Top 5 Mechanical Keyboards, Spring / Summer Edition

This is my second edition of this article and it’s time to look at what the end of Spring and start of Summer is bringing to us for mechanical keyboards! There are a lot of great boards and I will try to keep this article to keyboards you can get now or things coming out soon. While I hope everyone takes this for just an opinion piece, I do want to remind everyone that these types of lists are based on my biases and preferences. I will always recommend checking out reviews, and to do your research before you pick up any product. But it’s that time to grab a cup of coffee and dive into some of my thoughts.

For context, I have been building keyboards for myself, companies and clients for nearly 4 years now. I live stream 3 – 5 times a week and do lots of in depth dives on boards. None of this is sponsored but you may find some affiliate codes in this article that help support my content.

Before we begin

Let’s set some expectations, there will be no variety of layouts for the sake of variety. I’m going to talk about the keyboards that I actually use and stuff that (hopefully) is available to pick up when reading this article. To stress, these are boards I have personally tested, built, and used. Not just ones I picked off a list.

Full Disclosure and Affiliations

For clarity and transparency, this is not a paid article and none of these brands or companies have asked me to write this. However, there are some affiliate links included in this article to support content creation – your support is greatly appreciated.

Neo Ergo

The Neo Ergo is such an easy pick here to recommend. It’s still currently in the pre-order / group buy phase, but the pure value of this board goes unmatched. I have been using the board on and off to practice typing on the alice style layouts and it’s fantastic, and yes it’s a bit of a learning curve.

In my opinion, the Neo Ergo is the tippity-top of Qwertykeys’ projects so far. For those who enjoy customizing their setup, the Ergo is perfect. Its thoughtful design makes it incredibly easy to disassemble and reassemble. And the price? Starting at $130 and capping at around $188 USD before shipping, it’s almost unbelievable. If you’ve been wanting to explore ergonomic keyboards, the Neo Ergo is an essential purchase.

You can read my full thoughts here!

Pros:

  • Value is king, it starts at $130 if you are okay with soldering
  • It sounds and feels great
  • Easy to assemble and take apart
  • Tented alice style layout
  • You will appreciate the quality of all the parts
  • Lots of options of what you can pick for your build

Cons:

  • The layout might not be for everyone
  • Probably need a wrist rest

Boop Redux

This is a fun board and it takes a lot of what made the original Boop great, like those rounded sides, and really upgrades the internals. Some folk may be a bit bummed it lost the original stepped design though, but I personally don’t miss it. This is a perfect board if you’ve been wanting something with a not so aggressive shape to it, but still wanted it to be fun and not boring. The board does sound and feel good in my testing and has been living on my girlfriend’s desk since I built it!

It’s a limited run of boards KBDFans is doing and starts at $239 for the kit, which isn’t bad for something like this! It has a lot of character.

Pros:

  • It sounds and feels fantastic, leaning to having a good mix of brighter sounds, with a solid underlying bassy sound giving you a deeper spacebar.
  • Multiple ways to mount your PCB assembly
  • Fun weight design
  • Rounded corners on the shell
  • In stock (for now)!
  • Push in feet and screws hidden under them

Cons:

  • No solderable PCB and the hotswap version lacks lots of options
  • The PCB and internal side of the weight are gorgeous but will never be seen

The New SixtyFive

Mode’s latest direction seems to be revamping some of their older legacy designs and I am here for it. The SixtyFive recently saw a complete internal overhaul and sporting some improvements to the aesthetic of the board, too!

Internally we are now seeing Mode really put in some work with their new lattice block system. Sound-wise, it’s bright and punchy, though this can vary depending on your build. As for price, this really ranges, it can go from $249 to $614 USD, but considering the quality and customization options, it’s still a decent pick up if you’re in the market for something more premium.

This is a great decision if you wanted a sleek and minimal 65% keyboard. It’s been a main stay on my desk since I have built it!

Pros:

  • Bright and punchy sound signature
  • Lots of ways to utilize the different lattice blocks
  • Tons of ways to customize the board
  • Very easy to assemble (maybe not as easy as the Ergo, but still great)
  • Mode’s support and quality have been top-notch
  • Magnetic accent piece
  • Front height sits around 20mm, which is on the edge of what I find comfy

Cons:

  • Slightly higher starting price for comparable keyboard in the market today
  • You have to be careful screwing in the top mount variant of this board as it may interfere with wood accents

W70 (Group buy)

This is probably one of the coolest boards on this list. It’s a keyboard that is inspired by the Toyota AE86 Trueno from Initial D and the team behind it absolutely nailed the design here. This is a limited run and definitely pricey, but oh so worth it. I built it recently and was floored by how good all mounting options sounded, even the suspension mount sounded great and normally I heavily dislike this implementation of mounting.

It has some quirks and is definitely a bit more involved when putting it together, but it’s a very fun project that I can’t recommend enough.

Pros:

  • Absolutely amazing design
  • Tons of mounting styles that all sounded and felt different, but consistent
  • Lots of value with your purchase (2 PCBs and 4 plates)
  • Accent RGB is top-notch.
  • Amazing color choices

Cons:

  • The board starts at $419 and is a group buy
  • Limited layout options when using the plates / hotswap model
  • Solderable PCB is only intended to be used for a plateless version of the board
  • Tall front height of 22mm

TOFU 65 2.0

I’ve built this board from top to bottom twice now and the first time I built it, I completely wrote it off after using KBDFans bowl gaskets. I just really don’t care for the installation, sound or feel of it. Well, I decided to give it another go but use one of the more traditional mounting styles. I was a very happy camper and loved it. So much so that it’s been in my rotation of boards now! Plus the price point of this thing just made me happy because it starts at $158 USD.

Pros:

  • Classic wedge design
  • Lots of mounting styles
  • Budget friendly
  • Bight, poppy sound signature when paired with the PC plate (my choice of plate for this)
  • Lots of colors to pick from!

Cons:

  • The bowl mounts are not fun to install and sounds bad
  • Simple design may be a turn off to someone who wants something more out there

Here is a new bonus section for you all reading this. A section of projects that haven’t quite come out yet for the Spring / Summer but will soon. You will definitely need to check these out once they drop and I encourage you to keep an eye on them if interested to follow along with their progress.


New Mode Sonnet

Consider this more of a Sonnet 1.5 release? It’s a refresh on the very popular Sonnet to give it Mode’s latest internal system of the lattice system. It should be great and I am pumped to get my favoruite Mode design with lattice mounts.

There is no webpage yet, but they have announced it on their socials and discord.

Wuque Zoom65 V3

Speaking of internals, how about a board with 7 internal mounting styles to pick from a boat load of color options? I’ve been itching to take a look at this board and have been keeping an eye on it since they announced it. There is a lot to unpack from their info page alone. This is one to really keep an eye out for and I feel is perfect from anyone looking to try new things in the world of mechanical keyboards.

Here is their interest check page for this.

Nooir – N1
The N1 is just wild. It’s a totally unique approach to building a board and seems like this will be a center piece item that can be used as a keyboard. I am at a loss for words when it comes to this board, it’s just so different. I mean, it’s a board with a suspension system? I’m in.

Check it out here.


Wrapping up

Well, as always, I hope this list helps. I will continue to do more of these with every season, as well as I try and use more boards. As always, thank you all so much for the support. I always appreciate everyone’s comments and kindness! Please remember, custom keyboards are a very personal item, don’t shop off of hype and remember to be financially responsible when making large purchases.

If you want to help support my content, please consider picking up my wallpaper pack. Even if you currently can’t help, it’s free for all to use!