Sneakbox MGA Standard with SA Mizu (unboxing and final build)

Saturday, July 24, 2021

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The Sneakbox MGA Standard is an Alice-layout keyboard case. Sneakbox offers USB-Mini and USB-C variants of the case to go along with the Alice-layout PCBs offered from the same store.

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

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.

Top of the case
Back of the case

The machining on the case is solid. I didn’t spot any obvious defects.

Logo on the back of the case
The split in the middle of the case
Close macro of the LED holes

The PCB

This is an Alice-layout PCB. It uses Kailh hotswap sockets and support stepped caps lock.

Top of the PCB
Back of the PCB

It uses an ATmega 32U4, which can be seen in one of the photos below. Note the Sneakbox information on the PCB as well.

ATmega 32U4 on the PCB
Sneakbox logo on the PCB
PCB revision information
Top of the PCB up close

The plate

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.

Top of the brass plate
Back of the brass plate

The build

I chose to build the MGA Standard with the following components:

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:

MGA Standard with SA Mizu

Another shot of the final build against a colorful desk mat:

MGA Standard with SA Mizu on a desk mat

The SA Mizu caps really work well on this case. Here are a few more photos of this build.

Another angle of the final build
Closer view of the SA Mizu keycaps
Close up of the modifiers and the case
Even closer view of the keycaps

Final thoughts

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.

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