Mechanical keyboards are a bit of a nostalgic luxury, echoing back to the days of punchy, clacky key switches and metal springs and a sound so crisp and loud you can hear it through the walls. These days, a nice mechanical keyboard typically runs you $100 or more, with many of them marketed to enthusiasts or PC gamers and carrying switches from top-line electronics maker Cherry.
However, the WhiteFox, a gadget from keyboard enthusiast community Input Club, is a step above the rest: it’s a clean, white compact keyboard with custom “Halo” key switches, eye-popping blue accents, and an open source foundation that makes it fully programmable. (Naturally, that last bit means it will work on PC, Linux, and macOS). There’s also a NightFox model that trades the white for black and the blue for red, leaving you with an equally enticing and attractive gadget.
The WhiteFox concept first began circling a couple years back as a DIY project designed by mechanical keyboard enthusiast Matteo Spinelli, meaning it required a bit of work and extra cash to get one for yourself. Now, after teaming up with Spinelli himself, Input Club has brought the keyboard to Kickstarter to get it in the hands of anyone who’s willing to pay the hefty $169 price tag. The campaign ends in six days, so you’ll have to act fast if you want to get a unit in time for the first December 2017 shipment.
There are a number of custom options on the crowdfunding campaign. For $159, you can get the WhiteFox sans switches (you’ll need a soldering iron and some tinkerer expertise to put your own switches on it). You can also choose one of two custom Halo switch styles: a smoother, lighter Halo True model or a heavier Halo Clear that Input Club says is closer to standard Cherry MX switches.
If neither works for you, you can get a model with the popular Kaihua Blue switch variety from China-based Kaihua Electronics. Those who want the NightFox color option will have to pay a little bit more ($179 for a no-switch model) and it looks like it only comes fully assembled with Halo True switches for $189.
These are steep prices, no doubt. But the clean design and slick color schemes make this a luxury keyboard worth shelling out for, if you’re in the market for a compact mechanical keyboard and can afford to make some noise in the office.