review

Magic Refiner Mk21 RGB Review 60% Wired Mechanical Keyboard

Tuesday, October 12, 2021

 
A neat tenkeyless wired keyboard, the Magic Refiner Mk21 comes with detachable power cable and metal top plate that prevents keyboard flex and also helps reflect the light from the switches, making the RGB backlighting shine through more vividly.



The Magic Refiner Mk21 has a 60% footprint with a total of 100 keys available. 61 of those are physical keys built-in to the keyboard and the other 39 keys are accessed virtually via the Fn function key. The included user guide lists each virtual key, which include navigation arrow keys, media keys (e.g. volume) and F keys ( F1-F12).


The bottom base of the Magic Refiner Mk21 has a gradient design, which naturally keeps the keyboard at an angle. The keyboard can be elavated higher, thanks to the feet risers. Most computer keyboards have feet risers but the Magic Refiner Mk21 has dual feet risers, which allows you to adjust the height of the keyboard in two levels. 

 

The Mk21 keyboard feet risers are securely hinged so, they don't flop around when extended. The feet risers also feature grippy rubber pads that prevents the keyboard from sliding around while elvated.

The Magic Refiner Mk21 measures 29.3cm long, 10cm wide, 4cm high (including the top row of keys). When the feet risers are extended, the height goes up to 4.5cm (shortest feet) and 5cm (longest feet). Total weight is 549 grams. The Magic Refiner Mk21 uses LC mechanical switches, which are basically clones of Gateron optical blue switches with the exact same feel as Cherry MX Blue switches so, they have a high operating force with a short actuation travel (0.15 mm).

The Magic Refiner Mk21 keyboard has on-board functions too. You can control the RGB lighting and brightness, which can be increased and decreased in 20% increments from 0%, 20%, 40%, 60%, 80% and 100%. The lowest brightness setting (0%) turns off the RGB lighting. You can also turn off the RGB lighting manually by manually cycling between the color options until you get to the "off" option.

There are 8 solid colors (red, orange, yellow, cyan, blue, purple, white, green) to choose from, as well as different lighting effects, including single color lighting effects and multicolor lighting effects. The single color lighting effects can be manually changed. There is also a game mode (lights up the WASD keys) and a custom mode for customizing key lighting. The speed of the lighting effect can be increased and decreased also from the keyboard. To toggle between solid color options on the Magic Refiner Mk21, you have to press Fn+Tab key.


The Magic Refiner Mk21 is compatible with Windows computers (Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7 and Windows 8) and Mac comuters with USB-A ports, which include the old MacBook Air, new Mac Mini, iMacs, iMac Pro, and the 2013 Mac Pro.


The Magic Refiner Mk21 mechanical switches are non-hotswappable, which means the switches are soldered onto the PCB; hence you cannot remove/nor replace the switches. The keycaps can be removed and repalced though. A plastic keycap puller is included. 

The Magic Refiner Mk21 stock keycaps are made of PBT plastic, which is more durable than ABS plastic. Another nice advantage of PBT keycaps, it's that it takes much longer to develop a "greasy shine" whereas with ABS keycaps, the greasy shine develops within a a few weeks of using the keyboard. That said, the Mk21 stock PBT keycaps keycaps aren't doubleshot, which means the legend will eventualy wear off, unlike doubleshot keycaps.

The Mk21 uses plate-mounted dummy switch stabilizers, which look like Cherry style stabilizers but without the stabilizer bar. This makes cleaning the keyboard much easier and less fiddly when replacing the keycaps. Plate-mounted stabilizers perform well, although PCB-mounted screw in stabilizers offer the best stability.


A 1.8 meters long rubber cable is included for powering the Mk21 keyboard. A velcro cable tie is also included for neatly tying the cable. You can buy the Magic Refiner Mk21 with blue and red switches from MechDiy


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