As the hobby of mechanical keyboards exploded during the early days of the pandemic, many companies scrambled to launch new products. Release, however, which did perhaps more than anyone to popularize custom mechanical keyboards by making them available to a wider audience along with many accessories, mostly added third-party keyboards to its lineup during this time. Now, however, he is launching the sense75its first completely new internal keyboard in two years.
As the name suggests, this is a 75% keyboard, which means you get the full set of functions and arrow keys, as well as three buttons on the right side (by default, these are delete, page down, and page down). page) and, as has become standard these days, a knob. They’re RGB LEDs, of course, including diffusers on the bottom that will create what Drop calls a “visually appealing halo,” and of course hot-swappable plugs so you can easily swap out your switches. The keyboard will support customization through QMK and VIA to suit your typing needs.
For the first time, Drop is also using the increasingly popular gasket mounting system for one of its internal keyboards, which should result in an improved sound and a bit more bounce to the typing experience.
“When we looked to develop a 75% mechanical keyboard, we made a commitment to design a product with great attention to detail and premium materials that would not only outperform others on the market, but also deliver a typing and personalization experience that we love. community would love it,” Deja told CEO Jef Holove. “After an intensive design and development process, we are proud to introduce Drop SENSE75 and can’t wait for our community to try it out, as we couldn’t have created it without them.”
You can choose between a prefabricated version with the company brand Holy Panda X switches, it’s new DCX keys and factory-tuned phantom stabilizers, or a basic version that only includes the keyboard frame and PCB board. I would have loved to see more color options, but for now your choices are black (or Nightfall, as Drop calls it) and e-white (Polar), with the white version coming at a $50 premium.
The pre-designed version will set you back $349 for the black edition and $399 for the white, while the basic version will set you back $249 in black and $299 in white. For now, though, you can only pre-order the pre-built version, with shipments coming in November (a reasonable delivery time in the world of mechanical keyboards). The barebones version won’t be available until “a later date,” which will likely be a bit of a disappointment to many Drop fans who already have a favorite set of switches and keycaps.
It’s hard to judge a keyboard by looks alone (although I do like the minimalist style of these based on the image Drop has shared so far). We’ll have to see how they sound and feel when they arrive in a few months. Drop did a good job with their new keys, so I have high hopes for this new board as well. But the market at this price point is very competitive and Keychron, NovelKeys, KBDfans and many others offer very competitive custom keyboards in this same price range. Keyboard freaks are nothing if not discerning, so there’s little room for error.