The Build-Your Own LEGO-Compatible Customizable Keyboard

There’s no doubt that this is a cool keyboard, with plenty of customization possible. But with add-ons like better keycaps, a special USB-C cable, plus shipping—even with early bird pricing—it seems it’ll come to at least $300. That’s a really tough sell, especially for a crowdfunding project which has no guarantee of delivery.


  • Brand: Melgeek
  • Wireless: 2.4GHz Dongle, or Bluetooth
  • Backlight: No
  • Media Controls: None
  • Num Pad: No (TKL)
  • Switch Type: Kailh Pixel L as tested (options available)
  • Replaceable Keys: Yes
  • Wired operation: USB-C
  • Dimensions: 444 X 165 x 25.5mm
  • Weight : 1.2kg (2.4lbs)

  • Hot-swappable keys (which you’ll defintely want to swap)
  • Wired or wireless, with Bluetooth memory of up to 8 devices

  • High price, even as a Kickstarter
  • Keys too close together

Buy This Product

There are very few things that can excite me when it comes to keyboards, but having LEGO studs to build on is one of them. The Melgeek Pixel is a customizable, LEGO-compatible keyboard, with almost every square inch—including the keycaps and USB-C cable—covered in studs.

The Melgeek Pixel is not officially licensed by LEGO, and any bricks in the package are not genuine. The Pixel is available now for preorder on Kickstarter at a reduced price of $219 (rising to $269 after the campaign is over).

Melgeek Pixel Design and Box Contents

The Pixel is a tenkeyless (TKL) design, meaning it lacks a set of number pad keys. Almost every part of the casing is studded, so you can affix bricks or mini-figures anywhere. As a consequence, it’s also entirely plastic, which can result in a slight flex and overall perhaps slightly cheap feeling. The studded plastic base, for instance, isn’t likely to get much build action on it, so strengthening here with a metal base would have been sensible.

melgeek pixel - underside

The top part of the keyboard even has translucent flat pieces running all the way around. On the right-hand side this covers up the dongle storage tray, but you’re free to either replace those completely or built on top of them. It really is ludicrously customizable.

As well as the top of the keyboard and even the base being studded, each key on the Pixel features a clear plastic cover with printed lettering on it. On our model these are slightly concave for a better typing experience, but each key is closely spaced, so there’s still a lot of adjustment needed to use this compared to a “regular” keyboard.

melgeek pixel - keycaps

These can be removed, and you’re then free to decorate the key with your own bricks instead. If you want to replace all the keys with random LEGO pieces or Vidyo beat bits, you can. A garbage can for escape key, you say? Absolutely—you can make it as impractical as you want!

melgeek pixel - impractical button choices

Of course, it’s not entirely impractical. Perhaps you have some custom macros assigned to your function keys. A visual indicator of what each one does could be quite useful. Behold, the “launch karaoke app” button:

melgeek pixel - reaplce function keys

Included in our pack was a keycap removal tool, a very stylish USB cable, and depending on which package you opt for it’s also going to come with some small 50-piece packs of (unofficial) 2×1 flats and 1×1 colored plates.

melgeek pixel - extras

If you head over to you’ll find an online customizer app for the keyboard design, featuring some built-in designs to work from… or you can just go wild. If you’d rather go the official route and avoid generic bricks, you’ll get far more creative freedom with the official LEGO Dots line of decorative pixel pieces.

melgeek pixel - retiling the keyboard

The Melgeek Pixel also comes with a set of five rubber feet, which of course, are also LEGO-compatible. If you do want a slight or even extreme tilt, you can use the brick plates to build up from the base before attaching them. I still don’t think that one idea justifies covering the entire base in studs, however.

Our Pixel shipped with custom Kailh L switches, though you can also opt for Kailh T, or for an extra $30 Kailh box white, or Keychron Pro switches. Personally, I’m not a fan of these default ones. They’re far too soft and feel like typing in a tray of mushy peas. I much prefer a harder more tactile, loud switch, that proudly announces to the entire household that I am, in fact, doing very important things right now. But of course, you can swap those out. You can also swap out the keycaps if you want, but given the nature of these being studded and central to the concept of the keyboard, I can’t really see why you’d do that.

It does also feature RGB lighting, but it’s quite weak and not on a level with something like Razer Chroma keyboards. So much so that I’ve not even going to cover it as a feature. If you want RGB lighting on your keyboard, look elsewhere.

Connect to Anything: Bluetooth, Wireless, USB-C

The Melgeek Pixel offers a huge number of options when it comes to connectivity, which is great if you’re planning on using it with multiple devices.

The easiest is USB-C. Just plug in the supplied LEGO-ified brightly colored USB cable to your device, and you can start typing. They could have include a generic bland USB-C cable but instead, it’s a completely custom job, and even this has studs on. However, looking over the Kickstarter it appears this is only in the VIP package and not the other early bird rewards, so you can expect a premium for that.

Alternatively, if you’d rather use the keyboard wirelessly, you have two options. It’s supplied with a 2.4GHz wireless USB dongle to plug into a full-size USB-A port on your computer. Although it arrives separately in the accessory box, there’s room to fit the dongle into the right-hand side of the case underneath these transparent flat pieces (you can just make out a dark patch there on the photo below).

melgeek pixel - top down

For devices like tablets or smartphones, you can also use Bluetooth. In fact, you can store and switch between up to eight different Bluetooth profiles, rather than having to unpair and repair them every time.

Switch between the modes using the slide switch at the back, and use a keyboard shortcut to select the desired Bluetooth device. The central position is for USB-C cabled usage, with no battery power required. Slide to the left or right to activate either wireless or Bluetooth. The leftmost indicator light on the keyboard will flash blue, for Bluetooth.

Like the Mojo68, the Pixel is not QMK/VIA compatible, though it does work with KBTools which is MelGeek’s own customization software. Unfortunately, I was unable to test this as the current Mac version would only display in Chinese.

This Is a Kickstarter

The usual Kickstarter warning applies here. There’s absolutely no guarantee your product will be delivered. In fact, there are a few red flags with this project.

When it was initially pitched to us and we agreed to a review, we were told there weren’t any samples due to production delays, but they wanted to pay to promote the project anyway. We declined, and I asked them to reach out again when there were samples. Later pitches then arrived from a PR company called OGadget/GadgetLabs, who have been banned from coverage here due to non-delivery of previous Kickstarter projects. Of course, a PR company doesn’t actually make the product, but it’s extremely rare for projects to just disappear without delivery—so rare in fact that it’s only happened twice with products we’ve reviewed—and both were being handled by the same PR company. A coincidence, perhaps.

melgeek pixel - unboxing

A month later, out of the blue, a sample turned up anyway.

On the flip side, Melgeek isn’t an entirely new company and this isn’t their first rodeo—its previous project the Mojo68 was warmly welcomed, and something we reviewed last year.

At the very least, bear in mind that nearly all hardware crowdfunding campaigns end up being delayed, and the estimated shipping for this is January 2023. Most projects I’m backing at the moment are at least 6 months delayed.

Should You Buy the MelGeek Pixel?

There’s no doubt that this is a cool keyboard, with plenty of customization possible. But with add-ons like better keycaps, a special USB-C cable, plus shipping—even with early bird pricing—it seems it’ll come to at least $300. That’s a really tough sell, especially for a crowdfunding project which has no guarantee of delivery.

melgeek pixel - decorat4e with lego overview

You can buy a regular TKL mechanical keyboard hot-swappable switches for $100 or less from the likes of Glorious. So you’d have to really like the idea of a LEGO-compatible keyboard to buy this. As a die-hard LEGO fan who has a purpose-built man cave in the garden just to house his little plastic people, I feel like I should be the target audience. And yet, I’m just not convinced.

melgeek pixel - distrated driver health and safety

If you absolutely must have this keyboard to decorate with LEGO dots and bricks and build a little castle fortress of keys for your minifigs to play on, at least wait until it hits retail. Don’t bother with the generic bricks—if you have the option of a barebones model, buy that instead, and use your own, original LEGO. But having waited for it to eventually hit retail, are you sure you wouldn’t just rather buy a cheaper mechanical keyboard and spend that $200 you’ve saved on a new LEGO set instead?

Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *