We have been reviewing keyboards for a long time now, be that membrane or mechanical, but there’s one thing that we still never got to try out. And thanks to our friends over at Tt eSPORTS, today, we’ll be checking out their 38-key Metalcaps set.
Compared to the normal keycaps you’d find on the market or the ones that came with your keyboard are made out of plastic (ABS or PBT), the Metalcaps from Tt eSPORTS are made up of Zinc alloy. So compared to the plastic ones, this gives the Metalcaps a solid metallic feel and also adds to the weight considerably. These metal keycaps are also anodized and UV coated for the long run. Tt eSPORTS offer their Metalcaps in different sets and the one we are testing today is a 38-key set. The 38-key set includes all the English letters, some special character, 4 arrow keys and an escape key with the Tt eSPORTS logo on it. So, let’s go ahead and check out the what they are like in the unboxing section.
So, you get the Tt eSPORTS Metalcaps 38 key set in a long rectangular box with their traditional red/black theme. We have the branding on the top of the box with product name written near the middle. We also have some cuts on the box making the metal keycaps visible inside, along with a picture of them in use.
On the back, we have some features written like durable metal frame, and anodized and UV coating. Tt eSPORTS also mentions that these keycaps are compatible with their certified switches which include Cherry MX. So, you should be good with Kailh and Gatheron switches as well since they all feature somewhat similar stem.
Inside the box, this is how the keys are placed in position with foam housing. And you also get a key puller along with the metal keycaps. And accessory-wise, we seem to only have a warranty policy booklet. One good thing about their packaging is that all the keys are arranged in the pattern they would go on the keyboard. So you won’t have to waste time sorting out specific keys if you remember the key positions on a standard QWERTY keyboard.
So, this is what the keycaps looks like from a closer distance. It’s obvious that these keycaps weren’t polished before being shipped out, so that’s something Tt eSPORTS’ have left for us to do. But nonetheless, you’ll be getting your fingerprints on them soon because of the glossy metal surface. Still, a polished out of the box product would have been good.
Here’s a look at the Arrow keys, the glossy finish of the surface makes the arrow symbol somewhat invisible. If you’re looking at the keys from above, then you can clearly see the letters and symbols, however, it becomes difficult if you’re viewing them from an angel.
Here’s a shot of some random keycaps in different position.
Now let’s have a look at some photos of the keycaps installed on a keyboard. The installation process is similar to the installation of any other keyboard. You just take out the older keycaps from the keyboard with a key puller, place the Metalcaps above the mechanical switch stem and apply some force to settle it on the stem.
Here are some shots of the Metalcaps in different profiles or the Rantopad MXX and Azio MGK-L80 RGB Keyboard.
And in this shot, you can see that the Metalcaps align perfectly with the plastic keycaps shipped with the keyboard. Which means they all have the same dimension, seems like Tt eSPORTS were serious about perfecting their metal craftsmanship.
User Experience and Conclusion:
By the time of this review, I’ve been using these keycaps for more than a month. And in the current winter weather, there’s one thing I can say for sure, and that’s, they get really cold. Well, that much was a given since these are metal keycaps. So, if your hands, specifically fingers are warm because you were sitting by a fire or had them covered, you’ll immediately notice how cool they can get once you touch the keys. Well, this is something I believe, is limited to winter weather, so you should be OK in this aspect in other seasons. And you also get used to the cold keycaps within seconds, so it’s not really a big concern, but worth mentioning.
Compared to the normal plastic keycaps, you can surely feel the difference between them and these Metalcaps. They have a solid feeling to them because of the much higher density as compared to lightweight plastic keycaps. The increased weight of the Metalcaps helps with the actuation of the switches which makes it go down with a little less force as opposed to the lightweight plastic keycap. At least that’s what I felt like, however typing with these keycaps seems to drain my energy from fingers faster than on plastic keycaps. Which I know, doesn’t make sense as the keycap presses smoothly compared to the plastic ones. Maybe it has to do with the solid feeling of the keycaps or maybe the the actuation requires more force but it doesn’t feel that way due to the smooth press. So, if you’re an editor/blogger or someone along those lines and looking forward to buying these keycaps mainly for typing purpose, you should keep that in mind. But if you’re into this because of the out-of-norm look and want something fancy for gaming and short periods of typing, then this seems like a good option.
And since the whole keycap is made up of zinc alloy with anodized and UV coated top, I wouldn’t suggest using an RGB keyboard with this. Since the RGB LED effects won’t pass through the surface of the keycaps and you’ll only be left with the glow at the bottom of the keycaps. However, at night time, the keycaps reflects a lot of light from the monitor. But that still doesn’t make the characters on the keycaps clearly visible. So, unless you’ve remembered the English letters and special characters on the keycaps and have good hand positioning on a keyboard, you might have a hard time using the keyboard in dark.
The Tt eSPORTS Metalcap 38-key set has an MSRP of $69. This may seem a little bit too much, but if you look at the market of plain plastic keycaps which hovers around the same price if not more when it comes to custom keycaps, the Tt eSPORTS Metalcaps seems like a good option. And considering the fact that the Metalcaps in sets of 5 has an MSRP of $14.99-$19.99, the 38-key set also provides a better value. I definitely love how my tenkeyless keyboard looks like with the Metalcaps, as can be seen in the pictures above. But it would’ve been good to see the letters engraving or just make the letters translucent so the LED effect can pass through them. So, in the end, I would like to give the Tt eSPORTS Metalcaps 4.5 out of 5 stars and give it our precious Editor’s Choice award!
The Metalcaps in 38-key set doesn’t seem to be available in the US at the time, I’ll update the review once they are. Meanwhile you can check out their 5-key sets on Amazon at the following link: