As someone who typed on blank keycaps for years in a cheesy attempt to impress people, I know a little something about keyboards as they relate to being or not being cool. And yet, despite my experience ruminating on the fashionableness of clicky-clacky mechanical devices, I cannot decide whether or not these Discord keyboards from Kono are cool.
At a gut level, it's hard to feel like spending $190 on a keyboard with a social media platform's logo on it is cool. It's like paying for the sort of swag companies give influencers for free. Or, if that's too harsh, it's at least like going to an NFL game with a hat that says “NFL” on it: funny when Rob Lowe did it, but probably only that one time. The only logo I want on a keyboard is the logo of the company that made it, but ideally, I'd rather see no logo at all. (Or no markings at all, at one time.)
But there's no way around it: These keyboards look cool. Discord's primary brand color, which it calls “blurple,” is a top tier color, and looks especially good on the dark theme version of the keyboard. It also helps that these are high-end boards (Bluetooth 5.0, RGB backlighting, steel plate) in the always-attractive basic tenkeyless design.
When Discord and Kono originally offered these keyboards last year, the profits were donated to non-profit group To Write Love On Her Arms, and that's pretty cool, but you can no longer rely on charitable giving to justify the purchase of this expensive blurple keyboard. A second limited run of the keyboards is being sold “in response to overwhelming demand,” but this time without the charitable donation. (Discord says to “stay tuned for future chances to raise money for a great cause.”)
The new batch is available for pre-order directly from Kono's store, and the company says they'll ship in the second quarter of this year—so, sometime in the next few months. The official Discord merch site shows that the keyboards are sold out, but that's the original batch.
The keyboards can be ordered with Gateron Red, Gateron Brown, or Kailh Box White switches. I haven't used any of those switches before, but the Gateron Red and Browns are said to be similar to the equivalent Cherry MX switches. As for the Kailh Box White switches, ergonomic keyboard maker ZSA Technology Labs says they're “clicky to the point of being crunchy.”
What say you: Discord keyboard, cool or not?