Since 2021 when I reviewed the Razer Blackwidow V3 Mini Hyperspeed, I’ve been using a smaller form factor keyboard and loving it. I’ve even been taking it to my office with me for daily use on a somewhat regular basis, I love the form factor and the touch of the keys. A couple of weeks ago, we got a heads up that something was coming from a lesser-known (in Australia at least) manufacturer and it caught my interest: The Angry Miao Compact Touch keyboard.

When the unit arrived, I was really taken aback by its weight of it. It’s a really hefty bit of kit, weighing in at 1.4kg but after the initial shock of that and a bit of thinking, I’m actually quite happy with that, and I think, I’ll be able to “sell” you on the concept too providing you fit the demographic who need a keyboard like this one.

What is it and why is it different?

Let’s start with the obvious, it’s a small (65%) form factor, mechanical keyboard and, it ticks a bunch of boxes along the way. The price will deter a massive number of potential buyers and it’s clear that this is expected to be a lifetime investment for a heavy user.

It’s got the capacity to connect via either USB/USB-C cable — this is also the charging option — to your hardware, or via Bluetooth 5.0 connection for up to three devices. These connections are easily switched by pressing function + Q/W/E for your device connection.

Being Bluetooth capable, you don’t need a free USB port on your connecting device in order to utilise it. The battery life is pretty impressive providing you’re not running the thing at full brightness with the most seizure-inducing lighting possible.

One of the things that anyone who has seen this during my review time asked was “where are the arrow keys”? and there aren’t any, but as we noted in the release, it’s got a really cool touch panel on the front of the keyboard that substitutes this function really well.

Simple swipes across the panel left and right act as a single keypress while a swipe and hold as though you’ve held the arrow key down to scroll. The same can be said of swiping up and down on the panel to traverse up and down the page. The intent of this is to minimise the need to reach for the mouse, while still enjoying the reduced form factor.

I’m hugely impressed with the battery life, even with flashy lighting effects running all the time. I’ve had a full week of use, with hours of active typing each day, without running out of battery. In terms of active use time, it would be well north of 40 hours by the time you add my paid employment and Ausdroid time, and it was still over 50% battery remaining.

The mobility is a lovely touch, but what good is a wireless keyboard if you have to plug it in to charge it right?

Well, that’s one way to charge it; but (assuming you can embed a compatible charger in your desk, or, are happy to pay for the Cybermat there is another way. This is one of precious few wireless keyboards that you can genuinely use wirelessly for the life of the keyboard because it has capacity to charge wirelessly.

Look and Feel

There’s a lot to explore here because, the keyboard itself in terms of design is consistent but there are multiple “looks” available when the keyboard goes on sale.

The Compact Touch keyboard has full height keys, a really chunky base and highly customisable. That’s from the touch to the look with changeable leaf springs — adjusting the tension on the keys — and plenty of options to choose from when it comes to the lighting and even keycaps with multiple versions available.

The review unit, an “all black” version, has a smoky finish to them that allows the lighting through without becoming overpowering. Added to this is the neutral grey legend on the keys, enough to see if you need them; but unobtrusive for a touch typist.

The Topre Switches are a beautiful complement to the target market, with the advantages of mechanical switches but less noise and a tactile feel that heavy keyboard users like. It’s got a distinct feel and sound to it that is making my office colleagues (you know who you are) jealous: Some have even come over to just type on it while I’ve been away from my desk, even though my computer was locked!

Back to the weight

So, why all the weight right?

For me, the answer really is that it does a lot, pretty much everything is replaceable and at the price, you’d expect it to last a long time, in fact, a lifetime. So unless you’re carrying this around with you daily, the weight has minimal impact on functionality.

The fact it’s intended to be a highly functional keyboard that, once connected to your battle station – Stays put, so the weight really shouldn’t have a significant impact on your buying decision.

Technically speaking, there’s a chunky battery onboard, there are switches, keycaps, interchangeable leaf springs and a solid chassis. I’m pretty sure you could do some serious damage if you went postal and threw this thing across your office!

So who is it for?

If you’re looking at a keyboard like this one, you’ve got a need for a pretty serious keyboard. Let’s be honest, a lot of people baulk at spending $80 on a keyboard, so spending AU$ 580.00 is going to seem absurd; frankly, it is… But if you spend all day in front of a computer, a keyboard with a gorgeous touch like this doesn’t just make life easier, it makes working far more pleasurable.

If you’re a gamer, then this probably isn’t the keyboard for you for a couple of reasons. The primary one is that it’s intended to be wireless and, with the best will in the world, the Bluetooth just doesn’t stack up to a wired connection on, or the responsiveness of technologies like Razer’s Hyperspeed Wireless connections.

So, is a keyboard really worth AU$580.00?

The short and, brutally honest answer for most people is simply, no and even if you’re in the target market it’s a tough sell.

What users want from a keyboard is a highly personal choice from the keycaps, to the keys, switches and form factor.

If you’re a really heavy user looking to get yourself a keyboard that’s heavily customisable, has multiple connectivity options, has great battery life and has a customisable — lighting and keys — look then this is something you’re going to want to look at.

The Angry Miao Compact Touch keyboard is a workhorse of a keyboard that you can give a really hard time to and know that it will withstand the punishment. This really is a delight to use on a daily basis, with a beautiful touch and a look that can be as lairy as you want it to be or quite unobtrusive.

While the compact form factor won’t be for everyone, particularly regular users of the number pad, it’s a keyboard designed with both form and function peaks in mind. It is such a solid keyboard that feels like it should stand the test of time, but the market will be heavily limited by the asking price.

If the price isn’t a barrier, frankly this is the only reason I won’t recommend it to people, and you’re thinking about the acquisition then you can check out the purchase options through Indiegogo with production having already commenced.

Disclosure Statement

Due to shipping costs, the unit has not been requsted for return.