The mechanical keyboard arena has gotten extremely competitive in recent years, with numerous budget-friendly kits popping up to meet demand from hobbyists. One new contender that stands out is the GMK67 - an affordable 65% keyboard kit packed to the brim with features that belie its $85 price point.
Crafted entirely from plastic, the GMK67 is swathed in an understated aesthetic, forgoing any flashy design elements. Its beauty lies in its versatility and customizability. This compact keyboard gives you the freedom to connect how you wish - via wired USB-C, 2.4Ghz wireless, or Bluetooth. It can readily pair to multiple devices, making it perfect for office and home use.
A convenient volume knob allows quick audio adjustments. And with its adjustable fold-out feet, you can fine-tune the typing angle of the GMK67. Despite the lightweight plastic case, the GMK67 makes up for that with quality internals punching above its cost.
Hot-Swap PCB for Easy Switch Swapping
At the heart of the GMK67 lies its hot-swap PCB, meaning you can freely swap switches without any soldering. It houses bright RGB lighting, south-facing switch sockets, and support for both screw-in and plate-mount stabilizers. This gives you flexibility to experiment with different switch types and customize stabilizer rattle and flex to your liking.
Stiffness-Balanced Polycarbonate Plate
The GMK67 comes with a polycarbonate plate tuned for just the right stiffness and bounce. This material blend plays nicely with linear switches, enabling a smooth key press feel. The plate delivers a balanced typing experience - not overly stiff or overly bouncy.
Built-in Case Foam
For Acoustic Tuning Out of the box, the GMK67 comes with pre-installed case foam that helps reduce any hollowness or echo that cheaper plastic cases can exhibit. This allows the custom keyboard to achieve a deeper, richer sound right from the initial build. As you use and tweak the GMK67, you'll enjoy hearing it develop its own acoustic personality.
Gasket Mount Design Minimizes Ping
Unlike tray mount keyboards that can suffer from noticeable metallic pinging on key presses, the GMK67 utilizes a gasket mount design. This involves placing poron gaskets between the plate/PCB and plastic case to allow the internals to "float" independently. The result is a highly effective ping and vibration elimination that offers a more premium typing experience.
Punching Above its Weight Class
Despite its budget-friendly price point, the GMK67 manages to pack build quality, features, and customization options to rival more premium pre-built keyboards. As far as entry-level kits go, it delivers excellent value.
The Annoying Case Opening Process
However, working with the GMK67 does come with one notably annoying downside - actually opening the case itself. Unlike kits with convenient access screws, the GMK67 has a tightly sealed case that requires prying open with makeshift tools. You'll have to arm yourself with credit cards, guitar picks, and patience to wedge apart the stubborn plastic walls.
Once inside, though, you have plenty of room for customization and modulation...
Incredible Customization Potential
The GMK67 offers impressive modding potential considering its pricing bracket. Its foam and mounting system can be fully dismantled and swapped out. Open up a world of acoustic profiles by experimenting with poron stacks, polyfil stuffing, foam configurations, tape mods, etc.
The hotswap PCB invites you to test out an array of linear and tactile switches to match your preferences. Film and lube switches to smoothen out any defects or scratchiness. Upgrade the stabilizers to refine the feel on larger keys.
The polycarbonate plate can also be swapped out in favor of metals like aluminum or brass to alter the typing pitch and sound signature. For more muted acoustics, add neoprene between the plate and PCB.
Achieving Your Desired Sound Profile
Out of the box, the GMK67 produces a smooth, deep sound with minimal harshness. The thocky acoustics lend themselves well to lower-pitched linear switches like Yellows or Blacks. Lubing and filming these can reduce any spring crunch and take the audio quality to another level.
Bump up the high-end resonance by incorporating stronger tactile switches like Pandas or Royal Kludge Browns. Their thicker click bars heighten the melody of each keystroke. Brass or polycarbonate plates also emphasize the brighter tap tones.
Eliminate any vestigial hollowness plaguing the plastic case with liberal filling using polyfil. Introduce poron strips to isolate the plate, changing the structural acoustics. Adjust case foam placement or density for precise reverberation control.
With all its custom parts at your disposal, you can meticulously shape precisely how the GMK67 sounds and feels to type on - molded perfectly to your preferences.
The Value Proposition
It's hard to overstate the value provided by the GMK67 budget keyboard kit. In today's market flooded with overpriced group buy after group buy, many plead for an affordable, quality introductory option. And the GMK67 answers that call marvelously - finally giving newcomers an accessible path into this hobby.
For less than $40, you're getting a fully equipped keyboard loaded with versatile wired and wireless connectivity. It gives you a canvas ripe for learning keyboard modding basics without fear or pressure. Play with plate/case materials, mount styles, foam configurations - grasp the foundations of keyboard acoustical engineering hands-on.
The GMK67 sounds fantastic, feels great to type on, and primes you with essential knowledge to better appreciate this hobby. As far as budget boards go, it delivers one of the most complete overall packages.
Whether you're looking for...
A first custom mechanical keyboard - to acquire DIY building fundamentals
A wireless mechanical keyboard - for seamless home and office use
A keyboard modding training board - to tweak acoustics risk-free
An inexpensive Bluetooth mechanical keyboard - to utilize across multiple devices
...the GMK67 checks all those boxes with aplomb.
It accomplishes the seemingly impossible - granting a fully-featured custom mechanical keyboard experience for the price of a basic gaming keyboard. If you're seeking quality, versatility, and value wrapped into one tidy package, the GMK67 warrants a spot at the top of your list.