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PC Keycaps: What makes these transparent keycap so special? - The Kapco

PC Keycaps: What makes these transparent keycap so special?

PC Keycaps: What makes these transparent keycap so special?

PC Keycaps: What makes these transparent keycap so special?

PC keycaps (Polycarbonate plastic keycaps) are among the keycap styles that are rising in trend. Keycap enthusiasts have praised its semi-transparent transparent characteristics that act like see-through pudding wall, compared to only 50% for pudding keycaps. However, these kinds of keycaps are less commonly seen in the market due to some pros and cons. We have conducted extensive research and are ready to share our findings with you now!

The walls of PC Keycap vs PBT Keycap

PCPBT Keycap (left) vs PBT Keycap (right)

PC keycaps, made from polycarbonate plastic, are becoming increasingly popular. They are known for their semi-transparent appearance and high resistance to heat and chemicals. Premium quality PC keycaps can even be made to be 99% transparent, as seen in keyboards such as the LOFREE 1% Transparent Mechanical Keyboard. Let's take a closer look at this niche keycap style.

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What is PC Keycap?

PC Keycaps: What makes these transparent keycap so special?
PCPBT keycap on different RGB lights
In a nutshell, polycarbonate plastic is a type of thermoplastic polymer known for its high impact resistance, transparency, and UV light resistance. PC keycaps can be dyed in any color or molded into keycaps straight from their raw state, resulting in crystal-clear keycaps.

This allow tons of new design possibilities, especially for RGB keyboard users. If you're looking to replace your keycaps for your RGB keyboard, PC keycaps are something you don't want to miss out on!

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PC Keycap highlight

PC Keycaps can come in two forms: colored semi-transparent or fully transparent. Because PC Keycaps are resistant to UV light and prone to yellowing, they can stay fresh and new for years to decades. The legend on PC Keycaps is usually printed using screen printing or pad printing. The former is an older process and is prone to wear and tear, while the latter is a modern process and can be UV screened to prevent yellowing.

PC Keycaps: What makes these transparent keycap so special?

PCPBT Keycaps closeup

Additionally, PC Keycaps can be doubleshot with other materials such as PBT to create PCPBT Keycaps. This allows for greater design possibilities, and the high heat resistance of PBT allows for designs to be printed on the keycaps via dye-sublimation. With these features, more and more people are starting to explore PC Keycap designs.

Material Polycarbonate plastic
Appearance Semi-transparent or fully transparent
UV Resistance High resistance to UV light
Legend Printing Screen or pad printing; can be UV screened to prevent yellowing
Double-Shot Can be combined with PBT to create PCPBT Keycaps; designs can be printed via dye-sublimation
Durability Tough and less likely to crack or break
Scratch Resistance Highly resistant to scratches and abrasions; lettering on keycaps won't wear off easily
Texture Smooth and silky to the touch
Thickness and Weight Generally thicker and heavier than traditional keycaps; provides a more satisfying typing experience
Cost Generally more expensive than traditional keycaps made from ABS or PBT plastic; varies based on several factors

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Durability

Polycarbonate is known for its toughness and can withstand the rigors of daily use better than other materials. This means that PC Keycaps are less likely to crack or break.

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Scratch and Abrasion Resistance

Polycarbonate is also highly resistant to scratches and abrasions. This means that the lettering on the keycaps won't wear off easily, even with prolonged use.

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Premium Feel

PC Keycaps: What makes these transparent keycap so special?

PBT keycap vs PCPBT keycap

PC Keycaps have a unique texture that feels smooth and silky to the touch. This can make typing a more enjoyable experience, particularly for those who spend long hours at the keyboard.

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Thickness

PC Keycaps are generally thicker and heavier than traditional keycaps because of the denser and stronger nature of Polycarbonate plastic. This can provide a more satisfying typing experience and help produces the "thockier-sided" sounds.

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Cost

PC Keycaps: What makes these transparent keycap so special?

PC wall of PCPBT keycaps

As a general rule, PC Keycaps are more expensive than traditional keycaps made from ABS or PBT plastic. However, the price can vary depending on several factors, including the quality of the raw materials, the thickness of the keycaps, the brand, and the design.

While cheap PC keycaps do exist, they may not be of the same quality as high-end sets, which can cost several hundred dollars. Nonetheless, it is definitely worthwhile to check them out!

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Key-take away

  • PC Keycap is strong & durable, usually comes with thicker wall.
  • PC Keycap works greatly on RGB keyboard.
  • Cheaper PC Keycaps cost from 30$, while premium PC keycap can cost up to 100$

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