RGB LEDs? Cherry MX switches? Everyone has those. It's tough for a keyboard to distinguish itself from its competition these days, with about a million and a half mechanical keyboards on the market. A typewriter, though—that'd stand out. That's the idea behind Nanoxia's new Ncore Retro Keyboard.
Above its chromium-plated surface, the Ncore Retro sports a 104-key layout with Kailh White switches, said to offer a typing feel similar to Cherry MX Blues, including the audible click that lets you know when you've struck gold. The board also has an FN key to let typists use additional functions on 12 keys, including multimedia playback shortcuts, locking the Windows key, and switching between standard N-key rollover and 6-key rollover. This keyboard doesn't have any lights other than the standard quartet above the numpad. That's probably for the better, as the Ncore Retro draws enough attention to itself without any flashing or blinking.
Unlike most traditional keyboards, the keys stand above the baseplate, making the prospect of cleaning the keyboard that much simpler. In addition, Nanoxia says the board is water-resistant, though it didn't offer up any certification along with that. This keyboard's looks are such a huge part of its draw that making it easy to clean and maintain seems like a smart decision on Nanoxia's part.
Modders have been making computer keyboards look like typewriters for a while, but it's possible that this steampunk-influenced look might be one of the next trends manufacturers follow as the market for light-up rectangles becomes saturated. For example, the Qwerkywriter is a similar but significanly more expensive take on the idea, complete with a working carrier return bar and Bluetooth connectivity. The Nanoxia Ncore Retro is set to release this week for 110€ (or about $118), and will be available in US, UK and German layouts.