GMMK Pro Review: A New Era for Mechanical Keyboards?
The gmmk pro a keyboard that’s taken the community somewhat by storm and one that i personally think signals the start of a new arc for the mechanical keyboards hobby, Music to be transparent, glorious did send out the products for me to keep, but no money was exchanged. They didn’t force me to say anything and they didn’t get to review the video before i went, live they’re watching it for the first time, just like everyone else with that out of the way let’s unbox, this glorious has kept the packaging pretty consistent with all their Other products no surprise here: we’re greeted with a business card first upon opening, make sure to check out their quick start guide, especially if you’re new, then underneath we have the keyboard and they include basic accessories like a usbc, cable switch and keycap puller, and some extra Gasket strips alright, so this is the gmmk pro it’s generated, quite the buzz as it’s the first mechanical keyboard from a decently, well known gaming company to truly take cues from the modern enthusiast mechanical keyboard scene and they package all that into a retail price of 169.99. Now you might have noticed in the unboxing that the keyboard has no switches or keycaps, you will need to purchase and install switches and key caps separately. This might come up as a shocker to people new to the scene, but this is quite normal. Once you start purchasing enthusiast level keyboard kits, so what does 169.
99 get? You then? Well, it gets you all. The trending buzzwords, the gm mmk pro is a hot swappable. 75 gasket mounted high profile keyboard with a knob. Oh and of course it also has sound. Dampening foam one between the pcb and plate and one underneath the pcb okay, all memes aside this keyboard, it’s it’s, actually quite good that’s. My verdict, if you don’t, want to watch the entire video, i hate to admit it, but it’s a very nice keyboard for its price range and it just might outclass other keyboards in similar categories now, of course, it’s not perfect and that’s to be expected, as there Are some things that i don’t like about it? So hopefully you watch the whole video and make sure to subscribe to the channel and turn on the notification bell to be notified of future videos like this, the gmmk pro features a 75 layout with a knob. If you’ve seen my streams at all, i stream every tuesdays and wednesdays over at twitch, you should already know that i’m. Personally, not a fan of this kind of layout. I generally don’t like knobs on my keyboards as i don’t have a need for them, but i probably am in the minority, as has quickly become a popular feature on custom mechanical keyboards. For me, most 75 layouts don’t rank high for aesthetics, but there’s no denying it is a nice mix between compactness and preserving functionality, which i think is important.
Considering the market. This keyboard is trying to capture the knob on the gmmk. Pro is nice. The detents are definitely noticeable. You can feel the stepping, as you turn, the knob, which provides a subtle but evident feedback. It does wiggle a bit as the knob is only secured via friction to the rotary encoder. But during my three weeks of testing, i found this to be a non issue for real world usage, as the knob is not actually screwed onto the rotary encoder. This makes interchanging it with the other knobs. You can purchase from glorious, fairly simple in terms of machining. All the outer edges have been filleted and it feels nice to the touch the word glorious is engraved on the bottom. The usb port cutout is pretty spot on the fitment of the side, glow acrylic piece and the cutout has no leaks, but i did notice that some of the machining did look rough around certain areas. The anodization is decent, but on my unit there were some light. Streaking and inconsistent spots here and there now, the gm mmk pro comes in two color ways: white ice and black slate. Definitely an ambitious mistake on glorious end to call their anodized board white ice it’s more like a silver, the machining and anodization quality on the gmk pro isn’t, going to blow you away, but it’s more than decent and acceptable. I think from a product at this price point unscrewing the 8 phillips screws which are easily accessible from the bottom open up the internals.
I am happy to see that this time around they have not only oriented the switch pinhole so that they are south facing, but have also added five pin switch compatibility to the pcb meaning you no longer have to clip your switches. At the moment. The pcb is limited to ansi only, but an iso version is coming later this year, like the popular gmmk line of keyboards. The gmmk pro only offers a hot swappable pcb and it comes with the proprietary glorious hot swap sockets, which, from what i can tell don’t, seem functionally superior to other existing hot swap sockets at the moment, other than the fact that these glorious sockets are orientation agnostic. In terms of installation during manufacturing, the pcb is qmk compatible out of the box, and at the time of making this video, i do see the gmk pro in the qmk github repo glorious has additionally stated they intend to make it via compatible as well later down. The line so we’ll see how that turns out for anyone who has purchased the first batches of this keyboard, there will be a required firmware update, which needs to be done via the glorious core, a unified software that glorious tends to use for other products moving forward. I was only able to play around with a pre release version before making the video and it works. Okay, the software is fairly intuitive to use with about all the basic functionality. You would want from a keyboard remapping program from changing the led colors remapping, your keys and recording macros.
The only real complaint i had was that currently you have to save each edit individually. You can’t remap several switches at once. Then click save for all those changes to propagate. If you do this, only the most recent change you made goes through. I have notified glorious of this and i’ve been told. This is being worked on, but it seems like a fairly basic feature that should have been included ahead of time by default. The gmmk pro comes with an aluminum plate, but you do have the option of purchasing a brass or polycarbonate plate. Now, traditionally, hotspot builds secure. The pcb to the plate, via standoffs, located at various points, spread across the entire pcb and plate on the gmmk pro. However, there are two big standoffs towards the middle and then around the outer edge 12 points where the pcv is screwed onto the plate, based off the shape of the mounting holes for the pcb on the plate, as well as how some of the cutouts looked. I did confirm with the folks over at glorious that these plates are created via a tooled punch as opposed to cnc machine switch plates like you might see on more premium boards. I assume this is also why my aluminum and brass plate looks rough around the edges, but this is mostly visual. They are perfectly fine to touch. Of course, this pcb supports full perky rgb and also has some side glow, which i kind of like the execution of design wise on either sides of the pcb there’s, a column of leds that illuminate upwards, like all the other perky rgb lighting above these leds.
But underneath the plate rests a piece of acrylic that has an angled edge, flagged with some kind of opaque white material to help direct the light up and outwards to the sides. This light is then diffused through a second piece of acrylic, the one that’s actually visible from the outside, which is screwed onto the top piece. I’M, not super in love with how the side glow looks overall as an aesthetic choice on this keyboard. But it is nice to see no dead zones and this double diffusion provides for a nice even glow. One thing to note: if you do go with the acrylic plate, you’ll have quite a bit of light leak through the plate itself. The side glow also has an added functionality of being the caps lock indicator. It will blink whenever caps lock is enabled, but this is more of a gimmick in my opinion, especially if you’re someone who touch types taking a look at the bottom piece of the board. Other than the gasket mounting tabs it’s got two guiding posts near where the rotary encoder is or when assembling the board together a cutout for the daughter board and a cable routing channel for the jst connector. The daughter board is secured with a single screw in the center, which i found a bit odd, as most i’ve seen are usually screwed with four screws. One per corner there’s, also a yellow strip under the daughter board, which i thought was for adhesive purposes initially but glorious informed me, and i quote that it’s for installation to help provide additional protection against accidental electric conduction.
Oddly enough, the daughter board doesn’t rest parallel to the bottom, it’s angled upwards it’s only a very slight angling, however. So i’m not too worried about the longevity of my cables or the usb c port. But given glorious went through the trouble of designing around the daughter board, it would have been nice to see them take the extra step. I do appreciate the inclusion of a cable routing channel for the gst connector and the additional grooves that they included so that it actually keeps the cable tight in the channel that should just about cover the construction of the keyboard. Let’S not talk about how this keyboard feels. I will preface by saying that my preference is towards a softer bottom mount experience. I’Ve been especially liking a bit of bounce to my typing lately with the default aluminum plate, the keyboard feels fairly firm but it’s a good kind of firm. It definitely doesn’t feel like the harsh tray mount kind of firm you get with most other off the shelf. Keyboards as the plate has no flex cuts and combined with the default 12 gasket tabs, two of which are on the side which, in my opinion, are unnecessary for a gasket mounted board. The typing experience is a good level of stiff for people who enjoy a firmer bottom out. If you prefer an even firmer and harder bottoming out experience, then my recommendation is to get the brass plate, but in terms of typing experience, i do like the polycarbonate plate.
The best for this board, the increase in softness of the bottom out, should be noticeable even to people new to the hobby. So i think that speaks volumes for the difference in stiffness levels, even with the polycarbonate plate, though you won’t be feeling much flex or give. If that’s something you’re looking for okay on to acoustics, first things, first let’s talk about those goat stabilizers. They are pre lubed, with g lube, both on the plastic on plastic areas, as well as on the wire but it’s, not enough i’ve heard war stabs on other boards and any veteran enthusiast should be able to tell it’s been lubed somewhat, but once again, gloria’s kind Of shot themselves in the foot, it seems calling them goat stabilizers, as i’ve also heard better tuned stabilizers from other pre built keyboards out of the box. I think the sound test demonstrates this best. So take a listen, i think it’s clear. It could definitely use a bit more tuning if you do take the time to tune them additionally than how they come pre installed. I also personally recommend swapping them out for better stabilizers, like duroc, c3 or zeal. If possible, annoyingly door. Rock stabilizers are a rather tight fit on the aluminum plate and, if you’re going to use the brass plate, you’re going to need to sand off some of the stabilizer housing, if you do go with an acrylic plate, however, the dorot stabilizers should fit fine, while none Of the goat stabilizers, i tried suffer from binding.
I didn’t notice a smoothness increase from the better quality stabilizers. So this is why i recommend a stabilizer upgrade. As for the board itself, i don’t think it’s all that bad. It sounds quite decent. My preference is towards the aluminum plate. I generally don’t like polycarbonate plates for sound, and this is the same with the gmk pro. But if minimizing volume is your priority, then polycarbonate is the way it does come included with two sheets of sound damping foam which are removable. In my opinion, the timbre of the board isn’t spectacular, but it’s not unpleasant by any means. I personally liked leaving both sheets of foam in for acoustics, but you can experiment with it. Here are some sound tests with various switches and keycaps? So so so so so, along with the gmk pro glorious, has released some additional accessories. You can purchase such as their gpbt keycaps, cold cables, lube station g, lube, wrist, rest and whatnot, which you can check out on their website. I’Ll just briefly mention the keycap, since i imagine that would be most asked about, and it’s uh it’s, not for me. It’S, a pbt dice upset that retails for 49.99 for 114 keys, so it’ll probably cover your average gaming keyboard, but for more enthusiast layouts, this will be lacking. Initially, seven colors will be available and personally for me, the only things i like about this set is the thickness of the keycap itself and the crispness of the legendary.
The alignment and consistency of the legendary is pretty poor. However, and i’m not a fan of the right justified text on the right side – mods, of course not. Everyone cares for spending as much as they do on their keycaps as they do on their keyboard. So if you plan on sticking with the gm mmk pro for a while and just want something simple to go along with it, consider the gpbt keycaps the final verdict, while i did have something to say about pretty much every aspect of the keyboard, none of them Were major deal breakers and i actually think this is a fantastic value proposition for any enthusiast, regardless of their skill levels, while this keyboard is intended to be that next premium jump up for previous gmk owners or anyone looking to get it to the glorious ecosystem. I think this will also be a great recommendation for anyone looking to dip their toes into the enthusiast scene without breaking the bank too much if layout, isn’t too big of a concern. I would 100 recommend this gmmk pro over other keyboards, with a similar price point or layout, such as the kbd75 series. The drop control heck i’d, even probably recommend you forgo the keychron keyboards and that you just save up for this. At this price point and with minimal tuning, you can really get a decent custom. Mechanical keyboard experience that i think, will be a great gateway into the hobby.
For many people, i think the biggest hurdle for the enthusiast community is going to be separating the brand from the product. There’S, no doubt glorious has rubbed many people the wrong way in the hobby initially and that they clearly are new to this segment of products. Now i’m, not absolving glorious of everything that they’ve done, but i do think that at least publicly they have shown an openness and willingness to learn about the community and listen and so far i think the gmmmk pro is a decent first attempt. This board is, in my opinion, going to introduce a whole new audience to what custom mechanical keyboards can be like and convert new people to become not only time will tell how truly in tune they intend to be with the enthusiast segment. But this is just the beginning as big as glorious is relative to our existing vendors. They are still minuscule compared to the larger companies that will be taking notice and entering the space. But everyone needs to start somewhere right, whether it’s a vendor or the next enthusiast. Joining the scene and we should look to help guide and teach these new entities within a reasonable degree. Of course, joining any niche hobby is a two way relationship veteran members, shouldn’t look to gatekeep for the sake of keeping the status quo, but at the same time, new entities do need to put in the work to truly learn the culture of the space and not Expect to be spoon fed everything, alright that’s it for me from this video it’s been a while since i’ve done a review.
Video like this on youtube, but you can expect more to come.