The Black Diamond 75 is the debut keyboard from Dry Studio, a brand new keyboard brand spun off from Angry Miao. The connections are clear, but the Black Diamond 75 is a wholly unique keyboard. Taking inspiration from the Lamborghini Aventador Mansory Carbonado, a carbon fiber super car, it features a design that’s luxurious without being exorbitant and offers an excellent typing and gaming experience. Designed for esports, it features 2.4GHz wireless with a 2ms scan rate, ensuring instantaneous responses, and ultra fast switches. Launching to IndieGoGo starting at $204, it’s an impressive keyboard that competes with gaming and custom keyboards alike.
- Layout: Compact TKL (75%)
- Mounting Style: Leaf spring
- Switches: Dry Studio x Gateron Rapid Ice (1mm actuation)
- Keycaps: Doubleshot PBT
- Sound Dampening: PORON Plate Foam, IXPE Switch Foam, and Honeycomb Silicone Pad
- PCB: 1.6mm
- Hotswap: Yes
- Illumination: Per-key RGB, Underglow
- Programmable: Yes, AM Master Software
- Connectivity: 2.4GHz, Bluetooth 5.1, Wired USB Type-C
- Polling Rate: 1000Hz (1ms)
- Battery: 5000mAh
- Battery Life: 60 days over 2.4GHz (no RGB)
- Construction: Aluminum, Carbon Fiber, Acrylic
Dry Studio Black Diamond 75 - A New Kind of Gaming Keyboard
The Dry Studio Black Diamond 75 is unlike any other gaming keyboard on the market today. Coming from one of Angry Miao’s product designers, spun off to create his own studio out of Japan, it’s no surprise that it’s innovative in all the right ways. When it comes to typing and gaming quality, it’s simply outstanding. It requires no modding whatsoever, and has the best out-of-box sound I’ve ever heard on a pre-built mechanical keyboard. Even if you’re not a gamer, this is a keyboard that’s worth considering for sound and feel alone.
Those strengths come from its design, internally and externally, and it’s pretty darn unique on both fronts. You’ll be able to tell right away that this is unlike other keyboards, even those with the same layout, so be prepared to catch some attention if you use it where other people might take notice. It features a 75%, or compact TKL, layout which means it has a full function row, arrow keys, and a single column of navigation and editing buttons. But that’s where the similarities with other 75% keyboards end.
The Black Diamond is inspired by the Lamborghini Aventador Mansory Carbonado, a carbon fiber super car that most of us can only dream of. The keyboard adopts carbon fiber throughout its design, both in the integrated palm rest and the side panels. Viewed from the side, the profile is definitely there. It just so happens to create a great angle for typing too.
But Dry Studio wasn’t content to just use carbon fiber. Aluminum and glassy acrylic are also integral to its design. The top panel and portions of the side are acrylic, allowing you to see its internals. The base is heavy, durable CNC machined aluminum. Flip it over and you’ll also find a wireless Qi charging coil, allowing it to be charged using Angry Miao’s Cybermat for wireless charging.
The keyboard also supports bright per-key RGB lighting. This doesn't illuminate the whole case like some translucent keyboards. Instead, it creates and isolated bed beneath the keys. There are also two front lights at the corners of its palm rest that project light down on your desk. All of these can be customized using the AM_Master software.
Inside, things are just as interesting. The keyboard uses a leaf spring mount, akin to what we saw on the Angry Miao AFA and AM Compact Touch. While soft, bouncy gasket mounts are popular right now, the Black Diamond mounts its PCB and keys on steel leaf springs. The typing experience is crisp in a way foam gasket mounts can’t be. At the same time, it’s close enough that it doesn’t feel foreign. It’s a genuinely neat bit of design that works just as well here as it did on the AFA and Compact Touch.
The keyboard also comes completely tuned for sound and feel, so you can type comfortably with satisfying acoustics without ever worry about modding it yourself. The are multiple layers of sound dampening and acoustic treatment. These include plate foam to isolate the sound of the switches, IXPE switch foam to add pop and marbliness to the sound, and a thick honeycomb silicone pad that goes beneath the PCB. The Black Diamond 75 isn’t quiet. It has an average volume. But these layers of material remove any hollowness or unpleasant airiness to its sound and leave you with a clean, tuned pop that’s very nice. The stabilizers are also pre-lubed and weren’t rattly at all on my sample.
Since it’s a premade keyboard, it also comes with switches and keycaps. Both of these are excellent. The keycaps are thick doubleshot PBT and are very similar to GMK Blue Samurai, which is black, blue, and gold. They should never fade or shine due to their durable nature and have crisp, consistent legends.
The switches are custom-made in partnership with Gateron. They’re a pre-lubed speed switch with a high 1mm actuation point. They’re exceptionally smooth and sound great. If your reaction speed is up to the challenge, the higher actuation point should let you send more commands, faster. In a 1-to-1 test with a traditional 2mm, switch (like the Cherry MX series), you should be able to send commands about twice as fast. More important, though, is how much better they sound and feel than Cherry switches. They’re seriously nice, but their sensitivity has a definite learning curve and isn’t as good for typing as your climb it. Higher sensitivity means more typos until you get used to them.
The keyboard supports tri-mode connectivity, so you don’t need to be tethered to a wire in order to play at full speed. Over wired and its 2.4GHz connections, the former using an included dongle, you’re able to connect using a 1,000Hz polling rate. The keyboard also guarantees 2ms of responsiveness thanks to its fast scan rate.
If you’re like me, you may wonder at that statement. If the keyboard has a 1,000Hz polling rate, shouldn’t that mean 1ms of input latency by default? Not quite. Actual input latency is determined by both its polling rate and its scan rate. In simple terms, the polling rate is how often your operating system checks for updates from the keyboard; 1,000Hz equals 1,000 times per second. Scan rate is how often the keyboard itself checks for updates. These rates together determine total latency.
If you’re playing wirelessly, you’ll find that it also offers pretty great battery life. With RGB on, it lasted me more than a week and a half with the backlight turned on. With RGB off, Dry Studio promises around 60 days of dedicated use.
The keyboard is also completely programmable using Angry Miao’s AM_Master software. This suite automatically updates the keyboard with the latest firmware and allows you to remap keys and create custom backlight effects and static schemes. It’s simple to use: just launch the software and it detects your keyboard. Click on it and it will automatically scan for updates before passing you through to the configuration section of the software. Creating custom keymaps and lighting schemes for individual games is fast and easy.
The keyboard will launch to IndieGoGo on September 26th with a starting Early Bird price of $204 for the Standard Bundle and $251 for the Advanced Bundle. These prices will increase to $241 and $295 respectively. While that’s expensive, this is a custom keyboard in sound and feel, and a gaming
Dry Studio Black Diamond 75 - Typing and Gaming
One of the things I like about enthusiast keyboard companies getting into the gaming space is that they really tend to nail the fundamentals. The Black Diamond 75 feels and sounds phenomenal. It’s easily the best-sounding pre-made keyboard I’ve ever used — because people who deeply know and care about the sound and feel of keyboards designed it. They’re not out to make a quick buck. Their name and reputation depend on how well done this debut is and they nailed it. The Black Diamond 75 is fantastic.
“It’s easily the best-sounding pre-made keyboard I’ve ever used… they nailed it.”
One thing I’ve learned examining so many keyboards over the years is that every piece of their design matters. From the material in the case, the what kind of plastic or metal is used in the plate, to the material the switches are made of, right down to how long the the bottom of the stem the keycaps connect to is. It all matters.
With the Black Diamond 75, we have this great interplay between its fiberglass plate, acrylic top and sides, silicone dampener, and heavy aluminum bottom. It meshes together plastic and aluminum casework, two materials that have very different sound signatures, and leverages them to deliver the best of both worlds.
There is no hollowness or reverberation, just total solidity beneath the springs. The plate and switch foam hone the sound. The silicone dampener fills the case and filters the typing sounds further, reflecting the middle and higher frequencies back up, but doesn’t quite deaden the deepness of your keystrokes either. The aluminum acts as the last line, acting as a hard wall against for sound frequencies to bounce back from.
The leaf spring mount is a bit firmer than gasket mount but is crisp in a way that foam gaskets can’t be. They allow the typing experience to have give but not be completely soft. The entire assembly feels “tighter” and more nimble, a good match for your own disposition when you’re heading off into a competitive game. Type hard and you’ll definitely feel that movement but you don’t need to. The springs are responsive and fun all on their own.
The wireless connectivity is excellent. I won’t exaggerate and tell you that the higher scan rate is perceptible. It wasn’t to me as a casual but longtime fan of competitive shooters. I also play at a very low level. For gamers dedicated to esports and improving their skills it may be. The bigger benefit, in my opinion, is that it performs with a high degree of potential. You won’t miss an action because of the keyboard, it will be because of your skill. The Black Diamond 75 can meet you where you’re at, even at a very high level of play.
Have a look and listen for yourself in the video below.
The Dry Studio Black Diamond 75 is an excellent wireless keyboard that delivers one of the best typing and gaming experiences ever delivered in a prebuilt keyboard. At least so far — this industry moves fast. It won’t be for everyone, not with its expensive pricing and unique design (particularly the non-removable wrist rest), but it’s hard to argue that Dry Studio hasn’t delivered an excellent set of keys here. It’s unique, beautifully designed, has a sound and feel usually reserved for group buy keyboards, and has fast, reliable wireless with a big battery. This is a project definitely worth backing if you like its design.
The product described in this article was provided by the manufacturer for evaluation purposes.