- About the Cooler Master H500P Mesh Edition...
- Keyboard Design and Overview
- End User Experience and Conclusion
- Online Purchase Links
Disclosure: The GMMK-TKL modular mechanical keyboard is given by the Glorious PC Gaming Race
About the Glorious PC Gaming Race Modular Keyboard…
Glorious PC Gaming Race is a very glorious brand name for the current times where memes are made to make fun of dirty peasants and people showing off their first PC builds as a ‘ascend’ ritual in Reddit. It gels with the PC gaming sub-culture very nicely and the timing couldn’t be any better. It is hard to find a good name for a peripheral company, though the choice of words would its end products have a BIG title. The first product I’ve noticed from the brand is the white coloured with anti-fray stitch deskpads when most were not having stitched deskpads.
Freedom to choose…
The Glorious PC Gaming Race has accessories, add-ons and keyboards, for now, ranging from switches, keycaps, o-rings headset holders, wrist rest and keyboards. Very interesting keyboards. The Glorious PC Gaming Race has the GMMK modular mechanical keyboards where gives you the flexibility to swap mechanical switches from various manufacturers. Under which there are two versions- Full Size and Tenkeyless, both have customized and pre-installed with switches and caps. All of them are RGB.
About its variants and modular features…
The basic design and features of all the GMMK variants remain the same. The customized variant is where you can select what kind of mechanical switches and keycaps you want while the pre-built is installed with Gateron brown switches with black coloured ABS double-shit keycaps.
Personally, this is great to have because it gives that made-to-order option and its a hybrid option somewhere between pre-built options with limited selections of switches and a complete DIY keyboards where you assemble and solder it yourself. Keyboard fans will like such options, more so with an option for worldwide shipping. It is a true modular mechanical keyboard.
The GMMK-TKL keyboard comes in a plain box with enough information about its design, features and specifications. You get some reading material and a glorious sticker. The internal packaging is done well.
Apart from the braided cable, you get a right angle connector, a standard ESC keycap and a switch puller. There is a keycap puller is placed in a very smart place which you’ll see as we progress with the review. Notice by default, the glorious ones have used a red “Ascend” keycap for the ESC switch, instead.
- Full modular, mechanical keys – Hot-swappable switches. Easily remove and install any MX-based switch without any soldering. Personalize to what works for you, and use any combinations of switches!
- LED Backlighting – RGB LED lights with 18 pre-installed effects and 1 slot for user-defined effect. Variable animation speeds and brightness settings.
- Easy Access Hot-Keys – Directly access shortcuts to productivity, internet and multimedia functions
- Sandblasted Aluminum Faceplate – Professional-grade aluminium delivers a premium look and feel
- Raised Keys, Minimalist design – No visible branding on the keyboard to make your battlestation look as clean as possible. Raised key design allows you to easily clean your keyboard.
- Model GMMK-TKL
- Prebuilt: Yes
- Interface USB 2.0
- Mechanical Switch: Gateron Brown
- Removable Keycaps: Black
- Removable USB
- Switch puller tool Included
- Keycap puller tool Included
- Key Cap Type Standard 87-key layout
- N-Key Rollover Full NKRO
- Backlight 16.8 million colours RGB LED backlight with special effects
- Cord Length 6 ft. Braided
- OS Support Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8, 10
- Dimensions (L x W x H) 335 x 129 x 35.9 mm (14 x 5.1 x 1.4 inches)
When comparing its dimensions, it is no different from the HyperX FPS Pro tenkeyless keyboard (14.09 x 5.09 x 1.40 inches). Both have aluminium plates. However, the GMMK feels lighter when lifting.
Keyboard Design and Overview
This keyboard is a tenkeyless floating keys design with 6KRO and NKRO support switch function keys. Why would anyone anybody switch between 6KRO and NKRO??? The LOCK indicators have a very subtle, by having pin-hole LED indicators above the direction keys. The first indicator is for the CAPS lock and second is for the Windows Lock function.
Just like the Havit low-profile mechanical keyboard, the plate is aluminium with matte-finish sandblasted black colour to match with a classy aesthetics going with the metal finish trim and round-corners. Unlike the Havit KB-390L, these are full-size mechanical switch keyboards.
The main feature of this keyboard is the swappable switches. The idea is to give the freedom to its users to swap with other switches or allow to replace one if it goes bad for any reason. This gives the ability to the users to try out new key switches, provided they’re compatible pins. The one I have is the Gateron brown switches. Finding modular switches is not a problem as Cherry, Kailh and Gateron manufacture modular switches. This is great for those who want to ascend as a mechanical keyboard enthusiast but wouldn’t be too comfortable going the DIY way by desoldering and resoldering new switches. These are plug-and-play. You can detach them using the switch puller. Gently use the prongs of the puller to unclamp and pull the switches out. To put any other switches, you’ simply insert it until its clamped on the base.
The 90-degree right side routing adapter is also a neat little attachment. Many users (especially FPS/Third-party action) who play with an angle would find this useful and the connector jacket wouldn’t be forced to bend. Its primary purpose, however, is useful for those who hot-swap regularly as it stays on the keyboard.
Keycap Font Design
Most fonts are clear and bold, which some have that stencil finish such as R, D and B keys. Media and other function (except the lock symbol on the windows keycap) are printed and hence the respective symbols don’t share the LED backlit.
The underbelly area has a nice design as it has a little elevation divided by a curve. Obviously, you’ll notice the keycap puller first which is hidden away in plain sight until you flip the keyboard over. The pop-feet has a rubber strip hidden underneath it when retracted.
The upper keyboard feet (above the pop-out feet) does not have any rubber grips which is unfortunate. If you need one, you’ll need to use the pop-out feet. It has a fair amount of grip over wooden and glass surface.
Keycap and Switches Type
Except for the Ascend keycap, all are ABS double-shot injection keycaps which ensure to have a very long life and no chance of letters to fade away as there are dual layers. One for the keycap and another for the lettering.
The switches provided in this keyboard are the Gateron brown. This is the first keyboard I am testing with the Gateron switches. The Gateron switches have a very firm stem and its wobbliness within the housing is pretty similar to Cherry MX brown which is easily its rival. These are cherry MX keycap compatible switches and therefore you can buy any aftermarket keycaps should you desire.
There are media keys, 6Key/Nkey rollover switches and lighting controls. These keys function do note share the backlit effect which is unfortunate. Some keys are not probably not possible to have a clear backlit bleed-through, like the LED effect function keys. The Fn keys usage is straightforward. There’s only one function switch for brightness, so you’ll need to holding Fn+ BRIGHTNESS+ pressing UP/DOWN keys to set your design level. When you hit the max and disable backlit, both the lock LEDs will blink. Holding the Fn+ RGB+ pressing LEFT/RIGHT keys changes the speed of the RGB effect’s speed depending on the effect you’ve selected.
Including ‘off’ option, there are five brightness level and four RGB effects speed. There’s really nothing to say more about RGB effect on anything except- they’re really colourful. But the keyboard does give the option to select individual lighting effects. I wish the white backlit was brighter. But on the bright side, the white LED effect didn’t have any tint effect to it.
The illumination is well done. Like certain keyboards, the housing is transparent, therefore having a flat/SMD LED per switch on the PCB. Therefore the lighting goes through the housing and the keycaps. This way, the lighting is spread underneath the keycaps fairly evenly.
My experience with the Gateron Browns…
When typing on GMMK-TKL keyboard, the Gateron brown’s tactile actuation is more rigid and superior, yet it has that smooth feeling during downforce actuation. I wouldn’t say this if I did not have Cherry MX brown switch keyboard with me- The Cooler Master Masterkeys Pro L. An excellent opportunity!!
“Listen to the song, the song of my people!”
However, they do make a good amount of sound during actuation only to TVSe Bharat Gold Cherry MX Blue switch based mechanical keyboard.
The transition from Cherry MX brown and Gateron browns feel like an upgrade especially when you’re working on a keyboard a lot. Typists would feel the difference and will welcome the difference with no learning curve it gets comfortable with it. I am very curious about its lifespan and will be using it as a daily driver.
The value of a tenkeyless…
The GMMK TKL provides a solution to those who want to try new switches from time to time and simply can swap it with this. The keyboard does have a good build quality and doesn’t flex during normal use with pop-out feet. It has the ability to detach the USB, Cherry MX stems for compatibility with wide range of aftermarket keycaps, media and RGB controls- the mainstream features everybody expects.
Both the pre-built tenkeyless and full-size Gateron brown version costs $109.95 US. While its an expensive option for a tenkeyless, the reason is with this variant having a detachable USB cable. The pricing at Amazon has a standard pricing for both. It is expensive to purchase via Amazon US, so consider purchasing from the site directly.
Is it a good buy?
Yes, provided you don’t need macro keys or dedicated multimedia keys. If you would like to try different compatible swappable mechanical switches, the GMMK-TKL mechanical keyboard will tempt you. The built quality is excellent while keeping the keyboard light even compared to HyperX Alloy FPS Pro. At the time of writing, the Glorious PC Gaming Race is selling the prebuilt GMMK modular keyboard in tenkeyless and full-size variants with Gateron brown switches for 109.95 USD. As of now, Cherry, Kailih and Gateron make compatible 3-pin plate mountable SMD-LED compatible switches.
- Excellent built quality
- Floating keycap design
- Freedom to swap switches made by various brands
- Prebuilt units with Gateron brown mechanical switches
- Freedom to customize your mechanical keyboard with switches/keycaps
- Price between the prebuilt tenkeyless and pre-built full size is the same
- Fn keycaps such as media and RGB controls are pad printed
— Hardware BBQ (@HardwareBBQ) May 13, 2018