Curious as to why you would need a couple replacement key caps?
The key caps are very specific since the legends are printed on them. If you need a replacement keycap you would need that specific keycap.
EVGA_James, this is a long answer not for any kind of 'bashing' or such, but to provide what I hope are clear and complete answers to your input and why this is so important to me.
Some keycaps (NOT the switches) on my keyboard were "bad" right out of the box. More of them started failing soon after. I was hoping they could simply MAIL me the specific keycaps I needed to replace the bad keycaps. It is a manufacturing mechanical tolerance problem.
If EVGA were to set it up properly, mailing is MUCH CHEAPER and generally faster for everyone. We can MAIL a handful of keycaps for about $1 and delivery is fast and don't have to coordinate delivery with UPS/other (which is ALWAYS a problem for me). In comparison, shipping or mailing the entire keyboard I think costs something like $15-$20.
More imporantly, they couldn't simply mail a few keycaps. They told me I MUST re-package the keyboard and accessories as originally shipped
, and send in MY entire heavy perfectly good and NEW keyboard (with exception of the few defective keycaps which are super-easy and DESIGNED to be replaced) and they would THEN SEND ME some USED recertified keyboard in its place
. I've had more than enough horrible experiences with such RMAs that swap your new for their old.
I would suggest getting a complete set of 3rd part keycaps online and just remove the stock ones and put them a side incase you need to RMA.
Well, in this case, then why can't EVGA play the part of this "3rd party" you suggest? If some other company can provide a spare set, then shouldn't EVGA be able to do the same thing? I should be able to...as you suggest...get an entire "set" of Z20 keycaps and put those aside until needed.
That is symantically equivalent to your suggestion, except in this case the actual 2nd party (EVGA) is the same as your 3rd party (which is now also EVGA).
I also suggest ALL keyboard companies should provide a simple process for the customers to order extra/replacement keycaps as needed. It would be superior service. I have needed extra keycaps for multiple keyboards as they wore out.
However, with respect to if I obtained actual non-EVGA "3rd party" keycaps...
I am visually impaired and the EVGA Z20 is the best combination of keycaps/fonts/brightness I've ever seen on backlit keyboards.
There simply is no set of "3rd Party" keyboard keycaps that compares favorably and any such set is therefore unacceptable.
(also...these linear optical switches still appear to be a bit atypical switches so any available 3rd party keycaps out there may not yet even be compatible. The mechanical tolerances are very tight.)
But really the keycaps themselves aren't going to break unless you hulk smash them.
It does not take a literally "mangled or broken" keycap to require a replacement. I have used a very large number of keyboards where the keycap character overlays were worn through to the point the characters/icons were no longer readable...and it wasn't just backlit keyboards nor just 1 or 2 keycaps on a given keyboard. It can take less than a year to render some keys unreadable...never mind the aesthetics. And, I've even dropped a tool on one keyboard and badly banged up a few keycaps...so "hulk smash" can still apply to some degree. I even dropped MEK (a plastic solvent) on a keyboard so some keycap characters were literally melted.
And, like my first Z20 opti-linear keyboard, I have had poor quality keyboards where the keycaps caused really severe keyswitch sticking and needed to be fixed or replaced.
Depends on the design and quality of the keycaps.