My take on the WhiteFox mechanical keyboard from Input Club

I previously provided my initial impressions on the WhiteFox. Now, I’ve had some time to get used to the keyboard. Here is my rambling take on it.

I really wish the keyboard had LEDs. Not just the CapsLock, but that beautiful shine-through glow for each and every keycap. I thought it had it. It does not as confirmed by the good people at Input Club. Other versions do have it, sadly. I missed this point and got left out. Speaking of LEDs, there is no CapsLock LED indicator. Wut? I might as well just swap out this key for Fn and reprogram it.

The Cherry MX Clear’s have a nice weight to it. I find that I am making less typos as a result, but I can still manage over 90 wpm. I’ve decided that I’d like to try Cherry MX Greens next as I miss the clicky sound of the Blues but want the weight of the Clears.

The TrueFox layout is not ideal for me. I think a custom built WhiteFox would be better or, if they start to sell it, the Aria. Still, not sure if I can do without the dedicated function row. I am not going to lie: I miss it. Having to use a layer key to increase or decrease my volume for example is kind of a pain. I’ve already reassigned my Esc, Delete, etc., so I can’t use those.

Programming KLL is a bit of a hassle. I actually found myself missing the experience I had with the Vortex Race 3 using the on-board reprogrammable keys. Yet, despite the hassle, it is nice being able to reprogram any key. A few notes: Eject doesn’t work; function keys 16-24 don’t work; Sleep doesn’t work. Maybe it’s a Mac thing, but they don’t work for me at this time. And creating Macros in KLL for me is impossible. I could not get it to work despite modifying the files in Vim via Terminal and then flashing the board.

Then there is flashing the board. Without another keyboard, it would take some serious know-how to flash it. Once you put the board in flashing mode, you can’t use Enter to initiate the flash within Terminal. Another keyboard or using a software keyboard plus the mouse would be required. I found myself less impressed with this situation.

I miss having a 2u backspace key. I find that it is for some reason or another difficult to get used to a 1u key that is virtually in the same place. (Yes, I removed the original TrueFox backspace location as it was too hard to get used to. The 1u is better than that other location, but it still isn’t as favorable for me as a 2u key in the standard location.)

I’ve found that I am mis-clicking the side buttons. I’ve found that I am mis-clicking Right Shift, accidentally hitting the Up Arrow. I’ve found that I am sometimes trying to Backspace and accidentally hit my upper-right Escape key, which is set to a Macro. I’ve found that I am sometimes intending to hit Backslash and accidentally hit Delete, another Macro. Or Enter, hits Page Up, still another Macro. More and more I am realizing the compactness of this design (as well as the Race 3) is not ideal. It’s not a huge impact, but is it the best setup for me?

Ultimately, I love the aesthetic of the WhiteFox, but, functionally, it’s not working well for me. I’m like the dude in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade: I chose poorly. However, it has helped me to see what I want over and above what I thought I wanted. I feel like I am inching ever closer to my end-game board.

 

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