Cooler Master Novatouch (Barebones)
The Barebones Novatouch is exactly what it sounds like, a very slimmed down version of the extremely popular Novatouch. The keyboard itself is exactly the same as the retail version, though it comes in a plain cardboard box and doesn’t include o-rings or keycaps. Some of you may be wondering why anyone would buy a keyboard without some of the essentials included, but I assure you there is very good reasoning behind the Barebones Novatouch.
For many enthusiasts, aftermarket keycaps are almost as important as the keyboard itself, with many sets costing more than the keyboards they eventually end up on. I know that I have an entire drawer full of stock keycaps, as almost none of my personal keyboards have the stock keycaps on them any longer. The Novatouch is also commonly used in slider swaps, essentially allowing MX keycaps to be used on Topre keyboards. WASD has been selling barebones models for quite some time now, so it is a very pleasant surprise to see that Cooler Master starting to as well.
Now, my absolute favorite part about the Barebones Novatouch is the fact that Cooler Master has released a product that the enthusiast and forum community has asked for, even though that market is relatively small in the grand scheme of things. There was a drop a little while back for the Novatouch that had an option for a barebones variant, as well as the option SuperNova keycaps by Matt30, but announcement marks more permanent availability of the barebones Novatouch. I always like when larger companies get involved and listen to feedback, and Cooler Master has been exceptionally good at that lately. The Barebones Novatouch will be available from Cooler Master soon, stay tuned for updates on the exact date!
- I will also be doing a modification to show how to transplant the MX compatible Novatouch sliders into an HHKB on the KeyChatter live stream soon! There are so many modification that you can do with the Novatouch that I am slowly getting around to start documenting them all.
Cooler Master XTi with MX Blues
I recently reviewed production sample Cooler Master XTi with MX Greens and gave it away as a contest prize on Reddit. Due to the fact that I often get pre production samples, keyboards can change between the unit I test and the retail unit that ships out to everyone else. The KC60 is a notable example, as there were small differences in my unit and the production unit. I have a retail XTi now and thought a follow up to my original review was in order.
I am very pleased to see that the retail XTi is indeed just like the sample unit I tested, just with MX Blues instead of MX Greens. All of the details were the same. The lighting modes, the keycaps (with the improved font!), the nice white plate, etc. It is also worth mentioning that the packaging was the same as well. All accessories from the sample unit were included which was also nice to see! So the retail version gets the same bill of health that I gave the sample unit.