Glorious has been in the PC peripheral market for quite some time, but it seems to be focusing quite a bit on the custom mechanical keyboard scene in recent times. Enter the company’s first-ever switch, the Glorious Panda, which is based on the very popular Holy Panda tactile switch.
Overall, the Glorious Panda switch left quite a favourable impression on me, but there are some noteworthy shortcomings that could be a dealbreaker to some. But if you want one of the most accessible – and affordable – “Holy Panda variants” in the market now, the Glorious Panda fits the bill.
What It Is
What makes the Glorious Panda quite a bit more interesting than other Holy Panda clones in the market now is Glorious’ claim that its switch is made using the original Invyr Panda housing molds, which were thought to be either destroyed or damaged. The stem, however, is Glorious’ own design that supposedly offers less pre-travel and stronger upstroke.
Besides that, the Glorious Panda bottoms out at 67g with a three-pin design – making this a plate-mounted switch – and it is shipped completely unlubed. For the Malaysian market, a box of Glorious Panda switches (which include 36 pieces) costs RM109. Not exactly affordable, but certainly cheaper than, say, Drop’s Holy Panda switch.
The Good Stuff
Switches that are modelled after the Holy Panda offer very pronounced tactile bump, and the same applies to the Glorious Panda. But unlike other “highly tactile” switches that aim for maximum tactility – this is not always a good thing – the Glorious Panda has a rounded tactile bump that makes for a more…comfortable typing experience.
On top of that, there is almost no pre-travel before the tactile bump either, so the bump starts at the very beginning of the downstroke. Granted, I tend to bottom out quite often because of this, but my typing accuracy actually improved after switching (no pun intended) to the Glorious Panda. The pronounced – but not overly so – tactile feedback definitely contribute to this.
Aside from that, I quite dig the sound profile of the Glorious Panda too. Every activation of the switch produces a “snappy” sound of sorts, and while it’s quite loud, it is not at all unpleasant. Once the Glorious Panda is lubed and filmed, I imagine it will sound even better. There’s definitely potential for the switch to produce a “thockier” sound profile.
Last but definitely not least is the packaging of the Glorious Panda. Granted, this does not directly impact the performance of the switch itself, but I really applaud Glorious’ effort to package the switch in such a nice-looking box. In a landscape where most mechanical keyboard switches ship in a simple ziplock bag, Glorious’ packaging certainly stands out.
The Bad Stuff
Now, while I do like the sound profile of the Glorious Panda, it does have some other unpleasant sounds too. One of the most prominent issues is the pinging of the spring, especially at faster typing speeds. On top of that, a number of the switches have noticeably louder ticking sounds from the leaf as well, along with some audible scratchiness.
These two issues can be attributed to the unlubed nature of the Glorious Panda, which brings me to the other shortcoming of this switch. While enthusiasts will appreciate the fact that they can control exactly how much lube to apply to these switches, those that are not comfortable with lubing (especially beginners) will not be able to bring out the maximum potential of the Glorious Panda.
In that sense, this is not the best switch for beginners or folks that don’t plan to lube or film the switches.
And then there’s the Glorious Panda’s wobble, which isn’t great for a 67g switch. While it doesn’t have much vertical wobble, the horizontal wobble is far more pronounced. Paired with a set of MT3 keycaps, the horizontal wobble is definitely noticeable. Granted, MT3 keycaps are quite a bit taller than Cherry profile keycaps, so any form of wobble will be more evident.
Is It Worth It?
Out of the box, the Glorious Panda isn’t the best stock tactile switch, though it is far from the worst. To get the most out of this switch, it absolutely needs to be lubed to remove the scratchiness, spring ping, and ticking of the leaf. Once it is lubed, this is easily one of the best and most accessible Holy Panda variants in the market now.
That’s right, even here in Malaysia, you can get the Glorious Panda switch from local retailers. Dotatech and Sun Cycle are the two authorised retailers for Glorious products locally, so hopefully, these two companies will also bring in the GMMK Pro custom mechanical keyboard in the near future.