If you’re in the market for a 65% custom keyboard with an aluminium case, then this upcoming keyboard may tickle your fancy. Enter the Ginkgo65: made in collaboration with Wuque Studio – the folks behind the excellent Ikki68 Aurora – and M•ONE Studio, it looks to be a solid, budget-friendly gasket-mounted keyboard.
After all, with a $249 starting price (that comes up to about RM1,040), the Ginkgo65 is certainly more affordable than other keyboards with a similar set of features. If this keyboard fits your budget, read on – you can even get it from a vendor based right here in Malaysia.
That’s right! Unlike the majority of group buys in the custom keyboard hobby, a Malaysian vendor is actually a proxy for the upcoming Ginkgo65 group buy. The vendor is none other than Rebult Keyboards, which also designed the Harimau and Penyu switches.
Anyway, let’s talk about the Ginkgo65. For $249 – or $259 if you want the E-White colourways – you’re really getting a solid 65% custom keyboard. For that kind of money, the Ginkgo65 sports an all-aluminium case for a more premium touch and extra heft. In fact, this keyboard weighs 1.3kg unbuilt – that’s a good amount of heft.
Aside from that, the Ginkgo65 also uses an isolated gasket mount design. Typically, this kind of gasket-mounting system offers a soft, comfortable typing experience, so this should (in theory) apply to the keyboard. On top of that, this mounting system also offers a more uniform typing pressure across the keyboard.
Of course, one of the best qualities of a gasket-mounted keyboard is a cleaner sound profile, and this is very true of the Ginkgo65. Just take a listen to the sound tests of this keyboard from folks who have received early review units. Personally, we think it sounds great for a keyboard at this price point.
If the sound profile is a tad too muted for you, that’s because the Ginkgo65 comes with a fair number of foams. There’s a PORON foam between the plate and PCB, a PE sheet between the switch and PCB, and another foam between the PCB and bottom case.
Granted, you can always remove the foams and sheet to tune the sound profile of the Ginkgo65 to your liking, as the sound tests above demonstrate. Do note that you’ll also get a polycarbonate plate as default with this keyboard; other plate materials – such as FR4 and aluminium – are offered as add-ons.
Like most custom keyboards in the market now, the Ginkgo65 features a hotswap PCB by default, allowing you to swap out switches without the need to solder them. If you want a solderable PCB instead, you’ll have to get it as an add-on. Generally, it’s a good idea to purchase an extra PCB in case anything goes wrong with the first one.
And…that’s about it. As per the case with most keyboard kits, the Ginkgo65 doesn’t come with stabilisers, switches, or keycaps. In order to complete the keyboard, you’ll need to get these three components separately.
This may seem odd to those who are new to the custom keyboard, but that’s how it is. Plus, this does allow you to get parts that suit your own preferences, especially switches.
Okay, let’s talk about the details of the Ginkgo65 group buy. It’s set to take place between 23 September to 10 October 2021, but if the soft limit is reached, the group buy will close early. What’s the soft limit? Well, only Wuque Studio knows, though it did say that it has “settled on an undisclosed soft limit that should be enough for everyone.”
Five different colour combinations are offered: E-White, E-White x Copper, Green x Black, Grey x Silver, and Black x Copper. Most of these colour options are priced at $249, but the E-White and E-White x Copper combinations cost slightly more at $259.
As mentioned, Rebult Keyboards will be the Malaysian vendor for the Ginkgo65, so if you reside here in Malaysia, you can save on shipping costs and import duties by purchasing the keyboard from Rebult. However, the Malaysian pricing of the Ginkgo65 has not been revealed by Rebult yet. Rest assured, we’ll keep a close eye on this.
Estimated shipping date of the Ginkgo65 is relatively quick too. According to Wuque Studio, the keyboard is expected to be shipped to vendors in March or April 2022, so it’s entirely possible it’ll arrive at your doorstep sometime in May 2022. Not a bad fulfillment time for a custom keyboard.
That being said, Wuque Studio did say that the shipping time of the Ginkgo65 may be affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. “Material availability, production, and logistics problems can affect the estimate,” as the company puts it. Anyway, more information on the Ginkgo65 can be found right here.