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Can the Mech Keys community help me find my perfect TKL?

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Real quick overview of my interests:
  • I've owned MX Blues, Reds & Browns, and Browns are my fave. Clicky but not noisy. Open to alternatives!
  • I've owned full size and "90%" boards (numpad instead of arrows & control section), and am no longer interested in a numpad. Really like the small size of my current Quickfire TK, so I figure TKL is the way to go.
  • Must have some lighting, white or RGB. Preferably RGB. Never used non-chinethrough keys, are the characters legible in low light? I just need to see what I'm doing without lots of lights on elsewhere.
  • I'd prefer black or dark grey like the Massdrop CTRL. Really like the muted, modern look. Not really looking for vivid colors, bulky designs or "gamer style" on my keyboard.
  • Not concerned about mobility as it'll stay home, not really too worried about specific connectivity options (should I be?), and open to brands other than what I've explored in the past (Razer, then Logitech, then Corsair, and now Coolermaster)
And finally, my budget: Something around the Massdrop CTRL is my absolute top-end limit, and I'm really not too keen on spending THAT much. I'm Canadian and will be thoroughly thrashed with currency conversion & border tariffs. The CTRL for example will cost updwards of $280 CAD after conversion & shipping, easily over $300 if the border decides to charge me. Which they love to do. Especially from Massdrop orders. So, help me save a buck or two if you can by staying as far from $200 USD as you can! If you need any other deets from me, please don't hesitate to ask!
(Edited)
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bfitz
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Jan 12, 2019
Fully assembled? or DIY kit? If DIY can you solder? prefer hotswap(like CTRL)? For your $, two best options(assuming you can't solder and just want a ready to use board. The MD CTRL like you mentioned or the hexgears Dusk/Dawn from Kono store. Although, after the DSA Groove key cap fiasco, I would be wary of giving Kono any of my money. A barebones CTRL comes in @ $220 CDN with roughly $20-$30 in taxes, now you need switches and key caps. Full board is $285 CDN $30-$40 taxes. As a fellow Canadian, all I can say is, when looking to buy from Massdrop or any gear outside Canada, just budget for taxes/duties. If this is going to be your only board, or is a major purchase for you, then get something that will last and has upgrade-ability. Also this a under $200 USD TKL(no lighting) https://www.massdrop.com/buy/varmilo-milk-white-va87m-108m-mechanical-keyboard Also Canada Computers has a lot of branded boards, corsair, cooler master, hyperX cougar. etc...
(Edited)
Browns are not a clicky switch. They're tactile. The noise they have is from the bottoming out and upstroke. I don't look at TKL's much. The GMMK is cheap and is on sale sometimes. Have you look at mechanical keyboard .com?