This is a big one! Who will take the crown for the best modern keyboard or company 2016? It has been an innovative and busy year for keyboard companies and keyboard designers alike.
The official nominees were:
The XMIT Hall Effect keyboard
We had a strong list of competitors in the final round, but one of them mobilized the fan base like no other. I present the winner of this year's Best modern keyboard or company award:
A relatively new face in the world of keyboard companies, ZealPC has quickly gained a very dedicated base of fans for its ever-growing range of unique products. A fine sense for the needs of the enthusiast community and world class marketing have proven to be a recipe for success!
2nd place: Cooler Master
One of the big players in the market for gaming oriented mechanical keyboards! They managed to rise above their competitors with awesome innovations like the CM Novatouch and great all-rounder TKLs at competitive price points. Serving the European/ISO market like few other companies and actively involving in the community has earned CoolerMaster a well deserved 2nd place!
3rd place: VE.A by Oddforge
Passionately developed by a two man team, the guys from Oddforge have really shown why Korean Kustom keyboards are legendary. Vermillion from Oddforge originally designed this keyboard because he was unable to afford one of the highly sought after Cherry MX5000 keyboards. After much development and great design work, his product can take on the Cherry MX5000 any day!
XMIT Hall Effect keyboard
Certainly a surprise to see a keyboard in the final round that hasn't even hit the market yet. Many excited fans of this keyboard are eagerly awaiting delivery in 2017. What we have heard and seen from this keyboard's global beta testers has left enough of an impression to earn a mention in this category.
A new player in the custom keyboard game had an amazing debut in 2016. Evangs started the first round of his TheVan/MiniVan keyboard in spring 2016 and ran a butter smooth GB honoring his motto "The Van delivers!"
Shortly after that he took it to the next level, offering a refined version of his innovative 40% keyboard on Massdrop. It was a smashing success.