| Mechanical Keyboard | Hot-Swappable | Wireless/Wired | 65% |
EPOMAKER EK68, a 65% mechanical keyboard with lots of premium features.
The EPOMAKER EK68 is part of the smaller sized keyboards from the brand, which can be an attractive feature for users looking for a less complicated desk setup and even for gamers and mobile users.
Keep reading our EPOMAKER EK68 review to find all the details, scores results and performance of this mechanical keyboard.
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EPOMAKER EK68 Review
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EPOMAKER EK68 Scores
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ACCESSORIES & PACKAGING
The keyboard is shipped in a light blue colored box that includes:
• 8 extra PBT keycaps
• 3 extra mechanical switches
• Keycap keyswitch puller
• USB-C cable
At first sight, the EPOMAKER EK68 black silver variant looks almost like a smaller sibling of the EPOMAKER Shadow-X, but they are actually not part of the same series.
Nonetheless, the EK68 shares many of the neat aesthetic details seen on the Shadow-X like the classy space grey color with a pearled finish that adds a business-class feel.
If you get the black silver model, the keycaps will match the color pattern style of the casing – but you are also given for free 8 yellow PBT keycaps to customize the look and give it a color accent if you want to.
Layout and format-wise, the EPOMAKER EK68 is a 66 keys model with a 65% size on a well-thought design that is able to include a knob and arrow keys with almost the footprint of a 60% keyboard.
As a point of reference, this keyboard is nearly as large as a 60% keyboard with the addition of very handy keys (arrows, DEL, PageUp, PageDown and DEL) – and the knob.
Right in-between the Fn key and the Left key, there is a 2-light status section that informs the battery charge condition and the connection mode being used.
The EPOMAKER EK68 is available in 3 different colors:
Having a small footprint, the ergonomics of the keyboard are boosted as the device becomes way less obtrusive than full-sized models.
This on its own is a huge advantage on everyday use as the space for your mouse is not affected and frees up a large space of your desktop.
The EK68 has a 2-stage feet to adjust the height/tilt preference of each user while the OEM sized keycaps will be naturally intuitive for the muscle memory of more users than keyboards having “special keycaps”
CONSTRUCTION & BUILD
The size of the EPOMAKER EK68 might make it look less intimidating than a large 100% keyboard with LCD displays, yet this 65% keyboard packs a seriously high-quality build and construction assembly.
In fact, immediately after unboxing the EK68 you can feel that you have a quality keyboard on your hands with a solid build and a confident weight to it, on a compact body.
As part of the quality components inside this keyboard, you will get a gasket-mounted design, foam absorbing layers, rubberized feet and a hot-swappable PCB with a steel plate (the casing is ABS, though).
The profile of the keycaps of the EK68 can be chosen between OEM, SA and Cherry already pre-assembled from factory, giving buyers a more custom variety.
Independently of the profile chosen, you will get quality PBT double shot keycaps (not shine-through) that resist the oil of the fingers and will not fade over time.
The finish has a medium texture that is pleasant to the tactile feel while adding a more secure layer of anchorage for your fingers and eliminating risks of any slippery keypress.
The nice knob with the same finish of the body, gives it a cleaner and more premium general aesthetics. On top of that, the knob has a perfectly balanced size that is smaller than many others seen on competitors but is very easy to grab and handle, without being overly large nor too protruding. The rotational move is infinite on both directions with a inaudible but clicky tactile feedback for each step.
A small detail, we noticed that if the keyboard is on sleep mode it will not wake up by rotating the knob, you will need to press one key.
The EPOMAKER EK68 has a hot-swappable board that comes fully assembled from factory with pre-lubed mechanical switches.
The model being reviewed is the one with Epomaker Flamingo switches; these switches have a nice smooth travel with no scratchiness and with a good balance of actuation and initial force giving a pleasant keypress feedback and avoid accidental pressed while not being overly hard as to induce fatigue.
As a point of comparison, the Epomaker Flamingo vs Gateron Pro yellow, show a smoother travel with also a lighter actuation force.
EPOMAKER Flamingo specifications:
• Material: POM stem, PC housing, dual spring
• Pin: 5 Pins
• Actuation force: 47 ± 5gf
• Linear Type with 35gf Initial Force
• Actuation Travel: 1.50-2.00mm
In addition to the personalization of colors and keycaps profile, EPOMAKER offers the EK68 in a vast amount of variants that will give you the chance of choosing among many excellent switches.
All the specific variants are:
1. ANSI layout:
– Epomaker Flamingo switches
– Epomaker Budgerigar switches
– Gateron Pro 2.0 Yellow
– Epomaker Wisteria
– Epomaker Bluebird
2. ISO layout:
– Epomaker Flamingo switches
– Epomaker Budgerigar switches
– Gateron Pro 2.0 Yellow
– Gateron Pro 2.0 Black
Unlike other keyboards on the sub-$100 range, the EK68 has 5 connectivity options that include a USB-C wired mode, 2.4GHz wireless (with the included dongle) and 3 slots of Bluetooth 5.0 wireless pairing.
You can have the 5 connections on 5 different different devices and easily switch between them by moving the mode switch to the corresponding connection type (if you are using Bluetooth you can select the BT slot by using the Fn+Q/W/E)
Both pairing BT or through the dongle was extremely easy a trouble-free. The 2.4GHz wireless connection was always stable and free of noticeable delay while the first pairing and re-awake was instant, even after long time of inactivity.
CUSTOMIZATION & REPROGRAMMING
The PCB of the EPOMAKER EK68 has a hot-swappable design so you can easily customize the keyboard with any compatible mechanical switches, both 3-pin and 5-pin MX compatible switches.
From factory, the assembled switches also have MX keycaps, allowing to fit any of the millions of MX fitting keycaps on the market.
For users liking to create and set macros or to reprogram the default keys, the EK68 will fulfill your needs as it can be fully programmed per key without exception (even the knob’s button can be reprogramed)
Additionally, the keyboard is equipped with on-board memory, so you can program your custom settings, macros, lighting and they will all be saved to the keyboard itself without depending on any background running software.
PERFORMANCE & USE
The EPOMAKER EK68 has a superb design for gaming that provides the smaller foot print of a 60% keyboard to have all the mouse-moving free space but with the addition of extra keys that enable it to become a vastly more versatile keyboard to be also used a primary keyboard on your desktop and daily use.
The brand does not explicitly specify the polling rate of the EK68 but most of other essential gaming specs are covered by this EPOMAKER keyboard.
• Macros programmability
• Mechanical switches (hot-swappable)
• Carefully assembled
• RGB backlight
As a productivity exclusive keyboard, you will gain access to a quality keyboard with outstanding assembly and materials.
Despite not having a F number row or dedicated numpad, the versatility of full re-programmability and macros in addition to the wired and wireless connections, can be features very well received by this type of users.
For office and business use, the EPOMAKER EK68 can become a phenomenal companion for its quality mechanical typing experience but with an specific acoustic dampening design that can fit in-office use without disturbing other workers.
The rechargeable battery and wired/wireless connections enable quick on-the-go setup for using it and carrying it around, clients, cafes, airports and business trips.
The smart layout, design and format of the EK68 plus the wireless Bluetooth connectivity makes this keyboard a phenomenal companion for tablet and mobile users wanting a high-quality portable mechanical keyboard without compromising productivity use nor being too bulky.
Some programmers like 60% keyboards for its transportability, accepting the loss of the F number row and numpad. If you fit in this kind of programmers, you should better consider the EPOMAKER EK68 as it will give you all the benefits that you enjoy from a 60% keyboard plus the navigation keys and the dedicated knob.
On top of that, you will get specific features that become handy for programming, including:
• Full reprogramming per key
Personalization and custom per key RGB light programming can be done through the software or you can access many of the colors and premade presets saved on-board.
Despite not having shine-through keycaps that can be illuminated by the backlight, the EPOMAKER EK68 south-facing LEDs with a keycaps design with white and large fonts makes it readable even on complete darkness – with the amount of backlight coming through the edges of the keycaps and the light spilling from the PC monitor.
As a point of reference, in comparison to the EPOMAKER Shadow-X that has the same keycap and profile design, the EK68 has a noticeably more visible backlighting thanks to a more floating key design that allows more light to be seen from the bottom end of the keycaps.
The model that we are reviewing is equipped with EPOMAKER Flamingo switches.
The combination of these quality linear switches with the inner gasket-mounted design and sound absorption foam layers, resulted in a phenomenal sound experience that never showed clacky, poppy nor sharp qualities.
Instead, the keyboard will provide a fairly deep pitched sound with no hollow feel on any key press and barely any rattling coming from the pre-lubed stabilizers – besides a tiny bit from the spacebar when hit hard.
Unlike the other 3 EPOMAKER keyboards that we have recently reviewed, the EK68 uses an older v1 version of EPOMAKER’s software.
The customization capabilities of the v1 software does not have any substantial limitations in comparison to the newer version, except for the fact that the keyboard is not recognized by the software via a 2.4GHz connection. So, if you want to use the app to program the keyboard, you will need to do it in wired mode.
Despite this, the personalization settings give users full access to macros, reprogramming, lighting patterns or custom patterns and all per 100% per key.
For a keyboard with battery-optimized Bluetooth v5.0 wireless connection and no power-draining LCD displays, the generous 3000mAh rechargeable battery inside the EPOMAKER EK68 granted days of continuous use and reviews writing during our tests and being still used right now to product this review, the keyboard has been running on the same first full charge.
EPOMAKER EK68 Technical Specifications
65%, 66 Keys
Double shot PBT
Yes, 3/5 pins
Bluetooth 5.0, 2.4 GHz and Type-C
N-Key Roll Over
Inside the box
• Instrusction Manual
• Type-C Cable
• 1*2.4G receiver
• 1*keycap/switch puller
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