NocFree Lite 60% compact split wireless mechanical keyboard review

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CROWDFUNDING REVIEW – In my question to try all the mechanical keyboards that are currently on the market, I was approached to review on that isn’t on the market -yet. It’s the NocFree Lite 60% compact split wireless mechanical keyboard which is currently seeking funding on Kickstarter. Let’s put our fingers on the home row and check it out.

What is it?

The NocFree Lite is a 60% sized compact split wireless mechanical keyboard.

What’s in the box?

  • NocFree Lite 60% compact split wireless mechanical keyboard
  • USB dongle
  • mini USB to mini USB cable (connects both keyboards)
  • USB-C cable
  • Wooden wrist rests (optional add-on)

Design and features

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The NocFree Lite is the first (I think) split keyboard that I have tested. It’s a 60% sized keyboard which means that it doesn’t have a numpad, a dedicated row of function keys, or media control keys.

For this review, I was sent a pre-production (aka prototype of the NocFree Lite to test).

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The NocFree is two completely separate keyboards that can be used wired or wirelessly. When used in wired mode, the two halves are connected together using a mini USB to mini USB cable. Am I the only one who finds the use of this somewhat ancient USB cable to be strange?

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The left keyboard also has a USB-C port which is used to connect the keyboard to your computer for wired mode and to charge the keyboards if you want to use them wirelessly.

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A switch on the back of the left keyboard allows you to toggle between wired and wireless mode. You’ll also need to use the included USB dongle if you want to use the NocFree Lite wirelessly.

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If you’ve been around here for any length of time, you’ll know that I use a MacBook and not a Windows PC. I’m happy to report that the NocFree Lite works perfectly with a Mac (a keyboard shortcut lets you flip between Windows and Mac modes).

I’m also happy to report that the NocFree Lite keyboard supports 6KRO instead of NKRO. What’s is that and what’s the difference? NKRO (N-Key Rollover) and 6KRO (6-Key Rollover) both define a keyboard’s capability to register multiple simultaneous key presses, with NKRO allowing an unlimited number of key presses and 6KRO accommodating up to six simultaneous key presses. Why is this important? It’s important for gamers and others who use multiple key macros.

So starting out testing this keyboard, I was happy because I could use my 4-key macros in Google Sheets. I started typing and was also happy with the ability to separate the two keyboards to make it more comfortable to type which is the whole reason for using a split keyboard.

But then, I ran into an issue that might not be an issue for others if they don’t touch type like I do. Take a look at the picture above and the location of the right SHIFT key and the /? key. Now look at your own keyboard. Do you notice anything strange?

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Yep, the NocFree Lite’s layout for those keys isn’t typical. And since I’m a touch typist, this has really caused my typing accuracy and speed to go downhill. When I need to type a “?”, I accidentally press the right shift key, and if I’m not paying attention, the question mark doesn’t get added. The image above is the keyboard I normally use so that you can compare both layouts.

The NocFree Lite can be reprogrammed using a web-based app at I thought about trying to reprogram the layout to fix my “?” problem but am not sure how I would do it since the enter key and right shift key placements kind of make that difficult.

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You’re probably also wondering about the keycaps themselves since the letter labels are not on the tops of the caps, but on the fronts. I don’t find this to be a huge deal, but it’s just a matter of preference. Luckily, you can replace the caps and the switches.

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The switches that came pre-installed on the prototype NocFree Lite that was sent to me are red linear switches and I much prefer clicky tactile switches. That said, the red switches are very quiet which some people might like. If you want to hear what they sound like, check out the video below and turn up your volume!

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The NocFree Lite mechanical keyboard has RGB lighting effects if you use the keyboard hardwired to your computer. If you use it wirelessly, the RGB feature is disabled to prevent premature battery drainage.

Note: the version of the NocFree Lite that was sent to me did not have the tenting feature that allows each half of the keyboard to angle upwards for even better ergonomics.

See and hear it in action

What I like

  • Split format does make typing more comfortable
  • Can be used wired or wireless

What I’d change

  • Other key layouts would be nice

Final thoughts

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If a split keyboard has been something you’ve been wanting to try and you’re into mechanical keyboards, the NocFree Lite is definitely worth checking into as long as you aren’t a picky touch typist like I am.

Price: $148.00 and up
Where to buy: Kickstarter
Source: The sample for this review was provided by NocFree.

1 thought on “NocFree Lite 60% compact split wireless mechanical keyboard review”

  1. Gadgeteer Comment Policy - Please read before commenting
  2. Thank you for excellent review! We really appreciate such constructive feedback.
    As you mentioned, it’s just a prototype. We’re refining our design and the mass-produced version will include enhancements such as tenting kits, better looking cables and housing, and a convenient hardshell case. You are right, that old USB cable is weird! But it would get cooler very soon. ⌨️✨⌨️

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