I-Rocks is something of a quirky company, as evidenced by peripherals like its Golem M20E gaming mouse (which seems to have taken design cues from lightning bugs), and its latest strange concoction is a LEGO-inspired mechanical keyboard with, of all things, Alps switch clones.
I can’t believe I just wrote that sentence. And I can’t believe the i-Rocks K76m Fun Illuminated Mechanical Keyboard is a real thing that you can buy:
Here is a brief slideshow of adorable madness:
Alps Switch Clones?
Yes, Alps switch clones. It’s not surprising that a peripherals company would make Alps switch clones--Matias, for example, has built a business on them--but what’s odd is that i-Rocks would debut them in such a weird product.
In any case, i-Rocks said that it’s created four versions of this switch: Red, Brown, and Blue, with the respective linear, tactile, and clicky characteristics, and a white “Geek” switch that it said has “very light resistance and no click or tactile bump for quick responses at minimal effort.” It requires a relatively minuscule 28g of force to operate.
It claimed that it built the switches from the original Alps design but used “Taiwan's best machining techniques to bring a classic back to life.”
The company said that the switches offer o-rings for sound dampening--its “patented O-Ring System” (ORS). These are LED-equipped switches that come in single-color and RGB versions. The switches have gold-plated contacts, the key caps are doubleshot. The switches actually have Cherry MX-compatible stems, so you can swap in aftermarket caps if you so desire.
|i-Rocks Mechanical Switches||Red||Brown||Blue||“Geek” (White)|
|Travel||4mm (+/- 0.4mm)|
|Actuation Point||2.0mm (+/- 0.4mm)||1.9mm (+/- 0.4mm)||2.0mm (+/- 0.4mm)|
|Tactile Force||N/A||50g (+/- 10g)||60g (+/- 12g)||N/A|
|Operating Force||40g (+/- 9g)||33g (+/- 8g)||35g (+/- 8g)||28g (+/- 6g)|
Yes, LEGO compatibility. The top panel of the K76m is removable, and you can employ a black or white LEGO-compatible top--meaning you can further customize it with actual LEGO bricks. That is downright bizarre, but you can also employ different non-LEGO tops. These include some that look like wood grain or metal, some with patterns, and so on. The bottom portion of the chassis is clear, because sure, why not.
The K76m is a 104-key device with NKRO, and some of the keys serve double duty as media controls. The device will be available this month with a $139 MSRP. You can preorder one now on the Indiegogo page.
|i-Rocks K76m Fun Illuminated Mechanical Keyboard|
|Model Type||Full size, 104-key|
|Switch Type||i-Rocks Mechanical switch (Alps clones): Red, Brown, Blue, and White (“Geek”)|
|Construction||Plastic with removable top panel|
|Lighting||RGB or single color|
|Cable Type||USB, 200cm|
|Dimensions||459 x 158.5 x 39.5mm (LxWxH)|
|System Requirements||Windows XP/Vista/7/8/10|
|Accessories||Additional tops sold separately, apparently|