We’ve been wondering where we’d see some of Kaihua’s low-profile switches pop up, and perhaps predictably, they’re appearing in a project borne of the enthusiast keyboard community. WoodKeys is running a group buy for a keyboard called the Meira that uses the slim Kailh Choc (1350) switches that we first saw at Computex 2016. (These are not to be confused with the spate of new low-profile Kailh switches we saw at Computex 2017.)
As is often the case, this particular group buy won’t be for everyone, but it will certainly light up the eyes of a handful of enthusiasts. Meira is a 40% ortholinear keyboard (simply put, the keys are all aligned in a neat grid instead of staggered). In this case, it’s a 4x12 grid.
There’s Esc, Insert, Home, and Fn on the left side, with a few more necessary keys along the bottom row, including a Windows key. The arrow keys are arranged horizontally on the right bottom row. There are no number keys.
You can opt for any of the three Kailh Choc switch options--Red (linear), Brown (tactile), or White (clicky). You can opt for an LED pack to backlight these switches, and they’re individually addressable, but they’re limited to one color only for now. However, WoodKeys noted: “The firmware currently only supports setting a uniform backlight, but with the new driver it will support setting individual LEDs brighter (e.g., status indicators) and even animations. There are connections for WS2812 strips for RGB underglow as well.”
Because these switches don’t have the MX-compatible cross stem, keycap compatibility is an issue. However, by dint of the fact that this is supposed to be a particularly low-profile keyboard, you won’t want standard-height caps anyway. Instead, WoodKeys is working with NovelKeys on special Kailh caps for them. The caps are available in black or white (with no legends, for the bravest among us), black with white legends, or white with gray legends.
The images currently available don’t show a completed prototype, so you’ll have to use your imagination, but for the finished product you can opt for white PCB or stainless steel options for top and bottom plates.
There are various other options you can choose; just hit the page here to tick your preferred boxes. The total cost will depend on what you pick.