loupedeck+ Color Grading Keyboard Mini Review

Software and Hardware Platform: M1 iMac + Photoshop + Camera Raw + Lightroom Classic, available on Taobao for 1899 yuan with a six-month interest-free installment plan.

  1. Requires installation of driver software that runs in the background. It is used frequently and requires frequent switching of configuration files (although there is an automatic switching feature, it’s not very user-friendly, or perhaps I haven’t mastered the method).
  2. This device was introduced in Finland in 2018 and briefly entered the Chinese market in 2021. There was even a version with Chinese characters printed on the keyboard. It received substantial influencer marketing and buzz, but for some reason, it quietly exited the market in June. The official website’s Chinese content disappeared, and it’s no longer available on platforms like Tmall, Taobao, or WeChat Store.
  3. The driver software has never been translated into Chinese, likely due to its niche nature, so now using it requires circumventing obstacles like logging in or downloading alternate configuration files. Normal operation or basic usage doesn’t require translation, but registering and logging in requires navigating to a web browser, then successfully logging in before being redirected to localhost back to the software interface, at which point translation is necessary.
  4. There is likely some form of partnership with Adobe, which doesn’t bode well for third-party software. For instance, after installing the driver, it automatically installs Lightroom Classic plugins, but Photoshop plugins need to be downloaded exclusively from Creative Cloud. The official website explicitly states that separate installations are ineffective, and there’s no standalone download available online.
  5. The keyboard consists of five types of buttons, each with its own tactile feel. The central color wheel area can be turned up or down – it uses inexpensive potentiometers with noticeable steps, similar to a cheap mouse wheel. The knobs for adjusting color have sparser steps when turned left or right – similar to a cheap mouse as well. Note that I’m referring to the tactile steps, not damping – there’s no damping at all. The larger knob has clearer tactile steps, but still no damping; all knobs can be pressed to reset. The square keys seem to use low-profile switches, with a springy feel and an audible click. The circular keys are membrane keys.
  6. Overall, the appearance carries a slight sense of being budget-oriented, not reaching the level of quality expected from domestic mechanical keyboards. The surface has a somewhat soft texture, which makes it prone to scratches, especially around the knobs, and there are no built-in feet on the back.
  7. In terms of usage, it does indeed enhance efficiency, whether for a complete workflow or simply adjusting the colors of one or multiple photos. When coupled with the custom mode and the FN key, the keyboard can have four logical sets, with all buttons customizable. Even in default settings, it essentially translates most of the primary sliders used for photo adjustments into physical controls. You no longer need to stare at the screen to find tabs and follow mouse movements to make adjustments; you can now focus on the photo and make adjustments blindly. For example, no matter which tab you’re on, rotating the exposure/contrast/black and white/shadow/highlight knobs will show immediate effects.
  8. Another advantage is the lack of conflicts – previously, using a mouse allowed adjusting only one slider at a time, but now multiple sliders can be manipulated simultaneously. For instance, if there’s green in a color, which is essentially a mix of yellow and blue, previously, you’d need to adjust green, then adjust yellow, then go back to green to achieve the desired hue. Now, you can simultaneously adjust both knobs, even tweaking all thirteen color knobs simultaneously.