Give me a 40% recommendation!


The pearl is for sure the closest you’ll get at 40% to a Korean custom style board in both terms of look and type feel (in practice it feels and sounds very similar to a tx60).

The only issue I have with it is the none standard stagger. But I still love mine.


You are a darling!
Thanks, looking forward to playing with bootloaders.


I was shocked the Pearl wasn’t mentioned sooner!


Pearl or Planck, imo.


@ChrisSwires Your Pearl was outstanding, what I had to say at the meetup was ‘it has no right being this heavy and sounding this good for a 40%’.


MiniVan imho has a fantastic out-of-the-box layout that doesn’t feel too restrictive, plus keycap support is excellent. I would say Evan put a ton of forethought into the design, both physical and keymap wise. Moreover, it remains to be one of the few boards that was within holtite tolerances from the factory :slight_smile:

EDIT: in full disclosure, the MiniVan is my endgame board as of now w/ 80’s Kid, Cyan housing / plate, and custom Jailhouse Aristotles :ballot_box_with_check:


100%, everything about that little guy is surprising and the attention to detail is brilliant.


Oh nice! I hadn’t heard about that!


I mentioned the pearl in literally the first reply to this thread :joy:


The pearl is beautiful. I love mine. Its the only 40% (45) I need.


I remember this. Its such a brick.


Personally, I really couldn’t handle the keymap layout at all. I tried to use it for a few hours and it just wasn’t working for me at all. I think the default keymap only really works if you don’t do the arrow layout.

Having said that, I think the keymap I settled on (linked above) is perfect for me and it is definitely my favorite 40% (45%?). I actually have two of them and most of the parts for a third!

One of them just gets handed off to locals who are interested in test driving it to see if they can handle the size change, but of the 10 or so people who have tried it, most of them bought one themselves, with one person deciding 40s weren’t for him, and one going for other, cheaper, 40s.


oh man, where to start. i have 2 jd40s in split space layout, 1 brass weighted pearl from the GB, 1 acrylic pearl made by Jolimon, 1 mechmini2 and i’m about to build a 50%, and i love them all as my children. if you aren’t going to go ortho, make your peace with split spacebar; imo it is the best way to do 40%. as long as you program your entire layout yourself, you will know it like the back of your hand in no time. happy huntin!


I saw you mention the Fourier and I think my brain just kind of did the whole Homer-disappearing-into-the-bushes thing for the rest of that reply.

Pearl in acrylic, huh? I’d be down for that.


my glorious son


That’s glorious.


Well since you are already used to ortho I’ll go with something that hasn’t been mentioned yet, the NIUmini from KBDfans. Great value for the money IMHO, they have a very solid feel to them & shockingly high quality for the price. The coloring on the top housing on mine was flawless (got the acrylic bottom so can’t speak for the alum bottom) no scratches or spots in the finish & the machining was very good for both the alum top & acrylic bottom!

I could provide more pics of the sides & bottom if you want, just ask! :+1:


Yep, definitely gonna be ordering some of these.


I’m not big fan of ortho but that just looks really good :drooling_face:


True enough! I couldn’t live without the /? key, so I went with the default… Moreover, I don’t really use that corner of the board really… that corner goes mostly unused, so I guess some mods could be made to fix that. Some people may find that software lock useful though :stuck_out_tongue:

I had planned on converting the software lock to a locking cherry switch, just never got around to it!