As a writer, developer, and gamer, my computer keyboard is the primary way I connect with the world. Typing out a review such as this one, writing code to develop a new website, and using WASD to navigate virtual worlds are all ways I spend my days. That’s why finding the Massdrop ALT mechanical keyboard had such an impact on several aspects of my life.
While I’m not a mechanical keyboard enthusiast, I’ve done my research and decided to go for a keyboard setup that would last me for years to come. Massdrop ALT, more newly referred to as Drop ALT due to the dropshipping company’s name change, is an aluminum-bodied keyboard with hot-swappable key switches that allow users to change up their typing experience as many times as they want.
The shine-through doubleshot PBT keycaps have a slight texture to them that adds a small amount of grip and feels almost grainy, but not uncomfortably so. Although I may be just as happy with smooth-feeling keycaps, I have no plans to swap these out because of how fantastic their gray color scheme looks to my eye. In fact, the gray color is what brought my attention to Massdrop’s ALT, CTRL, and SHIFT line of keyboards at the beginning.
Massdrop ALT vs. alternatives
Originally, I tried out the Massdrop CTRL, the tenkeyless varient in Drop’s lineup, and it’s a fantastic keyboard for anyone needing dedicated function keys. As someone who prefers to cut out as much space-wasting as possible and who doesn’t require F1-F12 keys to function daily, I opted for the ALT, which retains the functionality of the function keys via the Fn key and also retains the arrow keys, but in a much more compact layout that I far prefer. The Massdrop ALT also houses the Delete key directly to the right of Backspace, which is incredibly natural for me to access when my cursor happens to be on the left side of whatever character I want to delete.
The Drop ALT also features a healthy spread of RGB that doesn’t scream obnoxious gamer, largely due to the refined gray color scheme and the pleasant font choice. Nothing about this keyboard makes it a gaming keyboard, but nothing prevents it from being one, either. The flexibility it provides while remaining just as flashy or as unassuming as you’d like is one of its marque features. Pair it with Audio-Technica headphones for a lowkey but quality gaming experience.
Even the cable retains the gray color scheme, with the keyboard body featuring two USB-C ports, giving users options when it comes to cable management and featuring USB passthrough at USB 2 speeds. This extra level of flexibility gives users a choice not only for cable routing, but cable customization as well, as any USB-C cable should work with this keyboard, in theory. And because it uses QMK firmware, users can customize the functionality of each key individually, setup custom lighting profiles, and more.
With a wide variety of ALT keyboard shortcuts to make up for missing keys, the ability to change not only keycaps but key switches, and customization options for lighting and cabling, the Massdrop ALT is my mechanical keyboard of choice, and I plan to use this little thing for years to come. The Massdrop CTRL is a great second choice for anyone needing those function keys, but I’d easily sacrifice them to save the desk space they consume.
Regardless of if you’re new to the world of mechanical keyboards and want to experiment with different switches (I’m currently using Kaihua Speed Silvers) of if you’re a long-time veteran, I highly recommend adding the Massdrop ALT to your collection as a solid option and potential keyboard endgame.
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