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Drop + OLKB Preonic Keyboard MX Kit V3

Drop + OLKB Preonic Keyboard MX Kit V3

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Product Description
The original Preonic keyboard was praised for its build quality, compact form factor, and intuitive layout—and the new version is no different. However, this time around we're offering the CNC-aluminum case in your choice of five colors, including the striking new purple colorway Read More
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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Would recommend to a friend.
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.
See all 133 questions

Customer Reviews

4.7
(733 reviews)
5star
(553)
4star
(138)
3star
(21)
2star
(12)
1star
(9)
95% would recommend to a friend
By Feature
Build Quality
4.6(10)
ActivitiesPopular among reviewers
Paired SwitchPopular among reviewers
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meen
0
Jan 15, 2024
Keyboards Owned:2
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Compact and easy to build
I like that it’s small, has num row and easy to build. The plate is too hard for my taste and I stopped using it coz I prefer wider one and now I prefer split keyboards. It’s good in general
Recommends this product? Yes
RAOEUS
0
Oct 17, 2023
Activities:Work & Gaming
Paired Switch:Linear
Keyboards Owned:10
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Easily my favorite keyboard
I have bought many, many keyboards in my time, but this one is my absolute favorite of all time. The QMK firmware is easy to change, the LEDs are really great, and it just feels like a good and simple ortholinear board. I use it for both stenography using Plover and for QWERTY typing.
Recommends this product? Yes
Activities:Work
Paired Switch:Tactile
Keyboards Owned:4
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Great ortho to get a foot into orthos
I loved the simplicity of it, you get a unique typing experience and can put the joy in getting down a new learning curve, I daily drove it for a while and it still is in a rotation of keebs I have and its always really fun to get back into ortholinear in a complete small package
Recommends this product? No
AlarmingPhysics
2
Aug 18, 2023
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Pretty Good.
This was decent. Case is super heavy which could be a plus or a minus. The plate will borderline destroy your switches if you need to pull them out though, it's insanely tight. I bought two of these and one died, which Drop accepted back no problem.
Recommends this product? Yes
Nangesh
3
Jul 11, 2023
Activities:Work
Paired Switch:Linear
Keyboards Owned:10
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Good practice for building and flashing built keebs
Not exactly what I'd use normally but hey, why not try it and add it to the collection.
Recommends this product? Yes
VsMyself
3
Jun 17, 2023
Paired Switch:Tactile
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great little keyboard
I am loving the Ortho layout and this is a higher quality starter keyboard.
Recommends this product? Yes
llondono
1
May 27, 2023
Activities:Work
Paired Switch:Tactile
Keyboards Owned:10
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An Exceptional Typing Experience with the Preonic MX Kit V3
I had the pleasure of acquiring the DROP + OLKB Preonic Keyboard MX Kit V3, and I must say that it has exceeded my expectations in every way. This keyboard has truly elevated my typing experience and provided me with a level of customization that is simply unparalleled. First and foremost, the build quality of the Preonic. The compact design and solid construction make it a joy to use. The aluminum case not only gives it a premium look but also adds a satisfying heft to the keyboard, providing a stable typing platform. The highlight of this keyboard, however, lies in its programmability and customization options. With the QMK firmware, I was able to customize every key to my liking, assigning various functions, macros, and even complex layers. The configurability is a dream for those who seek personalized shortcuts and optimizations for their workflow. Typing on the Preonic is an absolute pleasure. The MX switches provide a satisfying tactile feedback, and the ortholinear layout has improved my typing accuracy and speed. The keycaps, which are DSA profile and made of high-quality PBT, feel great to the touch and have a pleasant texture. In terms of compatibility, the keyboard offers versatility with its USB-C connection and the ability to work seamlessly across different operating systems. Whether I'm using it with my Windows PC or my macOS laptop, it functions flawlessly without any compatibility issues. Additionally, I must mention the excellent customer support and community surrounding the Preonic. The OLKB community is incredibly helpful and provides a wealth of resources, making it easy to get started and explore further customization options. Overall, I wholeheartedly recommend the Preonic to anyone who appreciates a premium, customizable typing experience. Its build quality, programmability, and exceptional typing performance make it a standout choice among mechanical keyboards. Prepare to be delighted by the Preonic Keyboard's superb craftsmanship and the endless possibilities it offers for tailoring your typing experience to perfection.
Recommends this product? Yes
goranb
0
May 26, 2023
Paired Switch:Tactile
Keyboards Owned:8
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Daily driver
I use this for work, daily, and I love it. The dedicated numeric keys are great, and don't add much to the footprint compared to Planck. And I was able to flash this one to use VIA, unlike Planck/Drop. Excellent, though not cheap keyboard. Worth it, though.
Recommends this product? Yes
brucecantarim
1
May 16, 2023
Activities:Work
Paired Switch:Tactile
Keyboards Owned:1
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This had been my daily driver for the last 2 years.
It was my first ortho and my second mechanical keyboard, and it does comes off with a steep learning curve and trade offs. To start, the kit is very nice. I ditched the default keycaps in favor of a MT3 Susuwatari set, and the assembly was easy. With no extra mods, there will be ping, especially if you choose an aluminum chassis like I did, and the stabilizer are quite noise with lube. There's not that much space in the case for mods, but a dual layer tape mode will do wonders for thockiness. Some people use the case as a mold for silicone sheets, but I haven't dabbled wit it. I'm using glorius pandas unlubbed that I got in a promo, and they sound great in this setup. Without the tape mode they sound to high pitched to my ears. As far as customization of the functionality itself, I went straight into QMK source code, which is well documented, and it allows you to do anything you can imagine, your programming skills are the limit. You can move keys in the layout, create new layers, and even create leader key macros, which are awesome. You will find that there are some issues with the sound after flashing it with a custom firmware, takes research and testing through the available workarounds to get it to sing a tune upon connecting again. I find that customizing the keys and functionality with the preonic is a must, although the default firmware is quite handy, special characters such as -+=_~`'"[]{} are quite hard to input in the default configuration, and since the amount of keyboard realstate being limited, you will have to see what works best for you. Me using those characters everyday in my day job as a Software Developer, that was the first major hurdle I had to overcome. Overall, if you are willing to make those concessions, this is a great daily driver, quite compact, and sturdy, with tons of ways to customize it to your needs. After these last 2 years, I find myself wanting one more column of keys to the right side of the keyboard, but that might just be me. And I am considering maybe leaving two columns in the middle with the function keys, or diving into ergos altogether nowadays, just so my hands have a better position while tiping. In case you're wondering, haven't had much issue going back to staggered when needed, using the laptop keyboard. I guess you get used with the context switch after a while. But I feel much faster when using ortho now.
Recommends this product? Yes
KayComm
7
May 3, 2023
Activities:Work & Gaming
Paired Switch:Linear
Keyboards Owned:4
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Great Entry into the Ortholinear Boards
I find this cute little board to be on my desk since getting i spilled some water on an older Logitech board. I find that the size is comfortable with people with medium to normal shoulder widths. Even with my large shoulders making me turn my forearms inward, I've been able to transition from QWERTY into Workman and finally arriving at Colemak-DH all thanks to this little guy. Also the Preonic Kit is such a banger value for its price point. Especially considering a full alluminum body as well as a plate.
Recommends this product? Yes
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