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Rating and Reviews: Korg nanoKEY Keyboard

Get the same control and velocity response of a full size controller with the ultra-compact nanoKEY from Korg.

User Ratings
Overall
Sound
Features
Ease of Use
Quality
Value
Manufacturer Support
The Wow Factor
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"Korg Nanokey. And affordable, portable midi controller." submitted May 7, 2009

By a customer from hotmail.com
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Sound
Features
Ease of Use
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Value
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The Wow Factor
Musical Background: Hobbyist, Active Musician
Music Style: Rock, Alternative, ProgRock, Gospel, Classic
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Sound: This is a midi controller so it doesn´t have any sound by itself. Nevertheless, it comes with a coupon to license the software version of the Korg M1, which an exact version of the M1. The sounds are cool and very useful (even for a sound engine made for the late 80´s) I enjoy playing the M1 with the Nanokey and I can carry it wherever I go with my laptop! Feature: This is a very basic keyboard controller. It have two octaves, a pitch bend, a modulator, keys to move the octaves up and down and a switch to turn your keys into CC event senders. You can edit their functions with an editor. The keys are like laptop keys but velocity sensitive. Just what it is required for a very portable solution. Ease of Use: As I mentioned in the "Features" section, this device is very basic. You won´t get loss using it. Quality: It´s a Korg. With normal care it will last years. Just keep in mind that this is not a weighted piano-like keyboard...it is a portable midi controller of $49!! If you can set your mind on the purpose it is meant to be, you will find that the quality is quite enough for the purpose it has been designed. Value: I don´t think that there is another product like this one in this price range. It fits my purposes and I´m satisfied of what I get from what I paid for it Manufacturer Support: I have never contacted Korg support before. I own also an M3 and some other accesories. The Wow Factor: For me it was so cool to have the Black version. It looks great! Also the size of it called my attention. This is the most portable midi controller I found. Overall: As I said before, I own an M3 but unfortunatelly I´m not able to carry it everywhere anytime I want. With this tiny keyboard, I can go everywhere and I just need my laptop (with the M1 Le) and headphones to enjoy the music! I´m a music addict and with this device I can play the keyboard almost everywhere! If you doubt if this keyboard can be useful for something, just check the videos from Jordan Rudess rocking with it!
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"Get It!!!!" submitted February 1, 2009

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Features
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Musical Background: Active Musician, Recording Engineer
Music Style: R&B, Pop, Rock, & Hip Hop
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Sound: No sound, USB controller Feature: WOW! It has pitch/mod controls. no plug for sustain pedal 1/8 would bee nice. Ease of Use: Smaller than normal keys but easy to use Quality: indures a lot, the keys velocity sensitive (I actually used it in a gig) Value: Good price, would be nice to have a package deal with the other Nano Kontrols Manufacturer Support: Don't need it The Wow Factor: I have it (must be good it keeps selling out) Overall: Does exactly what I bought it for, small light and portable. I can carry it in my sling bag with my laptop (studio on the go-welcome to the 21 century), hop on my motorcyle and keep going!!!!
14 of 14 people (100%) found this review helpful. Did you?
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"nanoKEY - $mall price, big value!" submitted December 19, 2008

By a customer from gmail.com
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Musical Background: Hobbyist
Music Style: Electronica, Hip Hop, R&B
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Sound: The nanoKEY is a MIDI controller, so it obviously doesn't have sounds. But when controlling Reason 4.0 on my laptop, the program's sounds have no latency being controlled from this keyboard. So that's good. Feature: Pitch bend is included, as is a mod button. Octave shift, I think, brings this instrument out of the toy category because you can be working over a full 88 keys in a form factor smaller than a wireless computer keyboard. Ease of Use: Took a small bit of tinkering to get it to work properly with my setup. About what was expected. There is a "CC Mode" button immediately below the lowest key. I do not know what the button does because I have not needed it in set up or normal use. However, when accidentally pressed, my MIDI signal cuts off and the button must be unswitched. Don't know why it's happening but it's irritating. Quality: I have to disagree with the existing review. I've had my nanoKEY for about a month. I turn the volume down on the PC and beat the heck out of the keys for maximum expressiveness - did I mention the velocity sensitive keys? They do feel exactly like laptop keys, so the action is more like tapping than pressing, but durability does not seem an issue. Works well for my electronic production style and drum programming. Value: Next above this in size, you have the smallest Axiom. If you don't mind paying $180 and carrying an additional laptop bag sized parcel with you, it's the vastly superior controller. Mixers, faders, pads, stop and record controls. But in order to toss a KORG controller IN my laptop bag and have 88 keys of velocity sensitive control, I was delighted to shell out $50. Manufacturer Support: I've never had to contact KORG with any problems with my Triton after all these years. I carry my nanoKEY in a neoprene wine bottle pouch by Built NY. If you can find one of these online, it's the perfect carrier because its padding is very protective. WARNING: The frame of the nanoKEY is thin plastic. It is meant for desktop use only or extremely careful carriage. Could not support even a small amount of weight, I'm sure. The Wow Factor: I knew the thing would have a chintzy construction when I sought it out. It's so small and sleek, very minimalist. The KORG name lights up and the LEDS in various colors look pretty sharp too. Overall: The nanoKEY has surpassed my expectations in pretty much every possible way. It's smaller than I thought. The keys, though they take a little getting used to, are satisfyingly sensitive and durable. Though I cannot speak for the quality of the rest of the nano series, I do fully understand and appreciate what KORG set out to do: create a miniature control environment that takes up very little room in a tight space and doesn't cost an arm and a leg. For $150, you can have a virtual desktop studio. I highly recommend this keyboard to anyone as a backup, highly portable alternative to an at-home keyboard, or an inexpensive first controller.
24 of 26 people (92.31%) found this review helpful. Did you?
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"Decent Keyboard" submitted June 22, 2010

By a customer from yahoo.com
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Musical Background: Music Producer
Music Style: HipHop
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Sound: Ok this is a midi controller it doesnt make its own sound, but the M1 LE program that came with it is a wonderful synthesizer program. I feel like I paid 49 for the program and not the controller. Then I looked down and im like ok this is what I bought, the keyboard not the software. Feature: product doesnt come with accessories but has features such octave, pitch and mod. Ease of Use: plug and play, windows 7 didn't have a problems installing the drivers. instruction manual comes with this product but you probably wouldn't use much. like i said plug and play, just make sure your what ever sequencer software you use is set for the nano key, close and open the sequencer software and your all set. Quality: i give it a 9 on how well its made, feels like the keyboard im typing on right now. Im hoping it can with stand the punishment just bought it from zzounds and just got it yesterday. the product is light weight and slim enough for you to put it in your back pocket, walk to your car, take it out your back pocket and place on your passenger seat, I dont forsee any problems with on the road use lol. worst aspect of the keyboard is its not long enugh, i understand the whole nano concept, but i cant play it like a keyboard, i have to to peg at it, as if it was computer keyboard. Value: i would say the product is price reasonably, only because you get the Korg synthesizer software with it. if it wasnt for that, korg could hang it up, i would spend an extra 30 and get something else portable but fully functional as well. Manufacturer Support: havnt had to use it, plug and play The Wow Factor: I love the black nano Korg, zzounds should display that pic instead, it would definitely entice you to buy it. Best thing i like about the korg nano keyboard is the Korg logo that light up when i plug it in to my computer. it lets you know its on, and ready to rock. I would like for it to have had a off switch, but to each his own. Overall: ill say this product will prolly last max a year, depending on how well you take care of it and how much you travel. 50 dollars for a year aint so bad.
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"Fantastic while it works. But it won't last long." submitted September 13, 2010

By a customer from gmail.com
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Sound
Features
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Value
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Musical Background: Hobbyist
Music Style: Techno
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Sound: N/A Since it doesnt actually generate any sound. This is a midi controller. Feature: It has pitch bend and modulation... thats it. Ease of Use: Incredibly simple to play on, and Windows 7 can install drivers for it on its own. Quality: Not built very well. Its essentially... just keyboard keys from like, a laptop keyboard. You know, the one you type letters with. The kind of keys I am using right now. Its nothing fancier than that. You will literally pay 50 dollars for an extension of your laptop keyboard with buttons dedicated to pitch bend and octave switching. In retrospect, I might as well have just USED the laptop's keyboard in a software that 'emulated' a midi keyboard with it. So, shortly after the warranty expired, one key's mounting braces totally broke. Another one fell off and I managed to resecure it (no tas good as originally) and it now only recognizes extremely rough pushes. In short, the keyboard become unusable after one year of ownersship where it wasnt even used that often and was kept in the original packaging when it wasnt in use. Value: I mean, 50 dollars for a year of use isnt bad. It isnt great either. Spend 150 dollars a on a portable that will last you at least 3 years instead. Manufacturer Support: Did not deal with Korg. Not worth associated fees to 'fix' something that was broken on a PCB level. The Wow Factor: I think it looks pretty hot. Overall: I am no longer satisfied with it because it broke, but cannot find any other portable ones in my acceptable price range atm. Thus, I will just lug around a much larger keyboard where I need to go because durability is a huge deal in my book.
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Korg nanoKEY Keyboard Customer Review submitted February 1, 2009

By a customer from hotmail.com
Overall
Ease of Use
Quality
Value
Musical Background: Hobbyist/Active Musician
Music Style: Electro/New Wave/Italo/Electronica/Techno
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Sound: No sound (it's midi controller) Feature: Came with a usb cable which is all you need Ease of Use: Plug and Play (easy) Quality: Well it's not great for a standalone controller. It's cool when u want something portable when you sit on the bed or are in a car or even sitting under a tree. Prepare for the most annoying sound ever which is the clicking of the keys that are designed like computer keyboard keys. It gets the job done. Value: The price is right for what it is. Manufacturer Support: It's Korg..You'll never need it. Overall: You won't be Jan Hammer with it but you can input notes and augment them later. Very nice aftertouch and pitch bend buttons. No delay. Plug and Play easy. No need to install any software. Not the end all be ll but purchasing for portability is 100%
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"Unusably Poor Quality" submitted December 19, 2010

By a customer from yahoo.com
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Sound
Features
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Musical Background: Hobbyist
Music Style: Jazz
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Sound: Sound doesn't really apply to a midi controller. Feature: Features are pretty spartan on this controller, but that's expected/intended for that size. IMO this controller's main feature is its small size. Ease of Use: Plug-and-play easy to use. Quality: During unpacking one of the keys including its complete mechanism of 5 or six tiny plastic parts fell off the keyboard. There was no way for me to get it back in. The remaining keys felt extremely flimsy and wobbly. The keys are the same/similar mechanism as the keys on a laptop computer but unlike my laptop this keyboard feels very cheap and unreliable. Value: For a keyboard that is build so poorly that it's useless even $50 is too much. Manufacturer Support: I only dealt with Zzounds for the refund and they were great. The Wow Factor: I think if the quality were high enough for this to be a reliable device, I'd say anybody who wants utmost portability the "I want factor" should be pretty high. However since it's essentially useless, what's the point. Overall: Useless due to poor quality. Good concept (super portable USB keyboard) but poor execution. After returning my dead-on-arrival nanoKey I had ZZounds replace it with an Akai LPK 25. The Akai is a traditional keyboard. It's only marginally bigger (length/depth) than the nanoKey but due to the traditional construction its about 3 times as thick/high. Given my experience I'd recommend anybody considering to get the nanoKey to skip it and get the Akai.
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"plastic, flimsy, feels like laptop qwerty keboard." submitted December 4, 2008

By a customer from aol.com
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Features
Ease of Use
Quality
Value
The Wow Factor
Musical Background: Musician
Music Style: Electronica
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Sound: This is a midi controller, so it doesn't have any sounds. Feature: Good features, pitch bend, modulation, CC control. Ease of Use: Very portable and easy to use. Quality: You get what you pay for: read some reviews on youtube. The keys will pop out, and it seems the keys have the same feel as a laptop qwerty keyboard. Value: This should be a lot cheaper. The Wow Factor: Not sexy looking at all. Overall: Maybe Korg will improve the unit. But for now, this a flimsy unit made of plastic.
15 of 29 people (51.72%) found this review helpful. Did you?
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"Great super-compact controller to go with a laptop!" submitted December 16, 2009

By a customer from harrelsonfamily.org
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Musical Background: Hobbyist
Music Style: Electronica
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Sound: Sound? This is just a USB-MIDI controller. The only sound is the rattle of the keys. However, I intend to use this to play with music on my netbook while at a coffee shop. In that case, I will be wearing cans anyways, so a little extra noise is no big deal. The included Korg M1 soft synth is kind of nice, though, and has some great sounds. Feature: There is really not a lot here. Just 25 keys, an octave buttons, pitch-bend buttons, a mod button, and a CC mode button (which I have never used). Simple, but most of what you need. Ease of Use: This think is very easy to use. It was recognized instantly under Windows and Linux. You can install the Korg driver software in order to do some customization. However, if you are happy with the default settings, you do not need to install anything! Quality: OK. This thing is absolutely NOT built like a tank. The keys look and feel like laptop keys (which they basically are). This thing is NOT super-durable. Baby it. I wish that Korg had included a snap-on cover for the top to protect it. Value: A ultra-small, portable, 25-key controller for $50? Great deal! The build quality is not super-strong, but what do you expect for the money? Do you want larger keys or better build quality? Then spend more money and get something else. I think that for its intended purpose, this is a very good deal. Manufacturer Support: I have not needed any support. The (optional) driver works and is dead simple. At this price, the hardware should be considered to be disposable if it breaks. The Wow Factor: This product invented a new category class -- ultra-portable keyboard controllers that are intended to work with a laptop. Akai has since come out with something that looks to be better for not too much more money, but give Korg credit for inventing a ground-breaking product (which they have a tendency to do). Overall: If I could do it over again, I would look at the Akai LPK25 (which was not released at the time that I purchased the NanoKey). The Akai looks like it has a couple more features (arpeggiator and sustain), and better build quality, but costs $20 more. Still, if your budget cannot afford the extra $20, then get this if you need something that will disappear in your laptop bag.
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"Poorly made and will break no matter how good of care you give it." submitted February 10, 2010

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Musical Background: Hobbyist
Music Style: All
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Sound: It has no sound, its a MIDI controller with cheap breakable keys that Korg wont repair... Feature: Came with nothing but a cable and some trial software that took me ours to find online Ease of Use: Easy before your keys start breaking off.. I'm pretty easy on my gear but this thing is just really cheaply made and broke before I got to even have fun with it. Quality: Made of the cheapest chinese plastic you could think to find... the keys are a similar design to keys on a laptop only laptop keyboards are way more durable. This thing is really really poorly made, dont waste your money like I did Value: Would be better value if it were made better Manufacturer Support: There is none... on their site there is no link for warranty information. no one wants anything to do with these The Wow Factor: I did want this thing. I was stoked to be able to travel without using my big MIDI keyboard but its really just a junky gimmick Overall: I cant say anymore bad things about this junk... Just dont buy it..
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"Works OK, but flimsy and breaks easily." submitted August 25, 2010

By a customer from harrelsonfamily.org
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Musical Background: Hobbyist
Music Style: Electronica
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Sound: This thing does not really have any sound -- it is a controller. The included license for the M1 software synth is kind of nice. Feature: Pretty good features. It does not have the arp like the Akai LPK25. It does have pitch bend. Ease of Use: Very simple to use. Quality: I had previously reviewed this and gave it good marks. However, mine broke when I had it in a cabinet, and slid a magazine on top of it. That little act tore off two keys, which I could not get put back. I would have expected to be a little sturdier than this. If I need another product like this, I am going to go for the Akai LPK25. Value: Good value if you baby it. If you break it, fifty bucks out the window. Manufacturer Support: I did not use support. The thing was out of warranty when it broke. The Wow Factor: It was the first of its kind, so I cut it some slack. However Akai now makes a better products for $20 more.
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