Photos and Performance
Well as soon as I got the Noko Wrist Rest out it was clear that this is in a different class as the Grifiti. When I first saw the Noko online I assumed it was maybe a thin layer of particle board and some padding along with its amazing leatherwork. This isn’t the case at all. The wrist rest consists of a 2mm stainless steel plate, a thick piece of wood, a little padding, and then the leather that covers it all. The Grifiti is like a wet noodle and this is basically a weapon, my wife even picked it up and swung it at me and I was legitimately scared that it might hurt me. Like I mentioned previously Noko actually sent over the same model that they have going on their group buy right now so our sample was the TenKeyLess sized black pad. It is available with three different colors of thread, ours has the basic white. She does have a whole list of other color options for custom orders as well. The good thing about black though is it is neutral and should go with most desks and keyboards. My desk for example is a light grained wood, but it matches the black speakers, keyboard, and monitor stand.
The total thickness of the wrist rest was ¾ of an inch but a good portion of that is just in the leather itself. If we look from the side we can see the edge where the top and bottom pieces of leather joi together, they didn’t skimp on materials here. The edge on our sample is finished the same color as the rest of the wrist rest with a clear coat over top of it to keep the edge from wearing out at all. The stitching holding everything together is evenly spaced and attractive. While ours is a fairly plain design, I could really see some of the brighter stitching standing out here and adding a little style.
On the flipside of the wrist rest we really don’t have to much going on. We can see the other half of the stitching. In the middle of the pad Noko did brand her logo. With a mass produced part they would most likely just print something but the branding really reminds you that someone spent a lot of time making this.
While there isn’t a lot to talk about on the Noko Wrist Rest, the biggest thing that stood out to me was that it fit our TKL Novatouch perfectly. Getting the right fit might seem like something you would expect, but even our Grifiti pads don’t always fit perfectly, add to that that these are completely custom and handmade I was very glad to of had a great fit.
The real question though is how well do they perform. I’ll be honest, when I first talked to Noko about the review I wasn’t really sure on what to expect for performance. While the Grifiti pads wear out insanely quick I had grown very used to their extra thick padding. That is why I have been hesitant to go with a wood wrist rest. So when I found out the Noko’s have a metal and wood core I was a little concerned that it might not be as comfortable as I would like. Well it is obviously not as soft as the all foam Grifiti, but the thin layer of padding along with the leather itself was enough to keep things comfortable. It is an improvement over a built in keyboard wrist rest or any other solid design, but not as comfortable as an extra thick foam or gel design.
Where it does stand out though is in overall build quality and style. Going with high quality materials means it should hold up well over time. Considering how bad the soft wrist rests are for durability this is a welcomed change. I seriously doubt that anyone is going to manage to break the core of the Noko Wrist Rest but I am actually really looking forward to seeing how the leather will look in the future. A nice leather tends to actually look better as they break in and get a little wear on them. That is the exact opposite of the Grifiti that looked months old after just a few days. Even the built in wrist rest for the Cherry MX Board 6.0 had issues with looking nasty after just a few hours. The Noko has held up perfectly so far and the smooth finish makes it easy to clean anything that falls on it off as well.
While the Noko fit my keyboard perfectly for its width, I did have to bust out the tall feet that they included to get the height up to a level that matched my keyboard for me. At first I didn’t do much support but with the feet it was up doing its job. I was a little concerned that the plastic like finish might not grip my desk very well but I was pleasantly surprised there as well.