Mechanical-keyboard-focused retailer Drop has opened preorders for its newest keyboard, the Sense75. In contrast to the retailer’s different latest keyboards just like the Icon collection, the place it offered pre-existing fashions in new configurations, the Sense75 is an all-new design — at the least for Drop.
The Sense75 incorporates quite a few latest keyboard design developments popularized by fashions just like the GMMK Pro and Keychron Q1. It has a compact 75 % structure that’s much like what most trendy laptops use, there’s a quantity knob on the prime proper, and it makes use of a gasket-mount design. This implies the switches are mounted to a circuit board that’s sandwiched between two gaskets, permitting it to flex barely because it’s typed on. The design has proved in style with latest fanatic keyboards, permitting for a softer typing really feel and decreased sound ranges with out compromising on the tactility of the mechanical switches. Nevertheless it does imply the Sense75 appears to be like fairly acquainted.
Just like the GMMK Professional and Keychron Q1, the Sense75 is customizable. Its keys will probably be remappable utilizing a brand new configurator that’s coming quickly from Drop, and the retailer can also be promising help for remapping with QMK firmware and VIA, the latter being the identical glorious visible remapping software program that Keychron’s configurable keyboards use. The Sense75’s switches are hot-swappable, that means they are often eliminated with out the necessity to desolder them.
The Sense75 gives just a few design enhancements over Drop’s earlier keyboards, just like the Ctrl and Alt. First, the board makes use of a five-pin circuit board design, so the Sense75 is appropriate with a wider vary of switches than Drop’s earlier keyboards, which solely supported three-pin switches. (You possibly can flip five-pin switches into three-pin switches with a flush cutter, however who has the time?) The keyboard’s switches are south-facing — oriented with the backlight LED on the underside, reasonably than the highest— to attenuate keycap compatibility points.
Different options embody per-key RGB backlighting, in addition to an RGB underglow that subtly illuminates the desk beneath the keyboard. It’s wired, and the pre-built fashions embody “factory-tuned” stabilizers that Drop claims will reduce rattle.
Drop’s keyboards have a popularity for being costly, and the Sense75 is sadly no exception. The bare-bones mannequin, which comes with out switches, stabilizers, or keycaps, begins at $249 for the black anodized model and $299 for electrophoretically coated white. In the meantime, the pre-built mannequin (which incorporates Holy Panda X switches, DCX keycaps, and stabilizers) begins at $349 in black and $399 in white. Preorders open at the moment, with delivery anticipated in early November.
That makes the Sense75 much more costly than competing keyboards from Keychron (which at present sells its knob-equipped Q1 for slightly below $180 with switches and keycaps) or the GMMK Professional (whose bare-bones mannequin sells for $170). Is the Sense75 price the additional value? Keep tuned for our full evaluation.