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Chyros's Holy Panda switches review

Posted: 21 Nov 2020, 09:42
by derzemel
@Chyros thank you for this review. There is a local shop here in Romania that has the Glorious PC Gaming Race Panda (another holy panda clone made by Glorious) in stock and I was tempted by them.
I wanted to get close to the way Orange Alps feel (or a "mechanical" Topre feel), but something was not feeling right about them, especially with the drama around them.

Also, as you are a whisky fan, may I recommend Aberlour 12 years old (shameless instagram plug :P)

Re: Chyros's Holy Panda switches review

Posted: 21 Nov 2020, 13:09
by Chyros
I don't have Instagram, but I'll see if I can get hold of some Aberlour 12. I tend to like the really heavily peated stuff though xD .

Re: Chyros's Holy Panda switches review

Posted: 21 Nov 2020, 17:28
by Muramasa
It's cool seeing someone with a whiskey made so local, Aberlour is just 30 miles from me!

Re: Chyros's Holy Panda switches review

Posted: 21 Nov 2020, 22:33
by ro0llo
Wondering how they compare to Zaelios v2s. Do they feel simular?

Re: Chyros's Holy Panda switches review

Posted: 23 Nov 2020, 09:18
by Elrick
ro0llo wrote:
21 Nov 2020, 22:33
Wondering how they compare to Zaelios v2s. Do they feel simular?
Have both the Holy Panda's from DROP (regrettable) and the Zealios V2 'Silent Tactiles'.

Like the Zealios V2 Silents, simply because you get the feel but extreme 'smoothness' for an MX junk switch :D .

So the MX switch, hack-jobs are the old/new road for millions now, whom would rather travel this 'safe' road than any other for fear of discovering something 'different'.

Suspect this has now permeated the whole Keyboard World and every youngster today, saves his/her coin for a Corsair or Razor keyboard :( .

No one wants any Alps, Hall Effects, Topre, Fujitsu's, Romer-Gs, Buckling Springs or Model-F's anymore but us old relics.

The young all want the latest MX atrocity, hence the thousand and one variety of colours, materials and spring weights of the dreaded CherryMX design, that shall never change or disappear within this century. How truly sad......

Re: Chyros's Holy Panda switches review

Posted: 23 Nov 2020, 14:03
by ddrfraser1
Well there are a few of us young bucks that are into the good stuff. I’m 31 does that count? 🤔 I try to preach the gospel when I’m on other keyboard forums but unfortunately a lot of people just don’t get it.

I think part of it is that you have to be into that vintage aesthetic. I’m just old enough to have grown up with a few vintage computers in my house in the mid 90s so I’ve got that retro nostalgia. But anyone younger than me wouldn’t really care.

On another note, there is some barrier to entry with the old stuff. I try just about everything that is convertible. Unfortunately when I see some unique old board from the 70s I am enamored but I shy away from purchasing because of that conversation barrier.

My hope is that Tom’s reviews will inspire innovation that will bring old designs to modern keyboards. We’re slowly getting there which is exciting!

Re: Chyros's Holy Panda switches review

Posted: 24 Nov 2020, 04:30
by lhutton
Thanks for the review as always @Chyros! I'd never heard of these before but I'm more of a vintage or buckling spring board person myself. I don't understand the need for all these 600 variations on a theme either. There are so many other switches out there. I don't hate Cherry switches outright, I quite enjoy blues or greens in the right setup. I just think other designs have done things better if someone is interested in a specific feel. Just in stuff still made today if one is not interested in vintage boards: Matias, buckling spring, Topre, optoelectric and hall effect. Classic Cherry designs have their strong and weak points and I enjoy them for what they are, the Mr Bean X Massdrop Cherry-style switch of the moment I tend not to keep up with.

Well, I do hate the MX browns but I think that's a meme at this point. :P

Kailh and those lightstrike things has seemingly done some different things inside a Cherry housing if someone were attached to the Cherry mount style but didn't like the Cherry line up.

Re: Chyros's Holy Panda switches review

Posted: 24 Nov 2020, 13:20
by sharktastica
ddrfraser1 wrote:
23 Nov 2020, 14:03
Well there are a few of us young bucks that are into the good stuff. I’m 31 does that count? 🤔 I try to preach the gospel when I’m on other keyboard forums but unfortunately a lot of people just don’t get it.

I think part of it is that you have to be into that vintage aesthetic. I’m just old enough to have grown up with a few vintage computers in my house in the mid 90s so I’ve got that retro nostalgia. But anyone younger than me wouldn’t really care.
A younger person here (23). I think it's a matter of approach for getting (younger) people interested - if you just 'scream' "IBM is better" or "Alps > Cherry" at someone even regardless of age, they're probably not going to pay much attention. However, I usually keep my Model F bigfoot in my office at my university and when I occasionally bring it into my classes to show my students, after a bit of explaining, they usually end up in awe of it. They're usually still apprehensive about the XT-style layout, but they usually appreciate the solid construction and how good the switches feel. It also helps that we had Corsair K70s with MX Blues in the game development labs to contrast with.

Failing an objective demonstration, yes, being into the aesthetic is an important factor. I grew up in a less 'well-off' household, so despite being a late-'90s boy, I largely grew up with past-their-prime hardware and thus was always comfortable with the old giants (and even dealt with stuff like 5.25" floppies and IRQ conflicts despite my age!). Thus, my fleet of beige IBM feels like a comfortable fit for me.

I do feel that if any switch can reenter any sort of mainstream, it's probably buckling springs. Pretty much all of my students were aware of what the Model M was and why it is famous, but the most common barriers they mentioned were colour options, rollover, and lighting. They were surprised to learn about Unicomp and the availability of black cases and many custom keycap options they provide, and as per the r/ModelM factory visit QnA with them a few months ago, Unicomp mentioned rollover on the new Mini M will be greater than 2 and they were actively but steadily working on backlighting (they mentioned they have prototype transparent barrel plates and membranes with LEDs in them, but they have a fair share of technical issues to iron out). Provided they can work on marketing when the time comes and maybe explore other "hip" form factors as well...

Re: Chyros's Holy Panda switches review

Posted: 24 Nov 2020, 16:37
by ddrfraser1
Chyros wrote:
21 Nov 2020, 13:09
Chyros, after further reflection, I remembered when you reviewed zealios, novel creams and zealiostotles - another popular mx style franken switch. The overall tone of those reviews was positive. I wonder if the contrarian in you is just lashing back at the uberhype hps have garnered over the years. All you could really come up with is 'they're tactile' and 'mx is meh, try other things' which most of us here obviously agree with but still, bit of a chip on your shoulder? ;)

Anyway, glad you finally got to try some out. Love your videos and keep up the excellent work!

P.S. typing on Yok pandas just installed on my new EO-87 and loving them :D

Re: Chyros's Holy Panda switches review

Posted: 24 Nov 2020, 18:34
by zrrion
The MX design is much more "in its element" as a linear in my opinion, so a linear MX switch that involves unique materials and thus an actual innovation is more interesting than another tactile with a slightly different bump.

As for zealiostotles, those are interesting for seeing how far you have to push the MX design before getting decent clickies. It isn't an innovation in design as much as it is a proper refinement of the click jacket design. It meaningfully departs from other click jackets (and there aren't as many, so that is likely part of it) in terms of sound and feel whereas a different bump on the slider doesn't represent as big a departure from other tactile offerings.