What is the opinion of Reddit about the
GK64 GK64xs RGB Hot Swap Programmable Bluetooth Wired Case PCB Plate Cherry MX Keyboard DIY kit Replacable Space?

A total of 1 review of this product on Reddit.

0 points

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13th Jul 2020

Warning: This is a long one.

Can anyone help me figure out what I want?

What I’m looking for in a keyboard is…complicated. I need a board that will primarily stay in a room shared between my roommate and I, though it will also be used occasionally in more public settings.

Here’s what I’m after (most important -> least important):

  • Small (60% seems cool, but I like arrow keys)

  • Quiet

  • Bluetooth/Wireless

  • RGB Key Lighting

What have I looked at so far?

Anne Pro 2

  • Small

    • The Anne Pro 2 is a 60% Keyboard & has arrow keys accessible through the function layer.
  • Quiet

    • Kalih Box Browns are quietish and sound can be reduced further by adding foam to the case. Quieting options for the Anne Pro 2 would require significant soldering work to either lube the Browns or replace them with another lubed switch.
  • Bluetooth/Wireless

    • Not much to say here – it achieves this, however, I have seen reports of it being somewhat laggy. Can be used wired as well.
  • RGB Key Lighting

    • The Anne Pro 2 has full RGB key lighting.
  • Extras

    • QMK is being ported to the Anne Pro 2
    • Most popular of the keyboards on this list
    • Standard key layout
    • Newer bluetooth version compared to the others

My only qualm with the Anne Pro 2 is its lack of dedicated arrow keys and the time/skill it requires to make it quieter.

GK64XS

  • Small

    • I’m not sure what exactly the layout of the GK64XS is, but it looks like a 60% with added arrow keys.
  • Quiet

    • The GK64XS is hot-swappable meaning I can use whatever switches get this board quiet. See section “On Switch Choice”.
  • Bluetooth/Wireless

    • The pages for this are unclear, but I’m pretty sure it does have bluetooth. I am not sure if this keyboard works in wired mode.
  • RGB Key Lighting

    • The GK64XS has RGB lighting.
  • Extras

    • This board has a non-standard key layout, which is not ideal.
    • Does not include any switches.

The inclusion of the arrow keys makes this board appealing, but I would like if there was more information readily available. This board is pretty easy to silence because of the hot swap pcb. I do not like the non-standard sizes of the layout or the restriction to first party keyboard software.

AKKO 3068

  • Small

    • The AKKO 3068 features my favorite layout of the keyboards on this list with 68 keys, including dedicated arrow keys.
  • Quiet

    • Cherry MX Browns aren’t a very quiet switch. As with the Anne Pro 2, this keyboard would require quite a bit of work to make quiet.
  • Bluetooth/Wireless

    • Has wireless and wired support.
  • RGB Key Lighting

    • Unfortunately, this board does not have RGB lighting.
  • Extras

    • I just want to say again this is a brilliant key layout

The only things preventing me from immediately jumping on this board are the lack of RGB backlighting and the work it would take to make this one quieter.

On Switch Choice

Switch choice is something I’ve looked into a lot, yet I still have not settled on one. Will I even need to swap away from the switches that come with the keyboard I choose or are they quiet enough? I don’t have a preference between linear/tactile, although my experience with switches is rather limited as I have only ever had Cherry MX Blues & Reds. All I know is I want a very quiet switch.

Any switches I get will be modified before going into the keyboard. (Lubed/filmed)

  • Gateron Silent Yellows

    • I’ve seen videos of these lubed and they seem great.
    • Concerned with consistency of silencing after reading the comments on the linked video.
    • These switches have a solid housing which would reduce/eliminate the effects of the RGB in the Anne Pro and GK64XS.
    • Linear
    • Really cheap at $0.38 per switch
  • Outemu Silent Sky

    • These seem pretty nice as well, though I’ve seen many complaints about pinging, specifically in the 68g springs
    • Switch housing allows for RGB lighting
    • Tactile
    • Still an okay price at $0.60 per switch
  • Cherry MX Silent Red

    • Currently out of stock
    • Linear
    • $0.65 per switch when ordering the amount needed for a 65%
  • Blue Zilents and Orange Helios

    • Both are really well regarded as silent switches
    • Zilent is tactile, Helios is linear
    • $1.20 per switch seems very steep. There’s no way these are worth double the other options, right?

Additional Thoughts

Each of these keyboards have their own pros and cons, which makes this choice very difficult. For the Anne Pro 2, I would be sacrificing dedicated arrow keys. For the GK64XS I would be losing standard sized keys. For both the Anne Pro 2 and the AKKO 3068, switch swapping is much much harder.

I’m not sure how the software is for any of the keyboards listed and would appreciate any insight.

Which board/switch combination do you think would best fit my needs?

Are there other options out there that can do what I want? Any boards/switches I should consider?

I’ve seen some pretty cool projects like the nice!nano and the BlueMicro. Could I build my ideal keyboard myself with individual parts?