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Norbatouch: a custom housing for Cooler Master TKL boards (round π)

Norbatouch: a custom housing for Cooler Master TKL boards (round π)


The ultimate case for your Cooler Master keyboard.

After the very successful first three rounds of these cases, dubbed by many folks "the Norbatouch case," it turns out that folks seem to be really into them. So, after a dizzying barrage of friendly but insistent requests, I've decided to offer them one more time. :)

These CNC aluminum cases are for Cooler Master "Tenkeyless"/TKL (i.e., no numpad) keyboards. They allow you to replace the stock injection-molded ABS plastic case with a hefty, beautiful custom-machined aluminum housing. 

These cases are custom designed to fit only the following Cooler Master TKL models:

The case comes in a custom gift box, which includes all required hardware and optional riser feet. (The risers make it possible to use the case at an angle similar to the native slope of the Novatouch keyboard.)

Your case will be specifically manufactured for you in the finish of your choice. The quantities currently available for purchase are planned extras from the group buy, which ended in July. All anodized cases are estimated to ship to participants in early 2019, with custom powder coat options shipping approximately 1-2 months after the anodized finishes.


Bead-blasted and anodized

  • Aerospace Aluminum This is a Type-II silver-colored anodized finish, similar to those on Apple products
  • Tactical Black This is a Type-III ("hard") anodized finish in dark black. It offers increased durability compared to Type II.

Bespoke powder-coat finishes

  • Enigma gray a steel gray, flat/no-gloss, medium texture
  • Astrophysical Purple a smooth low-gloss finish with silver specks
  • Retro Refrigerator a sort of green-shifted powder blue—matte finish with no added texture

How they're made 

These cases are being machined in the high-tech hub of China: Shenzhen, the "Silicon Valley of hardware." They are made by a company I have worked with on numerous projects in the past, so I can vouch that they know their trade very well. The cases will be CNC machined in enormous vertical mills that ensure high rigidity, which is very important to a good final finish. They are then meticulously deburred and hand-finished according to the finish you choose. They are made with a combination of very high-tech production methods and some very skilled hand work as well. They are then inspected individually by a third-party inspection company and then by me personally before shipping.

Here's a video I made on the round-one production process:

Power coat finishes are applied by an expert shop in Silicon Valley. 

This is a group buy/pre-order for a bespoke product: patience required.

As I think previous participants in my group buys would vouch, I like to take my time and get shit right; I always favor a delay over a decrease in quality. Previous rounds have gone well, and I always take great care to make sure everyone is happy with that they get.

I also hate over-promising on timelines, or having deadlines slip and worrying about feeling like I'm letting people down. So I'm going, hand-wavingly, to assert that late 2018 is the delivery estimate. It could very likely be be earlier, but my pessimism (and hard-won manufacturing experience) precludes my trusting the, always overly-optimistic factory estimates. However,  I promise updates whenever anything of significance occurs, both on the GeekHack thread and also by email (in the case of unexpected significant delays). I can only ask for patience and understanding as I keep nudging both the machine shop and finishing vendors to get our cases out the door as soon as possible. FWIW, I always prioritize quality over speed.

Note that powder-coated finishes are hand-applied to order here in Silicon Valley by an extremely skilled shop that among the best I've ever worked with, but as a result, those finishes will take longer to ship (on the order of 1-2 months) than the anodized finishes.

When you place your order, your card will be charged immediately and this will order your keyboard and reserve your place in the fulfillment line. You can always change your shipping address later if you move before your case ships. 


Fees are automatically calculated based on roughly how much it actually costs to ship to your country. A fast shipping method will be used (most often FedEx/UPS and DHL). In the last round, participants all over the world got their cases in less than a week from carrier pickup.

International proxies aren't available on this run (but feel free to use your USA reshipment provider of your choice). And, since I know people will ask: I apologize, but I can't under-declare the price paid for your case. Previous experience has shown that it can cause more risk and trouble for you the buyer than it's probably worth. I'm truly sorry. Action item: write your elected representatives and lobby for free trade. :)

So obviously...

This group buy is for the a case only. Keyboard plate, PCB, and keycaps are not included (the ones shown in the photos are for illustration purposes only). Since this is a made-to-order item, sales are final.

This is an after-market modification that requires invalidating your warranty to install; you do this at your own risk.


Feel free to email me using the address at the bottom of this page, or follow along in the discussion thread at GeekHack.