It’s not a surprise to say mechanical keyboards have taken the tech world by storm. You name it, ROG, SteelSeries, Logitech and much more have opened their catalogues to include a mechanical keyboard for the masses, especially those that prefer to customize their device. This is where the Kono Discord TKL comes into play. The Kono 87-based Discord keyboard provides a more customized experience and includes more out-of-the-box for the tech-savvy but will cost adopters a premium.
Right out of the box, you can tell the Kono Discord TKL is a different beast. It includes:
- a VERY sturdy EVA carrying case
- a USB Type C to USB Type A braided cable
- Kono Discord TKL, with Grateron Brown Tactile switches
- a keycap puller tool to remove and replace keys easily
- a set of customizable MX-style keycaps (more on this later)
- a small physical instruction manual, but a useful one
The keyboard is your typical 75% TKL design, measuring 14 inches wide, giving plenty of space for mouse real estate. The chassis is made entirely of plastic, held together by Philips-head screws. This is an excellent choice for the modding community, as there is no need for a specific tool to get to the heart of the device, just good old-fashioned house tools. The plastic construction is solid, and there are small legs for the keyboard to stand on to offer a more comfortable tilt for taller users. There is also solid RGB lighting that dances along the width of the keyboard, adding flair and brightness for nighttime raids.
“The Kono Discord TKL can be used fully wired or wirelessly at the user’s discretion by sliding the switch on the back to the left (Wired) or right (Wireless).”
The Kono Discord TKL weighs in at 2 lbs., 2 ounces, providing a solid structure and mass to the overall feel of the keyboard. I can’t help but mention that there is sound-absorbing foam included in the construction, providing quieter keystrokes, which helps immensely with night noise pollution. The Kono Discord TKL saved me from many arguments with my partner, who LOATHED the click-clack sound of my previous keyboard. It is a nice touch making less noise while storming through the trenches of a well-penned paragraph, especially without skimping on the tactile switches the keyboard came equipped with.
Wired or Wireless, Your Choice
The Kono Discord TKL can be used fully wired or wirelessly at the user’s discretion by sliding the switch on the back to the left (Wired) or right (Wireless). When the keyboard is in wireless mode, you have to press the Fn key + Q, W or E to pair it with other devices. With Bluetooth 5.0 that the Kono Discord TKL comes equipped with, this keyboard was able to connect to everything I tried.
An iPhone 14 Pro, the Xbox Series X, and even an LG Smart TV allowed the keyboard to connect seamlessly. It feels like pinball games were made for keyboard usage, and playing Pinball FX on the Xbox Series X using this keyboard was an absolute blast and felt like this is how it SHOULD be played due to the responsive tactile switches and dampened keystroke noise.
The only issue with the wireless functionality is that the device lasted approximately 90 minutes on a full charge. This is with the included 2000 mAH Battery, which is an abysmally short time period for a primarily wireless keyboard, so those looking for a wireless TKL may need to look elsewhere for efficiency purposes. Luckily, I use keyboards primarily plugged in, so it wasn’t much of an issue. Even when gaming on the Xbox Series X, using a longer wire was good enough when the battery was on its last legs.
MX-Style Switches, Meet Keycaps
The Kono Discord TKL comes with some custom Discord keycaps as an added bonus to the device. With the aforementioned keycap puller, replacing my shift key with the Discord-flavoured one was a cinch. While these keycaps can be switched in and out at a whim, enthusiasts that have other MX-style caps are in luck. This keyboard is compatible with them!
“The Kono Discord TKL is a beautiful device, equipped with a fantastically resilient case that can house a Nintendo Switch, the TKL, wires, games and maybe even another controller.”
Not to mention, the switches themselves are replaceable in case there’s a casualty while customizing the outlook of the weighty device. There are hundreds of keycaps this board is compatible with, so for those looking to flaunt a certain fandom don’t need to look much further, especially those that already have many customizable keycaps at their fingertips.
Discord In Branding Only
While the Kono Discord TKL touts itself as a Discord keyboard, there isn’t much else besides the carrying case, colourway, and customized keycaps to suggest compatibility. It feels slightly lacking that there are no ‘special’ functions this keyboard can use outside the robust amount of extra functions Discord lets everyone else use for FREE, including adopters of this mechanical piano. While the small instruction manual does provide handy details on how to adjust the RGB lighting (the Fn + Insert key) there’s no way to customize it to the user’s preference either.
While the design is nice on the eyes, and the presentation is top-notch, it feels like the Kono Discord TKL lacks in certain areas that other mechanical keyboards on the market can hit. The Keychron or Drop mechanical devices offer aluminum chassis designs with complete customization with more functionality and software that just adds more depth to customization with the RGB lighting and functionality.
It seems the only way to tell the Kono Discord TKL is a Discord device is by its attractive colourway and the branding of the Discord logo on the customizable keycaps and EVA case. Otherwise, it could just be ‘another mechanical TKL’ on the market.
The Kono Discord TKL is a beautiful device, equipped with a fantastically resilient case that can house a Nintendo Switch, the TKL, wires, games and maybe even another controller. But it lacks in certain areas that make it difficult to recommend, while there are worthier mechanical TKLs on the market that provide more functionality. If the Discord blue & purple design is your favourite, or this is your first foray into mechanical keyboards, this keyboard is the one for you.