Casio is a master of the portable keyboard. The original Casiotone keyboards we all over the 1980s giving us bedroom musicians our first affordable electronic sound source. It was all pre-programmed beats and automatic accompaniment but we lapped it up before moving on to more grown-up synthesizers or giving in to the allure of the guitar. Casiotone is back for a new generation of keyboard plonkers with the battery-powered CT-S200, S300 and the LK-S250.
In the realms of starter keyboard, Casio has it covered. The Casiotone revival is simple, unfussy and yet elegant and useful. Your kids are never going to learn to play by fiddling with your modular or complex synthesizers – they need sounds, rhythms, built-in speakers and a carry handle – Casio has nailed it.
They all have 61 full-sized keys, built-in speakers and a headphone socket. They have 400 tones inside and 122 rhythms. There’s a dance music mode to make it easy to create and remix EDM style tracks. You can trigger drum loops, basslines, synth parts and effects all from the keyboard. They have an LCD display for selecting sounds and an input for playing along to a music-playing device.
The LK-S250 has light-up keys as part of their easy learning system. There are 60 built-in songs and voice-guided lessons. It also has a microphone input so you can sing along through some of the effects.
The CT-S200 and CT-S300 are pretty similar, in fact going through the specs online I can’t really find a difference. There’s also a mention of the CT-S100 but there’s no information on that. Some of the detail on the website contradicts some of the taglines… so who knows?
Anyway, suffice to say that these are cool, good-sized entry-level keyboards for the budding musician in your house. At between $109 and $159 they are very good value. Casio’s App and easy learning system offers a comprehensive way to learn to play and the light-up keys on the LK-S250 are all the rage at the moment.
- Casio webpage.