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Keyboard Builders' Digest / Editorial

On my desk (Issue 157½)

An unusual editorial since there were not enough projects for a proper issue: what happened around my desk this week.

KBD.news
Published March 9, 2024
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Hey, what's up everyone!

Not many projects shared this week so I'd postpone Issue #158 a bit. That said, I wanted to mention a few things anyway so instead of reporting on the keyboard hobby in general, here is a recap of what happened on and around my desk in the recent days.

Let me know and feel free to comment e.g. on Twitter on if this format makes any sense to you so I can continue this series or ditch it for good. :D

By the way, I'm working on a couple of articles and features, and a lot of parcels have arrived too. But let's start with this week's review.

Whitefox Eclipse review

I like to dedicate enough time for every keyboard I test, so this past few days I've been using the Whitefox Eclipse (review this way).

Pic: Whitefox Eclipse

Whitefox Eclipse

Designed by Project Eclipse / Alpaca Keyboards and sold by Apos (now 10% off!), this pre-built wireless Whitefox Eclipse is the latest take on the classic Whitefox, which has a 10+ years history.

We are talking about an extremely well built screwless 68% keyboard with handy magnetic case and gasket mounting.

Pic: Side profile of the Whitefox Eclipse high-pro case

Side profile of the Whitefox Eclipse high-pro case

The high-pro aluminum case is… heavy as hell. :D 2.4kg. Read the full article here to figure out if it's for you.

In the mailbox

Toshiba T3200

I bought this retro Toshiba T3200 laptop after a successful bid at a local classified site. It's huge and bulky, but I couldn't resist the siren call of the beautiful orange plasma display. This is a photo from the listing:

Pic: Toshiba T3200

Toshiba T3200

…because, unfortunately, I'm not able to take such a photo anymore. :( The poor laptop didn't make it through the journey in perfect condition: I can hear it booting, but can't see anything on the display.

Anyway, it has these cool Alps SKFL switches with the relatively low-profile oval slider and classy metal lid. (Sorry, this beast is dirty as hell, will have to clean and disassemble it.)

Pic: Alps SKFL

Alps SKFL

IROK ND75

Then an IROK ND75 came from MechKeys – an affordable compact Hall-effect keyboard, mainly for gamers I guess. (Sorry for the stock photo, I left the board in my office.) It comes in a mesmerizing orange box.

Pic: IROK ND75

IROK ND75

The ND75 is very light and portable, but maybe I feel that way only after tossing around the chunky Whitefox for a couple of days, which required two hands and some real effort. :)

Plastic case this time, but surprisingly pleasant typing experience. My first encounter with this kind of magnetic switches. Since I was doing the Whitefox review this whole week, I will get back to the ND75 later. Not sure if next week, because a real curiosity landed on my desk, among a lot of stuff from keebwerk.

Synth Labs 060

A Synth Labs 060 – one of the two reviews units out there! (I'll include links later, the keebwerk site seems to be down at the moment. At least for me.)

Designed by Synth Labs and sold by keebwerk, the Synth 060 is probably the most beautiful keyboard I've ever seen. This is a white one with black grill and rose gold decoration piece:

Pic: Synth Labs 060 case

Synth Labs 060 case

Pic: Synth Labs 060 grill

Synth Labs 060 grill

I will have to send it back so others can review it too, but I'm already missing it. ("My precious!")

Pic: Synth Labs 060 USB

Synth Labs 060 USB

Yeah, you see it right: the USB connector is vertical.

In the box there were some clean and simple, industrial style keebwerk artisans and two trays too. The trays are stackable btw:

Pic: Keebwerk artisans and trays

Keebwerk artisans and trays

Pic: Stackable

Stackable

Qwertykey deskmats

I want a little variety in my photos so ordered some deskmats from qwertykey (Romania) – not to be confused with qwertykeys (China).

Haven't bought anything from this shop yet despite they being relatively close to my home, on the other side of the border, and also being one of the 137 stores offering a discount via the KBDNEWS coupon code. Anyway, this was a really positive shopping experience what I wanted to share with you.

Pic: Qwertykey loot

Qwertykey loot

First of all, everything was delivered in less than 3 days. (Since I placed the order in the evening, it was more like two days.) Sure, the store is relatively close to me physically (it would still take me a 6 hours round trip to show up in their showroom, collect the package in person and then get back home), but it's still in a different country, so I'm pretty impressed with the speed.

Pic:

Very cool packaging too. A bit battered and bruised in my potato photos, but looks very professional in real life.

Pic:

The icing on the cake: some stickers, and free caps with the qwertykey logo in each box.

All in all, I can recommend the shop to anyone, especially if you are located in the EU.

Pic:

Pic:

Pic:

Tai-Hao low-pro caps

Finally, I got some more low-pro caps from Tai-Hao. After the initial selection of samples they sent me some more Choc ones so now I have enough for most of my split keyboards.

Pic:

Left them in my office too, but they are the same magenta and pale green color like the previous batch, coming in the same cool little boxes.

Vendors & Discounts

I went through the coupons, removing some inactive ones. Feel free to use the KBDNEWS discount code at 138 keyboard shops now!

New shops and updates to the database of keyboard vendors this week:

  • RNDKBD's Andy offered you a 5% discount (on any in-stock non-GB item, basically anything except the alu Boston atm).
  • Apos set up the KBDNEWS coupon too, 5% off of everything I guess, however, there's an auto-apply 10% coupon for the Whitefox these days.
  • Space Cables is on board as well (5% discount).
  • finally, Pantheon's Lester offered you a 3% discount ("storewide, without minimum purchase").

I continue monitoring who's alive and kicking, contacting each shop listed in the database. Finished shops with names starting with Q-R this week, doing S, which will take some time.

Some vendors marked as closed in this round of attempt to make the list up to date: Qoda Studio, Rainkeebs (no product listed), smord.store.

---

That's all for today. Hurry up guys and gals, share your projects so I can get back with a proper issue soon. ;)

Thanks for checking by. Until next time,
Tamás

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Published on Sat 9th Mar 2024. Featured in KBD #158.


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