It seems like the custom mechanical keyboard scene is getting some much-needed attention in the budget segment lately. There is NovelKeys’ NK65 Milkshake Edition, which is an ideal pre-built custom keyboard for beginners. But if that board isn’t quite what you’re looking for, consider this (equally affordable) new offering from KBDfans: the KBD67 Lite.
Just like the NK65 Milkshake Edition, the KBD67 Lite is a budget-friendly custom keyboard. According to KBDfans, the board will retail from only $99; that comes up to about RM410. Given the feature set of the KBD67 Lite, this is a very good price tag, though it doesn’t come with switches or keycaps. You’ll have to purchase these separately to complete the keyboard.
Regardless, what makes KBDfans’ new budget keyboard particularly interesting is the fact that it is gasket-mounted; a mounting system typically employed by much more expensive custom keyboards. Needless to say, it’s practically unheard of for a keyboard at this price point to use a gasket system.
So what exactly does it mean for the KBD67 Lite to be a gasket-mounted keyboard? Basically, the plate and PCB of this keyboard will be isolated from the case by silicone gaskets, which will offer a softer, quieter typing experience. Well, in theory, at least. Suffice to say it’s a very desirable mounting system for these benefits.
However, it’s worth nothing that every keyboard sounds different, and it remains to be seen exactly how well KBDfans will implement the gasket system on the KBD67 Lite. Just because the keyboard is gasket-mounted doesn’t mean it’s guaranteed to deliver good acoustics and typing feel.
Besides that, the KBD67 Lite also has a plastic case – just like the NK65 Milkshake Edition – to bring down the price of the keyboard. While plastic doesn’t look or feel quite as premium as aluminium, it does have its own advantages. For one, it wouldn’t suffer from any pinging sounds, which is a common issue with aluminium cases.
As mentioned, you’ll need to get switches and keycaps to complete the KBD67 Lite; the keyboard itself only comes with the plastic case, an aluminium plate, as well as the PCB, which is available in hotswap or solder-only option. Chances are, the former will cost slightly more, but we’d recommend going with that option if you’re a beginner – a hotswap PCB allows you to install switches without soldering.
According to KBDfans, it is aiming to release the KBD67 Lite on Black Friday, which is taking place on 27 November. It’s quite a long wait, but given the feature set of the affordable custom keyboard – especially the gasket mounting system – it might be worth the wait.