One of our favourite mechanical gaming keyboards is getting a sequel. The Wooting Two is a full-size analogue keyboard that takes all our favourite bits from the Wooting One – such as Flaretech mechanical switches, full-RGB, chatter-free action, and the Wootility – but tacks on a highly sought after numpad.
I am a big fan of the tenkeyless iteration of this analogue board, but the people have spoken and there’s now a full-sized board on the way to appease the masses. The Wooting Two Kickstarter campaign has already more than doubled the initial €45,000 goal the team set out to raise, but there’s still four days left if you want to nab one of these optical keebs for yourself.
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If you haven’t heard of optical key switches before, you should really read our Wooting One review. But here’s a quick breakdown on why we can’t wait to see more of these unique key switches out in the wild.
Analogue key switches utilise light to monitor key presses. These keys can function like any other mechanical switch – they offer the similar clicky and linear feels, too – but the Flaretech optical switches also allow for full pressure-sensitive control across every key.
That means your WSAD keys can also function as fully-fledged analogue sticks, or you can double up your macros and add dual-functionality to any and all keys you fancy. Thanks to the unique design, you can even change up the actuation point with the press of a button.
Compared to mechanical switches from Cherry, which utilise a metal contact point to register an on/off signal, optical switches have fewer contact points within the switch housing to go wrong. That means they are rated to a whopping 100 million presses, can be swapped out with a simple tool, and, unlike most mechanical switches, require no anti-chatter debounce lag either.
Aside from the Flaretech switches, Wooting are also bringing back the Wooting One’s original aluminium design and down-to-earth keycaps. Also making a return is the full RGB per-key lighting – now with RGB effects through the Wootility app.
We had a chance to catch up with Wooting at Computex this year to play with the Wooting Two prototype, and it’s a much slicker design than the broad Wooting One setup. There is less of the plastic base visible with it being brought tighter into the edges of the keys themselves, and the team has also added in some extra macro keys.
The software has been updated too, with a new SDK that will allow game developers to add analogue support into their games so they will automatically switch into analogue mode if they spot a compatible keyboard. That means you don’t have to go digging around in the software to get it setup, it’ll just plug and play.
All the software advances will be backwards compatible with the Wooting One as well, so no-one gets left out in the cold.
So if you fancy picking up the bigger sibling of one of our all-time favourite keyboards, make sure to catch the Wooting Two Kickstarter before it’s all over. The cheapest package with the keyboard included is €125, which is cheaper than the Wooting One basic package in the store right now. If you can’t get the funds together at this time, the keyboard will undoubtedly make its way onto general sale on the Wooting website sometime or another, but it might cost you a little more.