Glorious GMMK Pro: Exploding on the Scene

Premise

Glorious made some waves when they released their Glorious panda tactile switches. They were made with the original Invyr Panda toolings, as well as high quality materials all around. However, I think their new product, called the GMMK Pro, has the potential to revolutionize the custom keyboard market.

The two biggest problems with the custom keyboard right now are the prices, and the shipping. Since the market for custom keyboards has historically been quite small, this makes the prices high, since it is difficult to manufacture aluminum structures. This forces almost all keyboard sellers to sell in a "group buy", which is where people put in their order and money, then the keyboard sellers will manufacture as many keyboards as were ordered. What you end up with is a very expensive product, $200-$500, and then you also have to wait 6+ months to actually receive it. This is very beginner-unfriendly, and overall a terrible customer experience compared to alternatives like Amazon (cheap prices, basically instant shipping).

The groupbuy for an NK65 keyboard runs until November 6th and doesn't ship until May 2021

Introduction

However, with the new GMMK Pro, innovative gaming company Glorious is aiming to change all that with their new keyboard called the GMMK Pro. This is a 75% layout keyboard with dream features that has a gasket-mounted plate, rotary encoder, hot-swap PCB, and more (we'll explain what these things mean). The lowest ever priced keyboard with anything comparable to the GMMK Pro is the Mark-65, and that was $265. As a larger gaming company, Glorious can utilize mass production advantages to deliver the GMMK Pro at $170 (for barebones).

Specifications

First of all, one of the most important features for bringing custom keyboards to the mainstream is "hot-swappability". This is a feature of keyboard PCBs where you can take switches in and out without soldering. Although soldered keyboards are a bit more stable, most people do not really want to learn how to solder or take the 2hrs+ to solder and desolder a keyboard. The switches sockets are also "south-facing", which means the pins are on the bottom. This doesn't allow for as much LED lighting to shine through, since most keycap legends are on the top half of the keycap, but it does prevent interference where keycaps rub against the top of the switch.

The second key feature for custom keyboard enthusiasts is the gasket mounted plate. Gasket mount means that the plate touches no metal (aka isolation mount), it is sandwiched between two strips of a soft material such as neoprene, poron, or foam. This gives an even feel throughout the keyboard, as well as a less pingy and fuller sound.

Lastly, a very cool feature of this keyboard is the rotary encoder. This is a knob that most people use to control volume (although it can be programmed to cycle through other things, like songs, lighting effects, etc). As well as being a useful feature, it also is a cool novelty and an interesting aesthetic element as well.


Conclusion

The GMMK Pro has the potential to bring custom keyboards to the mainstream. Although the price is $175, you must remember that 1. the case is completely CNC-machined aluminum, a feature not in any other gaming keyboards 2. Corsair, Razer, and Logitech all charge $230+ for plastic garbage. Corsair's newest keyboard, the K100, has their "patented optical switches", which are rebranded Gaterons that cost $20 to manufacture in a $230 keyboard. The GMMK Pro first batch is available to reserve today on Glorious' website, so if you want to get an extremely high-quality keyboard for yourself today, head over there and reserve one (keep in mind as this is their first batch it may take 2 months+ to finish manufacturing).


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