RAW BKNY has been through quite a few iterations of the wooden keyboard, and have gotten good at it. The first product we reviewed was inMay of 2013, which also came in bamboo or rosewood. At the time, you lost all backlight capability, as the wooden keys simply covered the entire Apple key. After completing their Kickstarter campaign in 2013, the team acquired a laser cutter to actually cut out each letter enough to allow the backlight to continue to function. This is a huge improvement!
Because the laser cutter leaves residue, the laser-cut wood is sanded with a coat of beeswax again after being cut, and finished with a lacquer coat.
Installing 78 keys can be a pain, and RAW BKNY includes a wooden jig which goes around the key you’re installing, allowing you to drop the new wooden key perfectly into place on the keyboard and press down to secure the adhesive. The entire process too about half an hour for me, and looks great. I use a two-tone wood LuckySkin set with my MacBook Pro, and my bamboo keys match perfect.
The tactile response from the real wood feels great, and over the course of a couple weeks it is much nicer than the plastic keys underneath. I was worried about the keys somehow messing with the screen when the laptop was closed, but have not seen any issues. Although the backlit feature is awesome, it is not quite the same brightness you’d see without the wooden keys on - somewhere closer to 75% as a little is lost through the cutout. For my low-light use it hasn’t been an issue.
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