The One Problem with the Noppoo Choc Mini 84 USB Mechanical Keyboard

I have wanted a mechanical keyboard for sometime. There are so many choices out there it is easy to get bogged down in details and acronyms, but I eventually purchased a Noppoo Choc Mini 84 USB Mechanical Keyboard with Cherry MX Blues.

The Noppoo was fantastic until I figured out what it couldn’t do.

The Noppoo was well priced, built like a tank, had a small form factor, and had one of the best keyboard layouts on any small form factor keyboard I had ever seen (the function keys are exactly aligned with the number keys, and the right-hand side column of keys had the Delete, Home, PgUp, PgDown, and End keys vertically aligned).

Despite all this, the Noppoo had one problem that rendered it useless: the keyboard firmware.

For whatever reason, the keyboard firmware works by implementing several virtual keyboards, and, as a result, the keyboard cannot be used during the pre-boot sequence. So, it cannot be used to get into the BIOS or boot from external media. The only way for this functionality to work is to use a USB-to-PS/2 adapter. Even though most motherboards still come with PS/2 ports, I would rather avoid using a legacy port, and, in my particular case, I have an IOGEAR USB KVM switch that is USB only, so I was out of luck. Plus, it is ridiculous to need a spare keyboard just to do anything during the pre-boot sequence.

So, I reluctantly boxed up the Noppoo, sent it back, and replaced it with a Filco Ninja Majestouch-2, Tenkeyless, NKR.