Go back in time with Nanoxia’s Ncore Retro keyboard

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.

Comments closed
    • morphine
    • 3 years ago

    The amount of people that constantly complain about RGB LEDs in peripherals but are bringing out their wallets for a retro-style keyboard is amusing… 🙂

      • Shinare
      • 3 years ago

      I’m not sure why you are surprised, those are diametrically opposed styling choices.

        • morphine
        • 3 years ago

        Yes, and according to a portion of the folks here, one’s horrible and the other’s great… because something.

        Meanwhile, those who actually prefer something a little more colorful (not me, fwiw) are looking at this keyboard and thinking it’s either boring or stupid (not my opinion either).

        Where I’m getting at is the double standard: one style is “terrible,” and a different but equally unconventional style is “great.” Meanwhile, all I’m thinking is we’re just seeing age and habit differences at play.

    • derFunkenstein
    • 3 years ago

    I really, really like the look. I wouldn’t buy it but it’s cool to look at.

    • Chrispy_
    • 3 years ago

    I expected an in-built scroll wheel where the paper feed knob would normally be and I want the return key to have an integrated bell.

      • K-L-Waster
      • 3 years ago

      For added authenticity, the keys should stick in the down position if you press more than 4 at once.

        • Chrispy_
        • 3 years ago

        epic

      • Mad_Dane
      • 3 years ago

      They should have built in a printer too.

    • Shinare
    • 3 years ago

    I just told my co-worker “I think this is the first time I’ve ever fell in love with a keyboard.”

    • Wirko
    • 3 years ago

    In such a keyboard, key travel of less than one inch is a serious flaw.

      • drfish
      • 3 years ago

      [quote<]in such a keyboard key travel of less than one inch is serious flaw[/quote<] FTFY 😉

        • derFunkenstein
        • 3 years ago

        Too many syllables in the second line. BOOM ROASTED

          • drfish
          • 3 years ago

          [url=http://writeahaiku.com/#in%20such%20a%20keyboard%20key%20%2F%20travel%20of%20less%20than%20one%20inch%20%2F%20is%20serious%20flaw<]Ahh![/url<] Haiku screwed! I didn't know the checker had rearranged it. I thought I was being so careful. Let this be a lesson to all of you.

            • derFunkenstein
            • 3 years ago

            It thinks keyboard is one syllable. Heh. Not TOTALLY your fault, but we cannot trust the machines.

            Machines do not trust!
            They will lead you down wrong path
            Then the Skynet comes

            • Wirko
            • 3 years ago

            You don’t need “checkers”. You need a Nanoxia Ncore Retro.

            (And if anyone can count the syllables in Nanoxia, feel free to 575 this.)

            • derFunkenstein
            • 3 years ago

            I would go with four syllables but I don’t know if that’s the appropriate pronunciation.

    • EndlessWaves
    • 3 years ago

    Steampunk is old enough to be Retro now?

    When you said Retro was expecting a big early PC keyboard with a curious layout and lots of extra function keys, in a shade of slightly yellowed biege. I’m unreasonably disappointed.

      • Major-Failure
      • 3 years ago

      Did they have extra keys back then? In the 90s, we only had the regular layout, sans extra stuff like volume control and such, in BEIGE of course 🙂

        • EndlessWaves
        • 3 years ago

        I was thinking of models like the Gateway Anykey, the older cherry multiboards, the IBM Model F terminal variants, maybe some of the ones with big trackballs built in.

        I know Unicomp sell one variant of the IBM terminal keyboard and cherry will probably make a multiboard to your specifications if you can come up with a thousand orders but it would be great to see some of the other designs live again.

        • derFunkenstein
        • 3 years ago

        Yeah, I remember PC keyboards with no Windows logo key, let alone anything media related. I used them in middle school and high school 25 years ago.

    • bfar
    • 3 years ago

    Omg I love it! If it wasn’t impractical for gaming I’d seriously consider that!

    • Fieryphoenix
    • 3 years ago

    I just want the keycaps to put onto the switches of my choice. Brown at the moment, but I’d really like to try out clear for my hammerfingers.

      • way2strong
      • 3 years ago

      Massdrop sells [url=https://www.massdrop.com/buy/typewriter-abs-keycap-set<]similar keycaps[/url<] every few months.

    • maxxcool
    • 3 years ago

    TAKE MY MONEY..

      • Wirko
      • 3 years ago

      Four dollars and ninety-nine cents, sir. Sorry, we can’t take 2016 dollars, we can only take [url=http://www.usinflationcalculator.com/<]1913 dollars[/url<].

    • UberGerbil
    • 3 years ago

    From the specs on the linked page; [quote<]Operating frequency: Built-in 12 MHZ oscillation, max 16 MHZ[/quote<]Oooh, a turbo mode for those with nostalgia for a completely different by-gone era.

      • soccergenius
      • 3 years ago

      I’m pretty sure after pressing the Turbo button I died that much quicker of dysentery in Oregon Trail.

      • jihadjoe
      • 3 years ago

      12/16MHz was also the clock speed of my 286 from ages ago.

    • UberGerbil
    • 3 years ago

    As someone old enough to remember actually typing on a mechanical typewriter with keys that looked like this (until I saved enough allowance to get an electric typewriter, which was a few years before my Apple ][), I love the look. Though WTF are “Kahil White switches”? Not sure I want to pay quality-mechanical-keyboard prices for something that doesn’t feel like a quality mechanical keyboard, no matter how cool it looks.

    Also, if they’re really chasing the Steampunk market (that’s a market?) shouldn’t the keys be edged in fake brass, rather than fake chrome? (Even better, I know there are still real mechanical typewriter key caps around, for the ultimate in retro, though I don’t know how much work it would be to get them attached).

      • bhtooefr
      • 3 years ago

      Kailh has been doing clones of Cherry MX switches for a few years now, and Razer rebrands them as their own. So, they’re an established switch maker, but they’re one of the cheaper ones.

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