The latest mechanical keyboards from Drop were inspired by The Lord of the Rings
With two full-on keyboards inspired by The Lord of the Rings Elvish and Dwarvish languages, Drop follows up on its keycap sets. You can choose from a gray Dwarvish board or a green Elvish board. Drop expects to ship both in October for $169. Currently, I'm testing out Elvish.
Additionally, both keyboards feature small Tolkien-esque illustrations above their arrow clusters, as well as regular Latin characters. Branding isn't visible or obnoxious. A simple pair of wordmarks appear on the underside. The keycaps themselves use the "Training" designs, which explains the Latin legends.
These keyboards don't require Dwarvish or Elvish skills, but the bad news is that fantasy symbols replace secondary legends. The 4-key distinguishes from the 3-key, but I occasionally forget .long with the lettering, some keys also have illustrations. The left Windows key is replaced with a Ring of Power instead of Narsil's broken sword.
A brown keycap with Elvish letters is also included with the keyboard. They're nicely made. Matt3o developed the MT3 profile which Drop now sells in various color schemes. Keycaps on the MT3 are sculpted to match your fingers' contours, giving the keyboard a tall retro look.
The keyboard itself is similar to the ENTR model Drop has been selling for years under the keycaps. The Lord of the Rings model comes with a couple of upgrades to justify the price premium. As an example, the new special edition keyboards feature Holy Panda X switches, while ENTR keyboards typically use Gateron Yellow or Halo True switches.
A more premium switch, Holy Pandas are weighty and smooth with a big tactile bump. The keyboard feels chunky when typing on them. If you ever want to replace the switches, you'll have to use a soldering iron.
A feature like that is increasingly available on more affordable keyboards like Keychron's Q1. As you can see, the keyboard is wired rather than wireless. A detachable USB-C cable comes in the box with the Elvish model, but Drop's press imagery indicates that the cable on the Dwarvish model is black.
The LOTR-themed designs may not be for everyone, but Drop's premium components keep them from feeling like a cheap attempt to cash in on Amazon's upcoming TV show. Preorder the Dwarven and Elvish keyboards on Drop now.