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Drop’s new mechanical keyboards go up to $500

Drop’s new mechanical keyboards go up to $500

 October 13, 2021 at 5:26 am   |     Author:   |     Technology  

Drop’s Moon Shot keyboard uses tall, SA profile keycaps.
Enlarge / Drop’s Moon Shot keyboard uses tall, SA profile keycaps.

High-end mechanical keyboard and PC peripherals brand Drop (formerly Massdrop) today revealed its next lineup of prebuilt mechanical keyboards. The brand added options to three different series, with its most premium one, Paragon, priced at a whopping $500 apiece.

In addition to making its own products, Drop has a shop where keyboard fanatics can get everything from mechanical keyboard switches to unique and artisan keycaps, stabilizers, and even fancy, detachable cables. The keyboards released today are supposed to make it easier for people who don’t want to build their own clacker to get an enthusiast-level option without having to deal with group buys, which take many months before you actually get a product in hand.

Drop’s $500 Paragon keyboards

Drop announced two Paragon Series keyboards, both built on the same frame used in Drop’s CNC-milled, anodized aluminum Alt High-Profile keyboard.

The Moon Shot design pays homage to celestial beauty with its baby blue and white details and doubleshot ABS keycaps marked with NASA-ready terms like “rover,” “orbit,” and “godspeed.”

Drop Paragon Series Moon Shot keyboard.
Enlarge / Drop Paragon Series Moon Shot keyboard.

The keycaps are SA profile, a more vintage form factor that tends to be expensive (this set goes for $190 on its own), taller, and spherical.

The Shogun, meanwhile, is fit for a samurai with red and gold doubleshot ABS keycaps boasting Japanese inscriptions, clouds, and, likely, durability, thanks to 1.5 mm of thickness.

Drop Paragon Series Shogun keyboard.
Enlarge / Drop Paragon Series Shogun keyboard.

Drop’s Paragon keyboards differ from the rest of the keyboards announced today in that they promise an improved sound profile through sound dampeners placed between the keyboard’s cases and printed circuit board (PCB).

Both keyboards use Drop + Invyr Holy Panda mechanical switches. These are hybrid switches that combine the stems of Halo Clears (also known as Halo Trues) with the stems of Invyr Pandas for an incredibly tactile feel. The switches require 67 g of force to actuate; for comparison, Cherry MX Browns require 55 g. Further adding to the tactility, Drop claims, are custom-made, Gateron-brand stabilizers to prevent unwanted rattling among larger keys.

Inching closer to earning its half-a-grand price tag, the Holy Panda switches are already lubricated by hand before they get to you. You also get hot swappability, so you can ditch the Holy Pandas, if desired, without soldering. Another handy feature: the keyboards are programmable via QMK open source software.

Drop’s Paragon keyboards are currently available for preorder but aren’t expected to start shipping until around November 15.

Also expensive (but cheaper): Drop’s new Signature keyboards

Drop already has a number of Signature keyboards, with the cheapest two going for $279. The seven added today go for $349, placing them at the upper echelon of the series

The latest members of the Signature Series—the Islay Night, Zodiac, Mythic Journey, Cyber Moon, Ultrasonic, Purple Midnight, and Classic Midnight—mostly use Drop’s Ctrl or Ctrl High-Profile cases, which are both CNC-milled aluminum. The exception is the Islay Night. Because it’s a smaller keyboard without arrow keys, it uses Drop + Tokyo’s Tokyo60.

These keyboards also come with hot-swappable Holy Panda switches, but they aren’t prelubed. Keycaps vary on coolness, color, and construction, running from ABS plastic to dye-sublimated PBT plastic. Like the Paragon keyboards, all are programmable with QMK software.

Some of Drop’s new Signature keyboards are available now, while others are on preorder.

A bit more affordable: Drop’s Expression Matcha Summer

Drop Expression Series Matcha Summer.
Enlarge / Drop Expression Series Matcha Summer.

Finally, the most affordable keyboard announced today is the Expression Series Matcha Summer. But at $150, it’s still not a “cheap mechanical keyboard” (Drop doesn’t really swing that way).

The keyboard invokes thoughts of warmer days with matcha tea and mango fruit-inspired dye-sublimated PBT keycaps, a white, anodized aluminum case, and linear, Gateron Yellow switches to match the summer sun.

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Listing image by Drop

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