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With the Relic 80 TKL keyboard, Angry Miao barely overreaches.

Writing about an Angry Miao keyboard usually involves design as well as typing. Just check AM AFA or AM Hatsu. Long ago, I wondered what a more constrained firm offering might look like. The AM 65 Less was close, but its touch panel instead of arrow buttons was its downfall and perhaps too gimmicky. On my desk is Angry Miao’s AM Relic 80, which may be its most traditional mechanical keyboard.

Technical gimmicks are absent (save for Angry Miao’s overengineering). The AM Relic is a basic ten-keyless board that costs $490. The design is based on Daniel Arsham’s “Brillo Box” from his “Future Relic” series. Arsham’s box features rough corners, whereas the AM Relic 80 has LED-lit lower-left and top-right corners. With their cool reflected finish and diamond-cut designs, they are impressive but understated by Angry Miao standards. Their LED settings let you choose solid colors, a rainbow effect, or a strobe effect to distract you.

That was my ideal business response. You get all of Angry Miao’s design and production skills (plus a great typing sound) without the trade-offs.

Angry Miao claims that its 19mm front height makes typing pleasant; however, I recommend a wrist rest. My preferred key angle is eight degrees, but that’s my personal taste.

The Meteor Relic 80 from Angry Miao is a silvery bronze. White and black editions exist. I was scared the Meteor color would be too golden or brown, but it’s nicely balanced. Angry Miao used “Glacier Dark” translucent keycaps for Meteor and Black. They show off the brilliant LED colors well, but I’ve never liked their smoothness. Angry Miao may have sacrificed design for the user experience here. Replacement keycaps are simple.

Keycaps assist with sound, though. To create the Relic 80s typing sound, Angry Miao used a FR4 plate and seven foam and pad layers. Those who prefer marbly keyboards will be pleased. This seems like the sound I’d like for a bespoke keyboard; therefore, it works for me.

Angry Miao used its adjustable leaf springs for the remainder of the tech. Though changing them is laborious, they function well. Since you’ll only do this a few times until you discover your preferred option, it’s not a huge issue.

Angry Miao used linear Icy Silver Pro switches again in the Relic 80. Expect a lot from these $100 90-piece sets. In my experience, they are smooth and leaf-ping-free. They have 37 grams of actuation force and are light. This PCB is hot-swap, so you can quickly switch them out if you want to try something new. Or choose the base kit and bring your own.

Connectivity includes USB-C, Bluetooth, and a 2.4 GHz dongle for gamers (which wasn’t available when I received the review item). Two 5,000mAh batteries provide power for wireless functionality.

The fully equipped Relic 80 weighs about five pounds (2.25kg).

Angry Miao boards cost more, as usual. A keyboard with keycaps and switches costs $650. Many think $65 for a keyboard is excessive. As with other luxury items, there are decreasing rewards as the price rises. If you want a stylish, fun-to-type keyboard, the Relic 80 is perfect.

Eltrys Team
Author: Eltrys Team

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