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The delight is in the details of Drop’s new DCX keycaps - The Verge

The delight is in the details of Drop’s new DCX keycaps - The Verge

Drop’s new DCX keycaps are understated, but they offer an excellent level of quality to compete with GMK’s popular sets. We went hands-on with their new black-on-white keycaps and compared them side by side with GMK.

Earlier this year, keyboard specialist Drop announced its new lineup of DCX keycaps. But rather than focusing on making flashy, colorful designs like most aftermarket keycaps, the first three sets to use the new DCX profile are relatively understated, with simple black-and-white designs or a small selection of primary colors.

That’s because the focus here is on getting the tiniest details right in the hopes that Drop’s sets might be able to compete directly with GMK’s — a German manufacturer commonly seen as the producer of some of the best-quality keycaps around. GMK produces keycaps in the “Cherry” profile (which refers to the overall shape of the keycaps) while “DCX” refers to the profile of Drop’s keycaps. I’ve had the chance to compare Drop’s new black-on-white DCX keycaps directly with a set of white-on-black keycaps produced by GMK. Both are sold by Drop, but its DCX keycaps start at $89 for a base kit, while GMK’s cost $110. And you know what? I think I prefer Drop’s (slightly) more affordable keycaps.

DCX’s lettering (right) is slightly thinner overall.

The cylindrical name refers to the way both sets of keycaps are scooped from left to right.

At first glance, the two sets look very similar. Both are made out of thick ABS plastic, both are double-shot (their legends are made from a second piece of plastic for added durability), and both have a so-called “cylindrical” design. This name can be confusing because the overall shape of the keycaps is relatively square, but look at them from the front, and you’ll see that they’re concave, as though you could place a cylinder vertically across each keycap. Like GMK’s, Drop’s keycaps reportedly have slight fit issues with north-facing switches.

The standard sets of both keycaps also include a variety of extra keycaps that you won’t find on a standard US keyboard, like the smaller left shift and the larger enter key you’ll see on my UK keyboard in these images. There are also a couple of different size options when it comes to bottom-row keys in an attempt to cater to the variety of keyboard layouts in use today.

Look closer, however, and the differences start to become obvious. For starters, Drop is using different wording on its bottom row. There’s still no Windows key, but Drop has gone with “Super” in a nice nod to the keys historically found on Linux computers, rather than “Code” on GMK’s sets. The fonts of the two keycaps are also subtly different: GMK’s lettering looks ever so slightly bolded compared to Drop’s. But I don’t think either is necessarily “better” here — whichever you like more will come down to personal preference.

Post ID: 90c74dbc-0a8c-4307-a4d3-5d9fa9d1004f
Rating: 1
Updated: 2 weeks ago

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