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My thoughts about the Tai-Hao Sunshine Nordic ISO keycaps

Saturday, January 7, 2023

This is not a sponsored post. The keycaps has been paid for in full by my partner.

My wife wanted to buy some keycaps for her younger brother as a Christmas present. After asking me for some advice, she decided to buy the Tai-Hao Sunshine keycaps. They were available for 449 SEK (≈40 EUR) a few weeks before Christmas.

A photo of the Tai-Hai Sunshine keycaps.
The Tai-Hao Sunshine keycaps

Tai-Hao is an old company from Taiwan, founded back in 1962. They manufacture computer keyboards, keyboard keycaps, keyboard switches and card readers. This particular set is an “exotic” set, and it’s available in both German and ‘Nordic’. The Nordic language support means that they have combined the Swedish, Finnish, Norwegian and the Danish language on one set of keys.

A photo of the Tai-Hai Sunshine keycaps, showing the content of the box.
An overview of what's included in the box.

For some reason, they included two tools for removing keycaps. A plastic version and a metal wire version. Don’t use the plastic tool! It will most likely scratch your keycaps.

The complete set consist of 114 colourful and vibrant keys. Nine of them are extra keys, while the rest is standard keys for a full-size Nordic ISO keyboard. The extra keys are:

  • 4 × 1U Blank (R4)
  • 1 × 1.75U Shift (R1)
  • 4 × 1U Blank (R0)

There’s also a ‘non-exotic’ ANSI version of this set as well. It seems to have some add-on kits that supports the UK-ISO-layout and some keyboard specific layouts, like the non-standard Razer BlackWidow, the Leopold FC-980M and some other keyboards and layouts.

Specifications

  • Manufacturer: Tai-Hao
  • Set: Sunshine
  • Language: Nordic
  • Profile: OEM
  • Plastic: PBT
  • Thickness: 1 mm

The bad

The bad is honestly not that bad, at least not considering the price and the target audience, which is non-enthusiasts and gamers.

Limited compatibility

The set is compatible with a full-size standard ISO keyboard layout. They have included a few extra keys, but if you have some non-standard layout, you’re most likely out of luck in terms of compatibility—unless if you invest in some of the add-on sets, which might be difficult and/or even a bit too expensive to get your hands on, depending on where you live.

Thin keycaps

The keycaps are only 1 mm thick. If that doesn’t mean anything to you, it’s most likely won’t be of an issue for you. Me personally, prefer keycaps that’s 1.3 to 1.5 mm thick, as they make for a better sound profile.

Nordic language support

The good thing about combining the Nordic languages into one set of keycaps, is that you can keep the price down for the keycaps. The bad thing, is that the keycaps looks cluttered with a lot of extra text.

The good

PBT-plastic

I would personally never buy (or even recommend) any keycaps, unless they’re made out of PBT-plastic. The durability, compared to regular keycaps made out of ABS-plastic, is light-years better.

I have owned multiple keycaps in ABS-plastic—before I found out about PBT-keycaps—and they all started to show wear just after a few months of use. And they eventually started to shine not long after that. Compare that, with my oldest PBT-keycaps, which have been used and abused for more than six years now, and they still look pretty close to brand new.

Another thing that I like about PBT-keycaps is the rugged texture they tend to have. This makes for a pleasant experience for the fingertips when you type on them. These keycaps had an extra rugged surface.

It’s also worth mentioning that PBT-plastic, don’t turn yellow by UV-light, like ABS-plastic do. Well. Unless you have dark keycaps, then it doesn’t really matter anyway.

Double-shot moulding

Double-shot moulding is the process of moulding plastic around a preformed metal or plastic insert. This has been a popular process to create truly durable keycaps. It used to be a common method back in the 70s and 80s, back when keyboards wasn’t complete rubbish.

https://deskthority.net/wiki/Double-shot_molding låna bild om licens tillåter?

The good thing about double-shot moulding is that the legends are razor sharp and fully flush to the keycaps, which makes them pleasant to type on. The legends will also never wear our.

Price

The price is decent, especially considering what you get for the price. If you want any of the ‘enthusiast sets’ (from brands like enjoyPBT), you often have to spend 3 or 4 times the amount of money.

Conclusion

This is an excellent set for anyone who’s looking for a colourful set, which won’t break your bank.

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