My First Mechanical Keyboard Arrived

raph @ 2016-09-16 12:47 >>

I’m officially the owner of a mechanical keyboard!

First things first: pics!

Let me apologise in advance for the photo quality. I unboxed the thing in the office, and only had my vintage smartphone at hand. I then later took some others with the DSLR, but the lighting in those pics is terrible (lots of bleed on the brighter-coloured keys). So, there you go. I tried. I even had a filthy shoe there for scale (it’s a thing they do on /r/mk), but the MacBook should do the job.

Without further ado, here it is:

CMDR PIXEL, irl (MacBook pro for scale)


The 60% (= 61 key) WASD VP3, which is really just a Vortex Pok3r with ABS keycaps that you can customize in neat ways. I chose Cherry MX Clears because I wanted tactile, but not clicky since I’ll be using this in the office and don’t want to start a war.

MX Clears: Tactile, silent, stronger than Browns

The WASD keycaps are UV-printed ABS, which are then sealed for more longevity. I’ve heard mixed things about them, so my expectations were low. I must say, they feel quite nice for someone who’s new to mechanical keyboards. My standards might rise over time, but for now I’m pretty damn happy with both caps and switches.

The good

I’ve only started using this thing, but am loving it already. Typing is so much fun. I also think the design came out pretty good, given that I had no clue what I was even doing.

The not-so-good

The shipping was fine on WASD’s end - but because UPS had to charge customs, I had to change the shipping address half-way through and things got…complicated. It arrived a few days later than was predicted, but overall it took about two weeks.

WASD customer service was excellent before, during and after the purchase. Just polite, efficient, responsive and nice. They had a technician test if adding an LED to the PCB would work (it did). They worked with UPS to get my address changed quickly.

The white skull is missing on the ESC key :-(

One thing that kinda went wrong on their end was that they didn’t print the white “skull* legend onto the red escape key. I pointed that out and they promptly sent a new one my way - it’s inbound as I’m typing this.

So, two thumbs up for WASD, they did not disapoint.

The ugly

Here’s a nit-picky summary about what isn’t so cool about the board, but also the entire experience of getting it:

The process

The board itself

What’s next?

The board is awesome, now that it’s here and I’m getting a new ESC cap. Typing is a bliss. This is what I feel like when typing even the most mundane things:

Me, typing random stuff

Unfortunately for my wallet, I’ve tasted blood and am already thinking about what to build and/or buy next. There’s so many configurations, keycap designs and switches to try, I don’t even know where to start! My roadmap at the moment is:

This is becoming a hobby - a fun, geeky, expensive hobby.

At this point, a little shoutout to the awesome /r/MechanicalKeyboards. A wealth of information and advice awaits there.

There's more!

Related projects


This article is one part of a series named "Cmdr-Pixel". If you found this interesting, have a look at the other ones as well!