Massdrop x OLKB Preonic Mechanical Keyboard Rev3search

Massdrop x OLKB Preonic Mechanical Keyboard Rev3

Massdrop x OLKB Preonic Mechanical Keyboard Rev3

(6 reviews)
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A Mech Keys Favorite, Now Even Better

The original Preonic keyboard was praised for its build quality, compact form factor, and intuitive layout—and the new version is no different. However, this time around we're offering the CNC-aluminum case in your choice of five colors, including the striking new purple colorway. What's more, this version has a new ARM STM32 processor that provides more power to the PCB and the USB-C connector. Another upgrade? The new Preonic has Kaihua hotswap sockets (which support grid 2x1u, 1x2u, and 2x2u bottom row layouts) so you can swap out your switches whenever you want without even picking up a soldering iron. Plus, If you’re new to keyboard kits, the compact Preonic is a great way to learn about keyboard programming.

Note: At checkout, choose a case color (black, gunmetal, orange, purple, or silver) and a plate (MX or Matias). You can also select a set of 60 Kaihua, Cherry, Matias, or Halo switches; and you can add a carrying case for (+ $7.99). See checkout options for more details and pricing.  

To allow us to start production on the order, and to ensure smooth delivery, we will be collecting payment on July 31. If this is an issue for you, please join the drop after this date.

The Theory Behind It

Designed by Jack Humbert at OLKB, the Preonic is made for efficiency. The layout is very similar to the Planck (also by OLKB), but with an additional row for easier access to numbers, function keys, or whatever else you’d like to program. The smaller space bar makes it easier to use your thumbs to access additional layers via the “raise” and “lower” keys. And even with the extra row, the keyboard still maintains a very compact form factor for portability.

New Plate, No Problem

With regards to the plate design, we’ve removed the jaggedness that was causing issues with MX-style switches. Now we’re offering an MX plate (for MX switches and clones) and a Matias plate (for Matias and ALPS switches), both of which support the 1 x 2u, 2 x 2u, and Grid layout. The plate design even allows you to swap out switches on the fly. Thanks to the Kaihua hotswap sockets, replacing switches is completely plug and play, so you never need to worry about tedious soldering—not to mention all layouts are fully supported. Made from 304 stainless steel, the plate is heavy and stable, with five holes for mounting the included M2 screws.

Beeps & Boops

Also notable, the PCB is outfitted with a small speaker, which is driven by the MCU. In the default firmware this will make a few different noises—like a short series of beeps on startup, notifications when you put the board into Device Firmware Upgrade (DFU) mode, plus noises when you change the default layout to prevent mishaps when typing quickly. The speaker can be disabled by a keyboard shortcut or by flashing new firmware. This version also allows for expanded functionality with footprints for things like LEDs, DIP switches, power adapter plugs, Qwiic connectors, and more. For more information, check out the QMK documentation and the specs section below.


  • Designed by OLKB
  • Produced by Massdrop
  • Anodized CNC aluminum case
  • PBT keycaps
  • ARM STM32 processor
  • Reprogrammable Matias / MX-compatible PCB
  • Matias switch users will have to solder switches onto the PCB as the Kaihua hotswap sockets only fit MX-style switches (Cherry, Kaihua, Gateron, etc.)
  • 304 brushed stainless steel top plate (Matias or MX)
  • Rubber feet
  • Dimensions, assembled: 9.1 x 4.1 x 0.9 in (23.1 x 10.4 x 2.3 cm)


  • Pre-soldered
  • Pre programmed
  • Standard layout
  • Cherry MX and Matias/ALPS switch footprints
  • LED ready
  • Built-in speaker

PCB Footprints for Extra Capability

  • 9x footprints for WS2812B RGB LEDs (COM-12667): RGB LEDs that glow through the bottom of the case (acrylic cases would be preferred)
  • Footprint for a 4-channel DIP switch (210-4ES): A DIP switch is just 4 little switches combined into one (the Poker has one for settings)
  • Footprint for a 2-pin JST-PH (PRT-09749): This is a power adapter plug for wireless builds (Bluetooth, etc.)
  • Footprint for a 4-pin Qwiic (I2C) JST-SH connector (PRT-14417): Makes it compatible with Sparkfun’s Qwiic system
  • Footprint for a clickable (worked into the matrix) rotary encoder (COM-09117, et al): This will spin and click to allow even more customization
  • Footprint for a 6-pin male/female header (PRT-09015 or PRT-12590, et al): For development and DIY projects

Included (Base Price)

  • CNC aluminum case
  • Screws and spacers
  • 4 rubber feet
  • Top plate
  • PCB
  • Acute PBT dye-sublimated keycap set
  • USB cable
  • 60 Kaihua BOX switches


All orders will be shipped by Massdrop.

Estimated ship date is Jan 24, 2019 PT.

After the drop ends, payment will be collected and the group’s order will be submitted to the vendor up front, making all sales final. Check the discussion page for updates on your order.