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Why Drop’s new custom mechanical keyboard is such a big deal

Drop is launching a new keyboard for the first time in three years, and it’s an important one. The Sense75, which is available to pre-order starting today, is a 75% fully customizable board that seems destined for a slot in our roundup of the best keyboards you can buy.

If you’re unfamiliar, Drop specializes in mechanical keyboard gear and audiophile equipment, but keyboards are the main draw. The Sense75 joins two other in-house Drop keyboard designs — the Alt and Ctrl — both of which are among the best mechanical keyboards you can buy.

Drop Sense75 keyboard sitting on a black table.

The Sense75 goes further than those two previous keyboards, though. For starters, it comes with gasket-mounted switches, which are essential when building your own keyboard, and it’s hot-swappable, allowing you to easily customize each of the switches to fit your typing (or gaming) needs.

The frame is fully aluminum, as well, only broken up by thin light diffusers around the underside edge. These diffusors break up the RGB to provide a soft underglow, and Drop says they’re invisible when you sit down to type.

As with other Drop keyboards, you can also customize the firmware (either QMK or VIA), as well as adjust the RGB lighting on a per-key basis.

If you’re into the world of custom mechanical keyboards, Drop’s Sense75 may look familiar. It’s a lot like the Glorious GMMK Pro, which has been the go-to custom mechanical keyboard for about a year.

Drop seems confident it can improve on Glorious’ design, writing in a press release that it’s “a first-rate product that is an improvement on what is currently available on the market.”

Whether that’s true or not, we’ll have to wait and see. The Sense75 has the stabilizers working in its favor already, though. The GMMK Pro’s included stabilizers aren’t perfect, while the full Sense75 kit uses Drop’s own Phantom stabilizers.

Drop Sense75 keyboard sitting on a table.

Drop is at least confident enough to price the Sense75 well above the GMMK Pro. You have the option between black and e-white, which run $250 and $300 for the barebones kit, respectively. The pre-built version — which includes Drop’s Phantom stabilizers, Holy Panda X switches, and DCX keycaps — runs $350 for black and $400 for e-white.

Pre-orders are available now for the full kit, and Drop says they’ll ship out in early November. The first 500 pre-orders get a free kit of Drop’s MT3 keycaps (which normally run $130 on their own), a limited edition novelty keycap, and a carrying case. For the barebones kit, Drop says it will be available “at a later date.”

There’s a rising tide for customizable mechanical keyboards with all the bells and whistles, as evidenced by mainstream options like the Corsair K70 Pro Mini Wireless and Asus ROG Strix Flare II Animate. Drop’s push into the gasket-mounted, 75% market furthers that, providing a relatively mainstream alternative to the GMMK Pro. If it stacks up for the premium, we’ll just have to wait and see.

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