If you are looking for an affordable custom mechanical keyboard but unwilling to fork out your hard-earned moolah for the likes of Glorious PC Gaming Race or Akko, you might want to check out Next Time 75 (NT75).
- Price: S$89, get it at Shopee
- Connectivity: USB-C
- Weight: 545g
The NT75 is a hot-swappable barebones keyboard with a 75% layout. Its design is quite similar to the likes of Glorious GMMK Pro and Keychron Q1. I like that it comes with a volume control knob at its top right corner.
I stumbled upon NT75 in Shopee, as I was trying to find a barebones keyboard that is below S$100. And it comes in different colours – ranging from white to pink – and two options – wired and wireless. I chose the transparent white wired version, which costs only S$89.
Delivered from China, the NT75 took around two weeks to arrive. When it arrived, there is slight damage to the packaging. Thankfully, the keyboard itself is intact. Apart from the barebones keyboard, you can find a USB-A-to-USB-C cable and a keycap puller in the box. No printed manual. Guess its maker is being environmentally friendly.
|Easy to install||Suspect knob quality|
|Nice lighting effects||Software not downloadable|
|Little deck flex|
Not that you really need it though. The keyboard is pretty much assembled, apart from lacking mechanical switches and keycaps. As such, it is pretty straightforward. You just need to install the switches and keycaps, and you are ready to go!
The NT75 supports both 3-pin and 5-pin switches. For this build, I used the Akko Vintage White Linear 3-pin switches with Akko World Tour Tokyo keycaps. Building this keyboard is really a walk in the park, as there is no need for soldering and assembly.
After installation, I found that there is not much deck flex when typing this review with the keyboard. Plus, the sound dampening is pretty good. The transparent casing adds many points to its cool factor. Lighting effects are really cool too and you can easily change them with these Fn key combinations (as shown below).
One downer is the quality of the metallic knob. It feels almost “plasticky” and looks cheap. Guess you pay for what you get. In addition, this keyboard is not tiltable. I end up adding those door stoppers at the base of the keyboard to prop it up to a nice typing angle.
You can email the maker to get the software to further customise the keyboard. Strange, as it is more convenient to have it readily available for users to download. Anyway, I think it is too much trouble, as I probably will not change anything.
VERDICT: If you are new to the world of custom keyboards and want to get some experience under your belt, the Next Time 75 is a good and affordable keyboard to start.