A bit less than a year ago (in August 2019), I reviewed HyperX’s Double Shot PBT Keycaps (in White). I praised them in form and function, considering them a non-essential, but reasonably priced, step up in quality as well as presentation. This year, HyperX has revisited these keycaps and has come out with an upgraded version. In this review, I will be comparing the old and new versions, giving a score for the new version, and providing a verdict as to whether I think you should run out and upgrade your keycaps.
For clarity, I will be referring to the new version as the “2020” keycaps, and the old version as the “2019” keycaps. Both versions of the keycaps came with the same materials: 104 full keyset, keycap removal tool, and short paper manual to help with key replacement. Both were compatible with all HyperX keyboards (as well as other mechanical keyboards featuring Cherry MX switch stems), they were priced the same ($24.99), and they both came with a limited two-year warranty. They use the same double-shot construction out of PBT material, which is oil-resistant and optimized for durability and reliability.
For 2019’s keycaps, I reviewed the White keycaps whereas for 2020’s keycaps I reviewed the Black ones (though it should be noted that the White color for 2020 was released at the same time). As far as I can tell, the changes between the 2019 and 2020 versions are mostly cosmetic. 2020’s keycaps use a signature HyperX font, whereas 2019’s used a more stylized font (loops for characters like O, D, etc. were not completely enclosed). In line with the style of 2019’s characters, those keycaps also used symbols (usually arrows) for the Tab, Caps Lock, Shift, and other keys, whereas 2020’s keycaps display clipped words. I believe these font and style changes were made to provide even better “shine-through” capabilities and anecdotally, I do find them to be brighter (I turned down the brightness level of my keyboard a bit after installing the 2020 keycaps, which I didn’t end up doing after installing 2019’s).