Update, 1/16/19, 11:16pm ET: The WASD V3 keyboards are now available for preorder. WASD said that the orders should ship by January 31.There’s a whole slew of V3 models. There are but four layout options–104-key, 87-key, 105-key ISO, and 88-key ISO–but the variations go on from there. There are versions with standard ABS keycaps, PBT keycaps, barebones sets with no keycaps, and custom keycap sets including GMK Hyperfuse, GMK Classic Retro, GMK Dolch, and several more. Predictably, the price range is commensurately large; barebones V3 models start at $105, and some of the models with special keycaps land at $290.
The promised programmability includes four programmable layers, so presumably the V3 keyboards have a different MCU than the V2 series. Other than that and the RGB lighting and Type-C connector discussed below, that seems to be the only real change. Why mess with a good thing, WASD seems to be saying. Just tweak it a bit.
Original article, 12/20/18, 11:25am ET:
Two key pieces of news about WASD keyboards have emerged: an update to the V2 keyboard is coming soon, and WASD now offers custom case printing, just as they’ve been doing custom keycap printing for some time.
The V3, For Thee
WASD Keyboards takes the approach of creating platforms, essentially, and then iterating on them and letting people customize aspects like keycap color. Most of its current catalog consists of 104- and 87-key versions of the V2, as well as the 61-key VP3. (You can see our full review of the WASD V2 here.) The big thing is the options that you can get any of those three keyboards: various layouts, different switch types and brands, different keycap sets, and miscellaneous accessories.
A new WASD keyboard is coming soon, though: the WASD V3. A representative told me that it will look similar to the V2, but there will be some differences. Not many details are available at this time, but we do know that the V3 will have updated cable routing, a USB Type-C connector, and RGB lock indicator lights.
Of greater import is the fact that the V3 will offer programmability. Of some kind. At some point. It’s unclear what exactly “programmability” means, but I expect it to be somewhat limited, and even then, the capability may only come after launch via a firmware update. The specific launch date is not confirmed at this time, but it will be sometime early in 2019.
Custom Case Printing
One supposes that given how WASD has been able to accommodate custom printing on keycaps, custom case printing was not far behind. And lo, it has come to pass: When you’re configuring your WASD keyboard, for an extra $20 you can get something special printed on the case. It can be custom text (choose the text color and font size); custom art; or the mysterious “Advanced,” in which you can upload a custom file with extensions .SVG, .CDR, or .AI.
WASD is using the same UV printing technique that it employs on its custom-printed keycaps, and they can manage full CMYK capability. The printing process is described as akin to how a deskjet printer works, but WASD cures the inks with UV light. There are three areas upon which you may bestow custom printing: the top left, the area above the arrow keys, and the area above the numpad. But they’ll work with you if you want something special, or want a special placement.
Having just those three zones may sound somewhat limiting on paper, but you can get really creative with it, and of course you can combine the case printing with custom keycap printing to make an extremely personalized pairing. WASD reps had an adorable/impressive example of the case printing on display at the NorCal 2018 meetup back in November, which you can see above. You can give the custom case printing a whirl on the product page.