It's surprising how RGB lighting has turned the rather humble keyboard into a design element that can affect your mood. But the keys on that keyboard are likely made of cheap ABS plastic, which over time, can crack or get greasy from absorbing the oils on your fingertips. In this video, we take a look at HyperX Gaming's doubleshot PBT keys which replace the cheap ABS caps you're probably accustomed to tapping on.
TABLE OF CONTENTS:
01:19 They're Shrink Wrapped
03:02 Use the tool. Do it!
03:49 Mix & Match keys… looks like this
04:01 Warning about larger keys (like spacebar)
06:13 …the Lights Look Like This!
07:15 So why Doubleshot? Why PBT?
STYLING / DESIGN / USABILITY
Aftermarket keycaps are a thing. The best ones are made with a process called "doubleshot" and use a more expensive plastic material called PBT that have unique properties. They also need to fit into your existing keyboard - which would be a huge problem had there not been a certain unspoken standard.
Cherry MX is by far the most popular make of switch under the hood of gaming keyboards. It's got a protrusion that looks like a "plus" sign for keycaps to fit into, and thankfully, the vast majority of boards use them. This is assuming you have a "gaming" keyboard and not your typical off-the-shelf-I-don't-really-care cheapie.
WHY IS DOUBLESHOT SO HOT?
Typical keycaps are molded plastic with a letter stamped on it. In a year or so, the letters that you tap on most will fade away, requiring you to buy a new keyboard (or in DIY fashion, re-letter and seal using white out and clear nail polish.)
Doubleshot uses TWO layers of plastics that are molded into each other - a rather difficult process to get right. This ensures non-fading letters over the years, but to tie it in to the product at hand, HyperX uses translucent material on the bottom part of each key (in addition to the letters) to elevate and highlight your lightshow performance. So not only does it minimize wear, but it enhances your keyboard visually.
PBT TO FEEL - NOT ABSORB
If you look closely at the individual keys on your keyboard, a shiny layer of oil will likely be visible - compliments of your fingertips and all the oily food you've eaten at your desk. Typical of ABS plastic keys, they will be slippery to the touch and any of the texture you once felt will be lost.
With PBT plastic, this doesn't need to happen. They're more expensive to be sure, but they're more durable and will resist oils a lot better. They also have a fine coarseness to them, which feels nice on your fingers and offer a bit of grip.
In short, PBT is the material and doubleshot is the process:
PBT is more durable, resists oils and retains texture for a nice tactile feel.
"Doubleshot" keys are molded using 2 types of plastics (no screen printed letters that fade over time.)
Plus, they use a translucent PBT for you to see the awesome RGB lights should you have them.
They're compatible with all HyperX keyboards - and should also work with gaming keyboards that use Cherry MX switches.
More info: https://hyperxgaming.com
(Test unit provided by HyperX for this review.)
Check prices: https://amzn.to/30swIxn --- Amazon affiliate link