PLUM MX104M Mechanical Keyboard

PLUM MX104M - 01

Intro

Mechanical keyboards are nice to type on but they’re expensive. Even Leopolds that we consider quite cheap is hell of RM300+. If you’re really desperate to get a mechanical keyboard, you might resort for China brand. This PLUM costs around RM200+ shipped from China.

I know what you thinking, hey, not all China brand sucks.. in fact China’s mechanical keyboards are pretty well made. Although they might not be as good as those Taiwan made keyboards. At least they have the basic things done right. They have Cherry MX switches.

Warranty is definitely gone into bushes when you import the board from China.. You don’t wanna pay for the shipping…

Tech Specs

  • Full sized keyboard – 104 keys
  • Cherry MX Red
  • Costar stabilizers
  • ABS key caps
  • BIGASS Enter layout

*I can’t find PLUM’s official site.

Packaging

PLUM MX104M - 02

Very bad, The box is thin and mushy. It was squashed to that extent even it travelled within a larger box with loads of padding.

No labelling is acceptable cause that ain’t important, but packing is important as it protects the merchandise.

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Padding around the keyboard? nope..

By the way, no accessories or whatsoever, what you get is the keyboard itself. Not even the user manual.

This could be the worst ever packaging I’ve ever seen. Right before no box..

Looks, Feel, Usability

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First look – that over-sized body and curvy design.

The surface of the plastic body is roughly textured. Definitely not something that is enjoyable to touch with.

Despite that rather horrible touch feel, that plastic material is unbelievably solid. Quite a “wow” for China-self-made keyboard.

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Bottom.

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Elevation feet is a piece of snap on plastic without any rubber feet on it.

Very large piece of plastic and feels really solid. But the connected joint doesn’t give me the feel of assurance if you switch it often.

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Look at that tiny little rubber feet.

For Keyboard God’s sake, PLUM only have 2 pieces of TINY LITTLE rubber feet, placed at the lower bottom part.

PLUM MX104M - 08

Curvy design…

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PLUM uses a combination of BIGASS enter layout and 7x space bar + many 1x modifier layout.

I have no idea who came up that idea, but if you plan to change the key caps, prepare to look around or fork out extra bucks just to accommodate that stupid layout.

PLUM MX104M - 10

The key caps are cheap and feels really light. Only the top surface is textured, while the side surfaces are bright shiny.

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Bottoming it out with Cherry MX Red makes a rather loud high pitched “chiq chiq chiq” sound instead of ” thuq thuq thuq” on my Ducky PBT MX Red.

Although the stabilizers are Costar wire type, yet it feels very different from other boards that uses the same type of stabilizers.

I’d say the stabilizers are poorly made. They wobbles a lot, especially the space bar. It is not the squeaky sound due to lack of lubricants, in fact the metal bar is so loose that it shakes and makes lots of metal knocking sound.

The overall typing experience is pretty much like typing on an electronic typewriter. If the switches are MX Black, typing on it will be like typing on those old-school typewriters.

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Hey, that USB cable has a ferrite choke…

Conclusion

Pros:

  • Affordable – about RM200+ shipped from China to Malaysia
  • Average build quality – rough build but kinda solid
  • Plate mounted – sturdy
  • Genuine Cherry MX mechanical switches – yes
  • High elevation – very high indeed

Subjective:

  • Oversized casing
  • Curvy design
  • Cherry MX Red – soft linear
  • Aluminium Plate mounted – some prefer PCB mounted
  • Heavy – stability VS portability

Cons:

  • Bad packaging – no padding, thin card box
  • No accessories – just the keyboard
  • Low Quality key caps – thin and light
  • Wobbly wire stabilizers – low quality costar stabilizer clone
  • Lack of rubber feet
  • Non-detachable cable
  • Weird layout – BIGASS enter + long space bar
  • Low customizability – weird layout but not impossible
  • No multimedia functions – as well as other special functions
  • 2-KRO via USB – sufficient for typing

Filco has a Cherry MX Red board priced at RM500+-. You could buy 2 of this PLUM with that price. Yeah yeah, I know the key caps are lousy and the stabilizers are lousy’s mother but quality issue aside, but with that RM200+ price tag, what can you ask for?

4 points why you should buy this keyboard:

  • Affordable – RM200+ shipped
  • Cherry MX Red
  • It’s a usable mechanical keyboard – Cherry switches are quality product and very durable…
  • you still can kill a thief with this keyboard

In short, you pay for what you get. Filco and others are very well made to it’s very little screw and that’s what you pay for.

For a super-duper-basic keyboard, I think PLUM at least has everything basic covered. Otherwise, you can always open up the keyboard and mod it to your liking.

4 thoughts on “PLUM MX104M Mechanical Keyboard”

  1. lucidlts says:

    Well, bigass enter is fine, but the spacebar is definitely something which is out of standard.
    As for the design, try google up for deck legend keyboards and compare with it. 😛

    i got mine for only 188 btw, lettering worn out within a week. i’ll give it a 6 out of 10 if you ask me :S

    but overall is fine, nothing much to complain about because it’s a low cost MKB

    1. John says:

      I bought quite a lot during that batch.. ended up more shipping fee.. hence higher price..

  2. fabrice says:

    I have a feeling that its very comfortable to type?
    Im stuck with a laptop and heck it bothers me sometimes, everything is so close to each other >.<

    1. John says:

      Yes, the typing feel is definitely better than rubber dome or laptop keyboards.

      You can go to a PC shop that has mechanical keyboards in stock and ask for a try.

      I won’t switch back to regular rubber dome keyboard anymore.

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