The Superb Modular Mechanical Keyboard was the world’s first modular RGB mechanical keyboard when it was launched method again in 2016, continues to be probably the greatest. The GMMK, as we’ll name it from right here on (in any other case that is an actual mouthful), is modular in you can hotswap any of the 104 RGB keyboard switches to create your personal bespoke board.
Superb initially got down to create an reasonably priced line of “high-performance PC gaming equipment” for the plenty, a line of high quality gear to rival the trade leaders, and it has definitely hit that bar. Within the course of, it has managed to set some fairly spectacular data, together with the Glorious Model O Mouse which took the title of lightest RGB gaming mouse in 2020.
Change: Big range of Kailh or Gateron (helps Cherry)
Measurement: Full/TKL/Compact (60%)
Media controls: No
Wrist relaxation: Accessible (gross wanting)
On the Superb retailer, you might have the selection to pair your base board with an excellent vary of clicky, tactile, and linear Kailh or Gateron switches. In the event you’ve received your coronary heart set on switches that are not listed you may select ‘none’, and when you get it residence, you may even jam Cherry MX switches in there. Altering switches is just a little fiddly nevertheless it’s principally only a case of getting in there with the included swap puller device and yanking them out forcibly. Both method, earlier than Superb opened the doorways, you wanted to spend money on a homebrew, or critical fanatic board, so as to swap out your switches, or get your soldering iron out.
I might say coping with a fiddly puller device trumps voiding your guarantee.
It seems to be just like the GMMK ought to stay by all of your switch-switching, too. It is heavy sufficient that it feels prefer it’s been milled out of a strong block of steel, and it seems to be tremendous sturdy. It definitely doesn’t really feel low cost. The design is minimal, with a small border surrounding the keys, encompassed by a beautiful 2mm silver bevel—trendy, and ergonomic should you are inclined to lean your pinky on the sting. Aside from that, there aren’t any frills, no decals printed on the shell, and even the standing indicators are simply tiny, crimson LEDs, devoid of labels.
There are additionally no devoted media controls, apart from by the operate keys, however there’s actually no want for swanky greebles right here. Minimal to the max means the standard is left to talk for itself.
Even the software program is not any nonsense, which is basically the theme Superb went for with this mannequin. And, though you are restricted to simply 3 customisable profiles, these could be imported and exported. Macros are there and are straightforward to document, however assigning them wasn’t as intuitive as I might have favored—it took me a second to determine how you can assign them.
Fortunately the GMMK makes up for the baseline software program with a few redeeming performance options. For instance, the n-key rollover (NKRO) means it registers each keystroke irrespective of what number of are pressed directly, and the variable polling price (report price) may excite some customers who really feel the necessity to tune-up how usually the board reviews data to the CPU. I am nonetheless skeptical as as to if the power to alter it actually makes a distinction, although.
The software program itself is definitely elective, so should you do not need to fiddle with polling charges, assign macros, or arrange convoluted profiles for particular duties, then you definitely’re good to go with out an set up.
Sans software program, you do not have to forgo the enjoyable of RGB illumination and might cycle by a spread of sunshine exhibits simply utilizing the operate keys, although there are a number of easy methods to customize the lighting extra should you do trouble downloading the software program. There’s really a higher vary of colors than the Superb Mannequin O mouse may deal with, and the color picker even has a cute retro home windows theme that left me feeling extremely nostalgic. Talking of nostalgia, among the many gentle exhibits included was Kamehameha mode for all of the Dragonball followers on the market: very distracting and impractical, however superior all the identical.
And, in case your typing energy stage is over 9000, the very good double-shot injection ABS keycaps ought to have the ability to deal with the strain. And, though there are complaints floating round in regards to the tendency for ABS to fade fairly shortly, at the least they arrive with Cherry stems, which implies simple cap-swapping functionality. The White Aura pudding high keycaps additionally look unbelievable as an accent to spotlight sure keys among the many plain black caps, particularly paired with the black body. They permit for an superior comfortable glow, although it’s nonetheless clear that some LEDs aren’t as shiny as others, and there is sadly solely a single LED for the entire size of the spacebar.
The GMMK could also be just a little missing in terms of software program, with just about the minimal satisfactory profile slots these days, and few lighting tweaks out there. It additionally lacks both USB or audio passthroughs, and devoted media controls, nevertheless it works for what it’s: a easy, fashionable mechanical board for the everyman. And at a value level that rivals lots of the best mechanical keyboards on the market.
A full-sized model of the GMMK, with the cheaper Gateron switches included, plain keycaps, and no wrist relaxation, or o ring dampeners, will set you again round $130—that is lower than the equally minimal Ducky One 2 TKL. Solely the GMMK has a full set of keys, a fancier steel chassis, and the potential so that you can stay out your wildest key-switch fantasies.
Not solely was the Superb Modular Mechanical Keyboard the primary absolutely modular board the world had ever seen, it underpins this legacy with a glossy, minimalistic type, and engineering high quality that makes the performance trade-off appear negligible—particularly when you think about the leagues of swap customisation it gives. There have been others since, the Wooting One and Two boards, in addition to the mighty ErgoDox choices, and shortly newcomer Mountain will ship its Everest board, however the GMMK is an actual powerful, easy, and eminently reasonably priced act to comply with.
So, though we have now our gripes with the creepy Superb advertising technique, I might say that is a win for the “Legion”.