Qisan “Magicforce 68” Backlit Mechanical Keyboard

Qisan’s Magicforce 68 is a compact (65% layout) backlit mechanical keyboard of surprisingly high quality for its price point of $60.

It has Gateron Brown switches that are quite similar to Cherry MX Brown ones, a fact you will only understand if you’re a mechanical keyboard nerd. For the rest of you, it means that keystrokes feel clicky without being obnoxiously loud (though still loud enough that office mates may comment about it, depending on their tolerance for such things). It also makes the keyboard just as great for gaming as it does for typing.

The upper plate of the keyboard is aluminum, while the keys and bottom case are plastic. That aluminum plate makes all the difference in build quality, adding heft and rigidity without making the whole thing super heavy. They keys themselves have a slight texture to them that may take some getting used to if you normally use smooth keyboards, but once you’ve become accustomed to it, you’ll probably rather love the way they feel.

There are only a few quibbles:

  • The font on the keys is a little dorky, in a try-hard sci-fi kind of way.
  • The keys aren’t programmable at the board level. The only workaround (without replacing the PCB entirely) is to use key-mapping software.
  • Some people don’t like the non-removable “Magicforce” logo printed above the arrow keys. Doesn’t bother me personally.

The Qisan Magicforce is $60 on Amazon and comes in your choice of white silver or black. If you really need a number pad, a matching standalone one is available.