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Sunday, February 25, 2024

My heart belonged to this Lord of the Rings gaming keyboard even before Black Friday lopped $30 off

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| Tenkeyless | Holy Panda X | Wired | $199

Drop + Lord of the Rings | Tenkeyless | Holy Panda X | Wired | $199 $169 at Drop (save $30)
One thing I’ve been pining over since the day it released is this Drop + LOTR keyboard. This is the Dwarven version and comes with the renowned Holy Panda X switch. Now it’s got a good chunk of money off I might have to get around to making one purchase to rule them all.

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Right now at the Drop store, we’re staring down some great deals on prebuilt enthusiast gaming keyboards. That’s thanks to the wealth of reductions coming under the company’s own take on Black Friday: Clack Friday. Hoo, boy. That’s how you know it’s gonna be a doozy.

We’ve been keeping an eye out for all the best Black Friday gaming keyboard and mouse deals, and lo’ and behold what should enter my peripheral vision (get it?) but one of the keyboards I’ve been pining over since it came out. Finally, the Drop x LOTR keyboard has graced us with a nice discount, and in all its forms too.

There’s the ornate, pale green Elvish keyboard at $169, as well as the chiselled, star-crossed Dwarvish keyboard down to $169, both reduced from their original $199 price tag. These come with what Drop calls ‘training legend’ printed on them, meaning you get actual Latin lettering alongside either Tengwar legends with Sindarin phrases or Cirth legends with Khuzdul phrases, respectively.

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If you want to delve deeper into the lore, you can get yourself a hardcore MT3 keycap set, either with full Tengwar or Cirth lettering, though those will set you back another $109 even at the discounted price—perhaps a choice Evenstar keycap set, or Durin’s Forge keycaps, for just $25 instead, then?

Honestly, though, the second I discovered these keyboards’ existence I was calling all Lord of the Rings fans to the front of the line, not only since Drop is a fantastic place for keyboard joy, but also as it’s one of the few websites from which you can get quality gaming accessories that aren’t false economy (I’m looking at you, Amazon.)

Essentially, you know these keyboards are going to be good quality. They come with Holy Panda X key switches which, although they aren’t hot-swappable, you at least know they won’t break the second you get into a heated gaming session. However long it lasts, I know one thing for sure: I would rather share one lifetime with this keyboard, than face all the ages of this world without it.

You’re welcome.

Drop CTRL mechanical keyboard | Hot swappable switches | Tenkeyless | Per-key RGB | $200

Drop CTRL mechanical keyboard | Hot swappable switches | Tenkeyless | Per-key RGB | $200 $159 at Drop (save $41)
The Drop CTRL is a weighty, premium-feeling keyboard with one major selling point: you can pull out every switch and replace them with whatever you choose. Start with Drop’s Halo switches, then try out a set of MX Cherry Browns or Holy Pandas. A great way to ease your way into the wider world of mech keyboards.

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Just to be clear, there are no RGB lighting effects for the LOTR keyboards, only white backlighting. If you’re more of an RGB aficionado or are looking for different keyswitches, perhaps something like the Drop CTRL going for $159 right now.

It comes with full RGB, including a ring around the edge, as well as hot-swappable Halo Clear or Blue Tactile switches, Kaihua Speed silver linears, or Cherry MX Brown tactile switches. It comes in both black and ‘space’ gray so, I mean, maybe you could botch a Star Wars setup instead with that one?

Drop Keydous NJ80 | Hot swappable switches (Holy Panda X) | Tenkeyless | Per-key RGB | $299

Drop Keydous NJ80 | Hot swappable switches (Holy Panda X) | Tenkeyless | Per-key RGB | $299 $159 at Drop (save $140)
A sweet, hot swappable choice here with a beautiful colourway and volume dial crammed onto a 75% layout. It’s a laid back cherry profile and it’s even wireless. For that price, totally worth a look.

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A great board (with absolutely no nerdy affiliation other than being a badass enthusiast board) is the wireless Keydous NJ80 for $159. That’s a healthy $140 discount on a stalwart contender for my wallet, also with hot swappable switches and Artifact Bloom keycaps. Just look at that gentle baby blue gradient across the top, man, it’s gorgeous. And with a volume dial, to boot. 

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