Massdrop x Input Club K-Type Mechanical Keyboard (Canceled)
Massdrop x Input Club K-Type Mechanical Keyboard (Canceled)
An infinitely customizable mechanical keyboard for gamers, programmers, and typists.
An infinitely customizable mechanical keyboard for gamers, programmers, and typists. Read more
About this project
Our Kickstarter campaign is over, but you can still get the K-Type on Massdrop. Please head over to http://dro.ps/k-type-kickstarter to learn about the K-Type and place an order.
The Keyboard, Revolutionized
Designed by Input Club and produced by Massdrop, the K-Type includes all available top tier keyboard features in one functional work of art. Every component of this keyboard is engineered to improve the way we interact with our computers. With a single-piece aluminum frame, RGB backlighting and underlighting, a fully programmable layout, dual USB type-C connectors, backlit RGB mechanical switches, and doubleshot PBT backlit keycaps, it’s the most advanced tenkeyless keyboard ever created.
When we thought of creating the K-Type, we wanted a product that among all the features mentioned also took the Open Design movement to heart. The K-Type is, on top of everything, an open source hardware product that will benefit from the active support of the Mechanical Keyboard Community. We wanted to create an ever-evolving product that would allow the community around the K-Type make it an even greater product than it already is.
We have already received extraordinary feedback on our prototypes from the online Mechanical Keyboard community and publications like Tom's Hardware, ExtremeTech, and Keychatter. We are honored to present the K-Type to the Kickstarter Community as we believe this keyboard is truly an innovative addition to any desk.
Brilliant RGB Lighting
Under every key in the K-Type is a high quality RGB LED designed specially for keyboards. The K-Type features mechanical switches with light pipes that are optimized to display as much light as possible through the keycaps. As far as color options, you’ll have your choice from over 16 million of them—not to mention each key can be customized exactly how you like. You can program the lighting to cycle through the entire spectrum, make animations, set your keyboard to a single color, or program the underlighting to match your desk setup. The backlighting displays at a very high frame rate of over 100 frames per second, minimizing the flickering commonly found in other RGB keyboards.
Fully Programmable Layout
As any keyboard lover knows, customizing your board is half the fun. That’s why the K-Type features a fully programmable layout, designed for modification. Thanks to the innovative open source firmware known as the Keyboard Layout Language, you have total control over the layout of the keyboard. Plus, the configurator allows you to program as many layers as you like, which means you can easily switch between multiple pre-programmed layouts. It’s also outfitted with two USB type-C connectors (one on each side) for daisy chaining additional devices that run the Keyboard Layout Language.
Mechanical Switch Design
The K-Type is a mechanical keyboard, which means it uses mechanical switches instead of low-cost rubber dome technology present in most keyboards. What makes the K-Type distinct is that the switches are removable and replaceable commonly known as “hot-swappable”, allowing anyone to customize or repair their keyboard with no soldering or engineering skills. If you don't like the switches that we carefully selected for the K-Type, you can easily swap them out for your favorite style.
After physically testing every available Cherry MX style mechanical switch on the market, Input Club found that the only manufacturer that surpassed Cherry MX’s tolerances was Kaihua. Input Club's design took into account the best attributes from the most popular and highly regarded tactile switches, which resulted in a switch that has near perfect consistency and smoothness with each press. The switches that were created are called the Halo Switches and will come as part of the K-Type. You can take a look at the graphs linked to learn more about the Halo True and Halo Clear switches.
Hefty Aluminum Frame
We chose to use aircraft grade aluminum for its high precision machining attributes and for its ability to hold a quality surface finish. Using a single block of metal to house the keyboard instead of cheap steel plate screwed into a plastic case provided the substantial weight and aesthetic we desired. The aluminum housing for the keyswitches provides a certain degree of flex to the keypress, an important discovery by legendary keyboard designer Matteo Spinelli during the development of the WhiteFox Mechanical Keyboard.
One of the K-Type’s premier features is its open software, firmware, and hardware—giving you full sovereignty over the keyboard. When you use the configurator to modify the K-Type, you’re actually altering the keyboard at its most basic level. On any other keyboard, changes to the layout often require unreliable third-party software. With the K-Type, full layout customization is apparent right up front, not an afterthought. The easy-to-use configurator allows for infinite layout options, letting you take ownership of your hardware. This is made possible by Jacob Alexander's Keyboard Layout Language (KLL): a new BIOS for keyboards that unlocks their true potential.
Shine-Through Doubleshot PBT Keycaps
To enhance the radiant backlighting, the keycaps are made with shine-through legends to make the K-Type really pop off your desktop. Carefully selected from Tai-Hao, they’re made from durable doubleshot Polybutylene Terephthalate (PBT), a high quality engineering plastic. Long a staple in the keyboard community, PBT keycaps help resist the shine that occurs from oils and sweat. The font used is Helvetica inspired, which is easy to read when the backlighting shines through.
“The build quality is great, the firmware is powerful, and the swappable switch mechanism is the best I’ve seen. Overall, $200 for this keyboard is a bargain.” - Extremetech
“K-Type consists of open software, firmware, and hardware. The Input Club describes this as giving you “full sovereignty” over your keyboard.” - TomsHardware
“The K-Type in many ways is the pinnacle of keyboards designed by the community, for the community, and is definitely be something I’ll recommend and stand behind.” - Keychatter
- Designed by Input Club
- Produced by Massdrop
- ANSI tenkeyless layout (TKL, 87 keys)
- Fully programmable
- CNC anodized aluminum frame
- Kaihua mechanical switches with light pipe casings
- Cherry stabilizers PBT doubleshot backlit keycaps (OEM profile)
- Hot-swappable switch inserts
- Floating key design
- Detachable magnetic aluminum foot
- Dual USB type-C connectors
- Programmable RGB LED backlighting and underlighting (16.8 million colors, over 100 FPS)
- Open-source hardware
- Keyboard Layout Language (KLL) firmware
- Dimensions: 14.5 x 5.5 x 1.4 in (36.8 x 14 x 3.6 cm)
- Weight: 34 oz (964 g)
Risks and challenges
Massdrop and Input Club have manufactured multiple keyboards together and while there are always risks inherent with any manufacturing process, at this point we are experienced keyboard makers.
We have been working on the design and prototypes of this keyboard for 2 years now and have had samples sent to various community members and publications to test the product and the functionality.
In terms of logistics, we have a dedicated team following up with the manufacturing facilities, getting production updates weekly, and making sure that backers from the Kickstarter are aware of where the project is through regular communications.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our Community Support team at https://www.massdrop.com/supportLearn about accountability on Kickstarter
Support this project
- (31 days)