think they deserve a few compliments because the keyboard is significantly better than their older models. Watch the review video to tap the sound showcase.

Conclusion

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For the official retail price of RM299, the 1STPLAYER LANG MK980 is a decent plug-and-play mechanical keyboard if you’re into the hobby. Obviously my review has been pretty positive so far with the features you get. However, there are a few things 1STPLAYER needs to look at, especially the software. See, I never mentioned the software in this review just because Windows would mark the installer as potential malware and quarantine the file. This is a very common problem with software developed in Chinese. Again, you don’t need the software to be able to use the keyboard. So in the end, it doesn’t really matter.

In short, the MK980 is a great keyboard, especially for those looking for a compact full-size layout. It has a unique MDA keycap profile which is already very rare in the market and you get all the modern mechanical keyboard features like the hot-swappable switch design and the removable USB-C cable. This is one of the most satisfying keyboards to type out of the box.

Where to buy 1STPLAYER LANG MK980 (affiliate links)

  • Amazon – https://amzn.to/3jw1HF1
  • Lazada – https://invol.co/cl6vgl4
  • Shopee – https://invol.co/cl6vgl7


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