Share this project

Done

Share this project

Done
Massdrop x Input Club K-Type Mechanical Keyboard project video thumbnail
Replay with sound
Play with
sound
$7,467 pledged of $50,000 goal
backers

All or nothing. This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by .

By Massdrop
$7,467 pledged of $50,000 goal
backers

All or nothing. This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by .

About this project

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.

Note: The K-Type will come with Halo True and Halo Clear switches, the entirely new switch specifically invented for this project.

 

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.

 

One of many lighting modes on the K-Type
One of many lighting modes on the K-Type

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.

 

Halo True Switch Force Curve
Halo True Switch Force Curve

 

Halo Clear Switch Force Curve
Halo Clear Switch Force Curve

 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.

Open-Source Hardware

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.

Credits

The K-Type is fully programmable, designed for user modification, and Open Source. This keyboard was heavily designed with feedback from members of the online Mechanical Keyboard communities of Geekhack, Deskthority, and /r/mechanicalkeyboards. Special thanks go to our friends at Massdrop, Angelo Tobias (thesiscamper), Matteo Spinelli (matt3o), and Andrew Cook (livingspeedbump) at Keychatter.

Reviews

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

Specs

  • 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)

#KHype

 

 

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/support

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

Support this project

  1. Make a pledge without a reward

    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $15 or more About $15

    CNC Aluminum Halo True Switch Keychain

    You will receive one (1) keychain made out of CNCed aluminum in silver color with a Halo True Switch inside. We created this switch specifically for this project and you can experience it first hand.

    You can see what the keychain will look like at this link http://dro.ps/halo-keychain

    Shipping will be free for this reward.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only certain countries
    Limited (6988 left of 7000) 12 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    K-Type with Halo True Switch

    One (1) Massdrop x Input Club K-Type Mechanical Keyboard with Halo True Switch

    You will be receiving the K-Type at a lower price than retail. It will come equipped with the revolutionary Massdrop and Input Club Halo True switch (patent pending both foreign and domestic), detachable magnetic aluminum foot, and a USB Type C to USB Type A cable.

    Shipping is free for the US, $15 for Canada, and $18 for other countries.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only certain countries
    Limited (4973 left of 5000) 27 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    K-Type with Halo Clear Switch

    One (1) Massdrop x Input Club K-Type Mechanical Keyboard with Halo Clear Switch

    You will be receiving the K-Type at a lower price than retail. It will come equipped with the revolutionary Massdrop and Input Club Halo Clear switch, detachable magnetic aluminum foot, and a USB Type C to USB Type A cable.

    Shipping is free for the US, $15 for Canada, and $18 for other countries.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only certain countries
    Limited (4992 left of 5000) 8 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.