Drop + The Lord of the Rings Elvish keyboard review: one keeb to rule them all

All shall love the Drop + The Lord of the Rings Elvish keyboard and despair

Drop + The Lord of the Rings Elvish on a white table
(Image: © Future / Michelle Rae Uy)

TechRadar Verdict

If you’re a Tolkien fan and/or learning Elvish, the Drop + The Lord of the Rings Elvish keyboard is a top choice. It’s a gorgeous piece of kit that’s also satisfying and comfortable to type on, thanks to those Holy Panda X switches and Phantom stabilizers.


  • +

    Gorgeous keycaps and overall design

  • +

    Holy Panda X switches deliver a great tactile experience

  • +

    Comes with a small Autumn in Rivendell mod kit

  • +

    Great clacky sound that’s not too loud


  • -

    Not cheap

  • -

    No wireless connectivity

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Drop + The Lord of the Rings Elvish: One-minute review

To paraphrase Tolkien, mech keebs are found in unlikely places. But, Drop isn’t one of those places. On the contrary, the brand has made quite a name for itself producing and selling enthusiast mechanical keyboards and modding parts (along with audiophile headphones). It’s become one of my go-to websites whenever I’m jonesing for a keyboard fix.

At this point, anything that comes out of Drop is almost a guaranteed ace, including the subject of this review: the Drop + The Lord of the Rings Elvish, one of the five officially licensed LOTR keyboards the brand has on offer. This one’s a stunner too. It’s probably the fairest of all these keebs, with its green and ivory colorway, the beautiful “faithfully-translated” Tengwar legends (I’m no Tengwar script expert so I cannot confirm their accuracy) on its keycaps, and the elegantly-etched trees of Valinor framing its arrow keys.

The Drop + The Lord of the Rings Elvish is also incredibly comfortable to type on, thanks to those Holy Panda X switches that Drop co-designed with Gateron and are one of the brand’s best switches. Drop pairs those with its Phantom stabilizers to round out its satisfying tactile feel. 

So, while it looks every inch a fancy keyboard an Instagram influencer would show off on their posts, it’s also incredibly utilitarian, which makes it one of the best keyboards on the shelves. It’s just the thing to spruce up your office setup and see you through those long days of typing up documents – especially because it’s clicky but not as loud as other clicky keyboards.

Drop + The Lord of the Rings Elvish: Price and availability

  • How much does it cost? $199 (about £160.91 / AU$283.44)
  • When is it available? Available now
  • Where can you get it? Available in the US, the UK, and Australia
Drop + The Lord of the Rings Elvish: SPECS

Layout: TKL
Switch: Holy Panda X
Programmable keys: No
Dimensions: about 355 x 132 x 17 mm
RGB or backlighting: Yes, white backlighting

The Drop + The Lord of the Rings Elvish isn’t cheap. But then again, top-quality mechanical keyboards never are. If you want it, you’ll have to shell out $199 (about £160 / AU$280). You’re not paying for just its performance, after all. At the time of writing, however, Drop has it listed at $169, giving you a $30 discount.

That puts it in the same price range as other enthusiast keyboards like the KiiBOOM Phantom 81 ($159 / £128 / AU$233) and slightly cheaper than premium ones like the Lofree 1% Transparent ($219 / £181 / about AU$320). There are cheaper mech keyboards out there if you’re on a budget. Keychron has a few on offer for under $100 / £100, and they’re pretty fantastic as well. Just bear in mind that Keychron’s offerings are simpler and more restrained, design-wise.

Drop does ship to the UK and Australia so you’ll be able to order this keyboard if you’re in these regions, as long as you’re ok with longer shipping times. Apparently, it could take 2 to 4 weeks from the date of shipping.

  • Value: 3.5 / 5

Drop + The Lord of the Rings Elvish on a white table

(Image credit: Future / Michelle Rae Uy)

Drop + The Lord of the Rings Elvish: Design

  • Robust build and stunning LOTR details
  • Comes with a small mod kit
  • White backlighting only

The Drop + The Lord of the Rings Elvish’s build quality is undeniably robust, its premium aluminum and plastic case feels like it could withstand a lot of abuse. If you want to, say, stuff it in a suitcase and bring it on a year-long trip around the world or take it with you on your daily commutes, it feels robust enough to survive.

This isn’t a travel-friendly keyboard, however. It’s got a bit of weight to it, and being a TKL one, it isn’t that compact either. It’s really more of a nestled-in-your-home-desk-setup keyboard, especially with the adornment on it.

Drop + The Lord of the Rings Elvish on a white table

(Image credit: Future / Michelle Rae Uy)

Drop clearly took the LOTR theme and ran with it. This keyboard is bedecked with Tengwar legends, elegant green and ivory keycaps, Sindarin phrases, and popular LOTR icons like the shards of Narsil, the Ring of Power, and the Eye of Sauron. The brand claims that the Tengwar legends on the keycaps are faithfully translated, but as I’m no Tengwar master and there seem to be different ways to write the English alphabet in Tengwar, I’ll have to take Drop’s word for it.

Don’t worry if you often look at your keycaps to make sure you’re about to press the right one. The keycaps from both kits come with their Latin alpha sublegends and Latin modifier legends as well.

Drop + The Lord of the Rings Elvish on a white table

(Image credit: Future / Michelle Rae Uy)

To add even more flair, Drop commissioned artist OSHETART to create a custom artwork depicting the Two Trees of Valinor, which frame the arrow keys on the keyboard. It’s a nice touch, adding a touch of beauty to the keeb and counterbalancing the menacing Eye of Sauron and Ring of Power keycaps.

The Drop + The Lord of the Rings Elvish clearly comes with the Lord of the Rings Elvish Keycap Set, which you can also purchase as an add-on if you want one of the other LOTR keyboards, but you also get some orange keycaps from the Training Elvish Base Kit. That includes the orange spacebar keycap that boasts the One Ring inscription: “One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them, One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them.” 

You also get a keycap puller so you can easily switch things up. There’s a USB-A to USB-C cable included too, though it’s just a regular cable. If you want a nice coiled one, Drop does have a few on offer, but they’re not LOTR-themed, and will cost you extra.

Sadly, you won’t be able to swap out the switches as they are soldered. RGB fans might also be disappointed to find that there’s only white backlighting here, but honestly, it keeps the whole thing elegant. If you want RGB lighting, there are other options.

  • Design: 5 / 5

Drop + The Lord of the Rings Elvish on a white table

(Image credit: Future / Michelle Rae Uy)

Drop + The Lord of the Rings Elvish: Performance

  • Keys are smaller but are concave
  • Holy Panda X switches are satisfying with a small bump
  • Clacky sound that’s not too loud

The first thing you’ll likely notice about the Drop + The Lord of the Rings Elvish when you position your fingers on the keys is how small they feel. The keycaps are tapered so they are smaller around the top, which might feel a little weird for those with bigger fingers, but Drop tries to thwart finger slippage by giving the keycaps a deeper dip, which I find does help keep your fingers in place. 

Because they are smaller, however, it takes some getting used to, especially if you’re reaching for the arrow keys. Don’t worry; it didn’t take me long to get used to them, and I imagine most people will feel the same.

Drop + The Lord of the Rings Elvish on a white table

(Image credit: Future / Michelle Rae Uy)

Drop fitted the Drop + The Lord of the Rings Elvish with its much-lauded Holy Panda X switches, which it co-designed with Gateron. The company essentially took two switches (the Invyr Panda Linear switch and the Drop Halo switch) and combined their parts for a superior switch with reduced stem wobble and improved consistency. To prevent further wobbling, Drop has also fitted it with its own Phantom Stabilizers.

The result is a smooth and stable tactile switch that’s proven during my testing to be very consistent and very satisfying to type on, with a nice small bump on every keystroke. I’m currently in my linear phase, but I honestly love typing on this keyboard, thanks in large part to its bottom actuation. I also currently prefer the thock sound, but I don’t mind the clacky sound of this keyboard at all, especially because it isn’t too loud.

  • Performance: 5 / 5

Should I buy the Drop + The Lord of the Rings Elvish?

Drop + The Lord of the Rings Elvish on a white table

(Image credit: Future / Michelle Rae Uy)

Buy it if...

You’re an LOTR fan and you love keebs
If you love LOTR and are a keyboard enthusiast, this is a top-quality mechanical keyboard to add to your collection. And, it comes with a small mod kit so you can mix it up.

You want an excellent mechanical keyboard
A top-notch mechanical keyboard isn’t hard to find, but you do have to still be a bit more discerning as there are a lot of subpar models out there. Luckily, you can add this one to your list if you’re in the market.

You like tactile switches
Drop fitted this with its carefully-crafted Holy Panda X switches, which are smooth, stable, and consistent. These switches also scratch that satisfying tactile feedback itch.

Don't buy it if...

You want wireless connectivity
Sadly, the Drop + The Lord of the Rings Elvish is a wired keyboard and doesn’t offer 2.4GHz wireless or Bluetooth connectivity. If you prefer to minimize the number of cables on your desk, best look elsewhere.

You’re kinda broke right now
It’s not extremely expensive, but it certainly isn’t cheap. If you’re on a tight budget, better save up if you really want it, or consider other options. Drop does have under $100 / £100 keyboards on hand.

Also consider

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Drop + The Lord of the Rings ElvishKiiBOOM Phantom 81Lofree 1% Transparent
Price:$199 (about £160 / AU$280)$159 / £128 / AU$233$219 / £181 (about AU$320)
Layout: TKL75%65%
Interface:WiredWired, USB 2.4GHz, Bluetooth 5.0Bluetooth 5.1, USB-C
Type of switch: Holy Panda X mechanicalKiiBOOM pre-lubed Crystal mechanicalPre-lubed Kailh Jellyfish mechanical
Programmable keys: NoCustom key programming, macro function mappingNo
Hot-swappable: NoYesNo
Weight:2.05 lbs3.25 pounds1.79 pounds
Dimensions:355 x 132 x 17 mm330 x 150 x 35 mm306 x 144 x 30.6 mm

If our Drop + The Lord of the Rings Elvish review has you considering other options, here are two more mechanical keyboards to consider...  


KiiBOOM Phantom 81
The KiiBOOM Phantom 81 is another impressive linear mechanical keyboard with a transparent design. It’s a lot heavier and a little bigger than the Lofree 1% Transparent, but it’s also a little cheaper.

Read our full KiiBOOM Phantom 81 review


Lofree 1% Transparent
The Lofree 1% Transparent delivers great performance, a comfortable, satisfying experience, and that glorious thocky sound of an impressive pre-lubed linear switch.

Read our full Lofree 1% Transparent review

Drop + The Lord of the Rings Elvish: Report card

Swipe to scroll horizontally
ValueIt's not the cheapest, but you're getting top-quality a mech keyboard with a gorgeous design.3.5 / 5
DesignThis is a robust mechanical keyboard with gorgeous LOTR-details and a small mod kit included.5 / 5
PerformanceIt's an excellent keyboard that handles smoothly and is consistent. It's also very satisfying to type on.5 / 5
TotalOverall, this mechanical keyboard is excellent inside and out. It's actually worth saving up for, especially if you're an LOTR fan.4.5 / 5
  • First reviewed January 2023

How I tested the Drop + The Lord of the Rings Elvish

To properly test the Drop + The Lord of the Rings Elvish, I used it as my main keyboard every day for two weeks to compose all my work emails as well as write my articles and buying guide updates. While it isn’t marketed as a gaming keyboard, I did use it on a couple of short gaming sessions as well, just to see if it can keep up with more rigorous use.

We pride ourselves on our independence and our rigorous review-testing process, offering up long-term attention to the products we review and making sure our reviews are updated and maintained - regardless of when a device was released, if you can still buy it, it's on our radar.

Read more about how we test

Michelle Rae Uy

Michelle Rae Uy is the former Computing Reviews and Buying Guides Editor at TechRadar. She's a Los Angeles-based tech, travel and lifestyle writer covering a wide range of topics, from computing to the latest in green commutes to the best hiking trails. She's an ambivert who enjoys communing with nature and traveling for months at a time just as much as watching movies and playing sim games at home. That also means that she has a lot more avenues to explore in terms of understanding how tech can improve the different aspects of our lives.