Holy Panda

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A Holy Panda is a hybrid key-switch, made from the stem of a Input Club Halo switch in a housing of Panda switch. The result yields a crisp but smooth tactile bump with only little pre-travel.

Availability

While the original Invyr Panda switch housings are no longer available, housings from GSUS and YOK switches are considered to be valid substitutes.

Authentic Halo switches and stems have only been available from Drop, per agreement with the manufacturer Kailh. Stems from Halo Clear and Halo True differ only in colour, so either will do.

Pre-assembled Holy Panda switches with authentic stems and re-tooled housings have been available in group orders from Drop from late 2018 to 2019. These have not had the hot-swap pins of the original Invyr Panda switches but are otherwise considered to be identical to them.

The authenticity of any other switches called "Holy Panda" (including the 2020 group order from Drop) is uncertain.

History

The original Holy Panda was made with Halo stem in a Invyr Panda switch.

Due to scarcity of the Invyr Panda, enthusiasts have turned to instead using GSUS "New Panda" or YOK switch housings as substitutes - and some have still called those Holy Pandas. Purists tend to call the latter hybrids Holy GSUS or Holy YOK respectively. GSUS "New Panda" are made by BSUN, the maker of the Invyr switch. [1]

Drop (formerly Massdrop) began taking preorders for pre-assembled Holy Panda switches in December 2018. These had Kailh-made Halo stems, with housings made by BSUN using the same tooling and materials as for Invyr and GSUS.[1]

In February 2020, Drop had claimed that housings in the next run would be made of POM, and that the switches would not have lubrication.[2] After switches were received, both claims turned out to be false. People have also claimed that the stem looks different in closeup comparison to the Kailh-made stems, and that the switch wobbles less, has a different sound and weaker tactility.[3] More than a month later Drop answered that there had been a "miscommunication" about the materials and claimed that Holy Pandas have always had a Nylon bottom and a polycarbonate top "painted to match" the bottom. Drop did however not address other issues.[4]

Switches marketed as "Holy Panda" have appeared on various merchant sites such as Taobao, and are believed to be counterfeit because the stems do not match previous stems made by Kailh. Deskhero has supposedly had a group buy of Holy Panda switches with POM housings made by BSUN and "Halo style" stems.[5]

On September 4, 2020, Glorious launched their own Glorious Panda switches for preorder[6], with reviewers publishing reviews of the switch at around the same time.[7]. Glorious claims to use Invyr housings in "upgraded materials" and an "improved stem".

Unholy Panda

The opposite of a Holy Panda: a Panda stem in a Halo housing is a linear switch called Unholy Panda.

External links

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 MechWiki—Holy Panda. (Defunct. Copy on archive.org). Originally retrieved 2020-02-03
  2. Drop.com—Post on "Drop + Invyr Holy Panda Mechanical switches" 2020-02-06. Dated 2020-02-06. Retrieved 2020-09-05
  3. Geekhack.org forum—Drop Holy Pandas 2020 Run. Dated 2020-07-18. Retrieved 2020-09-04
  4. Drop.com—Post on "Drop + Invyr Holy Panda Mechanical switches" dated 2020-08-20 by "Will (Chief Product Officer)". Dated 2020-08-20, but edited. Retrieved 2020-09-04
  5. Deskhero.ca—Holy Panda POM Edition. Retrieved 2020-09-04
  6. Glorious PC Gaming Race blog—Introducing Glorious Panda Switches - Pre-Orders Open 9/4 @ 12PM CT. Dated 2020-08-27. Retrieved 2020-09-05
  7. ThereminGoat's Switches—Glorious Panda Switch Review. Dated 2020-09-04. Retrieved 2020-09-04