Sneakbox MGA Standard with SA Mizu (unboxing and final build)
Saturday, July 24, 2021
If you are not familiar, the TGR Alice was a very limited run ergo-style keyboard that went through a group buy in 2018. The Geekhack thread with information is here. Also noteworthy is the fact that the designer offered the plate, PCB, and acrylic case design files as well, which are found here on the Geekhack thread.
The Reddit post announcing the MGA Standard can be found here.
With Sneakbox offering a 2021 summer sale, I decided to order a B-stock black MGA Standard to try out the Alice layout, as I have never used one before. Let’s start by taking a look at the components!
MGA Standard components
The case is an Alice-style case. It’s sturdy, machined well, and doesn’t have many flourishes. This case is technically B-stock, which is due to “anodizing mismatch”. I don’t notice unless it’s the right light and I’m looking for it.
The machining on the case is solid. I didn’t spot any obvious defects.
This is an Alice-layout PCB. It uses Kailh hotswap sockets and support stepped caps lock.
It uses an ATmega 32U4, which can be seen in one of the photos below. Note the Sneakbox information on the PCB as well.
The brass plate is sturdy, clean, and fits the various stabilizers I have. It’s also polished, which looks great on the keyboard, as the gaps between keycaps in some spots is greater than on a non-ergo/Alice layout.
I chose to build the MGA Standard with the following components:
- Case: Sneakbox MGA Standard - Black B-stock
- PCB: Sneakbox Alice Hotswap PCB - USB-C underside
- Plate: Brass
- Switches: Boba U4 68g silent tactiles (Pearl)
- Stabilizers: Durock v2 with Krytox 205g0 and dielectric grease
- Keycaps: SA Mizu (uniform R3 SA profile, produced by Signature Plastics)
- Foam: Sneakbox EVA foam between the PCB and plate as well as between the PCB and case
The SA Mizu keycaps were recently delivered and the uniform profile made it so I didn’t have to worry much about having the exact keycaps I needed. The color against the black case also worked out really well.
Here is the final build against a black background:
Another shot of the final build against a colorful desk mat:
The SA Mizu caps really work well on this case. Here are a few more photos of this build.
The MGA Standard is great value for an Alice-style ergo keyboard. It’s solid, well-designed, and has support from a great vendor. Additionally, the hotswap sockets and simple case design make building this a breeze.
Related posts on Sneakbox keyboards: