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Leopold FC900R Keyboard Review

Tested using Methodology v1.2
Reviewed Dec 17, 2020 at 10:45 am
Latest change: Test bench update Jun 21, 2023 at 12:45 pm
Leopold FC900R Picture
6.9
Gaming
1.0
Mobile/Tablet
7.7
Office
7.3
Programming
1.2
Entertainment / HTPC

The Leopold FC900R is an acceptable mechanical keyboard, but it's limited on features. It's really well-built with a solid plastic frame and doubleshot PBT keycaps. You can get it with a variety of Cherry MX switches, and the unit we tested has Cherry MX Browns. It offers outstanding typing quality and minimal typing noise, but your experience may vary depending on which switch you get. Sadly, it doesn't have any backlighting and you can't set any macros; however, you can remap a few keys using the DIP switches underneath. It's sold through various retailers around the world, all of which can be found on the manufacturer's website, and you can buy it from mechanicalkeyboards.com in the US.

Our Verdict

6.9 Gaming

The Leopold FC900R is disappointing for gaming. It lacks backlighting and you can't program any macros. However, it's available in a variety of Cherry MX switches, and the Brown switches we tested have a low pre-travel distance and are light to press.

Pros
  • Excellent build quality.
Cons
  • Can't program any macros.
  • No backlighting.
1.0 Mobile/Tablet

The Leopold FC900R is wired-only and isn't design to be used with mobile devices.

7.7 Office

The Leopold FC900R is good for office use. It's well-built with a solid frame and doubleshot PBT keycaps. The typing quality is outstanding and the Cherry MX Brown switches are quiet, but these depend on which switches you get. It has acceptable ergonomics with one incline setting, but it doesn't have a wrist rest.

Pros
  • Excellent build quality.
  • Outstanding typing quality.
  • Quiet typing noise.
Cons
  • Doesn't have a wrist rest.
7.3 Programming

The Leopold FC900R is unremarkable for programming. It offers outstanding typing quality with its doubleshot PBT keycaps and tactile Cherry MX Brown switches. However, it lacks backlighting, and you can't program any macros. Also, the ergonomics are only mediocre, and it doesn't have a wrist rest.

Pros
  • Outstanding typing quality.
  • Quiet typing noise.
Cons
  • Can't program any macros.
  • No backlighting.
1.2 Entertainment / HTPC
  • 6.9 Gaming
  • 1.0 Mobile/Tablet
  • 7.7 Office
  • 7.3 Programming
  • 1.2 Entertainment / HTPC
  1. Updated Jun 21, 2023: We've converted this review to Test Bench 1.2. This update introduces new Backlight Features and Backlight Clarity test boxes. We've also added a new Switches test box, added additional test comparisons to our Hardware Customizability test box that we introduced with our last Test Bench. For an in-depth look at our changes, you can see our full changelog here.
  2. Updated May 31, 2023: We've converted this review to Test Bench 1.1. This update adds several new tests addressing Hardware Customization, Macro Keys And Programming, and Wireless Mobile Compatibility. We've also added new objective evaluations to the Typing Noise test, and we've simplified several tests and removed several others that were no longer relevant. For an in-depth look at all our changes, you can see our full changelog here.
  3. Updated Apr 22, 2021: Converted to Test Bench 1.0.
  4. Updated Dec 17, 2020: Review published.
  5. Updated Dec 14, 2020: Early access published.
  6. Updated Dec 11, 2020: Our testers have started testing this product.
  7. Updated Dec 10, 2020: The product has arrived in our lab, and our testers will start evaluating it soon.
  8. Updated Dec 01, 2020: We've purchased the product and are waiting for it to arrive in our lab.
  9. Updated Nov 21, 2020: The product has won our suggestion poll, so we'll buy and test it soon.

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

We tested the Leopold FC900R in Charcoal with Blue lettering and Cherry MX Brown switches. It's also sold with Cherry MX Blue, Red, Black, Silent Red, Clear, and Silver switches. It's available in many different color schemes, including various font colors, so you can choose the one that suits your setup the best. This is a full-size model and there's also a TKL version, the FC750R, which is available in many of the same colors. You can see the label for our unit here.

Compared To Other Keyboards

The Leopold FC900R is a good mechanical office keyboard with outstanding typing quality, but it's limited on features and isn't versatile. Other keyboards have macro-programmable keys and cost less, such as the Ducky One 2 or the Razer BlackWidow. Also see our recommendations for the best keyboards for writers, the best mechanical keyboards, and the best gaming keyboards.

Ducky One 2 RGB TKL

The Ducky One 2 RGB TKL is better overall than the Leopold FC900R. All keys on the Ducky are macro-programmable, and our unit has full RGB backlighting, although there are some variants without any lighting. On the other hand, the Leopold is full-sized and has a NumPad.

Ducky One 2

The Ducky One 2 is better overall than the Leopold FC900R, but they're similar keyboards that are each available in a variety of switches. The Ducky has macro-programmable keys and some variants have backlighting, but the one we tested doesn't. Both keyboards have excellent build quality and outstanding typing quality.

Durgod Taurus K320

The Durgod Taurus K320 is better than the Leopold FC900R for most uses. The Durgod has macro-programmable keys and has dedicated software. However, the Leopold is better-built and a better choice for office use because it offers a much better typing experience.

GLORIOUS GMMK

The GLORIOUS GMMK is better overall than the Leopold FC900R. The GLORIOUS has macro-programmable keys, RGB backlighting, and dedicated software. However, the Leopold offers a better overall typing experience with the Cherry MX Brown switches we tested, but they're each available in a range of switches, so your experience may vary.

Razer BlackWidow

The Razer BlackWidow is better for most uses than the Leopold FC900R. The Razer has RGB backlighting, macro-programmable keys, and dedicated software. However, the Leopold is better-built, and it's a better choice for office use because it's available in a variety of Cherry MX switches and offers better typing quality.

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Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
Design
Dimensions
Size
Full-size (100%)
Height
1.4" (3.5 cm)
Width 17.3" (44.0 cm)
Depth
5.5" (14.0 cm)
Depth With Wrist Rest
N/A
Weight
2.59 lbs (1.176 kg)

The Leopold FC900R is a full-size keyboard that takes up a fair amount of space on your desk.

8.5
Design
Build Quality
Keycap Material PBT

The Leopold FC900R has excellent build quality. The entire frame is plastic and feels extremely solid with no signs of flex. It's almost as sturdy as some metal keyboards. The doubleshot PBT keycaps have blue lettering and feel nice to touch. The keys are very stable and there aren't any loose parts anywhere. The stabilizers on the large keys don't rattle, but the spacebar sounds a bit different than most keys as it produces a deeper sound when pressed. The feet are decent and the keyboard doesn't move around while typing, but if you have the feet on an incline, they may collapse if you push the board forward.

6.0
Design
Ergonomics
Curved/Angled
No
Split Keyboard
No
Key Alignment
Staggered
Minimum Incline
Medium Incline
N/A
Maximum Incline
11°
Home Row Height
27.4 mm (1.1")

The Leopold FC900R has acceptable ergonomics. It's a straight keyboard with one incline setting, but there's no wrist rest.

6.7
Design
Hardware Customizability
Replaceable Cherry Stabilizers
Yes
Stabilizer Fixation
Plate-Mounted
Spacebar Stabilizer Size
6.25u
Size Of Right Mod Keys
1.25u
Hot-Swappable Switches
No
Switch Stem Shape
Cherry MX Style
Switch PCB Socket
Soldered
North-Facing Cherry MX Interference
No
0
Design
Backlight Features
Backlighting No
RGB
No
Per-Key Backlighting
No
Effects
No
Software Controllable
No

This keyboard doesn't have any backlighting. There are blue indicator lights below the Num, Scroll, and Caps lock keys, but they don't light up the keys.

0
Design
Backlight Clarity
Design
Cable & Connector
Connectivity Wired
Detachable
Yes (Wired Only Keyboard)
Length 5.5 ft (1.7 m)
Connector (Keyboard side)
Mini USB

It comes with a generic-looking mini-USB cable that retains kinks easily. It's detachable if you don't like it and want to replace it.

0
Design
Wireless Versatility
Bluetooth
No
Bluetooth Multi-Device Pairing
No
Proprietary Receiver
No
Battery Type
No Batteries

This is a wired-only keyboard and can't be used wirelessly.

0
Design
Macro Keys And Programming
Dedicated Macro Keys Count 0
Onboard Macro Programming
No
Macro Programming With Software
No
Design
Extra Features
Media Keys
Non-Dedicated
Trackpad / Trackball No
Scroll Wheel
No
Control Knob
No
USB Passthrough
No
Numpad Yes
Windows Key Lock
Yes
Lock Indicator Caps, Scroll & Num lock

The Leopold FC900 has a limited number of extra features. There are media hotkeys that you can access through the F6-F12 keys. Sadly, you can't program any macros, but you can remap some keys using the DIP switches underneath, and there are clear instructions on how to do so. The fourth DIP switch acts as the Windows key lock, which is a bit inconvenient if you need to lock/unlock it often.

Design
In The Box

  • Keyboard
  • Mini-USB cable
  • PS/2 adapter
  • Keycap puller
  • Extra keycaps (alternate-sized Control and Caps Lock)
  • Manual

Typing Experience
Typing Experience
Switches
Switch Name
Cherry MX Brown
Switch Type
Mechanical
Feel
Tactile
Typing Experience
Keystrokes
Operating Force
57 gf
Actuation Force
44 gf
Pre-Travel
2.1 mm
Total Travel
4.1 mm

The unit we tested has Cherry MX Brown switches, but it's available in a wide variety of other Cherry MX switch types. It requires minimal force to get over the bump, which is pretty standard for a Cherry MX Brown switch, and it offers great tactile feedback.

9.0
Typing Experience
Typing Quality

The Leopold FC900R has an outstanding typing quality. The doubleshot PBT keycaps feel great and are very stable, including the spacebar. The spacebar sounds a bit different than most keys, but this is just a matter of getting used to it, and it doesn't affect the typing quality. The keys have standard spacing and it doesn't take much time to adjust to it. The Cherry MX Brown switches we tested offer great tactile feedback, but your typing experience may vary depending on the switch you get. It has a bit of a high profile, so you may feel some fatigue after long periods of typing, but it shouldn't be a problem for most people.

8.1
Typing Experience
Typing Noise
Average Loudness
49.6 dBA
High Pitch Clicks
No

The Leopold FC900R is quiet with the Cherry MX Brown switches and shouldn't bother people around you. It's advertised to have a padded layer built inside, which is aimed at reducing the total noise, but we didn't notice any difference from other mechanical keyboards. Note that some of the switches, such as the Cherry MX Blue switches, will result in louder typing noise.

8.2
Typing Experience
Latency
Latency Wired
7.6 ms
Latency Receiver
N/A
Latency Bluetooth
N/A
Software and Operating System
Software and Operating System
Configuration Software
Software Name No Software
Software Windows Compatible
No
Software macOS Compatible
No
Onboard Memory
No
Profiles
No Profile

The Leopold FC900R PD doesn't have dedicated software.

10
Software and Operating System
Computer Compatibility
Windows
Fully Compatible
macOS
Fully Compatible
Linux (Ubuntu 22)
Fully Compatible
Media Key Compatibility
Windows, MacOS & Linux

On Windows and Linux, all default key functions work. On macOS, the Print Screen button acts like an F13 button, Insert acts as a Help key, and the Scroll Lock and Pause/Break keys adjust screen brightness if you're using an Apple display.

0
Software and Operating System
Wireless Mobile Compatibility
Android
Not Compatible
iOS
Not Compatible
iPadOS
Not Compatible
Media Key Compatibility
Not Compatible