Don't Buy the GMMK Pro - Get This Budget Custom Keyboard Instead
The GMMK Pro has become one of the most popular pre-built custom mechanical keyboards. With its aluminum case, gasket mount, and extensive modding options, it delivers a fantastic typing experience right out of the box. However, at $170 for the barebones kit, it's not exactly budget friendly.
Luckily, there's a new contender in the budget custom keyboard space - the Sense75 from Drop. With some simple mods, this $99 keyboard can compete with or even surpass keyboards costing way more.
The Value Proposition of the Sense75
Usually priced at $200 for barebones or $250 fully built, the Sense75 was a tough sell. But with a recent major price drop to $99 barebones and $150 fully built, it's an incredible value. Here's why:
- Aluminum case with translucent cutouts for RGB lighting
- Gasket mount for a bouncy, pillowy typing feel
- QMK/VIA support for full customization
- Hotswap PCB so you can easily swap switches
- Easy to mod and customize unlike entry level boards
Given its premium features and mods that cost under $15, the Sense75 provides an unbeatable budget custom keyboard experience.
Modding the Sense75 into an Amazing Board
The Sense75 is highly moddable, allowing you to tune the sound and feel exactly how you like. Here are some of the easy mods covered in this build:
- Plate foam - Adds a deeper sound signature
- Switch lubrication - Smoothens switch feel and reduces noise
- Present seal foam mod - Makes the board poppier and more marbly (can substitute with PE foam)
- Palm plate - Changes typing feel, optional to default aluminum plate
After lubing the switches and sealing the case with foam, the Sense75 sounds extremely comparable to more expensive custom boards. The mods make a huge difference and are beginner friendly.
Sense75 vs. More Expensive Keyboards
Even with spending $15-30 on basic mods, the Sense75 provides similar quality to keyboards costing over $100 more - and even surpasses them in certain ways.
- vs. GMMK Pro - At $170 barebones, the GMMK Pro costs over $70 more even after Sense75 mods. With similar mods, they sound nearly identical.
- vs. Keychron Q1 - The Q1 lacks the Sense75's gasket mount, and costs more after mods.
- vs. Zoom65 - This popular keyboard is no longer in stock, making the Sense75 a great alternative.
For those looking to get into custom mechanical keyboards on a budget, the Sense75 is an incredible option. Given the temporary sale pricing, it's an absolute steal and better value than keyboards twice the cost. Just adding basic mods makes it competitive with top pre-built keyboards.
With hotswap, QMK/VIA support, gasket mount, and extreme moddability at just $99, the Sense75 offers tremendous value for budget custom keyboard enthusiasts. Even without mods it's impressive, but sealing the case with foam and lubing the switches helps it punch far above its class. If you've been eyeing more expensive keyboards like the GMMK Pro or Zoom65, seriously consider the Sense75 while it's on this crazy sale.