One of the great things about covering games as a writer, reviewer and occasionally a journalist is that I get to apply the serious, grown-up craft of writing to a hobby that is essentially all about play. That being said, a large chunk of that play is actually hard work, with at least a half of that effort spent furiously composing articles well into the late hours of the night, and it’s for this purpose that the Kensington MK7500F QuietType Pro Silent Mechanical Keyboard was ideally designed.
A full-sized mechanical keyboard with optional, dual wireless connectivity, the Burlingame, California-based company’s latest product places productivity, resilience and perhaps most importantly, noise reduction at the centre of its raison d’être. While sharing a handful of similarities with more gaming-focused keyboards, including backlit keys, high quality, laser-etched ABS keycaps and tactile switches, it quickly becomes clear that Kensington has built the Kensington MK7500F to be an “office wingman” first and foremost, with professional, clear-sounding ZOOM calls taking priority over navigating mazes and clicking heads in eSports.
Even before opening the box, I was immediately taken somewhat aback by the product’s size and heft. Coming in at an ample 17.72 inches (45 cm) across and 2.8 pounds (1.26 Kg), the Kensington MK7500F is a sizeable, weighty product that demands more desktop space than what I’ve grown accustomed to with gaming keyboards over the years. In exchange for that added real estate, users get the “Full Monty” in the form of proper-sized and fully dedicated Numeric, Scroll and Directional pads. Typically, on these smaller keyboards, these key clusters are often shoehorned into irregular dual-function key combos on mini and TKL (tenkeyless) keyboards, but not so here.
The result is a typing experience that is roomier and more comfortable. It took me a little while to reacquaint myself with reaching all the way over to the right side of the keyboard to access the NUM pad, but when I’m in work mode, accessing those keys quickly becomes second nature. The keyboard’s larger footprint also allows for the addition of two groups of shortcut keys, one directly above the NUM pad and the other in the top left quadrant above the ESC key and Function Key Row. Both sets of keys can be programmed to perform custom functions via the optional Kensington Konnect software, which is Windows and MacOS compatible. More on that shortly.
Presentation-wise, the Kensington MK7500F aims for an austere, no-nonsense look, with the only real elements of flash worth mentioning being its Space Gray, brushed aluminum finish and backlit keyboard. The backlight can be cycled through four incremental levels of brightness or disabled altogether by pressing the Fn+F12 key, but even at their highest brightness, they don’t hold a candle to what a typical RGB-lit gaming keyboard can offer luminance-wise. The lighting is serviceable enough for basic productivity in a dim or dark environment to get the job done. As for the metal finish, it’s certainly a better option than basic, boring black, at the very least.
Thankfully, Kensington makes up for the MK7500F’s lack of flare with some thoughtful inclusions in the box. A plush, comfortable wrist-rest cushion, as well as a washable silicone dust cover moulded to fit the shape and layout of the keyboard perfectly, are both provided (you’d be surprised how often keyboard manufacturers skimp out on one or more of these extras), and the obligatory USB-A to USB-C data/charging cable is braided and adequately lengthy (six feet long).
The underside of the keyboard discreetly houses the plug-in storage slot for the supplied wireless 2.4GHz USB nano-receiver, the Mode switch for changing between Bluetooth, 2.4GHz wireless and USB-C wired connectivity, and the USB-C port for the above-mentioned cable. The Kensington MK7500F is rated as IPX Spill Proof, so there are also discrete slots along the bottom underside to assist in draining water and other liquids from the keyboard in the event of a coffee spillage or light rinsing.
“…the Kensington MK7500F aims for an austere, no-nonsense look, with the only real elements of flash worth mentioning being its Space Gray, brushed aluminum finish and backlit keyboard.”
Ironically, there’s no Kensington namesake security lock slot to be found anywhere on the device, but in terms of cyber-security, the Kensington MK7500F actually features 128-bit AES government-grade encryption, making it the ideal type of keyboard for today’s always-online work environment. Most cyber-security vulnerabilities still stem from human error and social engineering, so this hardly changes a thing if users are careless about what they share, click on or make public in a ZOOM call or Microsoft Teams meeting, but it can’t hurt to have some backup on the data encryption side to protect one’s information from more advanced threats.
To my pleasant surprise, I found wireless typing on the Kensington MK7500F via both Bluetooth and 2.4GHZ to be nearly indistinguishable from wired performance. This probably means nothing to most PC gamers and power users who swear by keeping everything in their setup wired at all times, but it’s a godsend nonetheless for laptop users like myself who work in an environment where USB ports are always at a premium. Lately, I’ve been streaming console Let’s Plays on Twitch using my notebook, so the option to lean on Bluetooth, remove the 2.4GHz receiver from the equation and free up that USB slot for something else is extremely valuable to me.
Of course, the main selling point of this keyboard is its “QuietType Pro Silent” keys, and having spent over two weeks using the product, I can definitely confirm that while far from completely “silent,” the Kensington MK7500F is easily the quietest mechanical keyboard that I’ve ever used (even quieter than the ASUS ROG Strix Flare II Animate). Featuring Kailh Midnight Pro Silent Tactile switches combined with sound dampening pads and n-key roll-over tech, the MK7500F delivers the accuracy and responsiveness expected from mechanical gaming keyboards while reducing the clickity-clack sounds that come part-and-parcel with them considerably.
“…the Kensington MK7500F QuietType Mechanical Keyboard will best serve users who are seeking a reliable, versatile but strictly work-focused keyboard…”
As touched upon earlier, the optional Kensington Konnect software for Windows and MacOS allows users to customize the behaviour of the Kensington MK7500F’s two sets of shortcut keys or, if desired, reprogram any of the keyboard’s 112 keys to their liking, depending on the “mode.” “Easy Mode” limits customization to the shortcut button clusters only, while “Advanced Mode” permits changes to be made to any key. By default, the left shortcut cluster (a.k.a. the Meeting Control Keys) is optimized to work with videoconferencing software like Microsoft Teams and ZOOM. The right cluster meanwhile features helpful productivity commands, like snapping screenshots or reverting to the desktop.
Customizing a key command on the Kensington MK7500F can get as technical as creating and assigning one’s own macros or can be as simple as choosing a common command from a category recommended by the pack-in software, such as “Productivity,” “Keyboard and Mouse,” or “General.” It can get pretty deep, and I honestly prefer just to leave the default settings just as they are as the implementation feels a bit clunky, but it’s nice to know what options are available should I ever feel the need to integrate my favourite programs more closely with Kensington Konnect. Most programs that I use (e.g., OBS) have more intuitive, built-in solutions of their own though.
The Kensington MK7500F QuietType Mechanical Keyboard will best serve users who are seeking a reliable, versatile, but strictly work-focused keyboard that can deliver the punchy, accurate tactile feel of a gaming keyboard but otherwise fade into the background while they work or participate in an audio or video conferencing call. The $200 USD price point feels a bit extreme for a product such as this, as there are cheaper alternatives out there, but it makes more sense when considering the advanced security built into the product and the brand’s quality. For those who value productivity, the Kensington MK7500F QuietType Mechanical Keyboard is a worthwhile business expense.