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This quiet custom PC keyboard costs more than two Nvidia RTX 4090s

The Norbauer Seneca has a custom stabilizer design, and uses electro-capacitive switches, but you'll need a lot of money to buy one.

Norbauer Seneca custom keyboard

If you thought the $199 asking price for a Corsair K100 was bordering on ridiculous, then wait until you see the price of this custom keyboard. The Norbauer Seneca might look unassuming, with its pastel pink, gray, and white keys, and its lack of a numpad, but underneath the keycaps lies a story of innovation, and that comes at a price. In fact, according to Norbauer, the cost of the Seneca will start at around $3,400. Yep, that’s just the starting price.

Given that you could buy a whole new gaming PC packed with the latest top-end PC gaming hardware for that price, the Seneca is an electro-capacitive keyboard that’s clearly aimed at particularly discerning (and rich) customers. It may well end up being one of the best keyboards you can buy, but why does it cost so much money?

The answer all comes down its development by independent Californian company Norbauer, run by its namesake, keyboard aficionado Ryan Norbauer. “Sparing no expense, I’ve optimized every corner of the Seneca in ways that no mass-market electronics product ever would,” says Norbauer on the Seneca product page.

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Norbauer has been making keyboard parts for a while, but the Seneca is the company’s first attempt at a whole, “ready-to-type” finished keyboard, and it’s spent a long time in development. Norbauer says he spent “three arduous, active years developing and refining the (now patented) key stabilizer mechanism at the heart of the Seneca,” in order to make it quieter than the standard stabilizers used in most mechanical keyboard designs.

The main problem with existing keyboard stabilizers, says Norbauer, is that “they all sound awful,” and identified “rattle” and “tick” as the two most annoying sounds generated by the stabilizing wire in a standard Cherry stabilizer when it hits or rubs against the plastic housing.

Norbauer Seneca custom keyboard stabilizer

Norbauer’s solution to this problem is an elegant-looking, ground-up design (pictured above), which makes use of several pin joints to allow the hinge leaves to move up and down without making any noise.

The stabilizer isn’t the only custom part in the keyboard either. In fact, Norbauer says the Seneca was “built from the ground up entirely out of bespoke Norbauer components.” You’re not buying a mass-produced keyboard built from standard parts here, but a completely custom design for every single part.

The Norbauer Seneca release date is in Summer 2024, but if you want a custom keyboard that doesn’t cost quite so much money, check out our guide on how to make a custom keyboard, where we take you through the whole process, including the parts you need.