Today, we are taking a closer look at the Gigaware 104 PBT Glass-Coated Keycaps. It is one of the most affordable custom keycaps that you can purchase. Featuring a glass-like coating, a double shot like design, and an MX stem so it should fit to any keyboard that uses standard cherry MX switches as well as with other similar switches.
The Gigaware 104 PBT Glass-Coated Keycaps features high-quality PBT material. PBT (short for “polybutylene terephthalate”) is one of the hardest, most durable materials for keycaps. It is highly resilient against heat than ABS. PBT keys are often laser-etched and are very rarely double-shot moulding.
PBT is also rarely used for the largest key, the space bar, with a notable exception being Cherry. It does not turn yellow from exposure to ultraviolet light, like ABS does.
For our review, the one we have here is the Teal.
The packaging of the Gigaware 104 PBT Glass-Coated Keycaps is made of plain clear hard plastic that is moulded to 104 keyboard layout. The packaging also holds each caps in place. There’s no fancy packaging here. Just outright plain plastic.
Given the price, I was a bit expecting to have a box or something that’s better than this. As is that is shown in the image, the packaging is cheap.
A closer look reveals that the keycaps in this packaging have no cushioning and no fancy package. Looking at the image, you might think that the image is blurred or having a double image but it’s not.
Side by Side Comparison
I’m using a GAMDIAS Hermes mechanical keyboard. Here’s a side by side comparison of the default keycap of the GAMDIAS Mechanical Keyboard and the Gigaware 104 PBT Glass-Coated Keycaps. As you can see, the Gigaware 104 PBT Glass-Coated Keycaps is slightly smaller in height.
Below is a comparison of my keyboard with its default keycaps and with the Gigaware 104 PBT Glass-Coated Keycaps.
The Gigaware 104 PBT Glass-Coated Keycaps uses MX Stems so it fits to most Cherry MX Keyboards as well as other keyboards that use similar stems.
The thickness of the keycaps on each side is about 2mm. Which is quite thick and the design of each keycap is similar to a double shot design but it’s actually not. The glass-like outer surface acts as a coating and it is not moulded to the keys letter.
Issue with Keycap Sizes
It is also worth to note the sizes of the keycaps are of standard size. So it may or may not fit some keyboards that use different key sizes for their default keycaps. For example, my GAMDIAS Hermes uses smaller space bar. So after replacing the spacebar with the Gigaware 104 PBT Glass-Coated Keycap spacebar, the spacebar ended up being too long. Causing the alt key to be pressed down by the spacebar itself.
360 View of Q Keycap
Here’s a short video of the Q keycap to showcase the overall look and design of the Gigaware 104 PBT Glass-Coated Keycap.
The Gigaware 104 PBT Glass-Coated Keycaps is probably one of the most affordable keycaps that you can buy. Its glass-like coating makes the keycaps look premium once you plugged certain keys on your mechanical keyboard. Despite having a cheap look and a cheap packaging, don’t let that fool you. The keycaps starts to look different once you start using it.
The 2mm thickness of the keycaps will definitely make you think that these keycaps are double shot but its not. The outer glass-like coating is not molded to the inner plastic. The clear glass is also not moulded to the letters of the keycaps. It’s more of a double coating.
The MX stems is also a plus. Offering a wide compatibility to most mechanical keyboards out there. The use of PBT material is also a plus. Though this can be divisive, for us, it’s a plus. As we have mentioned above, PBT is a highly durable material for keycaps that doesn’t end up being shiny after long use and doesn’t turn yellow when exposed to ultraviolet rays.
Overall, the Gigaware 104 PBT Glass-Coated Keycaps is a great keycaps that you can consider if you want to make your keyboard look different than the usual or a good replacement for your worn out keycaps. That is, unless if you can ignore the poor packaging. Otherwise, it’s a great keycap to be considered.