If you're into killer lighting, extra keys, extensive macro capabilities and so on, this keyboard is not for you. It's the opposite; I would describe the Nixeus Moda v2 as austere, in fact. There isn't even a bowl design of any kind. Instead, the switches are mounted on a flat backplate, with "floating" keys. It's a plastic top, but the sparkled gray finish looks high-end, and it resists fingerprints exceptionally well.
There are exactly three LEDs on the Nixeus Moda v2. Two of them indicate when the Caps Lock and Scroll Lock are engaged, and the other sits underneath the Windows key. When the key is locked (Fn+Win), the LED is engaged. This is the only key that is not opaque (in other words, it's backlit), but as you can see from the images, the LED is positioned at the top of the switch, and it creates kind of an odd, uneven glow on the keyboard.
So compact is the Nixeus Moda v2 that there's almost no bezel at all, so no part of your hand touches any part of this keyboard except for your fingertips. If you're used to a larger keyboard, this may feel funny at first, but I got used to it quickly.
Nixeus added media controls to the F keys when you press Fn—from L to R, those include rewind, play/pause, fast forward, stop, mute, volume down and volume up—and there are dedicated print screen, scroll lock and pause break keys at the upper right corner. There's just one Fn key, located to the right of the spacebar; to the left is the lone Windows key. You also get insert, delete, home, end, page up, page down and arrow keys.
This is not a particularly heavy keyboard at just two pounds, but the rubber feet on the bottom—four slim rectangles—do a fine job of keeping the thing from slipping on a wooden, metal or glass surface. There are two feet under the keyboard that flip out to give you a steeper typing angle, and Nixeus wisely covered them in rubber for a non-slip grip.
Where many keyboards these days have a braided cable, Nixeus went with a smooth rubber sheathing for the Moda v2. Some people chafe at braided cables, complaining that they catch and snag sometimes, so in that regard this is a welcome design. However, even this smooth rubber will catch on sharp edges at times, and when it does, you can get ugly scrapes and gashes in the rubber; it's not a particularly tough sheath (we presume the softer rubber is better for flexibility as opposed to a stiffer material).
There is one small design detail that’s easy to overlook, but Nixeus smartly created a trough for the cable such that you can route it from the upper center of the keyboard to the upper right or left. This gives you some flexibility in where the cable will be on your desktop. It’s a nice touch -- 10 points for Nixeus.
There are no additional ports on the Moda v2 beyond the single USB plug.
The Moda v2 comes with Kailh Red, Blue or Brown switches. We had all three versions on hand and spent time with them all. In terms of performance, they all performed as you would expect any red, blue or brown switches would. The reds are linear and fluid-feeling, the blues are clicky and loud, and the browns are an average of the two, with a bit of tactility without the noise of the blue switches.
Blindfolded, I couldn't tell you whether these were Cherry or Kailh switches. However, I did notice a couple of slight oddities. The brown switches felt slightly stiff, although I either got used to it quickly or they loosened up with use, because I didn't have the same sensation after a day's worth of typing.
I did feel as though something was a little off with the blue switches. After many hours of use, I felt a tiny bit of extra resistance and noise—what I can only describe as shearing, as if the switches were grinding in their mounts. Further, the spacebar seems to squeak.
These are all minute issues, so much so that I don't think the audio recording of the switches will evince what I'm describing, but after extended use, it's something that started to bug me somewhat.
The key caps are made of ABS plastic, and the lettering is laser-etched with color injection. However, I observed that the opacity of the lettering was inconsistent in spots. (Read on for more on this issue in the Teardown section below.)