Polycarbonate vs Aluminum Case Material
Polycarbonate is a lightweight, yet heavy duty plastic. In Pandora, it allows the board to have some degree of flex under pressure, while maintaining a lower overall weight than its aluminum counterpart. The sound is also more deep, thocky, and less pingy than aluminum. Its semi-trasnparent properties allow RGB underglow to diffuse through the body, and you can see the boards internals through it. For a satisfying sound and feel, I would recommend polycarbonate.
The 6063 aluminum used in Pandora is a very sturdy and makes the board feel solid. Typing flex will only come from the plate/pcb and not from the body. There is not too much thock and lots of resonance. For an aesthetically pleasing look and premium feel, I would recommend aluminum.
Half Switch Plates and Flex
Flex is a term we use to describe the physical flexing of a keyboard when under typing pressure. Some people enjoy it when their builds flex, and some don't. Its all personal preference. For gaming I would suggest non flex builds, and for prolonged typing sessions I would suggest flex builds.
Half plates are plates where the alpha-numeric section of the plate is cut out. In a build, the switches would only be attached to the PCB and have no physical support from the plate. This is so that the plate/pcb flexes while under typing pressure. Simply stated, if you want more flex, go with half plates and/or softer plate materials.
Switch Plate Options
Aluminum is your standard, underrated, look good feel good plate material. It's sturdy yet flexible, and sounds great.
Fine-blasted Brass is a solid plate that looks very pretty to the eye. It's pingy and loud, but will hold out fine when you are smashing keys.
Stainless Steel is the king of looks and premium feel. Its beautiful to look at, super solid and not too pingy compared to brass.
Titanium is for when you absolutely want to kill flex and Brass or Stainless Steel just fall short. You want a raw solid feel? Here it is.
FR4 is the same material that PCB's are made out of. Its a lightweight, flame retardant plate made out of woven glass reinforced with epoxy resin. Sturdy yet flexible, and has a different kind of ping than aluminum.
Polycarbonate is a very lightweight, flexible, and muffled plate. It's very discrete, quiet, and a nice change from the usual. Its also semi-transparent. Very underrated in my opinion and excellent for long typing sessions.
POM is a very lightweight, flexible, and durable plate. Louder and stiffer than polycarbonate. Tends to normally come surface scratched from the manu.
I really like a Polycarbonate case with a Stainless Steel plate and lubed Holy Panda switches. That's my feel good board.
Also love an Aluminum case with a polycarbonate half plate and lubed Zealios. This is my usual typing go-to board.
My Party Paint Pandora for reference has a brass plate and lubed Tealios. It's my Fortnite/gaming board.