Triumph Adler GMK Keyset Review

Hello everyone; welcome to Rhinofeed. Today I'm going to be taking a look at the Triumph Adler keyset. This was a group effort between Intelli78 — or Keychatter — Massdrop, and GMK. GMK owns the original machinery that made Cherry keycaps 33 years ago.

Because of the unique teal color that was produced by the original aged plastic on the Triumph Adler Dario 286, this was the first GMK group buy that had to be made with a custom color. It uses a standard English ANSI layout, instead of the original German lettering. You also receive ISO keys, a teal backslash key, and teal spacebars.

These are ABS. Thick, high quality, ABS. Not cheap thin ABS. They aren't very textured, especially after using my Realforce, but maybe you like your keycaps fairly smooth.

Massdrop made a big mistake. They used the display trays as shipping containers, without adding much other than bubble wrap and a few pieces of scotch tape. Not only that, but the box they used was low quality. It was smashed quite a bit. Mine, like many others, was a mess when I received it.

Luckily, I only found just a couple scratches on the keys on closer inspection. There are other issues, however, which are due to GMK specifically. First, many have reported that there are burs left on the keys from manufacturing. Secondly, backlit keyboards are a no-go. Last but not least, the custom grey color they used looks as though it was not properly mixed, and you have swirling going on. I expected better from GMK, a German company, and especially surrounding all the hype around this key set. It's beautiful, but I still feel a little disappointed in the end result.

My own nitpicks are that they didn't use ROW 5 keys for the bottom row, but they used ROW 4 keys on everything except your arrows and num pad keys. I also would have loved if they used the original symbols and no lettering for shift, caps lock, tab, backspace, enter, num lock, and math symbols. I do understand why they didn't because of the cost of manufacturing, however.

They've also used dished homing keys instead of the typical home row bump. At first, this caught me off guard, but I'm getting used to it and it's a nice change of pace.

I should also mention that the lettering is doubleshot, which is a very durable way of molding two plastics together to create both the lettering and the key itself. You can read more about it on the Deskthority wiki.

Other than that, I will have a sound test comparison between this set of keycaps vs. a set of thick pbt keycaps that I originally purchased from Ivan's group buy on Geekhack. The keyboard of choice will be the POK3R with Cherry MX Clears and the stock aluminum case.

By Nathaniel Hirschler

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