Filco are renowned worldwide for their quality and overall feel of product and one of the latest additions to their product range, the ‘’Majestouch ‘MiniLa’ is no exception.
The MiniLa comes in a small box with large clear print lettering that state what the keyboard is, along with a nice graphic of the board itself. Inside the box, is the keyboard, along with a user manual and inside a neat compartment, the USB lead, replacement keycaps for the Escape key, the Caps Lock Key and the Control key, as well as a neat Filco branded keycap puller, if you want to change the keycaps. The standard ones are fit for purpose and look nice sitting on the switches themselves.
Onto the board itself. The Filco MiniLa is a 68 key keyboard that is a minimum layout (hence the MiniLa name) board that comes in a black plastic case that is sturdy and hard-wearing. The keycaps feel lovely to use and comfortable to type on. The board comes with a choice of Cherry MX Red switches, the slightly heavier MX Blacks (the ones that are present on the keyboard I was sent), MX Blues and MX Browns. The choice of switch is down to the consumer, of course but the MX Blacks are nice to type on and feel really good to use, as well as not being noticeably loud. Being a relatively hard typist, the Blacks felt right. The typing experience is exceptional and has a superb and sturdy feel. Keycap legends are laser-etched, meaning no wearing during the life of the product.
One thing to complement Filco on as well, is the much overlooked feet on the keyboard’s base. They are exceptionally sturdy, with a good deal of force required to extend them to make the keyboard stand upright. So often, keyboard manufacturers skimp on the quality of the feet, but not in this case at all.
The 68 key layout that is present on the MiniLa is nice and convenient for those who travel a lot, but personally, the layout is a tad small and I would think that the normal 104 key Majestouch would be a bit easier to type on. However, the slightly smaller Space Bar or Backspace was no issue. The inclusion of a dipswitch on the back to change some functions of keys (such as the changing of the Function keys to work as a Space Bar) is useful. Furthermore, the individual dipswitches work as follows:
- Dipswitch 1 – Disables the Windows and App keys.
- Dipswitch 2 – Changes the Caps Lock and Control Keys
- Dipswitches 3 & 4 – Changes the left and right Function keys into the Space Bar.
- Dipswitch 5 – Changes the Esc and ¬`¦ key functions.
- Dipswitch 6 – On a UK keyboard has no function at all – this is reserved for US and Japanese variants.
The functions of the Function key were not disruptive to the overall typing experience and I had no issues with these whatsoever.
The addition of one USB port at the back of the keyboard is exceptionally useful. For those with a mouse, then this offers an on-desk option to connect it, rather than relying on your laptop or desktop’s limited array or a separate hub. Alternatively, this could potentially be used for Filco’s own Majestouch, TenKeyPad, Tactile Action Numberpad, which is available separately.
My only couple of issues with the MiniLa are that the placement of the keys is slightly out compared to a normal keyboard which makes it slightly different to use, but this is only a minor issue that will affect some users and also the price. I think that £114 is a fair amount for only 68 keys, and personally, I would pay the extra to have the full size Majestouch, but this is of course down to personal choice.
Overall, the MiniLa is a fantastic product despite the couple of issues. Also, I would happily use a Filco product again due to their professional nature and fantastic feel when typing.
I look forward to reviewing another Filco product in the future!