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New Drop CSTM80 is a custom keyboard dream

With magnetic top plates to change its look and optional weight plates, switch plate materials, and more, the TKL CSTM80 covers every keyboard modding option.

Drop CSTM80 custom keyboard

Drop – of community-driven product development fame – has just unveiled the Drop CSTM80 keyboard, a new tenkeyless (TKL) board that has a huge number of customizable components all while also being available in a ready-to-go pre-built version. The new board starts at a mere $99 for a barebones unit or $149 for a fully-assembled version, with both upgradeable with swappable top covers, weight plates, different switches, keycaps, and more.

Only a few months since Corsair bought Drop, the company has released what is perhaps its most versatile and affordable keyboard yet, in the shape of the CSTM80. However, while its starting price is comfortably in the affordable range, this keyboard doesn’t seem to have dropped any of the company’s usual build quality. If that proves to be the case, its style and customization could easily see it earn a place on our best keyboard list, alongside other models from Corsair and Ducky.

The board is built around a gasket-mounted switch plate and PCB, for a slightly cushioned feel and sound-dampening effect. Onto this base you can then add different switch plates in a choice of brass, carbon fiber, or FR4 or POM plastics ($17.50 – $34 price range). Weight plates can also be added, with again brass as an option or two different colored stainless steel choices ($49 each).

Drop CSTM80 custom keyboard layers

Opt for the barebones version and you can also add your choice of hot-swappable keyswitches and keycaps, with Drop stocking a wide range of options.

However, the most prominent customization choice – ok, perhaps other than changing keycaps – is the ability to pop on a polycarbonate ‘case’ that fits over the base and around the keys. This is held on with magnets and you get a choice of White, Black, Laser Purple, Skiidata orange, and Jasmine Green. These are just $25 a piece. Or, you can opt for an aluminum case in black or silver that’s a $59 option.

Drop CSTM80 prebuilt keyboard

If you choose the pre-built model, the standard color is black and you get a choice of linear or tactile Gateron RGB switches. Meanwhile, the keycaps are ABS with side or “south” facing legends for a clean all-black look to the top of the keys.

Totaling up the build costs, the cheapest fully-configured board will be one of the pre-built units at $149 including a black case, while a custom-made model with weight plate and aluminum case will set you back $208.90 before taxes, and before you add keyswitches and keycaps.

In a world where custom keyboards can go for many hundreds of dollars, these prices seem reasonable. Of course, the proof of the pudding will be in how good the build quality is, which is why we already have one on its way for us to test.

The Drop CSTM80 is available now direct from Drop.com. One thing to note for readers not in the US is that the keyboard is currently only available in ANSI key layouts and not ISO layouts, so fans of double-height Enter keys might have to pass on this one.

Will you be grabbing a Drop CSTM80? Let us know your thoughts on the Custom PC Facebook page, via Twitter, or join our Custom PC and Gaming Setup Facebook group and tap into the knowledge of our 420,000+ members.