The WhiteFox Eclipse is a new wireless mechanical keyboard that harks back to a classic community design. It’s based on the original WhiteFox, a project that played a big part in bringing custom keyboards into the mainstream, but with an updated set of specs and features that reflect just how much the scene has moved on since designer Matteo Spinelli hand-wired the original precursor to the WhiteFox back in 2013.
Obviously, that means the Eclipse is hot-swappable, allowing its stock Gateron Yellow Linear switches to be quickly removed and replaced without the need for desoldering, and it’s gasket-mounted to give it a softer feeling as you type. It’s also wireless, with a 4,000mAh battery that manufacturer Alpaca Keyboards reckons should last 90 hours with its backlighting set to low or up to 10 days with its LEDs turned off entirely.
In many ways, the Eclipse is attempting to catch up to the features offered by many mechanical keyboards in 2023. But more unique is its magnetic assembly, which means its switch plate and PCB can be removed without needing to undo any screws. The idea is that holding the keyboard together with magnets like this makes it far quicker to open it up and start tinkering, which is an appealing prospect if Alpaca can implement the feature without making the Eclipse feel flimsy as a result.
Other changes from the original WhiteFox include RGB LEDs rather than the simple white LEDs included on the original and the ability to reprogram the keyboard using the powerful configuration software VIA rather than having to rely on the original WhiteFox software. The WhiteFox Eclipse also uses a slightly wider 68 percent layout compared to the original that includes an extra column of keys to the right-hand side of the keyboard, and Alpaca says this means the Eclipse can fit a standard-size set of keycaps. It comes with PBT keycaps with Mac and Windows versions in the box, and there’s a USB-C port for charging.
Although the WhiteFox Eclipse uses the same name and design, it’s made by a different company than the original keyboard. Designer Matteo (Matt3o) Spinelli has publicly said he’s not involved, and keyboard collective Input Club’s involvement with the project has been minimal beyond agreeing to let new manufacturer Alpaca Keyboards use the WhiteFox name. So the Eclipse is best thought of as an all-new keyboard that leans on the WhiteFox’s design, rather than an evolution.
Prices for a fully assembled WhiteFox Eclipse start at $120 for a version with a low-profile plastic case, rising to $180 for a low-profile aluminum case or $220 for a high-profile aluminum case. There are also early bird discounts or reduced pricing if you’d like the keyboard without its switches. All the usual Kickstarter disclaimers apply, but barring any major issues, Alpaca Keyboards is hoping to ship the WhiteFox Eclipse by October 2023.