GMK, a German electronics design firm, is known in the mechanical keyboard world for its thick, doubleshot Cherry MX keycaps. The company acquired Cherry’s original molds and equipment several years ago, and since then it’s been the community’s go-to source for reproducing vintage Cherry keycap sets. (GMK will be the manufacturer for my upcoming group buy, the Triumph Adler reproduction set.) However, the company is expanding beyond keycaps with its upcoming Uniqey mechanical keyboard.
Word first got out about Uniqey back in November, but we didn’t know much beyond the few details mentioned on GMK’s splash page. But now, a German source has posted new rumors on GeekHack. Uniqey features are said to include:
- “Configure your keyboard online – choose material, colors and functions on your own!”
- Full-size; no tenkeyless option, at least initially
- Aluminum case; sides can be customized with different materials including wood
- Authentic Cherry MX switches
- Bluetooth, with multi-device functionality
- New, custom GMK-developed stabilizers
- No backlighting
- Only one configuration at launch, the “Uniqey Q100”
- Price to be “in the upper region”
- More than 3 million possible configurations
- Only shown in ISO so far; unclear if ANSI will be offered too
- Launching in “Spring 2015,” possibly as soon as this month
GMK’s keycaps have never before been available outside of group buys, so everyone’s hoping that Uniqey will finally be a chance to buy customized one-off doubleshot sets. Will this happen? It’s hard to say. GMK has to clean and set up its equipment for each new configuration–that’s why they have a minimum order quantity (MOQ) of 250 for group buys–so it seems unlikely they’ll be able to profitably offer true, 100% customizability with all the same options available for group buys. At the same time, they must realize that offering cheaper pad printed or lasered legends would be a huge flop and disappointment in the keyboard enthusiast community.
Realistically, the best scenario we can hope for is probably a compromise wherein they offer doubleshots but with a more limited color palette or choice of legends. A compromise like this could let them produce custom keycaps in batches. It’d be far less efficient than group buys, but still better than one-offs from GMK’s point of view.
What do you think will happen? What options will GMK have to offer for you to buy a Uniqey? Let me know in the comments.
Also–can anyone speak German? What does that poster in the background say?
UPDATE 3/10 6pm ET: A couple generous German-speaking friends wrote to me about the poster.
Peddamann, the original source, says:
on the poster are only a few of the features u listed in the article… 3mio, high quality doubleshot, high quality materials,… oh and optional noise dampening… think i have to ask if they mean orings with that.
And Fnzzy from GeekHack contributes the following translation:
– Mehr als 3 Millionen Konfigurationsmöglichkeiten
More than 3 million possible configurations
– Höchstmaß an Individualisierbarkeit: Materialien, Farben und Funktionen
Maximum customizability: materials, colors and functions
– Hochwertige Komponenten wie Aluminiumgehäuse und mechanische Tastenmodule
High quality components like aluminum housings and mechanical keyswitches
– Optionale Schalldämpfungselemente zur minimierung des Tippgeräusches
Optional sound dampening elements to minimize the noise
– Bedienung von bis zu vier Endgeräten
Operation of up to 4 end devices
– Abriebsfeste Tastenkappen, gefertigt im Zweikomponenten-Spritzgussverfahren
Thanks, guys. And very promising to hear that the poster mentions doubleshots!