Cyberboard R2 evaluation: Must you spend $700 on a keyboard?

Indignant Miao Cyberboard R2 Le Smoking

MSRP $670.00

“In order for you a keyboard not like another, the Cyberboard R2 is for you — assuming you possibly can afford it.”


  • Gasket mount gives a chic typing expertise
  • Extremely customizable LED grid
  • Bluetooth and wired help
  • Wi-fi charging
  • Scorching-swappable key switches


  • Extraordinarily costly
  • Customization takes some effort
  • You will in all probability have to carry your personal switches

Indignant Miao launched the Cyberboard R2 over a 12 months in the past, at the very least in spirit. Extremely low yield charges and unprecedented demand compelled the Chinese language tech-fashion model to cancel the mission — however after over 400 days of ready, the Cyberboard R2 Le Smoking marks a comeback. It’s simply one of many finest keyboards you should buy, assuming the nauseatingly excessive price ticket of at the very least $670 doesn’t instantly flip you away.

Redesigned and approaching July 10 (at 8 p.m. PT in case you wish to get that F5 key prepared), the Cyberboard R2 Le Smoking is lastly getting its time to shine, and that’s an incredible factor. In the event you missed out on the Wes Anderson-inspired Cyberboard R3, you have got one other probability to select up one of the vital distinctive keyboards that cash should buy. And it’s additionally a rattling good one.


The Cyberboard R2 with RGB lighting turned on.
Jacob Roach / Digital Traits

You’d suppose design is the whole lot for the Cyberboard R2 Le Smoking, however the chic typing expertise takes middle stage. That doesn’t imply the keyboard isn’t a looker, although. With an aggressively angular design and the signature LED grid on the again, the R2 Le Smoking may be probably the most distinctive keyboard you’ve ever seen.

Because the identify implies, the R2 Le Smoking is impressed by the Le Smoking swimsuit from Saint Laurent — a equally angled and agile-looking swimsuit the model debuted in 1966. Unquestionably, the resemblance is there. 4 angled edges give it a retro-futuristic look that one way or the other manages to really feel empowered and petite on the identical time; identical to the swimsuit that impressed it.

Even after virtually two weeks of utilizing the Cyberboard R2, I’m nonetheless shocked by how premium it feels.

It’s removed from a petite keyboard, although. That is in all probability the heaviest keyboard you’ll ever encounter, weighing in over seven kilos with a full set of switches and keycaps. The load comes from a bevy of extras within the board — each an aluminum physique and plate, three separate PCBs, and a built-in wi-fi charging connector.

It additionally comes from the huge 200 LED grid on the again of the keyboard. You are able to do absolutely anything with the array — I went with a Tetris animation that was out there on Indignant Miao’s web site. That features customized animations, static colours, and helpful data just like the time and your battery life, in addition to an indicator for which Bluetooth connection you’re utilizing.

The construct high quality is unmatched, making historically premium keyboards just like the Logitech G915 TKL really feel like discount bin choices by comparability. Even after virtually two weeks of utilizing the Cyberboard R2 as my every day driver, I’m nonetheless shocked by simply how premium it feels.

Connectivity and ports

A USB-C cable coming out of the Cyberboard R2.
Jacob Roach / Digital Traits

The Cyerboard R2 Le Smoking has two connections — USB-C or Bluetooth. The USB-C connection is the quickest and what I used all through  testing, even though Indignant Miao doesn’t embrace a cable within the field. I’ve to imagine anybody spending $700 on a keyboard has at the very least a couple of spare USB-C cables, however an additional wouldn’t damage.

Bluetooth works throughout three gadgets, which you’ll swap between with ease utilizing Fn + 1, 2, or 3. The LED grid lights as much as present which connection you’re utilizing, and you may preserve all three gadgets paired directly. Home windows is the one supported OS — there’s no toggle for a MacOS structure like on the KeyChron Q1 — however I don’t think about too many of us shall be carrying the Cyberboard R2 round with an Android pill.

With a wi-fi charging mouse pad, you by no means want to fret about topping off your battery.

Though it’s straightforward to pair Bluetooth gadgets, it’s unintuitive. Not like mainstream keyboards just like the SteelSeries Apex Professional Mini Wi-fi, the R2 affords no toggle swap. As a substitute, it mechanically switches to Bluetooth once you unplug it. It’s unusual once you’re getting arrange, particularly with no “on” swap anyplace across the board.

Battery life goes fast with the LEDs blaring — I dropped about 10% over the course of a few hours — but it surely’s not too large of a difficulty. The R2 Le Smoking has a wi-fi charging pad constructed into the underside of the keyboard that can kick in at any time when the battery reaches 85%. With a wi-fi charging mouse pad, you by no means want to fret about topping off, and also you don’t want to stress about sporting out the battery, because the pad switches off when it’s full.


Switches on the Cyberboard R2 Le Smoking.
Jacob Roach / Digital Traits

You may utterly disassemble the Cyberboard R2 Le Smoking and swap out the switches and keycaps, however the base keyboard package doesn’t include both; you have to carry your personal. The bundle, which is about $150 dearer at $823, comes with Gateron Ink Black linear switches and Indignant Miao’s Glacier keycaps, and it’s a profitable mixture.

Ink Black switches are heavy, requiring 60 grams of pressure in comparison with 45 grams on a conventional Pink linear swap. That makes them ultra-smooth for typing, particularly in case you prefer to slam in your keys like I do. The sound is {smooth} and on the excessive finish of hole, and I discovered myself randomly typing sentences into my search bar simply to listen to the keyboard in motion slightly extra.

The gasket mount makes it really feel such as you’re hammering away on a cloud.

Though you possibly can swap in any switches you need, it’s not the seamless course of you’d discover on a mainstream keyboard just like the Asus ROG Strix Flare II. And for good purpose. Not like most cheaper keyboards that use a prime mount the place the swap plate is instantly on prime of the remainder of the body, the R2 Le Smoking makes use of a gasket mount.

The distinction is {that a} small bit of fabric sits in between the swap plate and the remainder of the body, and it makes a world of distinction for typing. You’ll by no means really really feel the plate transferring, however the microscopic give and take it affords when typing makes it really feel such as you’re hammering away on a cloud. Consequently, it additionally means you’ll have to disassemble the keyboard to swap out switches. That trade-off is properly value it.

Gaming and typing

Cyberboard R2 Le Smoking sitting on a black background.
Jacob Roach / Digital Traits

In the event you’re on the lookout for the finest gaming keyboard, the Cyberboard R2 Le Smoking isn’t it — and I wouldn’t have it another method. It’s too cumbersome to maneuver into a snug place, the bundled switches are too heavy for twitch reactions, and the keycaps don’t grip in your fingers due  their shiny acrylic end. I’m completely happy that’s the case, although.

The typing expertise is simply too good, particularly with the Ink Black switches. Out of all the keyboards I’ve reviewed and used, that is the primary time ever that I’ve introduced mates into my workplace and mentioned “you’ve obtained to do this.”

Numerous your expertise will come right down to the switches and keycaps you employ, however the Cyberboard R2 units you up for fulfillment with its gasket mount. Sadly, completely different switches don’t repair the problems with gaming. Shifting the keyboard round is a problem resulting from how heavy it’s, and slamming your thumb in opposition to the body with a fast mouse flick is a quick strategy to a bruise.

I like utilizing it for keyboard-only video games like The Binding of Issac, although, and I attempted to get it working in my beloved Future 2 simply due to how nice the keyboard feels. Nonetheless, in case you’re primarily a gamer, save your self the effort (and cash) and get one thing just like the Razer Huntsman Mini. It is a typing keyboard, regardless of its retro-futuristic aesthetic.

Software program

Lighting software for the Cyberboard R2.

Software program must energy {hardware}, and that’s not the case for the Cyberboard R2. As a substitute of a devoted lighting and macro program like you have got with the Corsair K70 RGB Professional, it’s a must to design your results on Indignant Miao’s web site, obtain a file, after which load it into the keyboard. You may’t see updates in actual time, and it’s a must to check in to obtain neighborhood information.

It is a unhealthy system, particularly when Indignant Miao’s web site is vulnerable to slowdowns and crashes. You’re given plenty of choices — three lighting layers on the LED grid together with animation help, computerized translation of photographs into the grid, and limitless remapping layers — however the trial and error of even getting the web site to work will sap your want to experiment.

Indignant Miao has the precise concept with community-driven results — I noticed a picture of Gengar that I liked inside a minute — however the system for putting in the results holds again any neighborhood efforts.

The excellent news is that Indignant Miao elevated the variety of customized lighting slots to a few over the unique design, and the editor is highly effective sufficient to supply distinctive, vibrant animations. I simply want it was a bit simpler to discover.

Our take

Must you spend $700 for a keyboard? No, there’s no purpose to. The Cyberboard R2 Le Smoking is past the purpose of diminishing returns, and you will get one thing simply as good for much less cash (particularly in case you construct your personal keyboard). What you possibly can’t get is the outstanding design, distinctive construct high quality, and clear consideration to element that went into the Cyberboard R2 Le Smoking, and for staunch keyboard lovers, it’s cash properly spent.

Are there any options?

There are counterfeit Cyberboard fashions floating across the web, however nothing that matches the distinctive look and construct of the Cyberboard R2 Le Smoking.

How lengthy will it final?

As a customized keyboard that you just construct your self, the Cyberboard R2 Le Smoking is only a base you can proceed to customise and enhance over time. It would final so long as you need it to.

Must you purchase it?

Sure, however provided that you’re deeply embedded on the planet of customized mechanical keyboards. Customizing isn’t for the faint of coronary heart, and the value is obscenely excessive in comparison with mainstream choices. In brief, you don’t want this keyboard. It’s only a matter of in case you need it.

Editors’ Suggestions

We will be happy to hear your thoughts

Leave a reply

Affordable Deals USA

we aggregate the best deals for you from Amazon to ensure you have the best selection and lowest prices. Once you chose your desired selection you will be redirected to buy directly from their websites

Enable registration in settings - general
Compare items
  • Total (0)
Shopping cart