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I just built my first mechanical keyboard, and it did not go as planned - Mobilemall

I just built my first mechanical keyboard, and it did not go as planned

I just built my first mechanical keyboard, and it did not go as planned

Wonderful has all the time been a contentious peripherals model. It’s acquired its worshippers, some so loyal they virtually say its identify in hushed, reverent tones. Nevertheless it’s acquired its haters too, those that see via the hype and know that it doesn’t all the time ship the place it issues.

With such a divide among the many mechanical keyboard group, I used to be curious to seek out out which camp I’d fall into. So, once I related with Wonderful and was invited to place collectively my very own keyboard-building equipment by way of its on-line configurator (opens in new tab), the keyboard fanatic in me merely couldn’t resist.

As one YouTuber as soon as put it, the Wonderful GMMK Professional (opens in new tab) is the “gateway into customized keyboards.” This isn’t nearly keyboard modding; that is constructing it from scratch.

However, very like PCPartPicker (opens in new tab) or, to an extent, Corsair’s new PC constructing kits, the model actually does make it straightforward for a customized keyboard neophyte like me to construct a board with out having to fret about issues like compatibility and selecting from the lots of of mechanical switches in the marketplace. And, the method of selecting your change plate, high body, keycaps, switches, and even rotary knob is a enjoyable (and addictive) expertise.

Picture 1 of three

(Picture credit score: Michelle Rae Uy)
(Picture credit score: Michelle Rae Uy)
(Picture credit score: Michelle Rae Uy)

Sadly, what I had imagined being an hour-long construct was a three-hour ordeal, and it wasn’t as a result of means of constructing a keyboard being arduous and rigorous. By the top of the construct, it was straightforward to see why Wonderful is so beloved and so disliked on the similar time. And, I discovered myself torn between loving the ultimate product and being hesitant to construct one other keyboard once more.

Why are stripped screws nonetheless a factor?

The equipment I put collectively, which for the file Wonderful despatched me as a free media pattern for evaluate, isn’t precisely low-cost. The barebone keyboard alone, which doesn’t embody switches and keycaps, prices $169.99 within the US (Wonderful does ship internationally as effectively). 

That’s primarily already in the identical value vary as many pre-built mechanical keyboards. And also you’d nonetheless should buy switches, which can set you again between $74.97 and $104.97 if you happen to opted for Wonderful’ personal, and keycaps that begin at $34.99. Whereas these Wonderful switches and keycaps are fairly improbable, if you happen to get the naked minimal GMMK Professional construct equipment with Wonderful-branded elements, you’re taking a look at a $279.95 funding. That’s fairly steep for most individuals.

So, you possibly can think about my disappointment that whereas making an attempt to take the bottom equipment aside to mod it, I used to be thwarted by one stripped screw that had molded itself into its gap. My evaluate unit had two screws that instantly acquired stripped from the primary unscrewing try utilizing the best measurement screwdriver. I managed to pry one off however spent about 20 minutes making an attempt completely different tips to take away the opposite earlier than lastly giving up and taking the board to a jeweler. They ended up breaking the screw’s head off whereas utilizing a pair of pliers to rigorously wriggle the rattling factor free. (RIP to the screw that went via this herculean saga and whose physique is, to at the present time, nonetheless caught within the aluminum change plate that got here with the bottom equipment.)

Picture 1 of two

(Picture credit score: Michelle Rae Uy)
(Picture credit score: Michelle Rae Uy)

Now, I’m not one to complain about such trivial issues – it occurs, screws get stripped. However, when a product prices as a lot because the Wonderful GMMK Professional does, one would justifiably count on higher high quality elements inside and outdoors.

Wonderful wants higher high quality management

Don’t get me flawed; all the pieces else I acquired in my equipment feels stable and top quality. The highest body, the change plate, and the keycaps all really feel premium and strong. It might simply behoove Wonderful to do a list of its merchandise’ smaller elements and ensure it’s switching out low-quality ones with extra strong options, particularly for one thing as customizable and modifiable because the Wonderful GMMK Professional.

There’s additionally the matter of high quality management. You’ll discover many YouTube movies (opens in new tab) and Reddit boards (opens in new tab) discussing points Wonderful keyboards are liable to having and methods to repair them, and, my pals, the lists are lengthy. From keyboards abruptly changing into non-functional to particular person keys both not responding or being sticky.

YouTuber boardzy complained in his evaluate of the GMMK Professional (opens in new tab) that “In typical Wonderful trend, my bundle was misplaced for months…” which solely jogged my memory of how lengthy it took for my bundle to reach (not fairly as lengthy, however lengthy sufficient that I forgot all about it).

I can perceive the lengthy delivery time, as not everybody provides one-day delivery like Amazon Prime. However frankly, I feel we’ve been so spoiled by that service that we now count on everybody to do the identical – despite the fact that most corporations can’t afford or don’t have as many factories to accommodate such a tall order.

What’s more durable to excuse is the truth that the polycarbonate change plate I requested, which might value clients an additional $19.99 to get, has one screw gap drilled a tad too huge for all of the screws that got here with my equipment. Consequently, I’ve acquired a change plate whose decrease proper edge isn’t correctly hooked up to the circuit board (PCB). That doesn’t trouble me an excessive amount of, and it doesn’t appear to have affected efficiency, however I can think about a number of discerning keyboard fanatics would take concern with it.

And, whereas my assembled keyboard is now functioning superbly, I additionally had the unlucky job of needing to troubleshoot it as a result of the keys weren’t responsive once I first plugged it in. The one issues that labored had been the amount dial and the RGB lighting. Fortunately, it was a easy, albeit weird, repair of fixing the present profile within the Wonderful Core app. However, it took some web sleuthing to seek out the answer.

That is – excuse me – a rattling positive keyboard

To be truthful, the Dallas, TX, firm is pretty new within the enterprise, beginning out in 2014. It’s additionally a modest boutique model in comparison with the likes of Razer and Corsair. So, whereas there could also be high quality management and delivery points, it’s possible an absence of manpower could also be considerably in charge. 

I additionally should applaud the superb customer support. Not solely is there a chatline, however the e-mail customer support, which continues to be out there throughout its chat’s off-hours, may be very responsive and educated.

Picture 1 of 6

(Picture credit score: Michelle Rae Uy)
(Picture credit score: Michelle Rae Uy)
(Picture credit score: Michelle Rae Uy)
(Picture credit score: Michelle Rae Uy)
(Picture credit score: Michelle Rae Uy)
(Picture credit score: Michelle Rae Uy)

All issues thought of, the Wonderful GMMK Professional actually is definitely worth the hype. I haven’t executed my full testing and evaluate of it, however I can let you know now that each the Wonderful Panda and Lynx switches are, for lack of a greater phrase, wonderful to sort on – to not point out, noticeably higher high quality than lots of the different switches I’ve in my assortment. The keycaps themselves really feel luxurious and maintain your fingers in place, the coiled cable is extremely strong, and that RGB lighting is solely a stunner.

Do I really like my Wonderful GMMK Professional? To date, sure. It appears to be like and feels superb, and I’m hoping its efficiency lives as much as expectations as effectively. Nonetheless, I don’t know if I’m able to construct one other keyboard after this. I’m not saying by no means ever; simply that my first time was not all that nice and it would take a little bit of time to take action once more.

Plus, there have been greater than sufficient complaints about a number of completely different points that it’s about rattling time Wonderful pays heed.


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