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Matias Secure Pro

Matias Secure Pro Review – Although the $170 Matias Secure Pro (http://www.matias.ca/securepro/pc/) wireless keyboard’s number one claim to fame is its 128-bit AES encryption (more about that later), I have to say it’s more notable for being quiet. You’d hardly know this was a mechanical keyboard from what little sound it makes. The noise level is close to that of a typical membrane keyboard, just a bit sharper or clickier at times. You could use this rather pricey keyboard in an office or a bedroom without disturbing a soul.

Matias-Secure-Pro Matias Secure Pro

Matias Secure Pro

I’m not a huge fan of typing on it, however. Instead of providing the ergonomic relief I expect from a mechanical keyboard, the switches inside the Secure Pro tire out my fingers. Activating a key on the Secure Pro reminds me of using a rubber-dome keyboard: Significant resistance at the top begins to yield only as you push past that initial hurdle. Even if you like high resistance in your keyboards, you’d probably be better served by a buckling-spring switch, which spreads resistance out over the path of the entire keystroke. I appreciated the muted click of the keys, as that provided some tactile feedback, but this isn’t the sort of keyboard I’d pick up for day to day use.

More troubling is that I constantly made typos with the Secure Pro. I don’t know whether it’s because the activation point is so high or because the resistance is so strong, but I dropped letters from my words regularly, and the spacebar was particularly temperamental. I also encountered a few issues with the keyboard’s 200MHz polling rate. Even though 200MHz is fine for most low-intensity uses, I did notice a slight lag while gaming. That’s to be expected from a wireless keyboard, and it explains why most gaming keyboards are wired. The Secure Pro is highly portable.

While it’s a bit heavy for its size, I could see myself taking this keyboard on the road. It’s hard to convey how small it is, even for a keyboard without a dedicated numeric keypad. The keys aren’t as cramped as those on the typical laptop, but they are closer together than a standard desktop model’s. Even after a few days of use, I had difficulty getting my fingers properly aligned without looking down. I was disappointed with the awkward spacing of the media-control keys.

You must hold down the Fn key to operate them, and the Play/ Pause function sits all the way across the board on the Esc key. The spacing makes it easier to remember which media functions are where, but quickly operating them one-handed is almost impossible. The Secure Pro has USB hubs on its casing, but they’re strictly for charging–no mouse connections or data transfers here.

Matias claims that, on a single charge, the battery will last six months to a year. Charging a second USB device requires supplemental power (thus negating the keyboard’s wireless feature). A handy battery-indicator LED sits on the Caps Lock key, but the keyboard strangely lacks an indicator LED for the status of Caps Lock itself. As for the keyboard’s touted 128-bit AES encryption: When was the last time you worried about someone intercepting the data traveling from your wireless keyboard to your computer? For me, the answer is never. Wireless-keyboard signals are so weak that a miscreant would need to be in the same room–or at most, the next room over–to intercept the transmissions. What’s more, Logitech, Microsoft, and other manufacturers build wireless keyboards with signal encryption without boasting about it.

Your keyboard is highly unlikely to be the failure point in your datasecurity scheme, but I won’t make fun of people who genuinely worry about such threats. If you’re in that camp, the Secure Pro seems to hold up its end of the bargain: Matias claims that the keyboard’s 128-bit AES encryption is the highest available on a wireless keyboard and would take “a billion-billion years to crack.” The Matias Secure Pro is a well-built, quiet, portable mechanical keyboard with a robust–if perhaps excessive–security feature. The typing experience isn’t to my taste, but your preferences might differ.

Pros

  • Solid construction
  • Long-lasting battery
  • Portable

Cons

  • Mechanical switches feel more like rubber domes
  • Cramped key layout
  • Scattered media-player controls

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