back to article Korg NanoKey MIDI controller

The Korg NanoKey is one of the smallest musical keyboards you can buy. At just 320 x 83 x 14mm, it’s almost exactly the same width as a 13in laptop. Small enough to slip into a briefcase or laptop bag, the tiny form factor nonetheless features a two-octave, 25-note keyboard. Korg Nanokey Korg's NanoKey: worth making a note …


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  1. Russ Tarbox

    Thank you El Reg for reviewing a product that's been out for over a year.

    Next week: the Pentium 4 processor - time to upgrade from PIII?

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I found the key action to be horrible.

    Think about the cheapest, nastiest, clickiest laptop keys you've ever used: that's what it feels like. Also, in the push to get it down to the least volume, Korg also saddled it with very little travel in the keys, the overall effect being that it's extremely difficult to modulate your velocity as you play.

    This was a deal-breaker for me, so I bought an Akai LPK25 for a fiver more. This has the same 25 keys and similar programmability within an only fractionally larger footprint but, crucially, it's twice as thick, all of which has gone into the key travel. In addition the keys themselves are much more substantial efforts with a lovely smooth action.

  3. Anonymous Coward

    Excuse me...

    But I hadn't come across it. But then, I live in the technology hell that is Malta. Old kit, high prices. Amazon is my best friend.

    Think I might get one of these. Currently £39.99 at Amazon UK it seems.

  4. Julian 4


    Good grief - it's a Circuit bent Vl-Tone for the 21st century !

    (Escape - 'cos for this baby, every extra key is a bonus )

  5. ShaggyDoggy

    Octave lights

    Those colour-changing octave shift lights are not actually an "innovation" since they have been in use on Korg kit for many years e.g. MicroKorg

    Also desperately needs a Mod-wheel equivalent.

  6. Scott Lamb


    I paid £35 for mine a year ago and couldn't WAIT to get rid of it, it's a rip-off even at that price.

    The keys are like laptop shift keys, you can't play hardly worth a damn with ONE hand, let alone two.

    If you thought that was worth 80%, you should genuinely check out the AKAI LPK25 - for £45 (£5 less than you quote the Korg), it has proper (if mini-scale) keys, and will blow your mind in how much better it works.

    Korg's mixer-style nan-controller and drum-pad units are both wonderful and worth the money but they dropped the ball so utterly in making the NanoKey out of laptop shift-keys (and thus barely usable) that I'm shocked anyone who's tried to write a song with it for more than five minutes could rate it 80%.

  7. Anonymous Coward

    A neat and ingenious solution...

    So why only 80%? Surely for what it's designed for it's pretty much perfect?

  8. Alan 32

    Utter bobbins.

    I had three(!) in a row, and two Korg NanoPads too. They are singularly the worst quality goods I've ever had the misfortune to get replacements and then refunds on.

    Dire build quality. Sketchy response - two of the three nano keys had completely dead keys, and the C# and D# on the third were hit and miss. I really wanted these to work - they looked great in pics - but in the flesh they look and feel incredibly cheap; and they just didn't do the job they were supposed to. Yes, you can argue I got faulty units - but five of them? In a row? Hmm.

    I wonder how much an 80% review costs you?

  9. Martin Ingram
    Thumb Down


    Awful product, you may as well play the laptop keyboard itself.

    Another vote for the Akai LPK25. Mine goes everywhere with me.

  10. Elmer Phud

    Nano Pad

    I've no complaints with the Nano-pad at all.

    Superb for triggering VST drums and synths, the touchpad bit is great when the 'roll' buttong is selected. Despite it being bunged in the bag with my laptop and generally mistreated (smack on the head for the fat bass drum or claps) it's yet to fail me.

    For synths the touchpad is also really useful - I've got a VST Moog which has the touchpad mapped to delay level and feedback knobs. 'Dub be good to me'

  11. John 62

    octave lights?

    valuable information, surely, but would a 7-segment display have been _much_ more expensive?

  12. Absent

    Good for VJing.

    Whilst the key action is pretty awful, I use one of these along with the NanoKontrol with Arkaos Grand VJ on a laptop. For this use it's pretty good. The NanoKontrol however is excellent.

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