The AULA Wings of Liberty White 104-key RGB Mechanical Keyboard ($79.99) is a no-frills, premium keyboard. It’s equipped with generic blue switches, equivalent to Cherry MX Blue switches, which are favored for typing-intensive tasks. Blues are generally considered amongst the loudest switches, but this particular implementation is not perceptibly louder than other keyboards using different colored switches that I’ve used in the past. In any case, as expected, these blue switches give a tactile bump, as well as an audible click, when pressed even about halfway, so the responsiveness is quicker than other colored switches, which explains why heavy typers tend to favor them.
In the package you’re supposed to get the keyboard, quick start guide, and key puller. Unfortunately, this doesn’t appear to have a quick start guide or a key puller. It does has a very small double-sided sheet of paper that may be the quick start guide, but it appears to be in Chinese.
Even without a key puller, as is the norm for most mechanical keyboards, the keys are easy enough to pull off yourself when needed for maintenance or replacement. In fact, the Enter key on the numeric keypad fell off on mine during shipping. Fortunately, it was quite easy to pop back on securely.
As mentioned earlier, this is no frills, so there are few customization options here. You plug it in, and it works. It was recognized right away on my docked Microsoft Surface Pro 3 running Windows 10. There are four activity lights above the number pad that indicate things like Caps Lock and Scroll Lock, however, plus there are hard-coded secondary functions on the function keys, which are activated by pressing FN on the lower right of the keyboard.
There’s a guide on the interior of the box, but since it’s not in English I was only able to figure out a handful of the functions so far. These are (with the FN key): F1 = Previous, F2 = Play/Pause, F3 = Next, F4 = Stop, F5 = Mute, F6 = Volume Down, F7 = Volume Up, and F8 through Pause (except for F12) = Light Switching.
The light switching switches between various running lighting patterns. The latter is neat to see, but has little practical use. You can use FN plus the Home key to go back to the default lighting (steady on), and FN plus up or down arrows will raise or lower the brightness, respectively.
There are two clips on the bottom of the keyboard you can unlock to raise the top of the keyboard at an angle. You can also remove the wrist rest, although I’m not sure why you’d want to since it’s small and unobtrusive.
If you’re looking for a good mechanical keyboard for heavy typing and don’t need a lot of customization, you can do a lot worse than the AULA. I really love its compact size and like the responsiveness of the blue switches when I’m typing up a storm.
- Solid, heavy keyboard stays in place
- Quality construction
- Good price
- Blue switches really are great for typing
- Limited customization options
- No key puller
- No English quick start guide
- Trial and error with the function key combinations
Thanks to AULA for the review unit.