Angry Miao usually specializes in bespoke mechanical keyboards with zany or nonsensical designs that cost small fortunes. But today, its new Japan-based sub-brand, Dry Studio, is announcing a Lamborghini-inspired gaming keyboard that looks like a futuristic race car on your desk, yet it clocks in at a price some of us mere mortals can actually stomach.
It’s called the Black Diamond 75, a pre-built 75 percent mechanical keyboard (switches, PBT keycaps, and PCB-mounted stabilizers all included and preinstalled) with an integrated wrist wrest, and it starts at just $240 on Indiegogo ($204 on an “early bird” special) — with expected shipments in November.
A respectable $240 for the base model or $295 for an even fancier special edition
The Black Diamond 75 gets its name and design cues from the Lamborghini Aventador Mansory Carbonado — a stealth fighter of a supercar that has carbon fiber everywhere and is nicknamed “the black diamond.” In keyboard form, this translates to a hot-swappable board with an aluminum bottom case, a built-in carbon fiber wrist rest, polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) acrylic side rails, and a top deck that allows you to peer at its interior and stainless steel leaf spring mounting system. These non-adjustable versions of Angry Miao’s signature leaf springs offer a crisp typing feel with just a bit of flex — it’s far from the super-soft and bouncy feel of gasket mount and plateless boards that are so hot right now in the custom scene — because much of the Black Diamond’s build is designed around speed and responsiveness.
Since this is a mechanical keyboard for Gamers (and Angry Miao / Dry Studio can’t help but be super try-hards), its specs are meant to be “esports-level.” That means it’s got a claimed wireless latency of less than 2ms, a polling rate of 1000Hz while using its 2.4GHz connection (it also supports Bluetooth 5.1 and wired USB-C), and it comes with DR Rapid Ice linear switches co-developed with Gateron that feature a short 1mm actuation and 40-gram actuation force. The Mithril silver color scheme swaps all the carbon fiber for aluminum and opts for softer, copper leaf springs and linear KTT Wine Red switches — for those who prefer more comfort and are less hardcore about speed and stiffness.
I’ve had some hands-on time with the carbon version of the Black Diamond, and while a price of $295 isn’t exactly cheap (that’s the price for the special edition model I’ve had on loan, with wireless Qi charging and additional forward-facing Lambo-like RGB lights), it’s at least in conversation with “entry-level custom” boards often found in group buys with very lengthy wait times. (Ask me about my Meletrix Zoom75 group buy that I’ve been waiting on for five months and ended up costing me over $300 when you account for keycaps and switches.)
I think the Black Diamond 75’s build quality and ornate construction feel really impressive for this kind of money, especially considering it’s a no-nonsense pre-built board that still allows all the tinkering and modding you may want. The 2.4GHz connection never had any hiccups, and its internal 5,000mAh battery was easily lasting me a little over a week with the LED lighting on — Dry Studio claims it can last as long as 75 days with lighting off when used for eight hours a day.
The typing feel is indeed crisp but never too harsh on my digits. It’s got just enough flex in it to not cause finger fatigue after a full workday’s use — though your results may be very different with its non-removable wrist rest. I have a tendency of putting a little too much weight on my palms while typing, and the carbon rest can make this unforgiving at the end of a long workday, leaving me with red marks for a short time. The perpetual debate of hard wrist rests vs. soft wrist rests vs. no wrist rest at all comes down to personal preference, but I’d say you may want to be at least fond of hard wrist rests to consider this board.
The sound of the Black Diamond is a bit more marbly and bright compared to most other Angry Miao boards I’ve tested, where AM often uses lots of foam layers and all-metal chassis to make each keystroke sound a little more subdued and deep. Overall, the Dry Studio board sounds pleasant unless you’re seeking the absolute deepest “thock” sound around — and that’s where changing switches and keycaps or doing some slight mods can always come in.
But I have to emphasize that it’s the looks department that really gives this keyboard its wow factor. Much like the vastly more expensive keyboards from Angry Miao, if you have the Black Diamond 75 on your desk, it feels like you’ve decorated your space with a statement piece — a piece of edgy art you can type on. Seeing inside the borders of the case does not get old, even if it’s distracting when the acrylic collects dust. See-through tech is very much back in vogue, and I love what the Black Diamond is doing here, though I still wish there was some way I could see even more.
Perhaps Dry Studio could go a little further and make an even more translucent version in the future. The chunky board is more than heavy enough at around 6.2 pounds, so going lighter with a little more acrylic should be fine. Part of the reason for its large size and weight is the integrated wrist rest, which could have (and maybe, for some folks, should have) been removable, but the tradeoff is the brutally solid feel when you put your hands down to type.
If Dry Studio follows in its parent company Angry Miao’s footsteps, I’m sure the Black Diamond 75 is just the tip of the iceberg for more out-of-left-field designs. The Black Diamond 75 shows a lot of promise as the first one out of the gate, even though its looks may still not be for everyone — but I think that’s just part of the charm. If more unique keyboards continue to come from Dry Studio and offer this excellent sampling of luxury keyboards at more realistic prices, it’s definitely a win. I’ll be excited to see what comes next in this sub-brand’s portfolio.
Photography by Antonio G. Di Benedetto / The Verge
Update September 26th, 12:00PM ET: Updated article to reflect that Dry Studio’s crowdfunding campaign is live, included a link to the Indiegogo page, and added an audio typing sample.