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Casio CDP-S100 Review: Huge Bang For Your Buck

Casio CDP-S100 Review: Huge Bang For Your Buck

We reviewed the PX-S1000 and the PX-S3000 a long time ago, and I think they are excellent digital pianos. The CDP-S100 is another slim form-factor keyboard aimed at pianist and beginners wanting a more affordable instrument. Let’s take an in-depth look in this Casio CDP-S100 Review.

DESIGN


The Look

The Casio CDP-S100 is a portable digital piano that is smaller and lighter than most other competing digital pianos and you can carry it around anywhere you want.

The CDP-S100 has a decent look, and it comes with a standard black chassis with 3 buttons and a knob, and though the surface has a matte texture so that the fingerprints are less of an issue.

The simple look of the Casio CDP-S100

The CDP-S100 only comes with black color. It would be better if there are other colors to choose from.

Music Rest

The CDP-S100 comes with a detachable music rest, It is wide and tall, and you can easily display multiple pages at once. It also has a comb-like stripe to prevent your sheets from sliding down.

The included music rest of Casio CDP-S100

The music rest does an excellent job of holding any scorebook or printed sheets.

It is also quite tall that any printed sheet music would not fold over the edge.

My only complaint is that the the music rest does not share the same design style of the piano. It looks out of place.

Control

The CDP-S100 has 2 buttons, and that is the Function and Grand piano. The rest is a power button and volume knob control.

The function button is where you can activate different sounds and effects, and as for the Grand piano, it will immediately default to the grand piano factory sound.

Also, if you press the 2 buttons together, you would activate the factory demo.

The Control Panel of Casio CDP-S100

What I like about the CDP-S100 is that on the front panel, it has printed text guides above the keys, and it guides you through the process of changing settings.

Even without the manual, it is possible to use the CDP-S100 without any problem. 

The Casio also managed to include a numeric keypad-styled input for the metronome tempo, and on top of that, it has a helpful tone that plays whenever you change a setting. 

Like for example, when switching between soundsa beep sound indicates that the changes have been made.

Although, the control here is nicely implemented, and the key combinations may seem complicated. 

Still, they do make the front panel a lot less cluttered, which is understandable since there aren’t too many features requiring dedicated buttons.

Keys

The CDP-S100 comes with a full 88 keyboard simulated ebony/ivory keytops with red velvet at the end of the keys.

Keys on the Casio CDP-S100

As you can see, the keys themselves are plastic and simulated with ivory and ebony, which gives you a subtle grip that reduces the risk of slipping during play.

This isn’t something you can get on most keyboards in this kind price range, so its inclusion is very welcome.

Size And Weight

The dimensions of the CDP-S100 is 52″ (132.2 cm) x 9.1″ (23.2 cm) x 3.9″ (9.9 cm), slimmer than the PX-S1000. 

The CDP-S100 is also very light, coming in at 23.1 lbs (10.5 kg).

As you can see the CDP-S100 is very light an you can carry it around anywhere you want.

KEY ACTION


With the new PX-S and CDP-S line of keyboards, Casio has added a new key action call Scaled Hammer Action II

It is a lot different than the Casio Tri-Sensor Hammer Action found on the previous Privia line of digital pianos.

The key actions are designed to accommodate the compact form factor and have shorter pivot lengths to reduce the overall width of the keyboard.

The key has two sensors key action that tracks your keypresses passing through each sensor.

Overall, the keys play very well. While the CDP-S100 is slightly lighter than those found on acoustic pianos, they are a decent approximation of the real deal and work great for practice.

Also, the ability to switch touch sensitivity lets you adjust the response of the keys to your liking, for a more personalized feel.

The Touch sensitivity is also implemented nicely, and the keys respond accurately to repeated keypresses as well.

Speaking of touch response, the CDP-S100 has 3 different intensity levels plus an OFF option.

Heavier settings require harder keypresses to trigger louder sound samples, and the reverse is true for the lighter setting.

I found myself liking the default setting, which delivered realistic feedback, even relative to the lightness of the keys.

SOUND


The CDP-S100 uses an updated version of the AHL sound engine from previous keyboards, delivering up to 4x higher-res stereo audio compared to the previous sound engine.

With the CDP-S100, you will get 10 sounds in total, including 3 Grand Pianos (Standard, Bright, and Mellow), 3 Electric Pianos, 2 Organs (Pipe, and Jazz), 1 String Orchestra variation, 1 Harpsichord.

What I like about the CDP-S100 is that you got all these different sounds like, for example, the standard piano. It is the perfect all-arounder and can handle songs from any genre with its clean, neutral tone.

The mellow piano, however, it has a preset ideal for ballads and backing accompaniments, and lastly, the bright piano covers your jazz and blues needs.

The 3 electric pianos also have a good selection of classic sounds, covering everything from classic Wurlitzers to FM synths.

What surprised me is that the responsiveness of these sounds because once you paly it, it brings out the bite I’d expect from a real, amped-up Wurlitzer.

The same goes for the harpsichord because it emulates a real response to the keys being released. 

That Casio CDP-S100 has built-in speakers on such a slim digital piano.

What impresses me is that these are powerful dual 8W speakers.

The speakers are quite powerful for the size and sound excellent, with no distortion, even at max volume, delivering a clean, wide soundscape.

Also, the speakers have front-facing speaker grills, so you will be able to hear a clear tone even when it is not placed close to a wall.

And lastly, the organ sound is very nicely made, and the keys work as organ slides, and the sounds include an authentic emulation of a rotary speaker (albeit unmodifiable).

Essentially, the sound palette on offer is decent enough for practice purposes, with attention given to the piano tones.

All in all, the sounds are suitable and can serve as a valid substitute for beginners who need a digital practice piano.

FEATURES


The CDP-S100 doesn’t have a lot of features, but all the necessities are included.

The CDP-S100’s run on 6AA batteries, so you can use this piano anywhere you want. The batteries give you a full 10+ hours of battery life to enjoy.

The Casio CDP-S100 also has an Audio In (3.5mm) jack. If you want to practice with your music, you can connect your smartphone or music player on that jack.

It also has a 3.5mm (1/8″) mini-jack, where you can plug in your headphone to it.

Not just that, the CDP-S100 also has a USB type B included where you can connect your smartphone or your computer and use it as a MIDI keyboard. 

And lastly, a Damper Pedal jack, this jack allows you to connect any standard damper pedal to the CDP-S100. So you can use your old pedal without any issues.

The Chordana Play app from Casio

If you can’t live without a graphical user interface, Casio has an app called Chordana Play. 

The app is available on Android and iOS and streamlines navigation. 

Once you connect the app, it allows you to use Casio’spiano tutorials and song teaching features.

The Chordana Play also allows you to control some of the keyboard functions, such as switching between sounds and controlling metronome tempo.

The CDP-S100 also contains some helpful keyboard guides to help with changes in navigation and setting, so the main advantage of using the app is that you can always see your metronome’s tempo.

The app will be helpful for those who want to learn, especially for beginners, thanks to the lessons that it offers. 

Even if you don’t use the lesson functions, the control features might make the app worth in the long run. There’s no harm in trying it out.

ACCESSORIES


For the Casio CDP-S100, you will get a music rest an SP-3 Damper Pedal, AC Power Adapter, and an Owner’s Manual.

The SP-3 pedal is a binary on/off foot switch

The SP-3 damper pedal is a basic box-shaped pedal that isn’t very intuitive.

The SP-3 damper pedal works very well for practice purposes, and let me remind you that the CDP-S100 doesn’t support half pedaling.

So for beginners and experience pianist, you should use the full-sized pedals that emulate the feel of those on real keyboards.

Also, you may need a USB type-B cable to connect the CDP-S100 to your phone for the Chordana app or your computer for DAW or performance software. You may also need an adapter to connect to your phone.

As for the stand you will get a CS-68PBK stand however, the availability of this stand will depend on your location

WHO IT’S FOR


The CDP-S100 is excellent for beginners and intermediate players alike. 

The keys feel good, and the sounds are well sampled for its price.

If you want to practice and you want to learn how to play the piano, this piano is for you. It is portable and usable, no matter where you are. 

CONCLUSION


As far as the budget goes, the Casio CDP-S100 is an excellent choice for its price.

I’m impressed with the quality of the CDP-S100.

They definitely show the key action and samples included with the CDP-S100 when compared to somewhat older keyboards in this price range.

So overall, the CDP-S100 delivers excellent value in a compact package.


Leave a comment to let me know what you think of this review. And if you happen to have some experience with the Casio CDP-S100, please share with us in the comment below.

Casio CDP-S100

7.3

DESIGN

7.0/10

KEY ACTION

8.0/10

SOUND

8.0/10

FEATURES

5.0/10

ACCESSORIES

6.0/10

VALUE

10.0/10

Pros

  • Compact & Lightweight
  • Can Be Powered With Battery
  • Competitive Price

Cons

  • Binary Foot Switch
  • Limited Features

15 thoughts on “Casio CDP-S100 Review: Huge Bang For Your Buck”

  1. I liked your review. Because I had a piano, I don’t know if I am going to like having a keyboard that is not weighted. I’m only using the keyboard for pleasure and don’t have a problem buying a used keyboard. I want to keep the price point under $400. I would appreciate your thoughts.

    1. Hi Karen,

      One of the piano that’s within your range and comes with weighted keys is the Alesis Recital. It is one of the best selling model on Amazon. For the price, it’s a pretty good piano.

      For second hand options, see if you can find a used Kawai ES110, Or a Casio PX-160. The Yamaha P45 is another possibility although I’m not a fan of the GHS action on it.

  2. Hi Wei! Thank you so much for your review. You answered all of the questions I could have thought to ask. After perusing for months, I tried this keyboard 2 days ago and your review was spit on! Thank you.

    1. Thank you for your kind comment. Really glad my review has helped you. If you do buy the Casio CDP-S100, come back and share with us your thoughts on this model.

  3. Hi Wei,

    I am looking for a Piano for my 6 yr old daughter who is starting Piano classes soon. I like to buy a beginners. Is this Piano a good beginners one? Please advice.

    1. Hi Su,

      The CDP-S100 is a very good choice for beginners, especially considering its budget price. Other models to consider in this price range would be the Kawai ES110 and the Roland FP-10.

      I would also advice you to consult her teacher. He/she might have a particular model that’s more familiar to work with.

  4. Hi Wei, I am looking for a portable digital piano. I have been playing a chinese string instrument (guzheng) for a number of years, and recently I have started doing some self-learning piano courses. I am not sure which portable piano can better suit my needs. Basically I am looking for the following:
    – Portable (because I need to move it around my house to give space for my daughter to okay around)
    – Relatively tight budget – no more than $500 USD if possible
    – Recording (eventually I want to do some recordings and blend my piano music with my guzheng music)
    – Pedals (not sure if I would need three or just 1 pedal)
    – Headphone (so I can play silently when my daughter is sleeping)

    Do you know if this Casio CDP-S100 would be a good choice? It looks like it might not have the recording function. Also, the fact that it only has 1 pedal, I’m uncertain if this is sufficient.

    Any advice from you will be greatly appreciated.

    Many thanks,
    Vi

    1. Hi Vi,

      Those GuZheng are beautiful instruments. I wish I know how to play them.

      For the pianos that fits your budget, I would recommend you the Yamaha P45/P71, the Roland FP-10 and the Casio PX-160. All three are under $500 and provide adequate piano experience.

      However, none of them has recording capability. And from what you described, it seems like you are referring to a different kind of recording. When we talk about recording on a digital piano, it is a function where the piano can record your play internally. There’s no microphone involved. So if you play Guzheng in the same room at the same time, it won’t be picked up by the piano. If you want to blend your Guzheng with piano, you will need a different kind of recording method. I assume your Guzheng doesn’t have internal recording either. So maybe invest in some good microphones and record the instruments separately and blend them with software.

      As for pedals, all these budget pianos come with a foot-switch. You would want to purchase something like this. One sustain pedal is enough.

      All digital pianos can be played with headphone. So no worries on that point.

      I hope this is helpful for you to narrow your choices down. Should you have any further questions, feel free to drop me a message and I’m always happy to help.

      1. Thanks Wei! Thanks very much for the advice. I will check them out. In addition, what are your thoughts on a 73-key piano. I also came across Yamaha P121. It is smaller but given my space issue, it might actually be a better fit. (I have 2 guzhengs and no much room left for a large piano). My interests are more in playing children’s songs (for my daughter) and contemporary songs. Would a 73-key piano too limited or quite sufficient? Thanks again!

        1. Hi Vi,

          For the purposes you described, I’d say a 73 key piano should be good enough. They save significant space compare to a full sized piano.

          Obviously, you run the risk of upgrading in the future if you fall in love with piano and want to play more than children’s songs. Or, you might find it lacking when you try to compose the piano with your Guzeng.

          Given the fact that the Yamaha P121 isn’t exactly cheaper than a full 88 keys piano, I would really try to make the space to avoid missing those notes.

  5. Hello,
    I am torn between this model and the Privia Px 160. This is $200 cheaper on a deal I’ve found but I don’t see it often in recommended lists in forums. I’m very picky with sound a the key feel. The speakers matter and I do hope to record at some time in the near future. Which model would you go with ?

    1. Hi Ferrari,

      The PX160 has a somewhat similar key action compare to the S100. But the sound is much better. It also has double the Polyphony number and an internal recording function, which the S100 doesn’t.

      The price of the S100 is indeed unbeatable. But if you can afford it, I’d recommend the PX160.

  6. Hi Wei. It scored 8.0/10 for key action in this review, the Roland fp-10 scored only 6.0/10 for key action. Does this mean that the Casio CDP S100 is that much better key action than the Roland fp-1,like 2.0/10 more? Because 8.0/10 could be see it as excellent and 6.0/10 is only alright. Would love to hear your thoughts between the two in term of key actions, thanks.

    1. Hey Jason, thanks for your comment. I do personally prefer the action on the Casio compared to the Roland. It feels more fluent and smooth.

      That’s not to say the action on the Roland is bad. I found it slightly more expressive to the Casio. But overall, Casio did a great job with their new key action.

      To answer your question, is the Casio 20% better than the Roland? Probably not, the rating also take into account the compact size and more gripping sythetic ivory/ebony key tops.

      Hope this helps. Like I always recommend, try to find a store near you and them yourself. The key action is probably the most personal and subjective aspect of a piano.

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