High-end mechanical keyboard and PC peripherals, the Drop brand (formerly Massdrop) today unveiled its next line of pre-built mechanical keyboards. The brand has added options to three different series, the most premium of which, Paragon, costs a whopping $500 each.
In addition to making its own products, Drop has a store where keyboard enthusiasts can get everything from mechanical keyboard switches to unique and artisanal keycaps, stabilizers, and even fancy, detachable cables. The keyboards released today should make it easier for people who don’t want to build their own clacker to get an enthusiast-level option without having to deal with group buys, which take many months to actually get their hands on a product. .
Drop’s $500 . Paragon Keyboards
Drop has announced two Paragon Series keyboards, both built on the same frame used in Drop’s CNC-machined, anodized aluminum Alt High-Profile keyboard.
The Moon Shot design pays tribute to celestial beauty with its baby blue and white details and doubleshot ABS keycaps marked with NASA-ready terms such as ‘rover’, ‘orbit’ and ‘godspeed’.
The keycaps are SA profile, a more vintage form factor that is often expensive (this set only costs $190), larger and bulbous.
The Shogun, meanwhile, fits a samurai with red and gold doubleshot ABS keycaps with Japanese inscriptions, clouds and, presumably, durability, thanks to a 1.5mm thickness.
Drop’s Paragon keyboards differ from the rest of the keyboards announced today in that they promise an improved sound profile through mufflers placed between the keyboard housing and the printed circuit board (PCB).
Both keyboards use mechanical Drop + Invyr Holy Panda switches. These are hybrid switches that combine the stems of Halo Clears (aka Halo Trues) with the stems of Invyr Pandas for an incredibly tactile feel. The switches require 67g of force to operate; for comparison, Cherry MX Browns require 55g. Drop claims further add to the tactility and are Gateron-branded custom stabilizers to prevent unwanted chatter between larger keys.
Getting closer and closer to earning the half-grand price tag, the Holy Panda switches are already hand-lubricated before they even get to you. You also get hot-swappability, so you can dump the Sacred Pandas if you want without soldering. Another handy feature: the keyboards are programmable via QMK open source software.
Drop’s Paragon keyboards are currently available for pre-order, but aren’t expected to ship until around November 15.
Also expensive (but cheaper): Drop’s new Signature keyboards
Drop already has a number of Signature keyboards, the cheapest of which costs $279. The seven added today are going for $349, putting them in the upper echelons of the series
The newest members of the Signature series — the Islay Night, Zodiac, Mythic Journey, Cyber Moon, Ultrasonic, Purple Midnight, and Classic Midnight — typically use Drop’s Ctrl or Ctrl High-Profile housings, both of which are CNC-machined aluminum to be. The exception is the Islay Night. Being a smaller keyboard with no arrow keys, it uses Drop + Tokyo’s Tokyo60.
These keyboards also come with hot-swappable Holy Panda switches, but they are not pre-lubricated. Keycaps vary in coolness, color and construction, ranging from ABS plastic to sublimated PBT plastic. Like the Paragon keyboards, they are all programmable with QMK software.
Some of Drop’s new Signature keyboards are available now, while others are on pre-order.
Slightly cheaper: Drop’s Expression Matcha Summer
Finally, the most affordable keyboard announced today is the Expression Series Matcha Summer. But at $150, it’s still not a “cheap mechanical keyboard” (Drop doesn’t really swing that way).
The keyboard evokes thoughts of warmer days with matcha tea and mango fruit-inspired sublimated PBT keys, a white anodized aluminum body and Gateron Yellow linear switches to match the summer sun.
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View image by Drop