| Mechanical Keyboard | Hot-Swappable | Wireless/Wired | 95% |
EPOMAKER RT100, a retro-styled mechanical keyboard but with premium components.
EPOMAKER has emerged and established as a leading keyboard manufacturer and reseller of unique and innovative keyboards.
Like most of their keyboards, the EPOMAKER RT100 breaks the classic and limited creative design of keyboards from mainstream brands, offering a refreshing look but packed with specs, features and construction quality that popular keyboards are far from offering.
During our EPOMAKER RT100 review we will test and look deeper into the capabilities and performance of this retro keyboard.
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EPOMAKER RT100 Review
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EPOMAKER RT100 Scores
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ACCESSORIES & PACKAGING
The EPOMAKER RT100 comes in a packaging matching the color of the keyboard model that you buy.
Inside you will get:
• “Mini TV” display addon
• 2.4GHz dongle
• USB A-C cable
• Keycap/switch puller
Unlike many other EPOMAKER keyboards at this price range, the RT100 does not include extra switches nor additional keycaps.
The EPOMAKER RT100 has a smart 95% keyboard format with all the benefits of a 100% keyboard but with a more compact footprint. Specifically, the RT100 is a 97-key keyboard with an added knob.
Designwise, with a retro looking colour pattern and a CRT TV alike addon that is a true working display screen, the EPOMAKER RT100 is certainly not “just another” keyboard on the market.
On top of that, the unit has tiny details that show a brand caring for offering polished products, such as the cable color and finish matching perfectly the color of the keyboard itself and a hidden compartment for the wireless dongle.
The EPOMAKER RT100 is available only in an ANSI layout and no ISO variants but you can choose among 5 different colors:
In terms of design and standing out on the market, the display screen is a lovely add-on and it also provides a functional layer of features like CPU % utilization, temperature of a city, battery charge, date, time, connectivity status, setup information, volume icon when changing volume levels and the full-colored GIF section.
On the other hand, it would had been massively more captivating if the GIF section could add information and add-ons like PC thermals, disk utilization, network speed, FPS, volume level, etc.
The lovely monitor is very useful but it remains hanging with no support on the bottom back section, which can make it prone to snap if accidentally you put heavy pressure on top of it
The RT100 has a MDA profile, yet the overall height of the device is a bit higher than usual. Nonetheless, thanks to the 3 adjustable levels with the foldable feet, you can adapt the reach and comfort to your likings.
Overall, the more compact size than a 100% keyboard harmonizes better with a desktop setup without getting on the way of the natural movement and spatial playground of your mouse.
Being that it has a 95% form factor instead of a 100% one, if you are heavily used to full sized 100% keyboards, you will have to apply a tiny muscle memory adjustment when reaching the arrow keys and the number keypad; yet, we found ourselves adapting to it in less than 5 minutes.
CONSTRUCTION & BUILD
EPOMAKER has left no quality details behind on the RT100 nor has cheapened-out on any parts.
Indeed, the EPOMAKER RT100 is packed with high quality components and features like a gasket-mounted design, Poron sandwich layer, bottom casing foam insulation and pre-lubed stabilizers.
Additionally, the RT100 comes with an excellent rubberized, thick flexible cable with reinforced metal connector ends on both sides and a blue LED light on the USB-C end that connects to the keyboard – the light confirms that power is being transmitted.
The overall build of the keyboard feel excellent despite having an external casing made of ABS with no metal parts – the approximate weight is 1250 grams.
The bundled keycaps of this EPOMAKER keyboard have a pretty nice finish with a very subtle texture and confident build.
The choice for the keycaps has been durable PBT with 5-side dye-sublimation and non-shine through design.
They also offer a MDA profile, with large fonts that makes it easier to read than many mainstream keycaps and a matching 2-color pattern with the body of the keyboard.
Quality PBT keycaps rarely offer any type of shine-through design and most keyboard enthusiasts do not care about it but for very dark, night use a shine-through cap is a welcomed useful feature. Of course, as having replaceable keycaps, you can always customize them to your liking and needs.
The knob has a bit more plasticky feel to it but offers a nice infinite rotational movement with clicky feedback per step. This knob is smooth enough to be rotated with a single finger from the side or by grabbing it with 2 finger from the top, yet not overly loose as to accidentally rotate it.
On top of that, the knob is also a media control button that can be pressed to mute-unmute audio (can be reprogrammed)
The EPOMAKER RT100 has a board with hot-swappable class-A Kailh sockets and full compatibility with both 3-pin and 5-pin switches.
From factory you can choose among 6 pre-assembled switches:
The variant that we are reviewing is equipped with quality EPOMAKER Sea Salt Silent switches, which are linear switches with a groundbreaking silent and smooth travel. EPOMAKER ships the RT100 with pre-lubed switches while, also, this switches have a self-lubing design while typing.
The specs of the EPOMAKER Sea Salt Silent are:
• Type: Linear
• Material: POM stem, PC & Nylon Housing
• Initial force:35 ± 5 gf
• Triggered force:50 ± 5 gf
• Actuation force: 60 gf
• Total Travel: 4.0mm
• Pre Travel: 2mm
The EPOMAKER RT100 is a tri-connectivity keyboard allowing it to be used either wired through the USB-C cable connection, wirelessly with Bluetooth connectivity (v 5.0) or through 2.4GHz wireless with the bundled dongle.
Moreover, the Bluetooth chip allows independent dual BT pairing options over BT 5.0 or 3.0 for expanded compatibility.
By pressing Fn+Q/W/E/R you can easily change and connect the keyboard with 4 different devices (Q to E being Bluetooth and R being 2.4GHz wireless)
If you sum up all the wireless connectivity slots and the wired one, you could connect the keyboard with 5 different devices and switch between them on the fly.
During all the tests, the keyboard showed a stable connection with only some hiccups if the dongle is too far away or near strong interference – normal issue of all keyboards connecting with dongles. In all other cases, the keyboard never disconnected, lagged nor show disturbing lag on any wireless mode.
CUSTOMIZATION & REPROGRAMMING
Thanks to the hot-swappable board, the RT100 can be customized with any 3/5-pin switch compatible with Kailh sockets, so you can replace the switches at any given time and with ease.
Moreover, the use of MX-styled keycaps allows and endless variety of keycaps to choose from to add a touch of personalization whenever wanted.
If you want to reprogram keys or create macros for specific keys, you might be happy to know that the RT100 allows both reprogramming and macro per key and for 100% of all the keys of the device – even the knob’s button can be reprogrammed (but not the rotational knob function)
Something that we use to find annoying is keyboards without on-board memory or which need their proprietary software to boot and run on the background to apply the keyboard’s customized options (for example, most Logitech main keyboards); the EPOMAKER RT100 will save all customizations on the keyboard itself and, then, you can easily close their app afterwards – the unit will conserve all customizations every time you turn the keyboard on.
PERFORMANCE & USE
As with any keyboard larger than TKL, the RT100 might not be the first choice of many gamers. Yet, this keyboard has all the features to fulfill the needs of gaming.
• Anti-ghosting & NKRO
• 1000Hz polling rate
• Macro programming
• Wired or 2.4GHZ wireless
• Full customization per key
• RGB light
• Knob and media control
• Quality keycaps
• Hot swappable
The EPOMAKER is very well-equipped to be an excellent main keyboard for productivity and also tasks including design, content creation, photo editing, video editing, etc.
• 95% layout
• Quality switches and keycaps
• Wireless connectivity
• Knob and media controls
• Detachable cable
• Windows & Mac modes
The EPOMAKER RT100 is a nearly impeccable office keyboard thanks to the inclusion of:
• Media controls
• Dedicated volume knob
• Reprogram capability
• Wired/wireless connectivity
• Compatible with Windows & Mac
Moreover, choosing the switches variant that we are reviewing (EPOMAKER Sea Salt silent), you can have mechanical keyboard performance with zero noise disturbance on the office.
For people on dark office environments or for night use, you might want to change the keycaps for shine-through style or at least getting a bright (or even white) colored caps – the RT100 in retro white, pink or purple variants already have lighter colored keycaps.
Essential features needed for mobile and tablet use covered by this keyboard include:
• Bluetooth connectivity
• Media controls
If you are worried about portability, the RT100 size and weight might not cover your needs as a smaller 60% keyboard or a low-profile type.
Sharing the requirements of Office and Productivity, programming use benefits from many of the features well-implemented on the EPOMAKER RT-100.
Probably, the few drawbacks for this particular use is the absence of the extra keys of a 100% keyboard, no dedicated macro keys (yet you can reprogram and macro every single key) and non-shine-through keycaps.
The keyboard is equipped with RGB lighting on the entire board with south-facing LEDs.
By default you are given 16 presets to choose from or full customization through the EPOMAKER software.
On top of that, each key has a per key light customization capability (even the LED of the knob’s button can be personalized)
The brightness levels can reach a strong illumination potential that you could easily take advantage of if you use shine-through keycaps.
(For the model with Sea Salt Silent switches) The EPOMAKER is undoubtedly an astoundingly silent keyboard if you press them and not smash them.
In fact, this will not be a keyboard with the typical clacky, clicky nor thocky sound but a much more stealthy, silently satisfying typing experience from a mechanical keyboard. The keyboard, also, did not show traces of excessive scratchiness and absolutely no rattling nor wobble from the stabilizers.
This is in great part thanks to the gasket-mounted design, multi-layer insulation, quality components and pre-lubed switches and stabilizers from factory.
If you are looking for a classic mechanical keyboard switches experience & sound, you might better select the RT100 on a less silent switches variant than the Sea Salt silent.
The EPOMAKER RT100 uses EPOMAKER’s own software/driver (specifically the newer version 1.2.x); the application allows to take full control of the keyboard and it’s customization options, including:
• Sleep timeout
• Key sensitivity
• Programming and Fn Layers
• Screen personalization and settings
In general, the software behaves fairly well and does not need to start on boot nor remain always open like on most keyboards from Logitech, Razer, etc. – this app is also used for firmware updates.
Some less-polished details of their software include a bit of sluggish access to community GIFS and the lack of selecting multiple keys at the same time for customization (thus, you will need to do it by clicking and configuring one key at a time)
The keyboard is equipped with a large 5000mAh rechargeable battery, the unit can be used while charging it independently of the mode being used.
The charging and battery status can be checked from the last LED light on the column on the left of the numpad, through the display screen with an animated icon or in detail by opening their app.
The specific battery life is not explicitly declared by EPOMAKER but we have been using it intensively for days and the battery has not gone below 50%, even though the keyboard was always switched between dongle wireless and Bluetooth, backlight turned on and always with the TV screen attached – of course, if you want maximize the battery runtime you might want to unplug the display and turn off backlighting.
EPOMAKER RT100 Technical Specifications
95% | 97 keys + 1 knob
Kailh Switch Sockets
USB-C/Bluetooth 5.0/ 2.4G wireless
397 x 147 x 30 mm
Inside the box
• Instrusction Manual
• Keycap puller
• USB A-C Cable
• 2.4G Dongle (USB-A Connector)
• Mini TV
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