It’s been a long journey for the world’s second fully analog keyboard to come to market, including a successful Kickstarter campaign this past summer, but it appears that as of January 2019, it will be over. The Wooting Two is going into mass production on December 17, with delivery expected the following month. The US ANSI layouts will go out first.
The primary difference between the Wooting One and Wooting Two is the layout–the former is a TKL keyboard, and the latter is full size–although there have been some switch and software improvements along the way, which we’ll delve into shortly.
The Two was slated to ship November 2018, but as I predicted, that was overly optimistic, and for reasons I predicted. The Wooting guys had to push their manufacturer to improve quality in the test runs. And they had to largely do it in person in China.
Loosey Goosey Switches No More
Part of that delay concerned the optical Flaretech switches that Wooting uses–a two-week delay, no less. Many users, myself included, noticed right away how loose the Flaretech switches were in the Wooting One, and how delicate. I actually broke the top off of a stem while swapping keycaps, which is a first for me. The rattling keyfeel when you’re typing can become grating, too. In response, Adomax (maker of Flaretech switches) has tightened the fit. We’ll see how much it improves the keyfeel.
According to Wooting, the stems should be a little more durable now, too. They’re somewhat brittle just because of the stiff material they’re made from, but also because the injection point on the stem introduced a vulnerable point of potential failure. That injection point has now been moved, ostensibly abating the problem.
But there have been some other improvement to the new version along the way, including the software and switches.
Wootility, the name of the software (and also a superb portmanteau/pun), has been steadily getting updates by and by. The latest concerns “Tachyon Mode,” which increases the keyboard’s response time to less than 1ms when it’s in digital mode. This feels a little like a gimmick, only because to achieve tachyon superiority, you have to disable the RGB lighting and variable actuation point. (It’s set to 1.6mm.)
This version of Wootility (2.5.3) also brings with it the ability to disable the Windows key by pressing Fn + left Win. There’s also now a “signed Mac version” with auto update thanks to Wooting’s participation in the Apple Developer Program.
An upcoming Wootility updates (2.6) promise a non-beta version of the DKS feature. An abbreviation of “double keystroke,” DKS is a feature in the keyboard’s digital mode that lets you program two actuation points into a single keystroke. In other words, you can press the key partway down and actuate one event, and if you press the rest of the way down, you’ll trigger the second event. The example Wooting has used in demos is assigning two different types of casting in a game like League of Legends.
Wooting is planning/hoping to have Wootility v.2.6 done by the time Wooting Twos start landing on doorsteps. But in v.3.0, Wooting plans to have a shiny new overhaul of the UI/UX, with potentially even some performance upgrades. It’s possible that this will be done in time for shipping, but Wooting is making no promises.
It appears that you can still preorder a Wooting Two. It will cost $150 (usually $160), and you can choose between Flaretech Red, Blue, or Black switches. You can straight up purchase the Wooting One for $140, although the switch options are limited to Flaretech Red or Blue.