A must-have for HHKB users! New keyboard “Tempo” from Mode Designs!


On August 31, 2023, US-based keyboard brand Mode Designs updated its official social networking site to announce the launch of a new keyboard.

The new keyboard is called “tempo” and its main feature is a 60% HHKB layout that eliminates the arrow keys.

Pre-purchase pre-orders will open on September 6, 2023 at 9:00 a.m. EST, priced at $259.00.

The shipping date is scheduled for December of this year.

According to Mode Desings, there are no plans to end sales of tempo at this time, and it will continue to be sold as part of the regular lineup.

Mode Designs has made a splash with the release of the Envoy, which uses a unique mounting method, and that keystroke feeling is very addictive.

We are very much looking forward to seeing what kind of key feel we will get with this new product as well.

Information and image reference: Mode Desings / YouTube

Kawamura top R

Representative of GreenEchoes Studio

Ryosuke Kawamura

He launched his own media as a site operator and web writer, and now plans and manages multiple corporate media. He often types heavily in his work, and in his search for greater efficiency, he became addicted to the keyboard swamp and established “GreenKeys”.


Discount Code: ryo10

to save 10% off your purchase.

Discount Code: ryo10

to save 8% off your purchase.

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Mode Designs tempo specifications, etc.


First, let’s look at the specifications of TEMPO.

  • Release date: September 6, 2023 (pre-order start)
  • Shipping: Scheduled for December 2023
  • Price: from $259.00
  • Supports QMK/VIA and can change keymap
  • Windows/Mac compatible
  • Hot-swappable
  • Multi-layout support
  • CNC aluminum alloy body


  • Typing Angle: 5.8 Degrees
  • Front Height: 19mm
  • Dimensions: 298x113mm
  • Weight: 2.7-4.4lbs

PCB & Layout

  • Thickness: 1.6mm
  • Switches: 58-62
  • Firmware: QMK with VIA support
  • MCU: ARM
tempo layouts


  • Case: Aluminum
  • Accent: Aluminum, Steel, Brass, Wood
  • Weight: Alu, Copper, Brass
  • Plate: POM, FR4, Aluminum, Carbon Fiber, Copper

Box Contents

  • Case
  • Feet and Mounting Blocks
  • PCB + Daughterboard
  • Carry Case
  • Screwdriver
  • Keycap and Switch Puller
  • Various Fasteners

60% size in HHKB layout


TEMPO is a 60% sized mechanical keyboard without directional keys.

Unlike the usual 60% size, this is a so-called HHKB layout.

As HHKB users may know, this layout is characterized by a split 2U backspace and a backspace above the enter key.

This allows for efficient keystroking without having to extend the little finger far to the upper right.

In addition, the function keys located next to the right Shift key allow directional key operations using only the right hand, and the default position of the Control key has been changed to the less frequently used CapsLock position, thus creating a layout that emphasizes efficiency.

The tempo inherits this symmetrical and beautiful HHKB layout, so current HHKB users will be able to smoothly switch between the two.

Lattice Block mounting system is used for the mounting system, focusing on key feel.


There are various methods of mounting PCB boards, and the mounting method has such a significant impact on the keyboard that it is no exaggeration to say that it determines the keyboard’s keystroke feel and sound.

tempo uses the Lattice Block Mount System that was well received by Envoy.

This mounting method consists of placing blocks made of flexible material inside the case and securing the PCB board to the case with two screws.


In Envoy, there were two types: “Lattice Block” for soft keystroke feel and “Rubber Block” for hard keystroke feel, but from this time on, there will be more types with different colors and combinations.

Kawamura top RKawamura

As was the case with Envoy, we feel that this keystroke feel is the deciding factor for many people to purchase the product.
I have used many keyboards, but none so addictive.

For more information about keystroke sounds, please click here.

It has the same mounting system as the Envoy, but unfortunately it is not compatible with the Envoy because of the different block shape.

About Mode Tempo customization

Tempo, like Envoy and Sonnet, uses the “Build Yours” method of ordering by combining parts.

The customization items that can be selected are as follows

  • case (e.g. receptacle, condition, event, legal action, letter style, etc.)
  • accent
  • weight
  • PCB
  • keycap
  • key switch
  • stabilizer
  • form

Combine these together and you will have your own unique Tempo.

In particular, for coloring, a visualizer that changes in real time is available.

front bg white T0a1a3a caps dark

Note that some of the options you choose may incur additional fees.

Six case types to choose from


tempo is available in a choice of six different cases.

The lineup is very unique, with three white colors, two green colors, and one black color.

In particular, I can’t get enough of the dark green body with the company’s TOMMOROW keycaps installed!

Choice of 8 different accents


You can choose from the following 8 types of accent bars to be installed on the back of TEMPO.

The lineup includes mirror, wood, and white in pastel metallic colors, which, like the case, are also quite aggressive.


4 weights to choose from


There are four different types of weights that can be installed on the bottom of TEMPO.

It comes in black, white, copper, and gold, and looks very confusing.

Unlike the Envoy, it is now fitted into a hollowed-out case.

Other Customizations

plate (often as in “tectonic plate”)

  • FR4 No Cost
  • POM No Cost
  • Aluminum $5.00
  • Carbon Fiber $11.00
  • Copper $25.00


  • Solder No Cost
  • Hotswap – Full Backspace $7.00
  • Hotswap – Split Backspace $7.00


  • Not for purchase
  • Tomorrow Keycaps $79.99
  • Anthracite Keycaps $79.99
  • Obscura Keycaps $79.99

The price of the keycap is $59.99 when the key switch and stabilizer are purchased at the same time.


  • Not for purchase
  • Obscura Linear Switches – 70 $45.50
  • Tomorrow Tactile Switches – 70$ 45.50
  • Anthracite Silent Tactile Switches – 70 $49.00

The price of the key switch is $39.00 if the key cap and stabilizer are purchased at the same time.


  • Not for purchase
  • Durock V2 Stabilizers – Gold$17. 00
  • Durock V2 Stabilizers – Black$17. 00

The price of the stabilizer is $12.00 if the keycap and key switch are purchased at the same time.


  • No Foam
  • Tempo Foam Kit $12.00

Foam is optional. The foam kit includes case, plate and PE foam.

tempo is a must-have item for HHKB users

The above is an overview of Mode Designs’ newest product, “tempo.

These days, HHKB layouts are gaining popularity, and attractive new products such asMolly60 andTilly60 are being released all the time.

It is no exaggeration to say that TEMPO is the hottest product among them.

Please check it out!



河村 亮介のアバター 河村 亮介 GreenKeys運営責任者/事業代表

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