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Wooting One Analog Mechanical Keyboard Review

Final Analysis

Usually, this is the part of the review where we’d criticize Wooting because the software accompanying the One keyboard is not yet complete. After all, who ships a product with incomplete software? A team of three guys, that’s who.

It is fair to point out that it doesn’t matter how big your team is, if you’re shipping a product, it should be polished. In that sense, Wooting deserves some criticism, but we won’t judge them too harshly considering how ambitious this project has been; remember, the Wooting One is still the only fully analog, shipping keyboard in the world.

Further, we believe that Wooting decided not to wait any longer because it has Kickstarter backers who have been waiting and waiting for their keyboards. The company has missed a few deadlines at this point, and the problems with the manufacturing have been abated, so the decision to ship with not-quite-polished software was made.

One could also argue that part of the lack of polish is because Wooting has (arguably) tried to do too much with the One. There are tons of features on this keyboard, many of them completely new to users, and in the hubbub, some of the One’s great features are overshadowed. For example, if Wooting was lazy, it could have used the optical switches and analog technology to do nothing more than let you program the actuation point and then marketed that to death, and people would have been pleased.

As it is, the ability to adjust the actuation point is just a bullet point in a long list of features. Other small features like the Fn toggle, the ability to hot-swap the switches and top plates, and the super-simple lighting programmability are excellent, too.

You still can’t program macros, though (outside of the DKS quasi workaround), and there are no lighting effects you can employ on the One. Both of those are huge feature omissions, and it’s not clear when Wooting will get around to building them into Wootility.

You can get the One in one of two packages. The Basic package costs $160, and that’s the one most people will likely want, because the Premium package includes an entire set of replacement switches and costs $200. The price tag of $160 certainly puts the One in the higher end of cost for mechanical gaming keyboards, but considering all that it offers, that’s a solid deal. (Smaller-batch mechanical keyboards and DIY kits often cost even more.)

In any case, the Wooting One is an exciting keyboard that breaks through the sometimes agonizing sameness of the mechanical keyboard market. The Wooting guys deserve significant acclaim for completing such an ambitious projects, even with unpolished software; a hat tip goes to all of the company’s Kickstarter backers who shared this vision for the future of gaming on mechanical keyboards.

Update, 7/20/17, 10:20am PT: Updated information about the LED issue on the "Switches, Lighting & Key Caps" page.


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  • SinxarKnights
    Oh it's finally out, nice! I really want one but my wallet is dead from starvation already. Frankly i'm surprised it took this long for someone to develop an analog keyboard. It was something I wanted from my earliest PC gaming days, having analog input on the keys would have been very useful for many games.
    Reply
  • Mansen
    I'm glad you didn't give them too much criticism over the software considering the potentially game changing features. At least things like macros and light effects can be patched in later. Much harder to add hardware features for existing boards. :)
    Reply
  • Kridian
    @SinxarKnights, don't starve bro. I'll send you a hotpocket. (steak & cheese)
    Reply
  • nimbulan
    While it sounds interesting, I feel like the extremely narrow 2.5mm of analog range will be too difficult to control precisely in the heat of the moment and will ultimately end up not being terribly useful. It's difficult enough on gamepads which have approximately twice as much range on the thumbsticks. It's not often that analog control actually gets used even on gamepads outside of driving and flying games anyway.
    Reply
  • drwho1
    Another way over priced keyboard.
    Reply
  • MrPleasantEXE
    Great review however as a BETA tester i wanna point some things out...

    The issue with the LEDs is most likely due to ISO being loaded on a ANSI keyboard (the on you received) as they have different amount of keys, to load ANSI for all LEDS you need to go to profile manager and load it, if you want to import my profile go ahead =D e04967ea-671f-6558-f4bc-19792281e905

    As for the wobble issue, i personally don't see this unless i go to physically wobble them, for me its not a huge issue.

    As for the software, you are using the alpha version which is different from the final version, or well will be, the version you have should have a feature similar to macro's.

    Overall i love the review however software wise, the final version will be different.

    -MrPleasant
    Reply
  • MrPleasantEXE
    @drwho1 what makes you say that?
    Reply
  • MrPleasantEXE
    19949580 said:
    Another way over priced keyboard.

    what makes you say that?

    Reply
  • scolaner
    19949515 said:
    While it sounds interesting, I feel like the extremely narrow 2.5mm of analog range will be too difficult to control precisely in the heat of the moment and will ultimately end up not being terribly useful. It's difficult enough on gamepads which have approximately twice as much range on the thumbsticks. It's not often that analog control actually gets used even on gamepads outside of driving and flying games anyway.

    Yeah, that is a limiting factor. Currently, it's a limitation baked into the Flaretech switch. I need to do a deep dive on the structure of the other optical switches on the market and see if any of those would avoid that problem.

    Also, I'd been thinking (but neglected to mention in the review) that I think a 5mm travel would work better.

    But I'm withholding some judgment on that until I spend even more time with it. You get used to the analog feel. How much you can "get used" to that small range, I don't know yet. I'm sure some of those uber talented gamers out there would get it really fast. I'm old, slow, and inaccurate. ;)
    Reply
  • nostalgion
    ive been wondering if this type of technology existed. i knew it could be done, and i knew i wanted it, and now. i cant afford it. but a massive praise to wooting for creating a dream, and making it reality, evolved gaming. a blacksmith is only as good as his tools, and his tools just got so much better.
    Reply