lulu is an extensively engineered split keyboard blending two materials, aluminum and polycarbonate resulting in an elegant and alluring end product worthy of any desk. Each half of the lulu is comprised of two main sections, the top half (with integrated plate) is made from machined anodized aluminum available in four distinct color options: silver, space grey, charcoal, and maroon. Sitting below the aluminun on each half is injection molded frosted polycarbonate lower pieces available in three colors: clear, smoke, and ultem offering a beautiful material change and diffusing the lulu's underglow when turned on. Custom designed tenting kits and rotary encoder kits are also offered as optional add-ons during Group Buy designed specifically for the lulu. Investing in tooling and engineering to offer all of the lulu's polycarbonate components as injection molded pieces allows us to viably produce these pieces quickly and reliably at scale, all while maintaining an unmatched level of consistency across pieces.
While designing the lulu we always had the current popularity of the layout on our mind, it was important to us to acknowledge so many of our customers (and other store's customers) were already invested into the Lily58 ecosystem. As a result, the lulu case and PCB are offered separately during Group Buy, and the lulu case is 100% backwards compatible with current Lily58 solderable PCBs already available on the market and in user's hands. For those that want the best and most feature-complete PCB in the layout, we have created an SMT PCB to offer alongside the lulu. The lulu's PCB is SMT assembled, featuring MX Hotswap Sockets (Kailh), programmable RGB per-key LEDs and underglow, rotary encoder support on both halves (2 total), USB Type-C connection, TRRS Jacks, and female sockets already in place and soldered on board for OLED installation. All of this is attainable without needing to touch a soldering iron (installation of encoder component does require soldering).
lulu case kits are a 'bring your own PCB' solution, as the lulu case is compatible with legacy Lily PCBs already on the market. Case kits include:
- 2x (L and R) Aluminum Upper Pieces (color combinations listed below)
- 2x (L and R) Injection molded polycarbonate Lower Pieces (color combinations listed below)
- 2x OLED Cover Clear
- 2x OLED Cover Clear Frosted
- 2x OLED retention plugs used to retain the OLED cover in the case
- 2s (L and R) Sound Dampening Material (between PCB/Plate)
- All necessary assembly hardware (color listed below)
lulu Case Color Combinations (listed by aluminum color):
Silver: Silver Aluminum / Clear Lower Pieces / Silver Hardware
Space Grey: Space Grey Aluminum / Clear Lower Pieces / Silver Hardware
Charcoal: Charcoal Aluminum / Smoke Lower Pieces / Black Hardware
Maroon: Maroon Aluminum / Ultem Lower Pieces / Silver Hardware
Tenting kits are an optional add-on to the lulu ecosystem. Tenting kits allow your board to be angled away from your desk (from the middle) in various angles. Tenting kits for the lulu include legs to tent your case at 10°, 15°, and 20°. Tenting kits are offered in all three polycarbonate colors Lower Pieces are offered in allowing users to color match or intentionall mix and match their builds. Tenting Kits Include:
- 2x (L and R) 10° Tenting Legs
- 2x (L and R) 15° Tenting Legs
- 2x (L and R) 20° Tenting Legs
- All necessary mounting hardware (Clear/Ultem include silver, Smoke includes black)
For users who wish to add rotary encoders to the lulu build, we have designed a custom Encoder Kit for the lulu which fits the case seamlessly. The lulu SMT PCB offered during Group Buy has rotary encoder support in two locations, directly beneath the OLED location on each half. By default that location has a hotswap socket to accept a key switch, so the rotary encoder kit is completely optional. If you have a Lily PCB already in your posession you plan on using with the lulu case, it is reccomended you still purchase this kit an de-solder your encoder and install this one instead. The custom designed knob for the lulu is using the 'D' shape connection, and the rotary encoder component is a specific height to make each piece work properly. The rotary encoder footprint on the lulu SMT PCB is the standard encoder footprint. NOTE: Users must solder the rotary encoder component onto the PCB themselves, it is NOT installed during SMT assembly and is an optional kit.
Rotary Encoder Kits Include:
- 2x (L and R) Rotary Encoder Plugs
- 2x Rotary Encoder Knobs
- 2x Rotary Encoders
Extra Lower Piece Kit:
In order to ensure smooth production and viable fulfillment, color combinations of Cases and Lower Pieces in Case Kits are defined. In order to allow customers to customize their board further we are offering the ability to purchase additional Lower Piece Kits during GB.
Extra Lower Piece Kits Include:
- 2x (L and R) Polycarbonate Lower Pieces
Does the kit come with a PCB? The base lulu Case Kit does not come with a PCB, you must either purchase a lulu SMT PCB offered in the Configurator, or supply your own Lily58 PCB. The case is compatible with Legacy Lily58 PCBs so long as they maintain support for the standard Liily58 case.
Can/is the lulu be wireless? The lulu SMT PCB offered during assembly is not wireless. However, because the lulu Case Kit is compatible with legacy Lily58 PCBs, you can use a Liily58 PCB compatible with nice!nanos in order to make the keyboard wireless. We do sell al necessary components in order to do so :). The case does work with the standard 'battery under the controller' strategy, there is enough clearance.
What kits do I need to buy to have a complete Lulu? This depends on what a 'complete' lulu means to you -- if you currently do not have a Lily PCB, then the minimum viable items you'd need to purchase is a Case Kit and a lulu SMT PCB. Tenting kits, Encoder Kits, Lower Piece Kits, and OLEDs are optional add-ons. Please refer to the list above for a detailed description of each kit option.
Do I have to solder anything to make it look like the photos? All kits offered during the lulu Group Buy except for the Rotary Encoder Kit require no soldering to be done by the user. Rotary encoder kits include two rotary encoder electrical components. These components must be soldered onto the PCB. Generally speaking this is a very very easy soldering job. By default this location on the PCB has a hotswap socket soldered in place during SMT assembly. Soldering the rotary encoder in place does not require the user to de-solder the hotswap socket.