Mechanical keyboards have seen something of a renaissance in recent years—especially in hardcore gaming circles, where keyboards based on Cherry's MX black key switches are now de rigueur. Imagine our surprise, then, when we came across the Knucker while exploring Thermaltake's CES suite today:
Thermaltake has an extensive line of Cherry MX-based keyboards. The Knucker is different, though. It's based on the now-snubbed rubber-dome switch design, which uses rubber plungers to provide tactile resistance and feedback. Thermaltake says it strove to make the plungers feel just like mechanical key switches. While we could easily tell the difference, the Knucker did seem springier and crisper than many other rubber-dome keyboards. This puppy also has anti-ghosting technology, which enables up to 12 simultaneous keypresses "within the particular section of the keyboard," plus glowing key labels.
Of course, the rubber-dome design may result in reduced endurance compared to mechanical designs. Thermaltake says the Knucker can handle 15 million keystrokes over its lifetime. Cherry, meanwhile, rates its MX switches for 50 million actuations.
The Knucker does have a trump card—its price tag. Thermaltake expects to charge $39.99 for this keyboard when it launches in April, which is easily less than half the price of most mechanical keyboards, let alone fancy gaming models. Cash-strapped gamers will no doubt enjoy the option.