The 2022 Malaysia keyboard meetup has concluded, and it was very well-received by the local keyboard community! It was certainly an eventful gathering, but if you didn’t make it to the event, here’s a photo essay of what went down at Malaysia’s very first large-scale keyboard meetup.
Held at the Grey Box in GMBB Kuala Lumpur, folks started coming in from 10AM onwards. If they brought any keyboards to be displayed at the meetup, they can put it on tables placed around the venue. They’ll need to fill up a card with details of the keyboard too, and whether or not it can be touched and picked up.
Needless to say, there were plenty of custom keyboards on display, including a stunning Keycult No. 2/65 Purple Unfinish Edition you see above. Understandably, the owner specified the keyboard to not be touched or picked up. It was shown on the table for only a short period of time too, unfortunately enough.
Now let’s talk about the vendors and brands that were present at the keyboard meetup. These include the likes of SINGAKBD, Axiom Studios, Rebult Keyboards, and many more!
Almost everyone in the custom keyboard hobby is familiar with SINGAKBD. Based right here in Malaysia, the renowned keyboard designer’s booth at the keyboard meetup was almost always filled with visitors. Not only were there several SINGAKBD keyboards at the booth – including some special Unikorn models – the brand had some merchandise for sale as well.
Speaking of which, the Unikorn’s in-stock sale is happening very soon, and those with a sharp eye may notice a special Hex 4B collaboration between SINGAKBD and Hex Keyboards in the picture below!
Next up is another local keyboard brand, Axiom Studios. Naturally, the new Typ 60 was shown off at the booth, along with several units of the Typ 65+ we previous reviewed. It’s worth noting that 15 units of the keyboard were actually on sale at the meetup for the same price as the group buy period – that’s quite a good deal.
Of course, Axiom Studios had several keyboard parts for sale too, including stabilisers and various switches. It joined up with NullKeyboards not too long ago, so yes, Axiom also sells keyboard accessories now through its Shopee store.
Speaking of which, another Malaysian vendor at the meetup is none other than Rebult Keyboards. Aside from selling various keyboard parts and accessories, Rebult is also the Malaysian proxy for many well-known keyboard brands, such as Owlab, Qwertykeys, and Wuque Studio.
Rebult Keyboards shown off several keyboards at its booth too. These include the QK65, QK60, Owlab Link65, and even the Ion Zenith! As far as we can tell, it was the only Zenith present at the keyboard meetup.
If you’re a PC builder, you’ll definitely know of Sun Cycle. Aside from various PC hardware, the company is also the distributor of many familiar keyboard brands. There’s Ducky – my personal favourite brand as far as pre-built keyboards go – Keychron, Akko, Glorious, Tecware, and Shurikey.
At the keyboard meetup, Sun Cycle also ran a typing test competition. The fastest typist of either two sessions – one of the winners scored an impressive 147 words per minute – walked away with a brand new Varmilo keyboard.
Click & Brew
Also at the keyboard meetup was Click & Brew! Though no keyboards were showcased at its booth – you can still find some keyboards built by the local cafe/vendor around the venue – it did sell some amazing coffee and muffins. Perfect for visitors to grab a quick bite after walking around the meetup.
If you’re in Penang – more specifically, at George Town – do give the keyboard cafe a visit. Sipping a nice, hot (or cold) cup of coffee while trying out custom keyboards do sound like a heavenly combination, in our opinion.
Next is our good friend from Singapore, Mecha Store. While the vendor only has a keyboard store in our neighbouring country at the moment, this will change sometime this quarter. Yes, Mecha Store is expanding to Malaysia in Q4 2022 at Bandar Sunway.
Chances are, we can expect the vendor to offer the same services here as it does in Singapore right now, including build services and the sale of multiple keyboard parts. Once Mecha Store opens its Malaysian outlet, it will be one of very few physical stores specialising in custom keyboards on our shores. Alongside Click & Brew in Penang, of course.
Also based in Singapore, Monokei makes some of the most premium custom keyboards in this hobby. Some of the keyboards it showed off at its booth include the very, very sought-after TGR Jane, the adorable Neko – a collaboration with SINGAKBD – and even the new Monokei Standard.
The Standard is actually one of Monokei’s most affordable keyboards to date. Unfortunately, the pre-order of the keyboard has already ended; fulfilment of the Standard is expected to start sometime in November next month. Expect extras to be sold then.
Another Singaporean vendor at the Malaysia keyboard meetup was Hex Keyboards. Just like Monokei, Hex designed a number of custom keyboards, and the brand even displayed two keyboards it has yet to release there: the Hex 3C v2 and Hex 50 FE.
It’s not often folks get the chance to try out custom keyboards before they even enter the group buy phase, so it’s quite a big deal that Hex had these two keyboards at its booth. If you’re keen to get the Hex 3C v2 or Hex 50 FE, stay tuned to the group buy!
KLC Hobbyists’ Playground
All the way from South Korea is KLC! The brand showed off a very interesting new keyboard at its booth, the Nori. On the surface, it looks like your standard TKL custom keyboard, but it does have a number of neat features, including a unique mounting style that uses seven coil springs.
Yes, coil springs! As a result, the Nori literally offers a bouncy, flexible typing experience. It is also a wireless keyboard with support for Bluetooth 5.1, along with a hotswap PCB and double shot ABS keycaps. It will go on sale very soon, and rest assured, we will keep a close eye on the Nori.
We’re back in Malaysia with Silkey, a local cable maker. If you’re in Malaysia, and you’ve always wanted a fancy coiled cable with an aviator or YC8 connector without paying an exorbitant amount for international shipping, look no further than Silkey.
Keyboard cables from Silkey start from only RM70, which is quite a good starting price for a product of this quality. You can also customise the colour combination and connectors to your liking, though depending on your configuration, the price will change accordingly.
Last but not least is ThreadyKeycaps! The Malaysian brand makes some cute artisans of various characters. These include anime characters – such as this Anya keycap – and even certain villagers from Animal Crossing.
Beyond artisan keycaps, ThreadKeycaps also started making artisan holders and magnetic trays. The colourway of the trays can even be customised to your liking, and you can have a logo or a picture on the tray as well.
Lucky Draw Winners
Towards the end of the event, a huge lucky draw was held for those who got the RM60 keypass. Some of the items included in the giveaway are Axiom Studios’ Typ 60 Lite prototype with patina treatment by KneeDeep, Angry Miao’s Cyberboard, and an absolutely sexy SINGAKBD Unikorn R2.2 Berlin Blue prototype.
Of course, not every keypass holder won these incredible prizes, though none of them walked away empty handed. After all, keypass holders received a goodie bag filled with various items, along with an entry to a smaller (guaranteed) lucky draw that had various prizes, including switches and deskmats.
There’s no denying that the 2022 Malaysia keyboard meetup was a resounding success. Not only did the max occupancy of the venue was reached – so no walk-ins were allowed, unfortunately – there were many, many custom keyboards on display too. The generous lucky draw prizes certainly drew attention from the local keyboard community as well.
Hopefully, there will be another large-scale Malaysia keyboard meetup like this in 2023 next year. Evidently, we’ve got a lot of keyboard enthusiasts on our shores with amazing local designers like SINGAKBD and Axiom Studios. Until the next one!