Sat. Apr 13th, 2024


Key Takeaways

  • This keyboard is customizable with hot-swappable switches and open-source software.
  • The tiny right shift key was a big compromise I had a hard time getting over.
  • V1 owners might not feel the need to upgrade to V2, but it should attract new users with expanded platform support.


The Nuphy Air60 V2 is a refined upgrade of its previous model. Despite it looking almost identical there are enough tweaks to make it nicer. Anyone looking for a clicky keyboard that can be moved around should at least be tempted by this option.

Nuphy Air60 V2 Keyboard

NuPhy Air60 V2

The Nuphy Air60 V2 has a 60% layout (64 keys), supports QMK/VIA so you can define the keys of the keyboard, supports Windows/macOS/Linux, and also supports Bluetooth 5.1, 2.4GHz, and wired (USB-C) connection.

Pros

  • Customizable from switches to software
  • Wide platform support
  • Plenty of battery life
Cons

  • Tiny right shift key
  • VIA can be finicky
  • Probably not enough reasons for V1 owners to upgrade

Price and Availability

The Air60 V2 is available now for a retail price of $109.95 directly from the company. The base price includes red, blue, or brown 2.0 low-profile switches. On Amazon, the keyboard retails for $129.99. Other switch options are available on the company’s website, along with other keycap sets, and the Extra NuFolio V3 travel case.

The third version of the travel case sells for $29 and comes in two color options. It unfolds to become a stand for a phone or tablet.

Specifications

Form factor
ANSI 60%

Backlight
RGB-LED

Keycaps
Double-shot PBT

Supported operating systems
macOS/Windows/Linux/Android/iOS

Hot-swappable
Yes

Connectivity
2.4GHz, wired, Bluetooth

Typing angle
3.2-, 7.0-, 10.0-degree options

Software customizability
QMK/VIA

Dimensions
11.70 x 4.20 x 0.59in (297.3 x 107.2 x 13.5mm)

Weight
1lb (463g)

Number of Keys
64

Num Pad
No

Battery life
Up to 150 hours with lights off

Polling Rate (Refresh)
Wired and 2.4GHz: 1,000Hz, Bluetooth: 125Hz


Air60 V1 Versus Air60 V2 Differences

The upgraded V2 model doesn’t change too much, but it changes enough. Importantly, it’s more compatible with platforms beyond Windows. Linux and macOS join the fray.

Instead of using a custom Nuphy console for key customization, V2 uses QMK/VIA software which is more universal across different manufacturers. More people should be familiar with using it. The polling rate moves from 500Hz with the 2.4GHz wireless adapter to a 1,000Hz polling rate.

The new model gets double-shot PBT keycaps enabling thinner parts with better durability. There are also more switch options available. Added up, the sum is a meaningful improvement, but if you’ve been happy with your V1 keyboard, it’s probably not worth upgrading. More likely, the V2 model should attract a lot of people who couldn’t consider it previously.

There Are Compromises With This 60% Keyboard

As the Air60 name implies, this is a 60% keyboard, meaning it’s about 60% the size of a traditional, full-sized board. (It has 64 keys if you’re curious.) Not all 60% keyboards are exactly the same size, but the general rule is that they’re ultra-compact. There is no hint of a numberpad here.


Plenty of 60% options even forego dedicated arrow keys to get their size down. Nuphy’s keyboard keeps the standard directional keys, but it significantly shrinks the right shift key. The loss of a full-sized shift key on the right has been the single biggest deterrent for me to fully commit to this keyboard. If it’s not a dealbreaker, then it’s close.

Over the years I’ve preferred smaller keyboards as I’ve gotten accustomed to relying on laptops more. This has translated over to my desk as well. I write for a living and don’t need a lot of fluff around my fingers.

I always like the idea of a 60% board because it looks tight, doing away with all but the essentials. Almost always, however, I find a compromise that edges me back up to a 75% board size, which seems to be the sweet spot for me.

Although I’m not crazy about a chopped-off shift key, it is a subjective flaw. People should be aware of the design choice, but not inherently avoid this keyboard because of it.


Air is an appropriate moniker for this keyboard. It’s lightweight and, with the default red switches, feels breezy to type on. The sound is thocky (take that word at face value), but not weighted or burdensome. In fact, the board probably works best for people with a light touch.

Customizable Keyboard Through Software

It’s a bit ironic that this keyboard gains better customization, but fewer keys to personalize. Obviously, for the nerdy type, there could still be plenty to do, but I had a hard time finding too much to tweak.

I tried both the web and macOS versions of VIA and both took several times of unplugging and replugging the keyboard with a USB-C cable before it was recognized. That’s not unique to this Nuphy product either. It’s something I have experienced with other keyboards before.

Typically I like remapping media keys first, but since there wasn’t a better place to put them, I started by remapping the up arrow key to where the delete key was and added a second right-shift key to manipulate the part of the board I found lacking.


It worked. I expanded the area, so I could tap my pinky finger to modify letters, instead of accidentally arrowing up. I don’t know if it exactly solved my problem with wanting or needing a larger shift key, but the software worked to change the functionality.

Battery Life Is Fine

Nuphy says you can expect about 30 to 90 hours of wireless battery life with all the lights on, according to lab tests. That number goes to 150 hours with all the lights off.

I used the keyboard primarily in the 2.4GHz mode with the lights on. It definitely lasted me a full workweek and then some. Even heavy users should be able to plug the keyboard in on Friday afternoon and jump back in the saddle on Monday morning and not be too inconvenienced.

There are two mini light strips on the keyboard, one on the left and one on the right. In addition to ambiance, the colors they display do have meaning. They were too small to have any meaningful visual effect on me, but I did turn on the permanent battery indicator so the right one would light up green, yellow, or red depending on the battery level. I found this subtle design cue to help monitor the power level.


Should You Buy the Nuphy Air60 V2 Keyboard?

The upgrades that the Nuphy Air60 V2 keyboard gets are all-around meaningful. The expansion of compatibility to new platforms is the most significant, but otherwise, there are just some nice quality-of-life improvements.

Personally, I found myself needing a little bit bigger board than the Air60 offers—the Air75 size is more suited to my tastes with a larger right shift key. But for people who do love the 60% size, this is a quality keyboard that will be easy to travel with or move from room to room.

Nuphy Air60 V2 Keyboard

NuPhy Air60 V2

The Nuphy Air60 V2 has a 60% layout (64 keys), supports QMK/VIA so you can define the keys of the keyboard, supports Windows/macOS/Linux, and also supports Bluetooth 5.1, 2.4GHz, and wired (USB-C) connection.



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By John P.

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