Epic modular mechanical gaming keyboard lets you mix switch types

Plus, add-ons bring macro keys and a 'tournament' palm rest

Mechanical gaming keyboards are growing increasingly popular, and so makers are employing new tricks to differentiate their products. The latest idea? Make a 100%, fully modular keyboard (modularity is also very "on-trend", natch).

EpicGear's Defiant mechanical gaming keyboard lets you change individual keys to mix different types of mechanical switches, and also allows for a range of add-ons to be bolted on.

There are three types of mechanical switches to pick from – EG Grey (which is defined as linear and non-clicking), EG Orange (tactile and non-clicking) and EG Purple (tactile and "clicky"). So, if you want your crucial WASD keys to have a different feel from the rest, then you can achieve this easily.

The switches employ gold-plated contact points, to which EpicGear claims a lifespan of 70 million keystrokes.

Wrist rest assured...

As for add-ons, there's a tournament palm rest, or alternatively an ergonomic wrist rest, with the option of a rear bumper that boasts three USB ports – plus audio and mic jacks.

A bank of 24 programmable macro keys can also be bolted onto the side, and previous preview footage also showed an optional speaker add-on. However, a press release didn't mention this, so perhaps that add-on needs more time to bake. (It's unlikely to offer much in the way of quality sound, likely akin to your typical monitor with integrated speaker.)

You can also get multimedia controls and a rather nifty volume control in the form of a roller, which you can click in to mute the sound (just like you click a mouse wheel).

The EpicGear Defiant is set to emerge in April with the asking price for the basic keyboard pitched at $90 (around £65, AU$120) – not including tax.

If you're after something else a little different from bog-standard peripherals, Wooting recently unveiled its analog keyboard. This one registers how far down you press a key in increments, thereby giving you a new dimension of control in many games.