Build with blocks on the i-Rocks K76m Fun keyboard

Taiwanese peripheral manufacturer i-Rocks has produced one of the more unique products to grace our press desk. The K76m Fun Illuminated Mechanical Keyboard is exactly what it sounds like: a mechanical keyboard with LEDs and, well, "fun." In this context, "fun" means a customizable faceplate surrounding the keys that you can stick Lego on. The K76m's custom-built mechanical switches are inspired by the classic Alps design.

i-Rocks offers black or white Lego-compatible faceplates. The Lego dots are level with the edge of the keyboard, so it's possible to build with blocks that go beyond the edges, should creativity strike. If Lego isn't your thing, the company also offers clear faceplates and printable inserts to go underneath them.

Even without the wacky faceplate business, the K76m looks to be a stellar keyboard. It uses custom switches designed and produced by i-Rocks, based on the "Complicated Alps" switch design. The Alps company has been out of business for many years, and i-Rocks says it wasn't satisfied with the typing feel of the many clone Alps switches. Rather than give up and use Cherry MX switches like the rest of the market, i-Rocks spent two years designing key switches that mimic the feel of the Alps clickers that dominated the keyboard market in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

Ultimately, the company ended up making four variants of its switches. The first three are color-coded like their Cherry MX blue, brown, and red equivalents, and serve the same purposes. They require slightly less actuation force than their Cherry counterparts, though. The fourth switch type is called "Geek" and comes in a white housing. It's a linear switch like the red variant, but with a ridiculously low actuation force of 28g. i-Rocks says the feel of the white switches is polarizing, and that typists either love it or hate it. While the internal switch design mimics the Alps design, the i-Rocks switches' cross-shaped stem is compatible with Cherry MX keycaps. i-Rocks sells the boards with rubber O-rings pre-installed for noise reduction.

Besides its unique features, the K76m offers multimedia shortcut keys and LED backlighting. The keyboards with blue, brown, and red keyswitches have single-color backlighting, while the version with "Geek" switches gets RGB LEDs. i-Rocks says the keyboard will support N-key rollover, too.

i-Rocks' press release directs purchasers to its Indiegogo campaign for the keyboard for pre-orders, but the campaign appears to be closed. The company says the K76m Fun Illuminated Mechanical Keyboard will be "available worldwide" in November for $139.

Comments closed
    • Dark Pulse
    • 3 years ago

    Forget Lego. Where’s my Skylander and Amiibo dock, damn it?

    • DragonDaddyBear
    • 3 years ago

    I’ve only done one Kickstarter before (HDHomerun DVR). I’m not thrilled with the success rate of these kinds of endeavors, but that is awesome! If this is real (as in the campaign restarts or is released soon) I’m buying one and stealing some of my kid’s Legos.

      • RAGEPRO
      • 3 years ago

      Indiegogo isn’t quite like Kickstarter. The failure of the Indiegogo campaign has zero impact on whether or not the keyboard gets released. From what I can see, it looks like i-Rocks already intended to produce the keyboard, and was simply using the Indiegogo page as a means to support pre-orders.

        • DragonDaddyBear
        • 3 years ago

        There’s been a lot of vaporware on Indigogo, too. I’m cautiously optimistic about this. Seeing as they say it will be released this month.

    • Erebos
    • 3 years ago

    At 0:33, did that interchangeable frame just pop back out after her pressing it down?

      • RAGEPRO
      • 3 years ago

      It looks like she doesn’t quite get it seated.

    • WhatMeWorry
    • 3 years ago

    Does anyone know if Lego dots are considered public domain? Or in other words, did i-Rock have to pay a licensing fee?

      • RAGEPRO
      • 3 years ago

      As long as they don’t say LEGO on them, they should be good. Other companies (like [url=https://www.megabloks.com/en-us/<]Mega Bloks[/url<]) have been making LEGO-compatible dots for ages.

        • demani
        • 3 years ago

        Some do a better job than others (and Mega Bloks now seem to be lower quality than the ones from 25 years ago). One thing that has always amazed me is that Lego has never tried to lower the quality of the blocks. While the building kits have changed and not always for the better IMO (need moar space men!) the physical bits still work wonderfully.
        And they still manufacture more tires annually than any other company.

          • drfish
          • 3 years ago

          It is pretty impressive to have such extremely tight tolerances over such a long period of time, for a toy.

          • Anonymous Coward
          • 3 years ago

          If you carefully examine the side of 2×4 Duplos, you can see that newer ones are slightly more wavy than old ones (not sure how old they need to be). A reduction in quality!!

          Mega Bloks are trash, the wrong type of plastic.

    • Cannonaire
    • 3 years ago

    Great. Now my [i<]hands[/i<] will be finding LEGO blocks in the dark.

      • morphine
      • 3 years ago

      Hahaha, thanks for that one.

      • the
      • 3 years ago

      Still better than your feet.

    • Shinare
    • 3 years ago

    So super kawaii! So super kawaii!!!

    • Anovoca
    • 3 years ago

    Dbl-P

    • Anovoca
    • 3 years ago

    Wait, so the 0-rings are standard or optional. I suppose I can always take them off myself if need be but just looking for clarification.

      • RAGEPRO
      • 3 years ago

      They’re standard.

    • drfish
    • 3 years ago

    I guess it’s time that i-Rocks out with my blocks out.

      • SHOES
      • 3 years ago

      Ba dum tss!

      P.S. you know you want one…

        • drfish
        • 3 years ago

        It’s true.

      • kamikaziechameleon
      • 3 years ago

      that was good.

      • Pwnstar
      • 3 years ago

      …blocks out for Harambe.

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