Glorious GMMK Pro
The GMMK Pro (Glorious Modular Mechanical Keyboard) is a prebuilt barebones keyboard, it has support for "hotswap" (ie it does not require soldering of the switches).
Out of the box the keyboard comes fully assembled, in theory all you have to do is to seat 84 switches in the hotswap sockets and put on some keycaps and your good to go!
If you are new to custom mechanical keyboard then hot swap is quite nice because it allows you to explore some different switch options without having to go through the process of soldering or buying a new keyboard just because you are curious about a new switch.
In the box
In the box you get the following.
- The keyboard fully assembled.
- Keyboard (includes: Case, PCB and Stabilizers)
- 1 x Switch puller
- 1 x Keycap puller
- 1 x Braided Cable (usb-a > usb-c)
These are some of the features of this keyboard.
Not sure if this is technically a 75% keyboard layout, if it is then its a compacted version of that layout, essentially unlike a 60% you have on this one the full function row at the top and: Delete, PgUp, PgDown and End to the right next to the arrow keys.
The layout is fully customizable using the downloadable software, not sure yet if custom layouts can actually be flashed to the board (will update if I find out)
In the top right corner you find a programmable rotary knob, by default this is mapped to volume and play/pause (by pushing it).. it's a pretty nice feature, if you do not fancy changing volume with it then maybe you can use it for switching virtual desktops or assigning ALT+TAB to it? :-)
The case is kind of like a sandwich with and upper metal housing, a middle consisting of the PCB, foam and a plate.. the middle part then rests on rubber pads "gaskets" that dampens the vibrations from the keystrokes.
For some reason this was either marketed or interpreted as the keyboard would flex when typing, it can confirm that it certainly does not flex...and I am not even sure why you would want any flex. It does however sound very nice and dense when typing.
For me this was not really part of my purchase decision, and it's hard to say if this is actually contributing to its pleasant sound signature.
As mentioned, this keyboard has a "hot swap" PCB so the build process is very easy.
Basically the only thing you have to think about is to put the switches in correctly without bending the copper legs and push them firmly until they are fully seated in the plate. This process should not take more than 15 min.
Note that the blemishes you see on the case above is due to oil from the switches, but the case is smooth anodized aluminium so it does attract fingerprints.
The keyboard comes seemingly well protected in a nice box, when unboxing it you can immediately feel that it's something special due to its weight.
Unlike many other premium keyboards the weight here is mostly made up of the case itself and there is no extra weight "add on" to it.
Just for fun I put the fully assembled keyboard on the scale and it came in at 1.8 Kg.
We ordered two of these boards (ISO variant) and for both of them we had the same issues.
The problem here is probably not so much the stabilizers themselves (although we did end up changing them), the issue is that the stabilizers are lubed with something that makes them bind something terrible.. the keys actually get stuck when pressing them.
When opening the board you can clearly see where the issue is, where the stabilizers hits the PCB there is a rubber pad and when getting in contact with the lube on the stabilizer foot it causes a seal that makes it bind.
This issue seems to be known by Glorious as they have posted a [GMMK Pro Stabilizer Optimization Guide] (https://www.pcgamingrace.com/blogs/secret- announcement/sticking-stabilizer-repair-guide). It's great that they acknowledge the issue and tell us how to fix it, however I would not really call it optimization, since it basically not usable without this fix.
Upon reassembly of both the units I got I noticed that some of the internal screws connecting with the plate did not take, not a big deal really since there are so many screws holding it but it feels like a pretty basic quality oversight.
For me the only modification we did on both the boards was to change the stabilizers and removing the rubber pads on the PCB.
I had some GMK Screw in stabilizers on hand and tried these first, these did however not fit the stabilizer holes on this board. So instead we ordered DUROCK Plate Mount Stabilizer which fit perfectly.
Ordering these boards I was expecting to modify them to my liking to begin with, this means disassembly soon after unboxing. If this is not something you are in to or comfortable with then I would say, just go for a premium prebuilt keyboard instead.
If you are going in to this purchase as a keyboard enthusiast of some sort.. as someone who wants to pick the perfect switch, stabilizers and keycaps.. Then probably you have been to many of the custom keyboard part sites, seen the "group buys"* and things like that.
For the around 200$ that this cost then it offers fantastic value for the price if you compare to other custom offerings, and in addition to that.. this is a something that you can actually buy with availability right now.