Showing 1 of 508 reviews about:
See More Reviews
This is not my first ortholinear board. I am used to typing on this layout and sort of knew what I was getting into.
Compared to my previous board, an XD75re, the Preonic is much higher quality. The overall board looks and feels great. I didn't use the provided keycaps and switches for more than a day. However, for the short time I was using them, the XDA blanks felt and sounded nice. They are a bit thicker than the PMK keycaps I normally use and created a sort of heavier sound.
My one complaint would be the instructions included. While the instructions are not difficult to follow, the original designer of the Preonic, Jack Humbert, has stated the extra secure method is no longer recommended. This method is still present on the instructions I received and is the build method I chose.
I am worried about the potential of the USB C connector being pulled off. I have not seen any posts about the issue on the most recent Preonics from Drop, but I know it has been an issue with the boards in the past. I plan to disassemble my board and use hot glue to secure the connector to the PCB further as a precaution. I hope the issue has been fixed, but I would like to warn others to be gentle with their USB connector.
Overall, I would recommend this board to a friend. I think the ortholinear layout is fantastic, after getting used to it.
Would recommend to a friend.
How was the preonic better quality than the xd75? I'm trying to decide between the two.
It's almost certainly personal preference, but while holding and using the two boards, the Preonic just feels and looks to be higher quality.
My biggest issue with the XD75 was the lack of quality compatible cases. The cases available from the manufacturer are sort of weird. They aren't terrible, but not really conventional. Also, the sound isn't great. The case I received with my XD75 has a very metallic sound when typing. I added o-rings to my switches and put foam in the case, but it didn't do much to improve the sound quality. It never sounded as good as my preonic, which is actually using the switches I pulled out of my XD75.
The mounting holes on the XD75 PCB are oddly positioned and do not line up with common 60% cases. You can mount it into a 60% case. However, if I remember correctly, you can only use 3 of the mounting holes. I never actually did this, so I can't say if it makes it feel or sound any better or worse.
You also cannot (easily) add a rotary encoder to the XD75. There are supposedly ways to wire one up, but I never felt like potentially ruining my, at the time, only board. The encoder isn't a necessity, but I was very much interested in them and greatly enjoy the one on my Preonic now.
All in all, I would not tell you to not to get an XD75. Mine was my daily driver for two years. I learned a lot from hacking together keymaps that were useful to me. I still find myself reaching for non-existent keys when typing on my Preonic because the muscle memory from the XD75 is very strong. I very much enjoyed the board and still get excited when I see people post their XD75 builds on reddit.
However, if it were up to me, I would choose the Preonic. The typing experience is better to me. I find myself making less large finger movements and more use of layers. Additionally, when making use of extremely useful QMK features like macros, tap dance, and leader keys, I do not think all the keys on the XD75 are necessary. You can do a lot with fewer keys.
Thanks! This was really informative. However, isn't the xd75 compatible with a lot more cases since it's a standard 60% form factor, while the preonic is 50%?