Varmilo’s Moonlight mechanical keyboard is the smoothest I’ve ever used – CNET

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Varmilo’s Moonlight keyboard with its own EC Switch V2 switches is available in 110% (pictured) and 80% sizes.  


Josh Goldman/CNET

I’ve tested dozens of gaming and office keyboards over the past few years, and Varmilo’s Moonlight MA108M using its EC Switch V2 switches is easily one of the best mechanical keyboards available. From its attractive and solid design to its unbelievably smooth feel and pleasing sound, it offers an amazing typing experience. 

The main ingredient of that experience is the company’s electrostatic capacitive switch that works by calculating the change on electrostatic capacity instead of using a physical contact like other mechanical switches. The result is a stable, fast and extremely sensitive switch with a theoretically unlimited life span, Varmilo says.

The EC switch V2 currently comes in three versions — Daisy, Sakura and Rose — and all of them are linear. That means they travel straight down without a click or tactile bump. A tactile Ivy switch is in development that the company says will be similar to a Cherry MX Blue switch. I tested the EC Sakura V2, which is similar to Cherry MX Red and Speed Silver switches. The Sakura has a 45-gram actuation force with a 2-millimeter actuation point and 60 grams of force to bottom out at 4mm. The EC Daisy V2’s actuation force is 10gm lighter and the EC Rose V2 is 10gm heavier than the Sakura’s.  

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The EC Sakura V2 switch by Varmilo. 


Josh Goldman/CNET

If you’re not used to linear switches, it might take some time to adjust to them because there’s no tactility. And the EC Sakura V2s move so smoothly that, even coming from another linear keyboard, it took time for me to adjust. Along with the smooth actuation, there is no wobble to the keys at all. Even the spacebar has a solid, shake-free feel to it. The keys have the most pleasing clack sound to them as well. On many mechanical keyboards, you’ll hear a spring sound or scraping, but not here: It’s just a quiet clack. 

Also, I’m a sloppy typist and I noticed that the switches have a consistent feel regardless of what part of the key I hit — no additional friction or drag. I am a hard typist also and generally prefer a tactile switch with a bump in it so I can feel the actuation before bottoming out. Varmilo’s upcoming Ivy switch might be the answer, but right now I have no complaints about the Sakura. 

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Josh Goldman/CNET

It’s a nice-looking keyboard, too. The $157 Moonlight — available in a 110%, 108-key version I tested as well as a smaller, tenkeyless size — is one of several themes that will be available with the new switches. (That converts to about £120 and AU$225.) Varmilo’s other themed keyboards, from panda- and ocean-inspired designs to more vintage-looking layouts, are also currently available with Cherry MX switches. You can check them all out on its websiteInstagramFacebook and Twitter profiles. 

The keyboard is backlit but because the company’s dye-sub-printed PBT keycaps are solid, the light doesn’t shine through the key legends. With the light on, the keys are truly backlit, which can make them difficult to read in the dark. However, since the keys on this model are mostly light gray and blue, you can read them easily enough in dim lighting. 

Lastly, this keyboard is built like a tank. It might have a faux wood-grain plastic case but it’s also got some serious heft to it at 2.8 pounds (1.2 kg). Between the weight and its rubber feet (there are flip-out legs in the rear also) this keyboard simply does not move unless you want it to. A Mini-USB port at the far right side in back and the included cable get you connected to your computer. It is fully compatible with Windows, but MacOS users will lose use of its shortcut keys. 

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