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Drop ALT V2 Keyboard Review 2023: Price, Specs, and more

The Drop ALT V2 keyboard represents a significant improvement over its predecessors, boasting numerous enhancements and novel features. It even provides a minimalist variant, enabling extensive customization.

Advantages:

  • Durable aluminum chassis for exceptional build quality.
  • Complete customizability.
  • High-caliber switches.
  • Silky key touch.
  • Sleek, uncluttered design.
  • Enhanced software functionality.

Drawbacks:

  • Pricier.
  • Unavailable in Australia.
  • Slightly hefty.
  • Limited improvements in RGB lighting.
DROP ALT V2: QUICK REVIEW

DROP ALT V2: QUICK REVIEW

The Drop ALT V2 is part of a recent overhaul of the CTRL, ALT, and SHIFT mechanical keyboard series, which debuted in 2018. Drop has responded to user feedback by enhancing stabilizers, sound dampening, switch choices, and lighting. The outcome is an exceptional mechanical keyboard that’s a standout in the keyboard market.

I had the Drop ALT V2 low-profile version, a solid TenKeyLess (TKL) keyboard with impressive heft, constructed from aircraft-grade aluminum. It’s designed to withstand years of heavy usage, justifying its initial investment.

The ALT V2 features north-facing RGB lighting, which illuminates both the keycaps and the keyboard base. The LED lights are slightly dimmer than the original ALT, providing a more subdued or atmospheric effect.

Typing on the ALT V2 has improved significantly. Multiple foam layers, including Poron top case foam and switch foam, enhance the tactile feel. Upgraded stabilizers also alter the sound, offering a quieter experience.

The keycaps feel exceptionally smooth, though they might be narrow for some users. It’s adaptable but may require a brief adjustment period.

You can choose between Gateron Yellow KS3 Linear switches or Drop Holy Panda X Clear tactile switches. The hot-swappable feature facilitates effortless customization. Drop has also improved the QMK firmware, providing programable macros and key mapping, with Vial support coming later.

DROP ALT Review: PRICE & AVAILABILITY

Hardcore enthusiasts can opt for barebones versions, customizing to their exact specifications. Existing CTRL, ALT, and SHIFT keyboard owners can update to the V2 model with a PCBA + foam kit and Phantom Stabilizers.

The ALT V2 includes two USB Type-C ports for PC and hub connections, enhancing versatility. However, its weight may impact portability.

DROP ALT Review: PRICE & AVAILABILITY

  • Price: The Drop ALT V2 costs $200 (approximately £164 / AU$311).
  • Availability: It is available for purchase right now in the United States.
  • Types Available: There are two variants of Drop V2 keyboards: fully assembled units priced between $180 – $250 and barebones editions ranging from $140 – $190. If you own the older CTRL, ALT, or SHIFT keyboards, you can upgrade to the V2 version with a PCBA + foam kit and Phantom Stabilizers, starting at $105.

These keyboards are on the expensive side, typical for high-quality, fully customizable mechanical keyboards suited for dedicated enthusiasts. If you prefer not to tinker extensively with your keyboard, you might find more budget-friendly alternatives that offer similar typing quality and tactile feedback.

The Drop ALT V2 can be purchased through the company’s online store. However, customers in the UK and Australia may face importing costs, as the keyboard is not readily available in these regions.

SPECS

  • Layout: TKL (TenKeyLess)
  • Switch Options: Gateron Yellow KS3 or Drop Holy Panda X Clear
  • Programmable Keys: Yes
  • Dimensions: 14.50 x 5.49 x 1.20 inches (36.83 x 13.95 x 3.32 cm)
  • RGB or Backlighting: RGB

SHOULD YOU BUY THE DROP ALT?

  • Value: Though quite expensive, it delivers everything you’d desire in a mechanical keyboard. (Rating: 4.5 / 5)
  • Design: It improves upon its predecessor in every aspect with intelligent design choices for a higher-quality product. (Rating: 5 / 5)
  • Performance: It offers an exceptional experience with smooth keycaps and highly responsive switches. (Rating: 5 / 5)
  • Average Rating: This keyboard combines simplicity and cleanliness with outstanding performance and customization options. (Rating: 5 / 5)

Buy it if:

  • You seek a top-tier mechanical keyboard. Drop’s reputation for exceptional keyboard quality extends to the ALT V2, from its aluminum chassis to switches and keycaps.
  • You desire a fully customizable keyboard. This model allows extensive customization to meet your preferences.

Don’t buy it if:

  • You’re on a tight budget. If a $200 keyboard isn’t within your budget, explore more cost-effective alternatives offering similar quality.
  • You live outside the US. Drop primarily serves the US market, necessitating importation for customers in the UK or Australia, incurring extra costs.

ALSO CONSIDER

KeyboardPriceLayoutSwitch OptionsProgrammable KeysDimensionsRGB or Backlighting
Drop ALT V2$200 (about £164 / AU$311)TKLGateron Yellow KS3 or Drop Holy Panda X ClearYes14.50 x 5.49 x 1.20 in (36.83 x 13.95 x 3.32 cm)RGB
SteelSeries Apex Pro TKL (2023)$189.99 / £189.99 / AU$219.99TKLOmniPoint Adjustable Mechanical SwitchYes355.44 x 139.26 x 40.44 mmRGB
Razer Huntsman V2 TKL$160 / £160 / AU$260TKLRazer linear optical switchesYes230 x 362 x 34.5 mmRGB

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