Mode 65

Keyboard By: Mode Designs
Photos taken in House by alex


The Mode 65 is a 65% keyboard offering a considerable amount of customization and personalization. Not only can you choose colors and materials, you can choose different mounting methods based on the PCB and plate you choose. Mode Designs’ philosophy is this:

The SixtyFive is a natural evolution of the ideas we explored with our first product, the Eighty. This time around, we’re taking everything we’ve learned and packaging it into a 65% form factor. A guiding principle of the SixtyFive is personalization – not only in regards to the exterior design but also the mounting style and plate materials. To further improve the personalization process, we’ve introduced a dedicated configurator tool to help you build the exact board you have in mind.

Build Experience

Build Experience

The build experience depends on how you configured your Mode 65. That starts, of course, at the Mode 65 configurator.

The Plate

As you can see in the configurator linked above, you have the choice of many different options for plates. I used a POM half plate.

Case Assembly

The Mode 65 allows for a variety of mounting methods: top mount, stacked, and top with corner sleeves (gaskets). I tried all three. I didn’t care for the stacked method because it completely stiffened the typing experience and did nothing to add to the board’s sound profile. Obviously this is subjective and if you like a stiffer board you might want to give the stacked method a shot. In the end I liked the top mount with sleeves as it gave me the sound and typing feel I most prefer (which, if you don’t know, is bouncy).

Some caveats when building the Mode 65: There’s a lip on the bottom of the case which needs to be slid into place. There was also an issue with the PC version of the board. I’m only mentioning this for educational purposes as this issue has been resolved for production models: The Mode 65 I was sent did not have threaded inserts in the case screw points. While this issue has been addressed, I did want to mention Polycarbonate is soft and can be easily damaged so be gentle with your PC boards.

One fun note: The back badge is magnetic and basically snaps into place. So not only does it make it easy to swap out different badges, it hides the screws, too.

A close up of the titanium weight on the Mode 65.

What are my final thoughts? 

Final Thoughts

Let’s cut to the chase: I do recommend this board for beginners on up. Assembly is straight forward and I don’t expect you to run into any tricky issues. In fact, you’ll likely spend as much time configuring what you want as you will building it. OK, not exactly. But you’ll be surprised how much time you spend getting your Mode 65 juuuuust right.

I did want to mention one point: price. This might be an easy-to-assemble board, but do keep in mind you are paying for Mode’s design aesthetics. You know my mantra: If you can’t pay for it three times over, think it over before buying.

Notes on Reviews

While Mode Designs paid me to build the keyboard, this review was not paid for and Mode Designs had no input into the review.

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The Mode 65 with Striker by Zambumon.

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