Not all that long ago, the enthusiast mechanical keyboard market was dominated by just a few big names. Now you can pick up a mechanical board from any number of accessory makers including Cooler Master, Monoprice, Razer and Roccat, just to name a few.

More buying options are certainly welcomed among consumers but as a manufacturer, additional competition means you have to try harder to make your product stand out from the crowd. So how does one pull that off, exactly?

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For Thermaltake, the answer is metallic keycaps.

In terms of mechanical keyboards, the underlying key switches often get the majority of attention from both buyers and manufacturers. But truth be told, the keycaps themselves are also an important part of the equation.

Thermaltake's new replacement keycaps, known as METALCAPS, are created from a zinc alloy that the company claims offers a solid feel when typing in addition to the obvious durability attribute. They will fit on Tt eSPORTS certified mechanical switches / Cherry MX switches that have cross-shaped stems, we're told.

Metallic keycaps are certainly a rarity and would help your board stand out from the crowd but they aren't entirely a new idea. A quick web search turned up several other offerings.

The keycaps will be offered in four varieties: W A S D + Esc key, Q W E R + Esc key, arrow keys + Esc key and a full 38-key bundle that includes letter, punctuation, arrow keys and Esc key. Pricing starts at $19.99 and scales up to $69.99 for the 38-key set. They'll be available this month in Germany, Taiwan and the US with a global rollout to follow soon after that.