If you missed out on the first round of the Input Club’s Kira, not to worry–it’s back up for preorder on the Kono Store.
The IC fellows call the Kira a “full size” keyboard, but that’s not at all the whole story. Instead of a wide 102-key layout, it has a unique, compact 99-key layout. Designed in collaboration with Angelo Tobias (thesiscamper), it has a full F row that lines up with the number keys ortholinearly (is that a word?), even though the rest of the alphas are staggered like normal. The right-side Ctrl and Shift keys are shortened to make room for the arrow keys. The right arrow key nudges into the “numpad” area, and the traditional numpad keys are laid out in a compact way, too.
It’s a clever way to get what is essentially a full-size keyboard’s worth of keys in a much smaller physical space.
You can order up a Kira with an injection molded frame or a CNC aluminum one (black or silver), and there’s an RGB wedge along the rear. Input Club offers an array of switch options, including its homegrown Hako True, Clear, or Violet; Kaihua Speed Copper or Box Reds; NovelKeys Box Pale Purple or Royal Purple; and Cherry MX RGB Brown or RGB Blue. That gives you an assortment of different switch types that cater to just about any and every preference–a matrix of linear, tactile, or clicky switches that are light, medium, or heavy. They’re also hot-swappable.
Kira comes with PBT dye sublimated keycaps that are mostly a combination of white, gray, and orange, although you can supplant the orange ones with pink, light blue, or purple.
As expected, Kira uses the Input Club’s Keyboard Layout Language (KLL) firmware that lets you configure keys and lighting on PC, MacOS, and Linux.
The plastic chassis version of the Kira costs $179, which is a decent price considering that you’re getting those PBT caps, RGB lighting, and full programmability, not to mention the special layout. That’s what you’d be paying for a higher-end mainstream “gaming” keyboard from the bigs like Corsair and Razer. To get that metal frame, though, you’ll need to drop $259. Preorders are open now.