Hexgears is making an affordable, high-quality gaming keyboard with Kailh Box switches
German peripherals maker Hexgears, perhaps best known for its low-profile X-1 keyboards, has expanded their gaming rig suite with a pair of colorful mid-range RGB keyboards dubbed the Impulse and Nova. Impulse is a full-size board that is durable and waterproof, while Nova is a compact keyless option built around a CNC-machined aluminum chassis.
To compete with the best gaming keyboards, the standout features of both decks are the Kaihl Box switches and price tag. As the price of premium gaming keyboards continues to rise, it’s refreshing to see well-built premium gaming keyboards for less than $100 (Impulse starts at $79.99, Nova starts at $89.99). While the Nova and Impulse are light on the extras we often see on gaming keyboards (like dedicated media controls or pass-through), they emphasize form and function (and an extensive splash of programmable RGB lighting).
For mechanical keyboard fans, however, the real selling point is the Kailh Box switches these decks surround, which is still a rarity on pre-built keyboards. Both drivers offer three switching options: clicky Whites, haptic, quiet Browns and Hako Clears. Clears are particularly interesting, designed to stop keys from bottoming out by adding significant weight at the end of each keystroke. The idea was to create bouncy keys that make you a more efficient typist and keep your fingers safe from unwanted shocks – each key activates at 55g but bottoms out at 79g.
The Box switches are also designed around self-cleaning components, draining moisture and dust through a drain with every keystroke, which complements the Impulse’s waterproof design. The bottom of the stem completely blocks each switch inlet, so it is difficult for spills to penetrate sensitive components on the PCB, and Box switches are also constructed to eliminate key wobble. The keys are noticeably more stable than those on boards built around Cherry switches, but don’t create additional friction thanks to lubricating nubs built into each switch.
The latest from Hexgears will serve anyone buying a utility deck (with a healthy dose of colored lighting) and if you’re looking for a board that includes Kaihl’s excellent Box switches, Impulse and Nova are the best (very much) small) a bunch.
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