Vortex Race 3 TKL Dye Sub PBT Mechanical Keyboard

Availability: Varies by Switch
$139.00
+ Free Shipping*
SKU: VTG83_MSLV
  • Overview
  • Reviews
  • Tell a Friend

Vortex Race 3 Mechanical Keyboard

Available Switches

Cherry MX Black thumbnailCherry MX Black
VTG83BLKMSLV
$139.00
Cherry MX Blue thumbnailCherry MX Blue
VTG83BLEMSLV
$139.00
Cherry MX Brown thumbnailCherry MX Brown
VTG83BRNMSLV
$139.00
Cherry MX Red thumbnailCherry MX Red
VTG83REDMSLV
$139.00
Cherry MX Silent Red thumbnailCherry MX Silent Red
VTG83SRDMSLV
$139.00
Cherry MX Clear thumbnailCherry MX Clear
VTG83CLRMSLV
$144.00
Cherry MX Silver thumbnailCherry MX Silver
VTG83SVRMSLV
$146.00

Keycaps

Firmware

Downloads

Vortex's newest 75% keyboard, the 83-key Race 3! Do you need dedicated arrow keys that your 60% doesn't provide, but don't want the size of a TKL? A 75% may be just for you! Most of the keys are in the "normal" spot, so there's nearly no learning curve for this keyboard.

The Race 3 features a silver anodized CNC case and cone feet. It also has DSA keycaps with dye-sub legends in a vintage grey colorway with 19 extra RGBY and MAC keycaps.

3 programmable layers on top of the default layer. Assembled in Taiwan.

Key switch damage resulting from the removal of keycaps is not covered under warranty.

Details and Specifications

BrandVortex
ModelRace 3
SizeTenkeyless
Physical LayoutUS QWERTY
Logical LayoutANSI
Frame ColorSilver
Primary LED Colorn/a
Control LED Colorn/a
USB Key RolloverFull
Multimedia KeysYes
Switch Mount TypePlate
Built in Audio PortNo
Built in Mic PortNo
Interface(s)USB
Windows CompatibleYes
Mac CompatibleYes
Dimensions12.21" x 4.73" x 1.18"
Weight1.69 lbs
Cord Length50 inches

Add Your Review


Your Name:
Email Address:
Review: Note: HTML is not translated! Your email address will not be shared with anyone.
Your Rating: 1   2   3   4   5
Verification:
  • Well, I hesitated to write a review before all my feelings about this keyboard have been settled. Now, two months into using it, I think I'd give it a go :)

    First of all, this is my first mech, so I have nothing to compare it to, save for some experience with an IBM Model M back in 1991-98. And to be honest I was expecting something akin to that absolutely amazing butter-smooth feel from the Cherry MX Blues I ordered my Race with. Alas, it didn't turn out to be that way. MX Blues feel quite different - not bad, but different, which is not surprising, as they're not buckling springs after all! I had to learn to like it My initial thoughts were: "Wow, this is fantastic, so different from what I'm used to! But is this the kind of fantastic I wanted?" :) They do seem to grow on me as they continue to break in - they became much smoother after a few months. Also, the perception of typing on them is not persistent: one day I might be idiosyncratic towards it, the other day I may well just love it. All this being said, it's still LIGHT YEARS better than the built-in crap I had to use on my laptop, which feels like tapping some inarticulate paper now that I got used to MX Blues! I mistype much less now, largely due to their pronounced sonic and tactile feedback. The stabilizers work flawlessly, pressing the spacebar at the very edge never gave me a missed space yet.

    But one switch gave me some grief. It had a somewhat double tactile bump, one where expected and the second down the end of stem travel. The switch would never bottom out unless I applied extra force. It was obvious that there's something rubbing against the stem inside. So, given I'm in Russia and sending the keyboard back to States was not an option for me, I resorted to desoldering it - that's the only way of taking the switch apart thanks to the not-so-well-thought-out plate design. Which, I tell you, was a b***h to desolder! Having had my share of delaminated PCB pads in the past, I was extra nervous not to overheat pads in my Vortex, but the solder seemed to refuse being sucked out forever, as if there was a huge blob of it on the other side of PCB! But I was lucky, and gently propelled by tweezers, the switch was finally ejected. After disassembling the switch, I saw a tiny plastic burr protruding from the stem guide right at the end of it, which I happily filed away. After cleaning, assembling and soldering it back, the switch now works no different form others. Problem solved, albeit at the price of a few gray hairs :)

    Next thing to mention is the keycaps; Well, the looks and the feel don't quite go hand in hand here.

    They feel just awesome to the touch, always dry, pleasantly rough and somewhat cool as in temperature, almost like touching a stone, especially so when you approach them after a break; The homing difference in 'F' and 'J' is OK for me but could be more pronounced. On the other hand, this difference in F & J profiles makes for an extended gap between R & F and U & J, which bugs me sometimes and makes me want to tilt them a bit forward to compensate.

    The looks are different, though: The DSA profile, when viewed in person, appears almost too retro to my taste, and the light/shade interplay on the grayish-white caps doesn't seem as nice too. They look just dull, which must have to do with the way PBT plastic scatters light, and colorful replacement caps solve little of this. I guess ABS is much better regarding the eye candy. Also, the die-sub labels are quite fuzzy, reminding me of some low-res inkjet prints on rough paper. The font, while tolerable, is also not my mug of beer either, especially numbers and symbols. And I'll finish my keycap gripes by mentioning a little paint smear down at the edge of one of the caps, which seems to be made by neglect during the process of die sublimation at factory, because it won't be washed away with water, ethanol, acetone and wd-40, nor would it go away by rubbing with an abrasive eraser. While really small and almost out of sight, it can't be un-noticed once found! Picky me. Viewed from a distance, though, the overall look of the keyboard is great, as it is the case with many things in life :)

    The build quality and all the other parts, of which little remains to list really - just anodized aluminum body, ten screws, black plate and rubber legs at the bottom (this is quite a minimalist keyboard) - are perfectly good.

    The area where this keyboard really shines at is The Layout. This was definitely my primary driver for buying this thing. All the navigation packed into 11 rightmost keys works miracles for coding: arrow keys, Home/End, PgUp/Dn, Enter, Del and Backspace are all within the reach and are easily distinguished blind using backspace and enter as reference. Wider 1.25u Del key, which many people dislike for being non-standard, also assists finger positioning. I bet no other layout has better usability/size ratio. One thing I miss is some kind of tactile gap between groups of F-keys, for example, F4 & F8 could have a slanted right side and F5 & F9 a slanted left. Wishful thinking :)

    Ah, I almost forgot to bash the default USB cord! It just sucks, sorry. Way too rigid!

    The verdict, suddenly, is 4 stars, because all the nitpicking aside, this is a very, very nice keyboard you'll learn to love eventually, if not from the first sight! It is truly a trusty workhorse for those who type and code. Please attribute one star to a bit of bad luck with a sole switch and my innate scrutiny for imperfection :)

  • I love it! Buttery smooth.

  • This keyboard is awesome and I love it. This was my first mechanical keyboard. A few things that are slightly annoying is the shift key under the enter key is smaller than normal so I hit the up arrow a lot. Then the rubber pads on the bottom leave a bunch of skuff marks on my white desk. Good keyboard overall.

  • I really enjoyed this keyboard while it worked, after using it for a while the micro-usb port broke. This was partially my fault for taking it out of the house, but it is also because of the fragile port, if you are just going to use this keyboard for home use then i strongly recommend it, but if you plan to take it with you places like i did, then i would recommend getting a sturdier model.

  • This is a great keyboard. I love the layout because it's both compact yet still has a separate function key row above (and separate ESC vs ` keys). These switches are also very quiet, even compared to my Das Keyboard with brown switches (not all brown switches are equal, apparently!). I'm actually giving up a topre switch keyboard for this one -- I loved that keyboard but I think I love this one even more. Additionally, the build quality seems pretty solid so far. The only issues I see are very minor: if you look closely, the legends are not absolutely perfectly aligned; and as others have reported, some of the keys are not going to be easy to replace with custom keycaps (but given these keycaps are dye-sub PBT, you shouldn't *have* to replace them for a very long time).

  • This is an amazing keyboard. The built quality and the included keycaps are both great.

  • Being as this is my first mechanical keyboard I have absolutely no complaints. I just started getting into the whole mechanical keyboard community, and I have been researching like crazy what would be the best keyboard for my daily driver. Lo and behold this beauty came up in my research, and it is awesome. The cherry clear switches are great, and unlike many people I had no issue removing the keycaps from my unit. Now the keycaps did take the old wiggle wiggle trick to get them off, but by lifting up gently/consistently while wiggling the keycaps slightly the keycaps came off without a hitch. The responsiveness and feel of this keyboard is great! I like the color palate that is provided with this keyboard, but I wish there was a red delete key with this keyboard to balance out the red ESC key for better summitry. Overall I love this keyboard, and I look forward to my next keyboard purchase. MechanicalKeyboards.com got my board to me within 2 days, and were responsive in answering any of my questions via email or Facebook.

  • Build quality and look is top notch. Very, very happy with my purchase.

  • This is a great keyboard. The DSA PBT caps are very nice to type on. Clears are definitely my favorite switch type between them, blues, browns, and reds.

    The 75% layout is really well done and the colored keycaps look amazing. My favorite keyboard I've owned so far.

    The one big complaint I have that is that the keycaps that are not 1x sized are very difficult to remove. Following guides to slowly wiggle and hold the stem down with a flat head screwdriver was not enough. I ended up pulling the stem out on both shift keys because it required so much force that I lost control of the screwdriver holding the stem from ripping. I was close to doing the same for the enter and escape keys. Resoldering the switches was required, but now some of the keys are sitting higher, probably due to some of the stems almost being ripped out.

    I wish there was an option to buy the keyboard with colored caps on already. Would have have saved me a lot of stress

  • I finally found my perfect keyboard. 75% layout since I use the right column navigation keys and arrows a lot for text editing, and the PBT material feels amazing (great slight texture). This is something I can use at work without pissing off coworkers. The feel is definitely less crisp than the traditional Cherry red switch on plate, but the reduced sound (certainly not silent) makes this keyboard worthwhile to me as a general purpose kb for use between both work and home without having to do a bunch of dampening hacks especially since many methods (e.g. GMK clips) don't work great with these DSA profile keycaps or completely ignore the upstroke. I'm using this straight out of the box with zero mods. No pinging, haven't tried programming yet.

  • Man, I love this keyboard. The keycaps, have that perfect shape. All the keys you need are here. The brown switches are outstanding. It looks fantastic. This bored is an absolute win.

    The Cherry Brown MX switches are really the way to go -- I had the clear switches on a WASD 61-key keyboard and I felt like the keys were giving me a workout because they were so difficult to press. The reds I had on another board were lifeless -- I couldn't understand why anyone would want those. But the reds were better than the clears.

  • I really love this keyboard. I had already been using a WASD TKL keyboard with custom keycaps for a few months (my first mechanical keyboard) when I decided to purchase this for use at work, so I had some experience with a keyboard with Cherry Browns.

    This Vortex really raised the bar for me, though. The PBT caps have a much nicer feel, the aluminum frame is super compact and weighty, and the programming capabilities of the keyboard really work out well for my everyday tasks.

    It's great looking and as compact as possible. Not noisy at all (especially with some o-rings).

    The only downside is that you can only upgrade the firmware from a Windows PC, and my stock firmware wasn't working right with Mac mode. I programmed the command and alt keys to swap positions, though, and that made the Mac mode a non-issue.

    It's so nice that a coworker went out and ordered one for himself only a few days later after testing out mine (though he is using his in Dvorak mode).

    There are no DIP switches on this thing, either. Everything is done through keystrokes, which I prefer. The settings are saved, as well, so you don't have to redo everything once you unplug it.

    Highly recommended.

  • I think I'm in love with this keyboard. This is my first keyboard with mx clears and now I'm really glad I chose them for work. This is the first keyboard I've used where it's actually really difficult to bottom out while typing so even while typing fast the noise is minimal.

  • I got this keyboard recently and after only 3 days I realized it had a horrible design flaw. The Micro USB plug on the board is not secure, it can easily recede inside the board and it won't work anymore. Don't think I'll ever buy one of these again, shame because it is quite nice in design, but I don't have confidence in getting a new one because It will probably happen again.

  • Love the layout, the switches and the overall quality for the price.

    Highly recommended to anyone hesitating.

    Only con I see is the side print for "Scrlk" on the F11 key is slightly higher than the other side prints. Could be a problem for some. I don't mind.

  • Very well built, but I just couldn't type comfortably and accurately on it. I love the MX Silver switches, however. I might try the Vortex Vibe.

  • LONGWINDED REVIEW including shopping experience. Def not expert just my experience and opinion.

    2nd Vortex KB, Race 3 is the perfect layout for my daily use. Does not feel compact - prefer the color layout as well.

    1st Clear KB -stiffer than browns -not sure if I prefer the actuation of the browns vs. clears.

    FLAT Profile - Not keen on the flat profile so keycaps will be replaced but do like these key caps, bummer. It might change the way I feel about the switch.

    KEYCAPS REMOVAL - I used the smaller puller and damaged my enter key when replacing the keycaps (same day), however, receiving today, Leo FC980M to replace the one I spilled coffee (same day - wife shaking her head).

    Race 3 Keyboard itself has a nice weight to it -

    7th KB this year - This one is a def contender for daily use - My FC900 is great for work but gave away Razer 2 months old - blues -too loud. Next to give away - Poker 3 and FC660M - both browns but after a few months of use, I miss having designated FKeys.

    Hoping the Race 3 does the trick to end my pursuit for the perfect daily board. While it benefits the folks at MB, wifey is now beginning to count KBs :(

    MB - This is KB number 4 of 5 purchased since the summer. No problems whatsoever, customer service is great and fast replies without scripted -robotic dialogue. Shipping is fast but def allow yourself the right amount of time for shipping. I travel a lot so time zones can make a difference if you def. need the KB a certain day. Again, no complaints at all.

    Last comment - I ordered key switches from MB to replace the dead keys on the 1-day old Leo FC980M. I'll leave a review so stay tuned to whether or not it becomes a door stopper or my wife's new KB.

  • I love this thing.

  • One of the best keyboards I have ever used. I am in love with it.

    75% is the perfect size as I have to use the Arrow Keys every few minutes to do tasks at work. The included additional color keys are fantastic.

    MX Browns are amazing, medium noise and not enough click noise for the office.

    The build quality is fantastic. I am going to get Vortex Race 3 with MX Clears if it ever becomes available. The included key caps are fantastic. No need to replace them. My Order arrived in Canada in 10 days. Very happy with the service from Mechanical Keyboards.

  • love this board so much, perfect size, great looks, nice and clicky without being too loud. caps lock has a LED to display status.

    only downside is the micro usb connection as far as I'm concerned, I'd prefer USBC or even type A in this context. I worry about the long term durability of the connection but we shall see.

  • This keyboard is top notch. I got a vortex Pok3r recently and loved it. I loved the size which was much better then my full size Ducky. The only thing missing was the arrow keys. Then I seen the Race 3 and knew this would be the perfect keyboard. I wasn't mistaken at all. This keyboard is top notch in every way! The only complaints I could find about it where the fact that the key caps wouldn't be easily replaced. I gotta say I like the included key caps a good deal. The vintage flare of the gray is a nice touch. I like the legends and profile of the caps. I really think stock caps on this keyboard are more then fine specially being PBT. Then the included RGB caps for certain keys are just icing on the cake. Overall I am exceptionally pleased with this keyboard.

  • This board is one of my favorites. A lot of people complain about the non-standard top row but the keycaps it comes with are great. PBT, dye-sub, dsa profile, and the Mac AND rgby modifiers that are included add up to me not giving two hecks about a non standard top row. I currently just have the red esc and ctrls on and its beauty brings a tear to my eye. It feels as good as it looks, too. The construction quality is probably the best I've seen on any keyboard, and the cherry browns are probably my favorite cherry switch. I tried the screw-in feet for a bit but I prefer it sitting flat without them.

    As far as non-topre boards go, this is my number one.

  • Such a tight little 75 percenter. The larger escape key is a little weird, but it's so pretty out of the box with the extra RGBY keys that I don't want to put custom caps on it anyway.

  • Pros:
    1. Silver MX feels great. I like it more than mx reds.

    2. The keycaps it comes with are really nice, especially at this price point.

    3. The extra (colored) keycaps are also pretty cool.

    4. Being able to switch between colemak, dvorak, qwerty is quick and possible with the default keycaps as they are all the same profile.

    5. The case is heavy, durable, very high quality feeling.

    Cons:
    1. It stops working often. I've tried this keyboard on 4 different workstations varying in OS, including Win7, Win10, Mint 18.2, Debian 9. Swapped out different USB cables, checked connections; no luck. Sometimes I can go hours with it working fine, other times it will stop working every 10 minutes.

    2. The two non-standard 1.5u keys (ESC/DEL) on the top row make finding custom keycaps hard.

    3. Programming it is not as easy as it should be that other keyboards have achieved.

    4. The keys seem a little too squished together (more than the product pictures let on to). I've got very average sized hands and I find myself clipping the wrong key often.

    I was most excited for this to replace my daily driver, a Realforce 87U TKL 55g, with something lighter (MX Silver is perfect) but it's just too unreliable and the keys just feel too close together. The search continues, I guess.

  • Just premium in every way!

  • This keyboard is amazing. Silver switches and dsa keycaps are a great combination. it feels very well built also and has a good weight to it. by far my favorite keyboard I've owned.

Your Name:
Your Email:
Friends Name:
Friends Email:
Subject:
Message:
Verification: