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My New Favorite Keyboard Is Adorable, Compact, And Entirely Personalized

Illustration for article titled My New Favorite Keyboard Is Cute, Compact, And Completely Customizable

This is the Kira, a lovely 99- key keyboard created by the passionate independent lovers at Input Club. It’s got a striking, space-saving design. It’s got per-key RGB lighting. It’s fully programmable. On top of all that, its mechanical switches can be switched out on the fly without soldering. It’s an everything keyboard that’s been a fixture on my computer desk for months.

Kira’s prolonged run atop my desk is actually saying something. Because getting into the mechanical keyboard scene back in early 2017, I’ve collected a fair collection of typing instruments. In between keyboards I have actually personally purchased and ones I’ve built myself, I have actually got a couple lots keyboards at my disposal, all different layouts and switch types. Before the Kira showed up in mid-December, I would swap boards out every number of days. In some cases I want a smaller board. Other times I like typing on certain switches. On rare occasions, I need to have a split keyboard, as they make me feel like I am typing in a sci-fi film. The Kira doesn’t scratch all of those itches, however it scratches the ones it does well adequate that I feel no requirement to proceed. A minimum of, I have not yet.

The Kira, created by Angelo “Thesiscamper” Tobias and Input Club, is a classy, chunky-style keyboard with a pleasantly high profile and a lovely develop quality. The standard Kira, which runs $179, includes an injection-molded plastic frame. There is a CNC aluminum frame variation available for $269 I received the plastic frame version, which I was specific I was going to hate, but there was just something terrific about the soft thunk of the Hako True mechanical switches combined with the mildly muffling nature of the frame product that won me over. It’s a wonderful muting result. And should I decide I require a modification, I can constantly buy a metal frame separately

But then, that’s simply my setup. Among the gorgeous features of the Kira is that it’s completely modular. Instead of being soldered into the main board, the Kira’s switches being in sockets. They can be pulled out and changed with whichever switches a user chooses. Or a combination of various switches. Or 95 single switches, one for each secret. Why not?

The Kira can also be configured with either a black or silver frame. Mine is silver, which makes it shinier and better than dull old black. I guess either looks fine.

Illustration for article titled My New Favorite Keyboard Is Cute, Compact, And Completely Customizable

The Kira also includes mad lighting. Each of the board’s keys can be set to a various color, with a number of pre-programmed lighting results baked into the board. The entire underside of the system is a frosted acrylic diffuser, amplifying the RGB lighting result to ridiculous levels. The glow is intense. It can be adapted to be less extreme, but that just looks like a waste.

The only disadvantage to all of this radiant is the consisted of keyset does not do a great task of flaunting the light program. Rather than shine-through caps, the Kira features a custom-made dye sublimated set of PBT (Polybutylene Terephthalate) plastic caps. It’s a gorgeous set and the keys feel amazing, but they do not shine as well as they could.

Illustration for article titled My New Favorite Keyboard Is Cute, Compact, And Completely Customizable

Oh no, an excuse to buy more keycaps What will we ever do?

What first drew me to the Kira was its design. A traditional full-size keyboard has 3 unique locations. There’s the bit with the letters and numbers, the arrow and utility secrets, and then the number pad. The Kira’s 99- key layout gets rid of extra space, condensing type in a beautiful, continuous rectangle-shaped layout. Arrow keys? Inspect. Number pad? Examine. It takes a little getting used to, however the layout’s not so far beyond normal that it’s a genuine issue.

What keeps me coming back to the Kira, and might likewise add to my being hesitant to remove it from my desk, is the programmability. Every key on the Kira can be remapped into whichever macros or operates the user’s heart desires. There are 3 different layers of programmability. Programs is saved to the board’s firmware, so if you grab the Kira and take it elsewhere, all of your custom work stays. I have all of my Photoshop faster ways mapped to the board’s control layer, since I am a player, dammit.

Kira Specs

  • 99- Key Condensed Full-size Design
  • Hot-swappable Switches
  • Injection Molded Plastic or CNC Aluminum Keyboard Frame
  • Totally Programmable Without Active Software Application
  • Per-Key Configurable RGB Lighting and Underglow
  • PBT Dye Sublimated Keycaps
  • USB Type-C to Type-A Cable
  • RGB LED Indicator Lights
  • N-Key Rollover
  • Open-Source Hardware
  • Length: 378.2 mm
  • Width: 130.25 mm
  • Front Bezel Height: 21.8 mm
  • Rear Bezel Height: 40.4 mm
  • MSRP: $179(plastic), $259(metal)

Last Word

What’s fantastic about the Kira is that my Kira is completely different from say, the one Gizmodo’s Alex Cranz utilizes, or the one we persuaded Kotaku video czar Chris Individual to buy. They look various or feel different or perform different jobs. I am sure if I sat down at Alex’s desk and attempted to utilize my macros on her Kira, she would wonder how I received from Atlanta to New york city so quickly and why I was utilizing her computer. Likewise the macros would not work, however that would be the least of her concerns.

My Kira is pretty no matter how much desk clutter it obscures.

My Kira is quite no matter just how much desk mess it obscures.

Most importantly, for me a minimum of, the Kira is versatile enough that my urge to use all of the keyboards simultaneously is rather sated by it. In the meantime.

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