Fresh off being acquired by Corsair, Drop is overhauling its in-house mechanical keyboard lineup with the new Alt V2, Ctrl V2, and Shift V2. Like their 2018-era predecessors, the Alt V2 is a compact keyboard with a 65 percent layout, the Ctrl V2 is tenkeyless (so it doesn’t have a numpad), and the Shift V2 has all the keys of a full-size keyboard but smushed into a more compact 1800 layout. There are also upgrade kits to let existing Ctrl, Alt, and Shift owners turn their keyboards into V2 models.
Combined, the improvements should help bring the keyboards up to date with their modern competitors. Their PCBs now offer support for five-pin switches rather than three-pin, which means they’re now compatible with the vast majority of aftermarket switches out of the box, and they also officially support the powerful customization software VIA.
To improve the keyboards’ acoustics, Drop has also added a few additional layers of foam to their construction, and it says their stabilizers (which stop larger keys like the space bar from wobbling around) have been upgraded to make them sound better.
The keyboards are still made of aluminum, and their switches are still oriented in a so-called “north-facing” direction, which is better at allowing the lighting to shine through the keys’ lettering at the expense of slightly worse aftermarket keycap compatibility. Each keyboard is equipped with a pair of USB-C ports: one for connecting to a computer and one for connecting an additional USB accessory.
The keyboards are available in either pre-built or bare-bones configurations, with the latter being for anyone who wants to use their own switches and keycaps. For switches, you get a choice of linear Gateron Yellow KS3s or tactile Drop Holy Panda X Clears, and the keycaps are durable double-shot PBT. The Alt V2 and Ctrl V2 are also available with either a low-profile or high-profile case, depending on whether you want to be able to see the gaps underneath your keycaps. (Check out the difference below.)
Interestingly, Drop is actually selling the upgraded keyboard components as an aftermarket upgrade for existing Ctrl, Alt, and Shift owners who want the new tweaks but don’t want to buy an entirely new keyboard. You can get a kit including the upgraded PCB, stabilizers, and foam for $105 for the Alt, $119 for the Ctrl, and $135 for the Shift.
For everyone else, prices for the lineup start at $140 for a bare-bones low-profile Alt V2. The fully built Alt V2 (which includes switches and keycaps) costs $180, while the high-profile version costs $190 for the bare-bones model and $230 for the fully built version. Meanwhile, the Ctrl V2 costs $150 for bare-bones low-profile, rising to $200 for either low-profile fully built or bare-bones high-profile. A fully built high-profile Ctrl V2 costs $250. And finally, the Shift V2 costs $190 for its bare-bones model or $250 fully built — with no option for a high-profile model.