Recently, a 65% Durgod mechanical keyboard with a retro design called FUSION became a hit on Kickstarter. The original goal was only $10,317. In the end, it made $272,120, more than 25 times the subscription amount.
The FUSION Keyboard is the product of a new Chinese brand, DURGOD, which was founded in 2016 and is based in Zhuhai, according to the company’s website. It is a “peripheral brand that combines product R&D, program and software development, and brand operation.”
The FUSION is currently available in three colors: Nautical blue, steam gray, and retro white, in homage to the age of the Great Sea, the Age of steam, and the age of video games. I was lucky enough to get one of the blue nautical colors. Let’s start our FUSION Keyboard review to find out why it’s so popular.
Tip: The whole evaluation contains more than 4000 words, which is expected to take 8 minutes to read.
open the box
When we open the package, what we see is the kraft paper package which is full of retro design. Whether it is the key element of the game controller or the classic copy of the packaging image of the 1980s, Durgod can always bring the users into its elaborately designed classic, nostalgic and retro packaging at first sight.
In life, each of us has some nostalgic plot, and each of us has different feelings. Durgod accurately grasped the common point of those years and cleverly designed its products and packaging, so as to arouse the resonance of the vast majority of people.
Durgod FUSION adopts the design of double-layer packaging box. The inner box of the same kraft packaging is relatively simple. Durgod Logo and product series name are the main contents on the front of the packaging.
Next up is our main character, Durgod FUSION in nautical blue. Appearance design is one of the biggest highlights of this keyboard, the keyboard in my hands of the sea blue uses dark blue as the benchmark tone, arrangement of 48 filled with middle rice white keys, and the upper left corner of the Esc key, in the top right corner of the wireless key and space key match with bright yellow below, which is of stable, deep dark tonal whole ornament, keyboard and arranged in triangle echo of added rows of flexibility.
The keyboard using the compact compared with 65% of the 68-key layout, which satisfy the basic needs of daily, work or play, which riches design element and has very good control of the keyboard at the same time. The overall size keyboard size is about 12.44 * 5.27 * 1.41 inches, weight is about 1.36 pounds, small and light, can easily into the ordinary computer bags, implements the portable use while going out.
Despite its small size, the FUSION features a separate full-size arrow key that makes it more comfortable to use and more flexible to play than removing the arrow key and integrating the arrow key into three buttons. The common function key on the right side and the F function key combination meet the basic needs of users.
The shiny silver metal Logo is eye-catching and greatly improves brand recognition. Logo nameplate belongs to the moving parts. The secret is placed internal. Although for the moving parts of the peripheral clearance control is very uniform and consistent, it is really a fine point to see strict quality control.
The wide forehead with horizontal stripes, thin vertical stripes and raised Logo push wireless switch is easy to operate and brings users to the classic era of red and white machines, which is worth being remembered.
Are the 48 purposefully worn beige keys also a mottled reminder of the days of old-fashioned big-head computers and tinted, wired keyboard and mouse sets, when a group of people sat around watching red alert and Warcraft.
The bottom of the keyboard is relatively simple, the main content is six non-slip rubber pads and two with non-slip rubber pad support feet. Non-slip foot pad has 0.11inch height, in addition to play a non-slip role, can also play a good shock buffer.
In terms of accessories, Durgod is quite generous, such as wire extractor, cord belt, instruction manual, plastic dust cover, Type-C to Type-C cable, USB-A to Type-C cable, expansion adapter and receiver. All these are full of sincerity. In my opinion, the most commonly used one is the transparent PET dust cover. After all, it is a pity that the keyboard with such a good appearance might get dirty.
Details highlight quality, devotion makes model
Durgod FUSION series is equipped with Cherry MX axis, and provides five different coaxes for users to choose from, including green axis, tea axis, red axis, silver axis and silent red axis. The nautical blue I have in my hand is matched with the red axis. It feels smooth and soft when it is struck, and the strength is relatively light, so it lasts quite long.
FUSION keyboard standard with the original height of the PBT key cap, PBT should be the most reliable, the most excellent key cap material, whether the oil resistance, hardness is very good, corrosion resistance, oxidation resistance is also very good, known as “never need to be oiled”. The front of the key cap is slightly concave design, which is more durable and feels comfortable and delicate.
The font on the front of the key cap is a two-color injection molding process, the advantage is that the font color bright, high durability, which is not easy to make the words fall off. The touch feel is comfortable and exquisite, while bringing users more durability.
Different from the front font, the font on the side of the key cap mainly adopts the laser packing method. Although the firmness of the font is lower than that of two-color injection molding, it is much higher than that of ordinary ink printing, because it usually won’t touch and wear on the side of the key cap, so you don’t have to worry about the handwriting wear and disappear.
With careful observation, you will find that the outer edge of the space key also carried out the transition arc design. Your hands will not feel uncomfortable when pressing it up, which makes it comfortable enough for long-term contact without any tiredness. The satellite axis design is adopted for the large key position, with stable hand feeling, balanced pressing of left and right thumb, and high consistency of key position action. Query online feedback can be learned that the key has been widely praised for its craftsmanship.
Unplug the key cap, we can see that this FUSION keyboard is made of aluminum alloy, which ensures the shaft is fixed and at the same time makes it lightweight, which is why the overall weight of FUSION is very light. Combined with the small key design, it is easier to carry out.
PET rigid transparent plastic dust cover with high transparency, good gloss, non-toxic, tasteless, health and safety characteristics. This not only provides dust protection but also does not hinder the keyboard appearance level perfect display at the same time.
Technology support, amazing experience and efficiency improvement
Durgod FUSION series keyboard support Bluetooth, 2.4G wireless and cable connection mode, all models support all keys without punching technology (some wireless keyboard keys all in no rush is defined with a wired connection mode, so the FUSION of all keys no rush indeed quite rare), can easily deal with office, games and different scenarios. In Bluetooth mode, the FUSION keyboard can pair two Bluetooth devices at the same time and switch by combining keys. I have been playing code words and games in the mode of Bluetooth and 2.4g wireless. During the use, the keyboard connection was stable without any delay or disconnection.
Durgod FUSION can match two Bluetooth devices, a 2.4 G wireless connection, and a cable connection, the three modes four connections can connect mobile phone, tablet, computer without the need for cables, effectively reduce the chaotic, as well as desktop cable by making equipment peripherals share more convenient more efficient.
Durgod FUSION’s 2.4G wireless receiver is cleverly hidden under the bright silver metal Logo in the upper left corner mentioned above. Just press the right side of the metal Logo to make the left side tilt up. At this time, push the Logo to the left, so that the Logo nameplate can be revealed below the wireless receiver. In order to facilitate access and release, the receiver storehouse has also designed a structure that presses and pops out. In order to avoid damage to the pop-up mechanism caused by frequent use, I always use Logo nameplates to magnetizing the receiver. Give me a thumbs-up for this brilliant idea.
On the top right corner of the keyboard is a Durgod Logo push switch that switches wireless functions. When the switch is pushed to the left, there is a small gap, which makes people who has OCD mad. The three indicators beside the wireless switch are not only responsible for Capslock indicator, configuration file indicator and power indicator, but also for indicating the wireless connection status. The three lights correspond to Bluetooth 1, Bluetooth 2 and 2.4G wireless respectively. The indicator lamp still USES the soft light cover design, the light color is rich but not dazzling.
Little tip: when making a Bluetooth connection, Android and Windows laptop connection is successful, for reasons of test I had delete Bluetooth keyboard on a laptop, side of mobile phone cancel keyboard pairing operation, and then try again paired connection, it found that the notebook can be successful connection/remove the keyboard, and mobile phone can’t find the FUSION keyboard. After repeated tests on multiple mobile phones, I failed. I once thought the keyboard was out of order until I contacted the customer service to give patient and careful guidance. I successfully solved the problem by pressing FN+Q/W for 3 seconds until the indicator light flashed to activate the pairing. If you have a friend with the same problem, try to be patient, or ask for help from customer service. Don’t automatically conclude that the keyboard is broken.
Under wired connection or 2.4G wireless connection mode, users can set the keyboard function through the new Version of Durgod Zeus Driver. By logging into Durgod’s official website, users can download the latest version of Durgod Zeus Engine, and open the software to automatically identify and load FUSION series keyboards on the home page.
The first time you open the driver software, it will automatically pop up the dialog window indicating that you need to update the Firmware of the Durgod FUSION keyboard. Clicking the Update button below will automatically upgrade the keyboard firmware to the latest V1.12 version.
The Zeus drive allows you to set the keys and FN combinations to extend more keys and functions. For example, FN and P keys can be combined to achieve PrintScreen key function that FUSION does not have. After all, PrtSc function will be more convenient for you to record reviews.
With any combination, FUSION’s 68 buttons can do all of the 104 keys, while driving-based support allows for more fun things, such as great in-game moves. In addition, I made a macro recording of the unlock password of the laptop screen. In the future, to unlock the screen, I only need to press FN+U to realize the function of UnlockScreen.
FUSION supports on-board storage, while the right part provides on-board configuration file switching. With the built-in memory chip, you can pre-store three sets of custom key macros and use them without the driver software, making it easier and faster to use.
One of the few slots in Zeus is where the on-board storage buttons are too small to display text normally. This is how it looks on the extended screen.
Another Little Tip: To save keyboard configuration files to on-board memory, you have to do it wirelessly. When the onboard configuration file is called FN+ Backspace, macro instructions and key combination Settings can be run in the two states of 2.4G wireless and wired connection. You can only run macros in Bluetooth mode and you cannot use keystrokes or key combinations. The instructions attached won’t tell you this.
As I unpacked the case, I was already fascinated by the look and finish of the Durgod FUSION keyboard. The retro design, the clever color palette, and the exquisite workmanship make it a piece of art to enjoy on the table alone, making the worktop looks even better.
As for the hands-on experience, this nautical Blue FUSION with cherry red axis shows the typical red axis characteristics. The pressure required is light and the process is uniform, and the fingers enjoy the soft and smooth feeling when pressing on it. In the process of the key, soft, bouncing, with the finger tapping, the key touch the bottom of the click sound, which is the side of the code word to enjoy the auditory feast. I usually like to edit small videos, and this FUSION keyboard’s tap-tap sounds are perfect for dubbing subtitles.
Of course, In the process of using it, I also encountered some small inconvenience or ideas, such as:
(1) Due to the lack of special F function key, the rename of F2 file commonly used and operated by one hand in office process and the presentation of F5 slides need the combination of keys to be realized, and the Fn key is set on the right side, which requires two-handed operation; In terms of games, such as World of Warcraft and battlefield, which need to set more keys, there is no way to trigger and switch quickly.
(2) 2.4 G wireless connection mode can be driven by Zeus configuration keyboard but without the save configuration button, this make me doubt myself once that there is something wrong with the software installation, I uninstalled repeatedly for three or four times, in the end I figured that only under the cable connection can be configured and download at the same time. If there is no doubt, product recognition will also improve.
(3) The on-board memory button on Zeus driver software is too small, and the prompt text after the mouse is moved is not fully displayed (whether the software window is maximized or not), to a certain extent, affect the user experience, it is recommended to optimize it.
In general, as a mass production keyboard, FUSION has excellent design and a high degree of integration of retro and technology. If you also have a certain retro feeling, advocate personalization and pursue a better keyboard experience, FUSION will be a good choice for you.
Well, Black Friday is coming. Maybe it’s worth it to wait.