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Drop + OLKB Preonic Keyboard MX Kit V3
$150

Drop + OLKB Preonic Keyboard MX Kit V3

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$150
Case Color:
Purple
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Acute Keycap Set
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Review Highlights:
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My absolute favorite
Easily my favorite keyboard form factor of all time. It has everything I need and nothing I don't use (and layers for things I want but don't use often). It's small enough to slip into my carry-on bag for work trips, or just in my backpack for when I'm going to chill at a coffee shop. Construction-wise, the Preonic Rev. 3 is built like a tank. Make sure you save the tiny pamphlet in the box, it has the assembly instructions. Personally, I go for the ultra-secure plate method. This uses the provided bolts and spacers to make the plate firm within the case. The plate is a hefty stainless steel plate with a tight tolerance. It will take some force to push the switches in. BE WARNED! The hotswap brackets for the switches can come off if you push too hard. I have made 4 of these model and have never had the issue, but it has been known to happen. The recommended method is to put a few switches in the plate, then line them up with the PCB, then place the remaining switches in place by putting your finger on the back of the PCB to hold the black hotswap in place while you use medium force to push the switch into the plate. This reduces the risk of popping off a hotswap. The board is programmed with QMK, but make sure when flashing it that you use the Rev 3 firmware. Rev 2 used a different micro controller and the firmware and layouts aren't compatible. I would love to do a write-up on QMK, but it's a bit complicated to set up and there are a million different things you can do with it. If you have questions, you can always ask on the OLKB subreddit (reddit/r/OLKB). Search first! Your question has probably already been asked and answered, but if you're really not sure just make a new post. People will usually help, but it's not super active so it may take a day or two to get a response. Included is a picture of my collection, which is just about a year old. I have quite a few more now...
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This is my first orhtolinear, and three days in I'm really liking it. I'm still in the process of figuring out where I want keys to be, and am _really_ liking the MOD_T setup (i.e. left-shift on hold, enter on tap, etc). From what I can see, it looks like there is a little solder on the USB-C connector, though that piece still makes me a little nervous. I got a magnetic cable set ( https://amzn.to/2Eup4dR ) so there isn't any strain on the connector. Since I pack this from work to home and back, it's great for the convenience factor alone.
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Q&A Highlights:
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Do I need to assemble this myself?
Yes, but no soldering required to get a basic keyboard with switches.
LED ready--meaning LEDs need to be soldered to the board (yes/no)?
The board comes with presoldered addressable LEDs around the edge of the board, other than that there is a cutout under each switch where you could put LEDs but there is nothing else other than the hole. If you wanted per switch LEDs you'd have to wire them separately.
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Here's what our community has to say
All of our reviews are from verified customers.
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708
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95%
would recommend to a friend
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HaaDaal
5
Nov 29, 2022
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Nice starting for ortholinear
It is a great quality product. However, it is a pity that the price has gone up a bit.
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Expect to need some time to adjust to the layout.
However, it is very well built and simple to assemble. Just be careful not to overtighten the aluminum screws
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Would recommend to a friend.
mehmetugurgural
1
Nov 24, 2022
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Nice little keyboard with powerful features
Solid and compact keyboard with layer features.
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Would recommend to a friend.
shehasnoears
0
Nov 16, 2022
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Gr8 little keeb
Sturdy, reliable, feels high-end. Easy to assemble. Looks amazing! Love all the different color options too.
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Edokatsu
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Nov 16, 2022
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Good 1st kit
This was my first step into the world of custom keyboard DIY kits (as well as preonic). I think this kit is a good introduction for people like me who are just starting out, as the kit comes with everything (except the switches), the PCB is hot swappable and preprogrammed, and is not prohibitively expensive. For me, it was also a chance to try out an interesting keyboard layout. This keyboard has become my daily driver at work as well as home, and even is plug and play compatible with my PS5 (Call of Duty MW2). While the learning curve for getting used to preonic layout is definitely a factor to consider, I found it a fun and interesting challenge!
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uJim
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Nov 15, 2022
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Nice kit!!
Overall, I am very happy with the kit. One should note that the center switches in the bottom row have to be seated 180°.
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Would recommend to a friend.
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Never going back to staggered layout
I went into the preonic having historically been an index fingers point and click typist. I no longer type that way thanks to the fact that the ortholinear layout is more straightforward and makes more sense. 10/10 would recommend.
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Learning Curve
I have a Planck and a couple of Preonics. The learning curve was steep in the first week, but once I used it exclusively I got the hang of it. I have a frosted acrylic base which the RGBs work and look great. However it doesn't work so well with a solid base, but the with some QMK configuration I just toggled the RGBs off. Overall this is an awesome keyboard with great customizability.
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Would recommend to a friend.
pablunsky
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Nov 5, 2022
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Hard to digest!
The layout was quite a trip in the beginning, but I got used to it in a couple of days. Also, I had to setup my own keymap as the default one was not my cup of tea. The RGB is pointless in the black case, but after some time I am enjoying it and feeling pretty happy with my purchase.
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GedoBoy
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Nov 1, 2022
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Loves ortho
It's my first experiencie with ortholinear keyboard. I like it so much, and super useful the diferent layers and macros configuration.
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Would recommend to a friend.
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