KAT Keycaps, A Closer Look; Updated 7/27/2018


#1

So recently I received the prototype KAT keycaps and honestly I’ve been quite impressed with these keycaps.

Since these won’t be available for many other people for some time, I wanted to provide some information that will help everyone out.

First off, here are some pics I took with my camera.
Album 1

From here, you can see that most of the legends look pretty crisp.
As a personal note, I like the sculpt on these keycaps, but better on some keyboards than others. These felt pretty bad on my PC 910RE, but these felt absolutely wonderful on my Norbatouch and they were quite nice on my Unicorn.

The legends are dye subbed, and I wanted to give you all a closer look at how well the dyesubbing was done at these keycaps. I have ordered the keycaps on a TKL in order by row to make it easier for you to go keycap by keycap.

Before I share the pictures, I wanted you all to know what I used for these pictures. These pictures aren’t perfect and not only can they be improved upon, but the tool itself could be more precise. For these pictures I used the Plugables USB 2.0 Microscope. It’s a budget microscope, but I think these pictures will help everyone out.

KAT Microscope Pictures

As you may have noted, I only took pictures of keycaps on a TKL, and did not repeat the bottom row modifiers. If there are any pictures you want me to retake or keycaps that I didn’t capture that you want me to, please let me know and I’ll get to it ASAP.

Update 7/27/2018

zFrontier’s GB Page claims 1.65mm thickness, and I wanted to put that to the test.

I measured every keycap on my Novatouch (87 keys) as my sample size to find the mean and median keycap thickness. I measured under the assumption that all keycaps have equal thickness on all sides.

To measure, I used a Neiko 01407A . Not the most accurate tool in the world, but I figured it would be sufficient for this task.

Results

Total Mean: 1.63789mm
Total Median: 1.63mm

Data:

Row 0 Thickness Row 1 Thickness Row 2 Thickness Row 3 Thickness Row 4 Thickness Row 5 (Bottom) Thickness
Esc 1.74 `~ 1.62 tab 1.6 Caps 1.63 L_shift 1.56 1.25u Ctrl 1.69
F1 1.65 1 1.71 q 1.62 a 1.59 z 1.63 1.25 Ctrl #2 1.65
F2 1.70 2 1.63 w 1.63 s 1.65 x 1.63 1.25 SYS 1.64
F3 1.71 3 1.63 e 1.67 d 1.60 c 1.61 1.25 SYS #2 1.71
F4 1.70 4 1.61 r 1.63 f 1.60 v 1.59 1.25 Alt 1.70
F5 1.71 5 1.62 t 1.61 g 1.65 b 1.62 1.25 Alt #2 1.68
F6 1.60 6 1.67 y 1.60 h 1.66 n 1.63 6.25u Spacebar 1.69
F7 1.70 7 1.63 u 1.59 j 1.55 m 1.59 1.25u menu 1.67
F8 1.71 8 1.68 i 1.57 k 1.59 ,< 1.64 Left Arrow 1.67
F9 1.70 9 1.71 o 1.57 l 1.69 .> 1.61 Down Arrow 1.61
F10 1.65 0 1.61 p 1.56 ;: 1.68 /? 1.67 Right Arrow 1.61
F11 1.71 -_ 1.61 [{ 1.62 '" 1.68 R_Shift 1.58
F12 1.64 =+ 1.59 ]} 1.58 Enter 1.73 Up Arrow 1.65
Print Screen 1.67 Backspace 1.55 | 1.64
Scroll Lock 1.69 Insert 1.70 Delete 1.60
Pause 1.75 Home 1.63 End 1.56
Page Up 1.66 Page Down 1.62
Mean 1.6956 Mean 1.63882 Mean 1.6041 Mean 1.6316 Mean 1.6162 Mean 1.6655
Median 1.70 Median 1.63 Median 1.60 Median 1.63 Median 1.62 Median 1.67

I will be posting more pictures for everyone soon. Hopefully this information helps everyone out.

Let me know what else you all think I should include in this post in the future for KAT keycaps.

Thanks for reading!


#2

Even though it’s middle height and fully sculpted, looking at the pictures, it looks much closer to DSA than SA.


#3

Did it feel bad because of the angle of the keyboard? What made it feel bad on one board as compared to other boards?


#4

Hey @Manofinterests, it looks like from your Norbatouch album that the keycaps are skewed a little bit counter clockwise. Is that a skew from the keycaps themselves or are the sliders skewed a bit on the Norbatouch itself?


#5

I have the higher-zoom version of this microscope and can take some pics of @merlin’s set if he doesn’t mind lending me a cap or two.


#6

They’re all a bit skewed because of the KBDFans sliders. I can take another picture of the set on another keyboard soon.


#7

Got it, thanks dude!


#8

Having poked at a set of these a tiny bit, I think that is likely because the… sphericalness? isn’t quite as extreme, if that makes sense.


#9

Yeah that may be it. Have you noticed there’s something on the 2 key? Is it a crack or a hair?


#10

Are the keycaps crooked? It looks like every key is rotated a degree or two counter-clockwise.


#11

Those legends look great! How close are these in profile to the planned HUB caps that evangs was planning?


#12

Those legends look crisp to me. They also appear to be set in Gotham which is typically used for rendering if I’m not mistaken? Which is nice to finally see parity between the renders and the final product.


#13

@evangs could probably answer this, but having spent only a tiny bit of time with either, I’m gonna say not very?


#14

they are a bit different. https://d2rormqr1qwzpz.cloudfront.net/photos/2018/04/16/56-101913-6867f52d6b8d5e6e94a7695a65332980_original-1523837776.png


#15

He mentioned above that was caused by the KBDfans sliders he has on his board in the photos. So, yes, they were crooked, but it was the sliders, not the keycaps.

I’m interested in finding out why they feel better on certain boards.

It looks like the norbatouch is on it’s riser feet in the back. I’m thinking the 910 is a bit steeper overall. Still, it’s not like flat vs 12 degree or anything. Maybe it’s just the switches.

What switches do you have in your TGR?

And thanks for this post. Really nice photos.

One request: If you do another shoot, can you get a profile view so we can see the sculpture again?


#16

I’m pretty sure it was the angle. It seems like I’m a bit more sensitive to the keyboard angle when I use these keycaps as opposed to Cherry profile. More trials with other keyboards will be necessary to confirm this.

It looks like just a small superficial mark on the keycap.

I’m still going to do more trials of these keycaps on other keyboards to see if it’s the angle, height, or a combination of both that most affects my perception of these keycaps.

The TGR 910RE has Revo Whites in them.

I’ll do a profile view soon for you and everyone.


#17

Thanks for the tonne of photos and sharing your thoughts on these profile. Also intrigued about the KAM profile which is about a 1mm higher than the DSA. Will basically sit between DSA and XDA (do correct me if I’m wrong). Do let us know your thoughts on the new KAM profile.


#18

Take one for the team and test stem breakage on Box switches? :joy:


#19

Probably not an issue with PBT. :cat:


#20

I just added measurements for keycap thicknesses if anyone wants to check them out :+1: