Drop is back with a third Lord of the Rings-themed keyboard. But unlike its first two, which drew their language and iconography from the good guy Elves and Dwarves, the third is all about celebrating darkness. The keyboard pairs the Black Speech keycap set — a black-on-grey twist on the Elven set that evokes the language of Mordor (which I will not utter here) — with a special version of Drop’s ENTR keyboard. It’s available to preorder now, with shipping expected mid-April.
Tolkien’s Black Speech didn’t have a written form, and the one example in the Lord of the Rings — the inscription on the One Ring, found here on the space bar — used an Elven script. The Black Speech keycaps use the same Tengwar lettering and Sindarin modifiers as the Elven set, with a sinister new font. They’re joined by illustrations of the Eye of Sauron, Shards of Narsil, a Nazgul, and the One Ring.
The keyboard has a couple of other special touches. First is the Eye of Sauron illustration by artist Olivia Shetler (aka Oshetart) above the arrow keys. Second is that the keyboard uses Drop’s Holy Panda X switches rather than the Gateron Yellow or Halo True switches that are typically found on ENTR keyboards. The Black Speech keyboard isn’t hot-swappable, so you won’t be replacing its switches without getting out a soldering iron.
Other specs include a tenkeyless layout that omits the numpad for a more compact design, white backlighting (but no RGB), and a detachable USB-C cable. You get a couple of extra keycaps in the box, which means you can either opt for a two-tone gray design for the keyboard’s keycaps, or add some red caps for a bit of flair. And don’t worry, alongside their Tengwar legends most of the keycaps also include a real-world letter or symbol, so you don’t have to literally learn to talk like an Orc to use the keyboard.
Drop’s Black Speech keyboard has a regular MSRP of $199 but is currently listed for $149 on Drop’s website. Looks like keyboards are back on the menu, boys.