The NuPhy Air75 V2 has significant internal and external upgrades compared to its predecessor, but these may go unnoticed unless you're a gamer or typist.
Here at AppleInsider, we are no stranger to reviewing NuPhy keyboards. We've been impressed with the build of their keyboards and the level of customization it allows users to perform on them.
The last "Air" keyboard we reviewed was the NuPhy Air96 back in April of 2023. We loved how it defied how traditional mechanical keyboards were built while still incorporating great battery life and connectivity strength.
The Air75 defies the odds by upgrading the keyboard's materials inside and out. This includes keeping it thin and lightweight while offering strong connectivity and solid performance.
NuPhy Air75 V2 — Essential keys in a compact design
Just like the previous generation, the NuPhy Air75 V2 offers a comfortable typing experience with a compact design. It supplies you with the most essential keys without skipping out on media controls.
The Air75 measures 12.5 x 5.2 x .58 inches and weighs 1.51 pounds, with an 84-key layout that reaches from edge to edge. By weighing less than two pounds, the keyboard is light enough to easily place into a backpack and take with you while traveling.
Usually, external keyboards are used for a desk setup, but NuPhy recognized that some people like to place their keyboards over the one built into their laptop. Due to that, the Air75 fits nicely over the MacBook Pro's keyboard for comfortability and ease of use.
The Air75 is made primarily of aluminum, while the bottom casing is assembled with ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene) plastic.
Just like its predecessor, the Air75 is a 75% keyboard — which means it does not have a number pad. If you want a keyboard with one included, we recommend checking out the Air96.
The keycap's material has been upgraded to double-shot PBT (Polybutylene Terephthalate). This essentially means they are more durable, with the legends being less likely to fade off after continuous use.
Underneath and beside the keys is an RGB-LED backlit system that can be customized and provide essential information. Depending on the sidelight you are looking at, you'll be provided with different information based on the color shown.
For the left side, each color means:
- Gray = Caps lock is on
- Yellow = Connection is set to Wired mode
- Blue = Connection is set to Bluetooth mode
- Green = Connection is set to 2.4GHz mode
For the right side, each color means:
- Green = Battery is between 96% to 100%
- Orange = Battery is between 11% to 95%
- Red = Battery is between 1% to 10%
On the back of the Air75 are two kickstands, which can be set to 3.5, 6.5, or 8.5 degrees. This is possible because of the multi-layer design the Air75 includes.
Looking at the back of the keyboard, you'll notice the panel is translucent, and you can make out the switches. This gives a unique look to the Air75 while giving a retro touch to a modern design.
Behind the keyboard are two switches that program which operating system you are using and which mode you are utilizing. The connection toggle also lets you power off the keyboard when not in use.
A USB-C port across from the switches can charge the keyboard and connect it to your device in wired mode.
Housed inside the Air75 is a 4,000mAh battery, which is a 60% increase compared to the first generation — which only housed 2,5000mAh. With the lights on, the battery can last 35-57 hours, but with them off, it can last up to 220 hours.
NuPhy Air75 V2 — Multiple ways to secure the connection
Just like other wireless keyboards nowadays, the NuPhy Air75 V2 allows you to connect it to your device in multiple ways. However, it's the polling rate that shines when wirelessly connected.
You can connect the Air75 to your device via 2.4 GHz, Bluetooth 5.1, or wired through the USB-C port on the back. A USB-C to USB-A cable is included in the box if you decide to go that route.
The 2.4GHz connection is paired via a USB-A receiver, which — when first unboxing it — comes with a cover. This doubles as both a protective casing for the receiver and an attachment to the included charging wire, which makes it easier to travel with.
The Air75 can store connections to up to three devices through keyboard commands. You assign a number — one through three — to each device so you know which one the keyboard connects to.
Depending on how you connect, the Air75 will make the polling rate achievable. If you connect it via Bluetooth, then the polling rate will be 125 Hz, but if you connect it via 2.4 GHz or a wired connection, then the polling rate increases to 1,000 Hz.
With the polling rate being 1,000 Hz, it means the keyboard has very low latency, even when wirelessly used. This is an upgrade over the previous version, which makes the Air75 great for gaming.
NuPhy Air75 V2 — Customization from top to bottom
Customizing the NuPhy Air75 V2 is similar to how you would do so with other modern mechanical keyboards. Nearly every aspect of the keyboard can be altered, from the keycaps to the switches and the RGB-LED lights underneath.
The keyboard is hot-swappable, meaning it allows you to easily replace or upgrade your switches without soldering. Essentially, it means you can easily customize the keyboard without any hassle.
NuPhy includes a dual tool to pluck both the keycaps and switches. For the keycaps, taking them off only requires a slight pull, but removing a switch requires a more forceful tug.
The Air75 is compatible with four different types of switches that NuPhy created: Aloe, Cowberry, Wisteria, and Moss. Both Aloe and Cowberry are Linear switches, while both Wisteria and Moss are Tactile switches.
Our review unit was built with Aloe switches, but NuPhy includes a sample of each in the box so you can see which one fits your typing style best. However, if you like any other switch than Aloe, you must order them separately.
On the other hand, if you want to stick with ordinary Gateron switches, then the Air75 also supports those. They, however, have also been upgraded to 3.2mm travel with high-precision mold and enhanced pre-lubing.
Out of the box, the Air75 is presented with macOS-specific keys. However, if you're connecting to a device running Windows, then you can switch those keys out with the ones NuPhy includes in the box for that operating system.
Underneath the keycaps and switches are the RGB-LED lights that can be customized as well. The Air75 offers nearly double the amount of modes to choose from compared to its predecessor — upping from 21 to 40 — which contain different lighting and pattern effects.
Holding the Fn key and the Up or Down arrow will increase or decrease the brightness. To change the mode, you hold down the same key but tap the left arrow. However, holding down the right hand will change the prominent color.
Doing the same combinations but adding the "M" key will allow you to customize the color, pattern, and brightness of both sidelights.
NuPhy Air75 V2 — A comfortable typing experience
The NuPhy Air75 V2 is a great addition to the Air family by bringing customization and an excellent typing experience into a lightweight and compact design. However, unless you're a serious gamer or have a desire for backlit keyboards, then this may not be the one for you.
Typing with the Air75 felt wonderful on the fingers, and it stayed up-to-speed with fast typing. Even though the keys are not spaced out as far as other keyboards, we still found ourselves not making too many mistakes when looking at our work.
Even with the thinness and flat design of the keys, the switches underneath still give the ASMR-sounding clicking and clacking you crave from a mechanical keyboard.
However, while the typing experience was comfortable, we would have loved to see a keypad included. The Air96 contains one, but it has yet to be updated to the same specifications as the Air75 during this review.
The battery has faired well during our testing, and we have yet to charge it even with the lights on. However, we have been turning it off when not in use, but we still have not seen any red indicator appear on the right sidelight.
Latency amongst the keyboard has been stellar, with no lag appearing from what we could see. The Air75 connected instantly to our device right when we turned it on and responded well when pressing command-specific keys.
The NuPhy Air75 V2 is a great upgrade from the first generation and a solid keyboard all around. However, at $130, it's made for people who type during the day and game a lot at night, not someone who occasionally uses a keyboard.
If you are looking for a great keyboard to keep up with your fast typing and intense gaming, then the NuPhy Air75 is worth checking out. However, if you just need a keyboard to type up an essay or write on social media, you may want to look for a cheaper option.
NuPhy Air75 V2 — Pros
- Low wireless latency
- Long battery life
- Comfortable typing experience
NuPhy Air75 V2 — Cons
- Keys may be too close for some people
- No right-sided keypad
- High price