Hands on with the vintage-inspired Rymek Bluetooth keyboard

in iPad edited July 2018
The Rymek retro Bluetooth mechanical keyboard is an interesting take on a mechanical keyboard. AppleInsider got to spend a bit of time with it ahead of the crowdfunding campaign.

Rymek Retro Bluetooth Keyboard

It should be noted upfront, we have a fondness for retro-design inspired electronics. We've found ourselves drawn to many of the nostalgic Lofree products including their keyboard and Bluetooth Poison speaker. The Rymek Bluetooth mechanical keyboard fits right into the niche, immediately piquing my interesting.

What it is, is a well-made Bluetooth keyboard in a design reminiscent of an antique typewriter. Of course, many current niceties are built in including some impressive light displays, quality mechanical switches, and metal accents.

We tested out the Rymek keyboard for a bit and have developed some polarizing first impressions.

Right out of the gate, it is clear that this keyboard isn't for everyone. It has a bit of an eccentric design that only a portion of the possible audience for an external keyboard will appreciate. We did enjoy the aesthetics, but had a few issues with build quality.

Rymek Retro Bluetooth Keyboard

Namely, the key caps felt distinctly cheaper than the remainder of the keyboard. The actual switches underneath, Cherry MX Blue models, were great, but the actual keys were far too light and had a hollow feel when we hit them that wasn't as pleasant as we'd have liked. Since this is a mechanicalkeyboard, the feel of each keystroke is important, and it just wasn't exactly up to snuff.

Rymek Retro Bluetooth Keyboard

We can easily see many people jumping on board the Rymek simply for the design. However, in that regard, we have few complaints. Everything works well together, and there are plenty of additional controls built in such as the knob on the right and the bar on the left.

Rymek Retro Bluetooth Keyboard

The carriage return bar on the left is used to easily swap between USB mode and Bluetooth.

Rymek is pretty universal, working across iOS, Android, macOS, and Windows, though it is a bit difficult to see using this with either an iPhone, or our Mac. The iPad is really the ideal device to use with the Rymek, regardless of the size. The zync-alloy stand along the back can easily hold any size iPad in either portrait or landscape orientation.

Rymek Retro Bluetooth Keyboard

If you are in the mood for some flair, then there are several different lighting modes that animate while typing. They can be fun and interesting, but also a bit distracting when actually trying to type.

  • Rymek Retro Bluetooth Keyboard
  • Rymek Retro Bluetooth Keyboard
  • Rymek Retro Bluetooth Keyboard

We aren't sure we really want to type on the Rymek Bluetooth mechanical keyboard each and every day, but it is certainly an attention-grabbing device that does what it is meant to do.

It works well, across many different systems, both wired and wireless. If you dig the retro design, then the Rymek may be worth the plunge. You can back it on Indiegogo, where it has amassed well over its goal, for $99.


  • Reply 1 of 8
    jamesmcdjamesmcd Posts: 64member
    Lol... fucking hipsters. 
  • Reply 2 of 8
    eliangonzaleliangonzal Posts: 490member
    jamesmcd said:
    Lol... fucking hipsters. 
    "Sent from my iPad Pro with Smart Keyboard from a Starbucks."
  • Reply 3 of 8
    anomeanome Posts: 1,291member

    Sorry, the carriage return bar is a mode switch? Fail! I was into this until you said that.

    Carriage Return should be a Carriage Return. Make people learn to type properly, like we did in the old days.

  • Reply 4 of 8
    jamesmcdjamesmcd Posts: 64member
    jamesmcd said:
    Lol... fucking hipsters. 
    "Sent from my iPad Pro with Smart Keyboard from a Starbucks.”
    Hah! You wish. At a young age I had to use a typewriter... not an experience worth recreating. 
  • Reply 5 of 8
    asciiascii Posts: 5,941member
    Those kind of things only really work if they're super-authentic, like they are modelled after an exact model from the era, one regarded as a classic, and they have tried to use exactly the same materials as the original as much as possible, and exactly the same dimensions, stuff like that. When its just a generic model like this made of modern materials then it feels too much like you're an adult with a kid's toy typewriter, rather than someone paying homage to a great design or to a cool thing from the past.
  • Reply 6 of 8
    chasmchasm Posts: 1,643member
    I am in fact writing this comment on an iPad in a Starbucks, but not a Pro and I’m using a Logitech K480 via Bluetooth, a setup I very much enjoy. Certainly the Rymek looks great in photos, but as the overview shows it’s got some build-quality issues (hopefully corrected before mass production) — and as Ascii points out it’s a pastiche for trendy steampunkers rather than a nostalgic recreation of an actual vintage model. If they can improve the key caps it should still do well as a stylish novelty keyboard, but for me if I’m spending $100+ on a keyboard it needs to be one that I’m using day-in and day-out and can take that level of wear and tear.
  • Reply 7 of 8
    robin huberrobin huber Posts: 3,275member
    Cute, but I really like the sound and feel of the keyboard that came with the original Macintosh all-in-one computer. Keys were big, solid, long-travel, and made a satisfying clunk when you hit them. 
  • Reply 8 of 8
    commentcomment Posts: 6member
    "immediately piquing my interesting" should be "immediately piquing my interest".
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