KAM Starry Night impressions and overview - by Quakemz
Disclaimer: zFrontier reached out to us at Top Clack and asked us if we wanted to check out the new KAM profile. We agreed, and they sent over the keyset free of charge. We were not paid for this, nor do we receive any portion from the sales. With that said, we will still be honest, as always, because anything else is a disservice to the community.
For those of you unaware, KAM profile is the uniform row 3 version of KAT profile, also known as Keyreative All-Touch - Keyreative being the manufacturer. Similar to how SA profile has uniform row 3 versions; this isn’t very different from that.
If you don’t tune into Top Clack often, you might not know I am a HUGE advocate for KAT profile. Approximately 1 year ago, Top Clack received prototype samples of KAT Alpha, the first keyset ran in the KAT profile, and I instantly fell in love. At first, I was skeptical, as someone that doesn’t like typing on SA. I was worried KAT would be too tall, but it wasn’t. In fact, it was intoxicating. The height was just at the border of being too tall, though the PBT texture was unbelievably smooth, compared to other PBT keyset offerings. I like to describe this feeling as “fuzzy”, because you can feel that there is texture there, but your fingers effortlessly and consistently glide over it, regardless. To top it off, the dye-sublimation was very clean, and the sculpt was comfortably mild. Suffice to say, KAT immediately became a very close second-favorite profile, for me.
Due to this, I had high hopes going into the KAM profile. I was taken aback when this KAM set was nothing like KAT profile. There was no soft and supple PBT texture, and no comforting sculpt. Honestly, I was a little put off by it. I’ll be honest, I don’t like uniform profiles. I don’t desire or need a completely flat profile. I don’t think it looks good, and I don’t think it feels good. Obviously, that’s my opinion and your mileage may vary. The glossy finish on Starry Night also really threw me for a loop. I asked myself over and over again “Why use a shiny finish on PBT, when the majority of people buy PBT for the difference of feel from ABS, which inevitably gets shiny?” The only answer I could come to is “It gives you the feel of super shiny ABS, which retaining the deeper sound signature of PBT.”
The finish does look quite cool, I won’t argue that. The glossy shine is very apparent and done quite well. It’s arguably the selling point of the keyset. The downside is, it’s so smooth and shiny that, depending on the moisture and oil content of you fingers, you can slip slide all over the caps or get stuck on them as they grip your entire soul. It was a strangely inconsistent experience, based on the day, humidity, etc. I did not like this, Sam-I-am! Though, I do respect the idea and effort put into these.
I was also quite happy with the packaging these came in. As one of the few people that actually despise GMK trays, the KAM tray actually felt like a step in a better direction, with a primitive but superior locking mechanism. I also appreciated the seal-able sleeve that accompanied it.
At the end of the day, these caps are absolutely gorgeous and are as much a showpiece as they are a functional product. However, I just can’t see myself typing on them often or for extended periods of time. Of course, what you like plays a huge role in this. If you like uniform profiles, the textural finish of SA caps, you’ll feel right at home, here. For me? I’ll stick with the miracle that we don’t get enough of, KAT profile.