Drop's new customizable keyboard has quick-swap magnetic cases

Drop CSTM80
(Image credit: Drop)

Sick of the sight of your keyboard? Well, you won't be with the new Drop CSTM80 thanks to its novel quick-swap top case.

The CSTM80 is a tenkeyless board with a magnetic top case allowing for super-swift swaps. Simply pull the top case off and drop a different one on for a pretty comprehensive change in visual vibe. The standard fully-assembled CSTM80 comes with a black polycarbonate case for $149.

You can also choose from white, black, Laser Purple, Skiidata Orange, and Jasmine Green polycarbonate cases for $25 a pop. If you fancy something slightly more substantial, anodized silver and black aluminum top cases go for $59 each.

If the swappable top case is the main attraction, the rest of the package looks decent, too. Highlights include the gasket-mounted design, per-key RGB LEDs, custom ABS south-facing keycaps with shine-through side legends optimized for south-facing switches, PCBA mounted stabilizers, customizable weight and 5-pin switch support.

Oh, and you can also choose from Gateron Brown Pro 3.0 or Gateron Yellow KS3 key switches. The CSTM80's gasket-mount design, of course, is designed to provide a more cushioned, premium feel compared with more conventional fixed-plate designs, including Drop’s own V2 boards.

It involves a a dampening material inserted between the top frame housing and keys and the lower case, softening the end point of the keystrokes.

A barebones CSTM80 is also available for $99. But the cost of adding not only the top case but also the keycaps, stabilizers and switches probably won't make for a sensible value proposition. Better to buy the fully-built board and customize from there.

Of course, the keycaps are also full customizable, so the net result is a full modular keyboard that can be adjusted for look and feel pretty much the, well, board. A bargain it probably isn't. But the customizable element certainly adds to the appeal as a long-term investment.


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Jeremy Laird
Hardware writer

Jeremy has been writing about technology and PCs since the 90nm Netburst era (Google it!) and enjoys nothing more than a serious dissertation on the finer points of monitor input lag and overshoot followed by a forensic examination of advanced lithography. Or maybe he just likes machines that go “ping!” He also has a thing for tennis and cars.