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Lofree Edge Mechanical Keyboard Review: A Fantastic Little Travel Keyboard

 Lofree Edge Mechanical Keyboard Review: A Fantastic Little Travel Keyboard


The Lofree Edge keyboard is a bit of a surprise. I generally don’t enjoy typing on a typical low-profile keyboard, and my enjoyment doesn’t improve as keyboards get thinner. With the Edge, Lofree created a comfortable typing experience with a slim, sturdy, lightweight body. It’s as thin as a low-profile membrane or scissor-switch keyboard, but with mechanical switches. 

I have only one issue with the keyboard, and it’s a relatively minor one, especially for touch typists. I’ll get into that issue below. Otherwise this is a stellar ultralow-profile keyboard and a splendid mechanical upgrade from Apple’s Magic Keyboard or Logitech’s MX Keys Mini

Compared to Lofree’s larger retro-styled Block 98 mechanical keyboard (also an excellent keyboard), the Edge looks decidedly modern. Lofree used magnesium alloy and carbon fiber, keeping the weight down to about a pound (485 grams) while being sturdy enough for travel and a better feel than plastic. Plus, the carbon-fiber top is soft to the touch. 

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The bottom of the Lofree Edge. Flip-down feet at the back raise up the back if you prefer a slight angle when typing. 

Josh Goldman/CNET

Lofree redesigned the keycaps of its low-profile Flow keyboard for the Edge, taking the height down from 5.7 millimeters to 5 mm. They’re not flat, either, with the same curvature as Cherry keycaps. The PBT plastic Lofree used has a matte finish the company says is grease-resistant, which it certainly seems to be. After nearly a month of daily use, the keys cleaned up perfectly with little more than a swipe of a microfiber cloth. 

The keys are backlit, but since the keycaps aren’t shine-through, it’s almost pointless to use the lighting. To save battery life, keep the backlight off. Also, Lofree used a low-contrast extended typeface for the key legends, making them difficult to read in general but especially in dim lighting. 

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Lofree includes a small stand to hold a laptop and the keyboard made from extra carbon fiber from the fabrication process.

Josh Goldman/CNET

For the key switches, Lofree worked with switch maker Kailh on the self-lubricating POM Switch 2.0 linear switch with 2.4 mm of total travel. It has less travel and a slightly lighter actuation force than Cherry’s low-profile linear switch, but has more travel and is significantly lighter than Cherry’s ultralow-profile switch. Bascially, the Kailh switches fall comfortably in the middle of the two Cherry switches. 

The switches aren’t hot-swappable, so what you get is what you get: They’re smooth with only a slight amount of scratchiness. They sound nice overall, though, and they’re quiet. While many of the people in my office clack away on Apple Magic Keyboards, the soothing subtle thock of the Edge is quiet by comparison (and certainly more pleasing). The keys are marked for Apple and Windows, and you can switch between the two operating systems. 

The rear of the Lofree Edge keyboard with its single round power switch and USB-C port. The rear of the Lofree Edge keyboard with its single round power switch and USB-C port.

The rear of the Lofree Edge keyboard with its single round power switch and USB-C port. 

Josh Goldman/CNET

The keyboard connects to a computer via Bluetooth or USB-C cable. Like most Bluetooth keyboards, the Edge will go to sleep, requiring a second to wake and reconnect. Lofree claims a battery life of up to 130 hours without the backlight and 10 hours with the backlight on full power. It charges fast, too, filling up in only 3 hours. And you can use it corded while it charges.

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Josh Goldman/CNET

The Lofree Edge keyboard Kickstarter campaign is fully funded and the keyboard is currently in production. A fully assembled keyboard is a pledge of about $150 plus shipping, which varies by country. The campaign ends on May 25 at 9 a.m. ET and keyboards are expected to ship in July. This is Lofree’s second keyboard campaign. Its Flow keyboard, which it crowdfunded last year, is now available to buy on its site. However, before you contribute to a campaign, read the policies of the crowdfunding site — in this case, Kickstarter — to find out your rights (and refund policies, or lack thereof) before and after a campaign ends.



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