The Sense75 is Drop’s play for the premium mechanical keyboard market | Engadget

The Sense75 is Drop’s play for the premium mechanical keyboard market | Engadget

The custom mechanical keyboard market has exploded in recent years. Where you previously had to go through arduous group buys to obtain many of the best models, there are now mainstream options you can purchase at any time. Drop (née Massdrop) has been a go-to for many just starting their descent into the hobby. Today, the company is introducing its first new keyboard since 2019. Dubbed the Sense75, it’s a 75 percent layout board with about all the features a budding enthusiast could want.

As with the Ctrl and Alt, Drop will offer two versions of the Sense75. Starting today, you can order the keyboard pre-built with the company’s highly sought-after Holy Panda X switches and DCX keycaps included. Then, later this year, Drop will begin selling a barebones kit that comes with only the frame and PCB, making it ready for you to customize to your heart’s content.

Drop

The Sense75 also comes in two colors: “Nightfall” and “Polar,” with the latter incorporating an electrophoretic coating that creates a “stunning and clean look” but is also more expensive to produce. A pre-built Sense75 in the former will set you back $349, while the latter costs a cool $399. If you want to go the frame-only route, you’ll pay either $249 or $299. 

With prebuilt pricing starting at $349, Drop has set its sights on the Glorious GMMK Pro. It’s widely considered one of the best “entry-level” custom keyboards you can buy. The two share many of the same features. They’re both 75 percent layout boards with a gasket-mounted plate to dampen keystrokes. Similarly, both allow you to hot-swap switches, so there’s no soldering involved if you want to try a new set of tactile, linear or clicky switches. The Sense75 even has a rotary dial just like the GMMK Pro, and both offer customizable RGB lighting. Speaking of customization, the Sense75 supports both QMK and VIA firmware.  

The first 500 people who order the Sense75 will get a free MT3 keycap set, carrying case and a limited edition novelty keycap with their purchase. The first shipments will arrive sometime in November.

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