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IQUNIX SUPER Nature 80 Aura Mechanical Keyboard Kit Review

Christopher Coke Posted:
Hardware Reviews 0

The IQUNIX SUPER line-up has been one of the most pleasant surprises in the world of custom mechanical keyboards over the last year. We’ve reviewed three so far — the 1+1, the ZONEX75, and the Tilly60 — and each has taken a unique approach to its layout and design, making them some of the most unique custom mechanical keyboards you can buy outside of the group buy model. They also come mostly pre-built and tuned for sound and feel, so you don’t need to be an experienced builder to assemble them.

The Nature 80 Aura is a keyboard kit I’ve been looking forward to for months. Since I first discovered the SUPER line-up, I’ve been in contact with IQUNIX on when I would be able to try it for myself. It’s a tenkeyless with a traditional, easily accessible layout but a very unique two-part case. It threads the needle between retro and  modern, its wide bezels reminiscent of old PCs while the wraparound bottom case is distinctly 2024. Now that I have it in hand, it’s exactly what I hoped for. With tri-mode wireless and full programmability, it’s great for gaming too. 

At $289 for the barebones kit and $319 with switches, it’s not cheap, but in the world of custom keyboards that are ready to ship today, it manages to feel like a good value and a worthy investment. 


  • Current Price: 
    • $289 - Barebones (IQUNIX)
    • $319 - Switches Included (IQUNIX)

IQUNIX SUPER Nature 80 Aura - Design and Highlights

The IQUNIX SUPER Nature 80 is the latest keyboard from IQUNIX, a company that has made its name delivering some of the best pre-built mechanical keyboards you can buy. Over the last year it has introduced its SUPER line-up of DIY custom mechanical keyboard kits.  These kits carry through all of the unique design sensibilities the company is known for and are designed to be an easy on-ramp to the custom mechanical keyboard hobby. So far, they have arrived mostly pre-built and just need switches and keycaps (though the 1+1 even included the keycaps). 

The Nature 80 is one of its more traditional designs. It uses a standard TKL layout that just about everybody should be familiar with. Where it differentiates itself is in the design of its case. Available in seven different colors (black, white, grey, silver, blue, red, and cream), it  features a blended aesthetic that is at once modern and retro in its different parts. The top case has wide side bezels that double as handles for moving it. The bottom wraps around the forehead and chin of the case, appearing almost like a tray. 

Like most iconics keyboards the aesthetic will be divisive. Some people will love it and some people will hate it; so it goes with unique designs like this, but it's not new territory for the company. Since its inception it has embraced unique designs and color schemes and uses the subjectivity of the hobby to its advantage. Its products aren’t designed to appeal to every single user; instead, they’re made to especially appeal to a certain sensibility or taste. The commonality between them really comes down to build quality.

That’s certainly the case with the Nature 80. Like the previous entries in the SUPER series, it’s a premium custom keyboard that is built to an enthusiast’s standard. The case is made from CNC milled aluminum and is either anodized or e-coated depending on your color choice. It comes mostly built out of the box but is replete with accessories that almost invite you to tinker. 

Included in the box are a number of accessories that you can choose to use or ignore completely. In addition to the case and it's internal components (pre-installed), you have: a screwdriver with two different tips, a keycap and switch puller, an extra set of feet, a foam tray with multiple different colors of  magnetic badge, an extra switch plate made of polycarbonate (the pre-installed plate is FR4), a set of spare gaskets to use with that plate, a separate sheet of PCB foam that is thinner than the one that is pre-installed.

The case itself is big and weighty. It measures 16.1 inches by 5.7 inches, so it has a bigger footprint than most TKLs. The wings on either side are a bit like handles, like an extra-wide racing wheel. The e-coat on my white sample was perfect without any visible flaws. The bottom of the case is similarly simple but includes a small silver badge and some retro horizontal striping for flair. There are four visible screws. The typing angle is a comfortable six degrees and the front height is only 20mm, making for a comfortable typing experience without the need for a palm rest. 

Two accent badges are positioned above the navigation cluster and below the Escape key. IQUNIX includes white, silver, grey, red, and purple colors in the box and they’re held in place by magnets and small pins. They’re subtle but work well to accent a keycap set, in my opinion. They’re difficult to remove without first taking off keycaps, however, and even then it’s a bit challenging without a flat tool of some kind. 

IQUNIX broke one cardinal rule with this release, just like with the SUPER 1+1 I reviewed back in September. Two of the screws to open the case are hidden beneath the adhesive feet. While it’s good that the company includes a spare set in the box, this design essentially puts a limit on how many times you can open and mod your keyboard before the adhesive fails. If IQUNIX wants to hide screws in this way, my suggestion would be to swap to removable feet like we’ve seen on keyboards like the QK65.

The nice thing about a keyboard like this is that it's nearly ready to use out of the box. You can purchase it as a barebones kit for $289 or as a bundle with switches for $319. No matter which you choose (and I recommend the bundle because the switches are excellent and it's a great deal), you'll need to install the switches yourself. The keyboard is hot-swap which means this is as simple as lining the pins up with the matching ports and pressing them into place. 

You'll also need a set of keycaps. This is standard fare for do-it-yourself mechanical keyboards since most users want to choose their own. For a narrower search, or if you’d like to buy everything in one place, IQUNIX sells their own that are pretty much guaranteed to match their different color options. They’re a little more expensive than the clones you’ll find on Amazon but they’re high quality and don’t take money out of keycap designer’s pockets. IQUNIX sent me the pure white set, but I also picked up the Nature Art set for myself because I loved its look. 

The keycaps also only need to be pressed into place and assembly is done. You could do more, and will need to if you want to use the PC plate (POM is also an option you can purchase). But for most users, the stock FR4 configuration will represent a good middle ground between flex, sound, and feel.

I’m not most people, however, and had to open it up to get a better look at its internals. Inside you can easily see how close it's design is to some of the most popular custom mechanical keyboards of the last several years. It uses eight PORON gasket strips around the edge of the plate, which is also flex cut for additional movement when typing. There is a layer of foam between the plate and PCB to isolate the sound of the switches and a layer of IXPE plate foam to add that creamy, poppy sound that has been popular for a couple of years now. There are also silicone plugs surrounding the space bar to enhance its sound to better align with the rest of the keys. Beneath the PCB is a layer of thick PORON plate foam. I chose to swap this out for the thinner sheet to enhance the movement when typing and don't notice much of an acoustic difference at all.The stabilizers are also pre-lubed and perfectly tuned straight out of the box. Now, it's not unreasonable to think that this may not be the case on every  keyboard because variations do occur in manufacturing. But I can say on mine that there was no rattle whatsoever and no need for any additional tuning.

The keyboard also sports other features to enhance its competitiveness. For connectivity, it offers tri-mode wireless with support for Bluetooth, 2.4GHz, and USB connections. Over USB or 2.4GHz, you can count on a 1,000Hz polling rate for a wired-like connection even when playing wirelessly. Despite the thick aluminum case, the plate options allow the wireless signals to travel freely for reliable connectivity. 

It also supports per-key RGB backlighting. In my review of the ZONEX75, I critiqued that keyboard for lacking it, so I’m glad to see it included here even with wireless support. There are a number of built-in lighting effects and animations to choose from but you can also customize it using the IQUNIX software. 

This is an interesting point because the website currently lists it as supporting VIA but lists its own IQUNIX software available for download on the Software page. This is what I used and it worked very well. The program supports programming layers of keys, remapping and assigning shortcuts, recording and assigning macros, and controlling the lighting effects. Using it, I was able to remap the my layers exactly as I like them, including media keys, and the only quirk was that I needed to save each layer individually to have them take effect. Overall, it’s a powerful, if still-in-development software, that is has come a long way even in the last few months.  

IQUNIX Nature 80 Aura - Gaming and Typing Performance

I have a long backlog of products I need to write about, but when it arrived on my doorstep, I couldn’t wait to put it together. The Nature 80 was worth shifting around my calendar. It’s easily my favorite keyboard from IQUNIX, taking the great sound and feel of the ZONEX75 and putting it into a full TKL form factor with a unique and, in my opinion, handsome chassis. 

I won't bury the lede here. The Nature 80 has a very foamy, poppy sound out of the box. If you’re not into that, you’ll need to take it entirely apart and rebuild it from scratch. The thing is, it pulls off this sound very well. It’s not dull, like keyboards become when they’re stuffed too full. It’s crisp and lively. Stock, there’s a small amount of movement when typing normally, but becomes even more responsive if you swap to the thinner sheet of PCB foam. 

I built the keyboard using IQUNIX’s  Moonstone switches. These are a pre-lubed long pole linear switch with a light actuation force. If all of that sounds like Greek to you, what's important to know is that they are exceptionally smooth, have a very crisp sound, and are outstanding for gaming.  The sound profile is so appealing, at least to me, that I really enjoy typing. It adds a layer of fun to what would otherwise be work when I am writing out articles. For gaming, it’s just plain nice. 

I did most of my testing when connected wirelessly (though you'll need to plug into charge all the way out of the box and to use the software). Even playing fast-paced shooters like Battlefield 2042, I wasn't able to tell any difference between playing with a wire and using the 2.4GHz dongle. The switches were exactly as responsive to my touch, so you need not fear about any wireless delay even in competitive settings.

The gasket mount implementation is traditional but also very good. There is visible responsiveness even with normal keystrokes. This means you can type for hours without the kind of repetitive fatigue harder materials elicit. Once upon a time, I read comments like that and scoffed. So, I'll admit to you now that I generally don't experience fatigue from thunting against even a very firm plate. But what I'll tell you is this: typing on a good gasket mount keyboard is simply much nicer than one that is screwed firmly into the case. The Nature 80 pulls this off exceptionally well.

I have long contended that a good gaming keyboard should make you want to come back and use it just for the pleasure of typing on its keys. This does exactly that and trumps any gaming keyboard I’ve ever used.

What it lacks in macro keys, it makes up for in programmability. Being able to map multiple layers of keys allows you to have individual mappings for particular games and applications. Or, as I rather do, set custom Fn buttons to access skills and abilities without having to move more than a finger. I long loved dedicated macro keys but frankly prefer layering because there’s less movement required. 

By mapping my Caps Lock to Fn2, I can access a whole second keyboard layout without ever moving my hand off WASD. For even more, I set the keyboard to access a whole third layout when holding Caps Lock and Space together. Almost no extra movement for far more keys than a macro cluster could provide. 

Between its programmability and wireless connectivity, it’s a great gaming keyboard and a great keyboard in general. 

Final Thoughts

IQUNIX has been one of the biggest keyboard brands to watch for several years. It’s innovative and risk-taking and doesn’t shy away from bold designs. Above all, it puts the typing experience first. The Nature 80 Aura is an excellent example of what IQUNIX does right. It looks good, sounds and feels great, and takes a lot of the intimidating and frustrating parts out of the assembly process for new builders. In short, it’s great. 

The product described in this article was provided by the manufacturer for evaluation purposes.

8.5 Great
  • Excellent build quality
  • Unique design that blends retro and modern sensibilities
  • Comes mostly built out of the box
  • Additional plate, foam, and gaskets for modding
  • Solid wireless performance and software programmability
  • Case screws hidden under the feet
  • Software still needs refinement
  • Can be cost-prohibitive


Christopher Coke

Chris cut his teeth on MMOs in the late 90s with text-based MUDs. He’s written about video games for many different sites but has made MMORPG his home since 2013. Today, he acts as Hardware and Technology Editor, lead tech reviewer, and continues to love and write about games every chance he gets. Follow him on Twitter: @GameByNight