There is a huge interest in the mechanical keyboard category and Lofree is a newcomer, introducing its first product in May 2022. The Lofree 1% is a mechanical keyboard that uses a 65% layout and features the Kailh Clione Limacina switch and Bluetooth connectivity.
But what’s unique about the keyboard is its design; you get a transparent chassis that looks great, and even the keys and the switches are clear, making the 1% look quite striking. Unboxing the keyboard is an event in itself, with Lofree doing a great job with the packaging and highlighting the design of the keyboard.
The Lofree 1% retails for $219 on MechKeys and comes in two varieties: the model I’m using is the Misty version, and there’s also an Orange Soda version with orange accents.
The chassis of the Lofree 1% is made of polycarbonate and the base has a reflective coating that provides an almost mirror-like finish, with the Lofree logo in the center. There’s a steel plate attached to the front that once again draws attention to the see-through nature of the board, and overall the design of the Lofree 1% is stunning – there’s no other keyboard that emulates the see-through aesthetic so well.
It’s clear that a lot of work has gone into the design of the keycaps, and they’re a big part of what sets the Lofree 1% apart. They are made of polycarbonate and the legends are injected into the housing, so there is no chance of these fading after prolonged use. The Clione Limacina switch also has a clear housing and follows a standard MX style design. Unlike most mechanical keyboards in this category, the switches are soldered to the plate, so you can’t fit another switch here.
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Since this keyboard follows a 65% layout with a total of 68 keys, Lofree added two Fn buttons to unlock various shortcuts. The red Fn button is next to the Alt button at the bottom and is used for playing media and adjusting the brightness of the keys. The blue Fn button is located above the Del key and is used to switch Bluetooth profiles and access the function row.
There are secondary legends highlighted in red or blue that make it easy to understand which Fn key to use, but there’s a lot of stuff here and it can take a while to get used to the layout. On that note, there’s plenty of versatility here, with the Lofree 1% connecting via USB-C or Bluetooth 5.1. There’s a switch at the bottom to switch modes, and the keyboard can be used with Windows and macOS machines in addition to Android and iOS. In the box you will find a USB-C cable with an angled connector.
I’ve used the keyboard with a Pixel 7 Pro, iPad Air, and my Windows machine and haven’t seen any connectivity issues. It’s easy to switch between Bluetooth-connected devices, and the 2000mAh battery delivers over 40 hours of battery life – you only need to charge it once a week.
The main selling point of the Lofree 1% is its design, and the brand has done a great job of making sure this is emphasized really well with the lighting effects. You don’t get RGB lighting here, but the white LEDs do a great job of illuminating the board and showing off the see-through design, and they feel distinctive. I can safely say that there is no other keyboard that delivers the same level of spectacle in everyday use.
You’ll find a total of seven lighting effects, and you can cycle through the effects via the built-in buttons – there’s no special software for the keyboard. That limits the customizability of the board, but that’s not a priority for Lofree; the focus is all on that unique design. While Lofree captured the overall aesthetic, the switch plays a huge role when it comes to using the keyboard, and the Kailh Clione Limacina has a lot going for it.
The Clione Limacina is a linear switch with 1.8mm pre-travel that operates at 38gf with a total travel of 4mm. Given the low actuation point, you’ll be constantly bottoming out the keys, but they feel great, and the polycarbonate chassis and body means you get a sound that’s very different from metal-backed keyboards. It’s not uncomfortable at all, and my only issue in this area is that the keys are a bit wobbly.
Lofree bets on the unique design to set the 1% apart from the best mechanical keyboards, and it certainly delivers on that front. The distinctive styling makes the keyboard stand out quite a bit, and it’s clear that a lot of thought has gone into the design. You pay a premium for that design, and while you get more features for less with other keyboards, there’s no denying that the 1% looks absolutely gorgeous.
Lofree 1% mechanical keyboard
The completely transparent design makes the Lofree 1% a distinctive mechanical keyboard and it looks phenomenal. You get a good set of features and decent versatility thanks to Bluetooth. If you want a keyboard that stands out, this is the one to get.