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The ortholinear 40% Planck mechanical keyboard is hailed for its unique layout—and the new version is even better. Laid out so that every key is within two units of your fingers on the home row, this compact keyboard minimizes finger travel Read More
I've had my Planck v6 for two months now and overall, it is a joy to type on.
+The QMK firmware offers a level of customization beyond what any sane person could want. c-coded macros with states and timers can be triggered by assigning custom internal keycodes to keys or by entering a sequence of keys with leader-key functionality. Up to 32 stackable (and conditional) layers can be programmed, so that multiple layers triggered at once causes expected behavior, and switching base layers allows for a variety of "modes".
+The keyboard is lightweight, compact, and portable, but it is also solidly built. It can easily fit on top a laptop without hitting keys or triggering the touch pad. (You will want to use an L-shaped cable if you use the keyboard with a laptop.)
+The keyboard is easily powered by and functions with all of the android devices I have tested, (both those with USB-micro and USB-C ports), which I cannot say of other, more power-hungry keyboards I have owned. (Both C-to-C and A-to-C with a micro (or C) adapter on the A work, as long as the adapter-side isn't the one plugging into the keyboard.)
+The hot-swappable switches on the keyboard really are hot-swappable. (I did not like having some of the keys clicky that I thought I would like clicky, and was able to remove and replace the switches without any problem.)
Cons (most are minor firmware related gripes):
+There is a steep learning curve, both for learning how to customize it properly (by cross-compiling c-code), and for learning how to type on it in a way that is effective and does not cause strain to your hands. Prepare to modify your keymap several times before you find what works best for you. You may have to change compiler flags just to get the firmware to compile. ('make CFLAGS+="-Wno-error -Os" planck/rev6:keymap-name:dfu-util' works for me.)
+ There is no easy way to switch between mouse settings on the keyboard (because they are hard-coded), and the speed of the mouse can vary from operating system to operating system. You may have to select values that are a compromise. There is a mouse mode that allows selectable speeds, but enabling this disables the more intuitive acceleration mode. (Update: a new mouse mode in QMK fixes this!)
+ The keyboard does not seem able to trigger a wake from sleep (with at least one of my laptops), and can sometimes take a while to respond after a wake from sleep. (This may not be the fault of the keyboard (it might have something to do with USB-C and windows), but my other keyboards do not have this problem.) (Update: It was a problem with the USB port on that computer, not the keyboard.)
+ The Alt+Tab macro (w/timers) feels a little bit like a compromise compared to other less-customizable keyboards with a better behaving app-switching keys. (Update: If you get creative with the coding and make the alt-hold dependent on which layers are active, it works much more smoothly.)
+ There seems to be no way to end a leader-key sequence without having to wait for it to time out. I would like to be able to choose whether hitting the leader-key again pre-timeout confirms/ends, cancels, or restarts a sequence. (Currently it does nothing.)
+Use the 48 key layout. The extra keys at the thumbs are useful for extra layer switching. (Flipping the keycaps so that they angle downward will reduce thumb fatigue and help you feel the center.)
+The default keymap isn't spectacular, but it does include a lot of functions w/intelligent comments and can be used as a reference for making your own.
+Buy a couple of L-shaped USB-C cables. Because USB-C is flippable, you can insert them so that the cable runs either left or right along the keyboard. This puts less stress on the USB-C port (which has been identified as a structural weak point) and lowers the space footprint of the keyboard considerably.
+Using taller SA-profile (or similar) keys for the top left and right corners may help your fingers navigate.
Yes! The left side of the board has positions for a Rotary Encoder. You can solder one in in either of the four positions. (Or all, but you can only have one programmed function active at a time, not make each RE do something different.)
The ortholinear 40% Planck mechanical keyboard is hailed for its unique layout—and the new version is even better. Laid out so that every key is within two units of your fingers on the home row, this compact keyboard minimizes finger travel. The “raise” and “lower” space bar keys make it easy to access additional layers for extra functionality. For this round, the CNC aluminum case comes in six different colors, including the bold new red and yellow colorways. This version also has Kaihua hot-swappable switch sockets, so you can swap out your switches without ever picking up a soldering iron. What’s more, the new Planck has an upgraded ARM STM32 processor that provides more power to the PCB and USB-C connector—and it comes in two case styles.
Note: This does not include switches.
Sturdy, Compatible Plate Design
Like the previous version, the new Planck comes with an MX plate (for MX switches and clones) which support 1 x 2u, 2 x 2u, and Grid layout. However, this version features Kaihua hotswap sockets, which support grid (2x1u), 1x2u, and 2x2u bottom row layouts. Made from 304 stainless steel, the plate is heavy and stable, with five holes for mounting the included M2 screws.
Strong Anodized Aluminum Case
On the old Planck, you could see the plate atop the milled aluminum body. For this version, we’ve tucked the plate into the case for a more streamlined look—one you can get two different ways, depending on your preference. The milled bottom is made from a single piece of aluminum with thick 3.1-millimeter walls. It’s anodized with a smooth finish in your choice of six colors. A hole near the USB port allows easy access to the reset button on the PCB. The kit has all the hardware you need to assemble the keyboard, plus four 3M rubber feet so it won’t slide around on your desktop.
Fully Programmable PCB
The matte black PCB features an ARM/STM32 chip and can be programmed however you like. It comes pre-programmed with the standard layout, but it also has a reset button to reprogram the keyboard. It’s compatible with Cherry MX and Matias/ALPS switch footprints, and all components of the board have been pre-soldered so the PCB is ready for key switches and LEDs. Plus, the hotswap sockets on this version allow for easy kit building when you assemble your board. (Please note that the Matias switches will need to be soldered onto the PCB. Only MX-style switches—Gateron, Kaihua, Cherry MX, etc.—will be able to use the Kaihua hot swap sockets.)
Beeps & Boops
Also notable, the PCB is outfitted with a small speaker, which is driven by the MCU. In the default firmware this will make a few different noises—like a short series of beeps on startup, notifications when you put the board into Device Firmware Upgrade (DFU) mode, plus noises when you change the default layout to prevent mishaps when typing quickly. The speaker can be disabled by turning off the audio via a keycode or by flashing new firmware.
We get it. Sometimes what you ordered just doesn’t work out. If that’s the case for you, don’t fret! All customers (both US and international) may return this item in new, unused condition within 30 days of delivery.
Estimated ship date is Oct 6, 2022 PT.
Payment will be collected at checkout. Cancellations are accepted up to 2 hours after checkout for in-stock items, or up until pre-order ships.
Top Customer Questions248
Is anyone able to confirm where these are made? I contacted Drop support to ask where these are manufactured and the reply was:
This is xxxxx with Drop Community Support. Thank you for contacting us!
Unfortunately we do not have that kind of technical knowledge of where the DROP + OLKB PLANCK MECHANICAL KEYBOARD KIT V6 is manufactured.
I do apologize for that. If you have any other questions or concerns please reach out to us.