One of the many reasons to switch to a mechanical keyboard—besides the mustache-twirling joy in shattering the silence of a quiet office—is being able to easily customize your keyboard’s appearance: a selling point the creators of the MelGeek Pixel are heavily leaning on with what they claim is the world’s first Lego-compatible mechanical keyboard.
Migrating to a mechanical keyboard is often the start of a slippery slope towards obsessive hardware customization, as most are designed to allow users to swap keycaps, modify under-key lighting, and even switch out the mechanical mechanisms that give these keyboards their unique sounds and feel. But customizing a mechanical keyboard can quickly get expensive given just how many keys and parts you can replace. The Pixel potentially provides a cheaper way to make a mechanical keyboard at least look distinctly yours—assuming you’ve already got a giant bin of Lego bricks to work with.
Although it features a more compact key layout than most standalone keyboards, the Pixel is far from being portable thanks to a generous border covered in a grid of Lego-compatible studs. The Pixel keyboard isn’t an official Lego product, but ever since the company’s patents on the design of its interlocking bricks expired in 1978, other companies have been able to make compatible, but unofficial, products. The Pixel’s border can be adorned with patterns created from smooth Lego tiles, minifigure characters, or even 3D structures, such as brick-built pen holders.
The keyboard’s LED status indicators are covered in clear brick studs too, allowing them to be built upon with additional transparent Lego pieces. The same applies to every single mechanical switch on the board. Users can pop off the included set of keycaps and replace them all with custom Lego creations, although we suggest a SNOT (studs not on top) approach unless you’re trying to punish your fingertips.
We’ve reached out to the MelGeek team for details on when the group expects the Pixel keyboard to ship out, and wewill update this post when we hear back. It’s currently available for pre-order with a $1 refundable deposit which will let you eventually purchase the keyboard for $199, instead of its full $269 MSRP.