Drop + Lord of the Rings Black Speech Keyboard Review

Setup and Usage

Getting started with the Drop + Lord of the Rings Black Speech keyboard is as easy as can be, considering all it takes is connecting the included USB cable to the keyboard, and then plugging that into your system. With that, you will hear the standard USB connected sound if you are using Windows, and once it does its thing, you are good to go. Unfortunately there is no software associated with this keyboard, so any customization you want to do is based off of key combos. Thankfully the included information card provides a list of system controls and media key functions for your reference.

As I mentioned earlier, when using the Black Speech keyboard, the only light that will be visible is from beneath the keycaps, due to the lack of any transparent legends on the top of the keycaps. I never found this to be an issue in my time with the keyboard though, as the glow from my screen was enough to light up the keyboard enough to see in those times when I needed to look down to find a key. But don’t expect this thing to put on a fancy light show like most current gaming keyboards do – you will only get a few levels of white light from the Black Speech board.

Drop + LOTR Black Speech

Typing this review with the Black Speech keyboard and its MT3 profile keycaps started off a bit rough, but by the time I got to this point in my work, I have really adjusted quite well to this alternative design. In my very early testing, I felt like there wasn’t quite enough space at the top of the keycaps for my fingers to rest, as the concave surface really makes them feel even smaller than they are. And while not as obvious as the little dots or bars you find on other keycaps, both the “F” and “J” keycaps have a very slightly deeper indentation to help you find your home row placement.

Drop + LOTR Black Speech

One drawback I did notice with this keyboard was the “twangy” sound that was almost constantly present while typing. The metallic, springy sound could always be heard after the last keystroke, and often during typing out long sets of characters. A bit of dampening in this board would go a long way towards solving this issue, and I will say that I did notice it to be slightly more pronounced when I had the legs of the keyboard extended. Check out a typing sample at around 72 WPM below, as well as some examples of the pinging noise at the end.

 

Again, I was glad Drop included the small English legends on the keycaps as a reference, but I really liked the look of the Black Speech font on this board. It just immediately brought me back into that fantasy world, and while some of the letters in that language look similar to English letters, the unique font brought the immersion to a new level.

Drop + LOTR Black Speech

As far as gaming with this keyboard goes, I was able to use it just fine, though I wasn’t nearly as confident or precise with my movements compared to a standard keycap layout. And while I much prefer linear switch designs like Cherry MX Reds for gaming, the tactile feel of the Holy Panda X switches felt just fine during my testing.