EPOMAKER TH80 PRO
| Mechanical Keyboard | Hot-Swappable | Wireless/Wired | 75% |
EPOMAKER TH80 PRO, one of the most popular current mechanical keyboards from EPOMAKER.
The TH80 are so loved by the public that the brand also sells it as a Kit for DYI and custom keyboard builders.
To be honest, from all the last 4 keyboards from EPOMAKER that we were reviewing, the TH80 PRO was the one that generated less intrigue to the team by seeing the photos online but we couldn’t have been more wrong. In fact, the EPOMAKER TH80 PRO turned out to be one of our favorite keyboards tested in this batch.
We will analyze the features and performance in our EPOMAKER TH80 PRO review and you might understand why it now sits among our favorites.
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EPOMAKER TH80 PRO Review
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ACCESSORIES & PACKAGING
The keyboards comes inside a blue colored packaging that includes:
• USB-C cable
• Keycap, keyswitch puller
• 3 replacement switches that match the switches variant bought
• 8 PBT keycaps for Mac and with special design
The EPOMAKER TH80 PRO has a 75% layout with 81 keys and a very nice 3-color keycaps design out of the box with a pretty red metalized accent of the knob.
Overall, the keyboard has a pleasingly clean aesthetic without any flashy details nor any excess of light and logos.
In fact, when getting a TH80 PRO you will notice that the keyboard does not have LED light indicators to see the status of typical functions such as Caps Lock, battery charging, connection mode, etc. (you can access these information details with Fn combinations)
It is fair to note that the power switch is small and placed on the bottom of the keyboard, which makes it a bit more difficult to reach, but this actually gives it a clean design across all the perimeter of the visible case and borders – also, the dongle is hidden on a compartment on the bottom of the case.
The EPOMAKER TH80 PRO is available in 2 different variants:
The keyboard has a defined MDA profile and keycaps combined with a curvier and bit slimmer casing than most keyboards on the market. This layout and design details add up to an unexpectedly impressive comfort while using the keyboard and an ergonomically natural positioning of the hands and fingers.
On top of that, the dual height adjustable feet and the fact that you can choose the TH80 PRO with an ISO or ANSI layout, improves even better the ergonomics and muscle memory of people that is used to one or the other layout.
Overall, we found the EPOMAKER TH80 PRO to be one of the most ergonomically pleasing and comfortable keyboards to use.
CONSTRUCTION & BUILD
The TH80 PRO is a solidly built keyboard but you might get confused by the fact that the device has an ABS casing yet a hefty feel and confident weight that exudes heavy duty and durable build.
The reason behind this is that the keyboard has a quality full steel plate beneath the plastic casing.
Additionally, the multiple layers of padding and pre lubed stabilizers add up to a full package that is impeccably pre-assembled from factory. You can rest assured that this keyboard will not annoy you with any wobbly, loose nor rattling keys nor details – also the quality of the rubberized material used for the feet is so good that it will keep the keyboard slippery-free even on cloth mousepads.
The cable bundled with the keyboard has a fairly good build with a more durable braided finish than standard thin rubberized cables.
The keycaps equipped in this keyboard are PBT in MDA profile with dye-sublimination to ensure long lasting, non-fading fonts for years and no greasy shine. The caps have a larger area than standard keycaps, reducing the empty space found in-between keys but with, also, a shorter height.
The caps have a remarkably smooth finish that feels great to the touch, yet a fine texture grain avoids any slippery issues – the yellow spacebar and the additional design keycaps in yellow color have a bit more of texturized finish.
The brighter general design of the casing and mostly the keycaps, make it a perfect keyboard to be used without problems in any lighting condition and even at night with the illumination of your monitor being sufficient to make the keys readable (plus the fonts on the keycaps are noticeably large and extremely easy to see) – all of this despite having non shine-through keycaps.
Additionally, the MDA keycaps have a shorter profile than typical models and a curved placement makes the overall use of the TH80 Pro a breeze.
The metal knob has a red pearled finish that adds a stylish accent to the keyboard without being too much while it’s rotational move has a tactile feedback per step but with a completely silent sound.
The knob can be rotated clock and counterclockwise infinitely and can also be pressed to use the programmable function of the knob’s button.
The PCB of the EPOMAKER TH80 PRO is hot swappable with either 3-pin and 5-pin switches with MX mechanical compatibility.
The EPOMAKER TH80 PRO can be bought with either linear, tactile or clicky switches – the model that we are reviewing includes the Epomaker Budgerigar switches.
Independently of the switches variant that you choose, EPOMAKER will ship it with all switches preassembled and pre-lubed from factory.
Specifically, you can choose the EPOMAKER TH80 PRO with 7 different types of switches:
Cherry MX Brown switches and their variants are the most popular type of switches, this kind of switches sit in the Tactile category differing from Linear and Clicky switches, the Tactile ones offer a tactile feedback on each press without the disturbing click sound of clickys. Nonetheless, many tactile switch buyers remain disappointed as the tactile feedback on most Brown switches is subtle making it nearer to a linear switch than a real tactile one.
The EPOMAKER Budgerigar are part of the tactile family but unlike MX Brown and their variants, the EPOMAKER offers a truly significant tactile feedback making it a noticeable different experience than just a “harder” linear switch and feeling like a clicky switch but without the click sound.
If you like tactile switches and still have not tried the EPOMAKER Budgerigar, you are missing out big time and if you like clicky switches you should also give the Budgerigar a try.
EPOMAKER Budgerigar Tactile Switch Specifications:
• Type: Tactile
• POM stem & Nylon housing, dual spring
• Pin: 5 Pins
• Actuation force: 47 ± 10gf
• Actuation Travel: 2.00±0.5mm
• Initial force: 55gf min
• Bottom force: 60gf max
• Total Travel: 3.80mm
Lifespan: over 100,000,000 keystrokes
The EPOMAKER TH80 PRO has a vast options of connections, you can use it wired with the USB-C cable or wirelessly with up to 4 devices by choosing between 3 slots for Bluetooth 5.0 pairing or 2.4GHz wireless with the bundled dongle.
Pairing the EPOMAKER TH80 PRO is quick and easy; with the 2.4GHz dongle, the connection and pairing between the keyboard and the dongle is nearly immediate without any hassle (just remember to set the device to Fn+4). To know which BT slot or in dongle mode, you will have to press Fn+1/2/3/4 (being 1 to 3 Bluetooth and 4 the 2.4GHz connection); instead, if you want to use it in wired mode you need to turn off the keyboard (Fn+5 corresponds to wired mode)
If the dongle is kept as nearly as possible to the keyboard, the TH80 PRO shows excellent connection stability and no hiccups.
On top of that, waking up the keyboard after long time of inactivity is as simple as pressing any key and the TH80 PRO will be ready to use in a blink of an eye – the keyboard did wake up some milliseconds faster when using it with the dongle than with a Bluetooth connection.
CUSTOMIZATION & REPROGRAMMING
Thanks to the hot swappable design and MX compatible keycaps, the physical customization of the EPOMAKER TH80 PRO becomes endless – if you do not want to spend any further money, the TH80 PRO comes bundled with a pack of extra keycaps to combine at your will.
Regarding re-programmability, the brand gives you full freedom to do what you want with the keyboard as all 81 keys are reprogrammable per key and/or able to be assigned macros to them.
In addition to this, the keyboard is equipped with on-board memory to save any customization programmed through the software or on the fly and will be conserved every time you turn on the keyboard without depending on the PC software running on the background nor at boot.
PERFORMANCE & USE
The more compact size than a 100% keyboard, yet not as tiny as a 60% keyboard allows it to still be highly efficient for gaming without losing comfort capabilities outside of the gaming world.
In addition, the specs of the TH80 PRO include gaming essentials such as a 1000Hz polling rate, wired and 2.4GHz modes and full NKRO and anti-ghosting on all modes; while the added knob is always a handy addition to the menu.
If your desk space has sufficient overhead in depth, we prefer the TH80 Pro 75% layout over a 65%-70% one as the Fn number is a very handy row for macros programming and productivity without adding extra space to the right of the keyboard as to become uncomfortable with the placement and use of a mouse – typical issue of large full-sized keyboards
Despite not being shine-through, the light-colored keycaps of the EPOMAKER TH80 PRO allow it to be seen, even on a room fully dark by the sole combination of the south-facing LEDs of the keyboard and the illumination coming from the monitor.
For intensive office work and mostly users that make use of spreadsheets and often calculations, you might find yourself missing a numpad.
On the other hand, we deeply prefer and find more comfortable a keyboard like the TH80 PRO with a compact footprint that can still offer a full Fn row keys and combine it with an external numpad positioned to the left of the keyboard.
With a 75% layout in a smaller form factor, but with still most comfort functions of a TKL, the EPOMAKER TH80 PRO can cover the use on tablet and mobile devices without compromising usability but with fair transportability- even for who uses an iPad as a PC replacement.
The EPOMAKER TH80 PRO has a very good balance between productivity and mobile use by also being featured with:
• Bluetooth wireless connectivity
• Knob and media button
Most probably, unless you are a programmer on the go, anything smaller than 90% to 100% layouts might compromise some of the functions to you.
But the 75% layout of the TH80 PRO can cover nearly all the functions without a numpad (which you can easily add for little money) and giving a more spacious working desktop.
This Epomaker keyboard is equipped with a south-facing PCB, thus LED lights are better positioned for improved illumination towards the user.
The LEDs are RGB with 18 lighting presets from factory and the capability to be fully customized per key.
As mentioned on several sections above, the keycaps bundled with the EPOMAKER TH80 PRO are not shine-through but the lighter theme and big fonts make it still visible on dark environments.
The solid build quality combined with a double layer foam design for acoustic dampening, good pre lubed stabilizers and quality switches (well assembled and also correctly pre lubed from factory) make the EPOMAKER TH80 result in a keyboard perfectly put together and, also, translating into an outstanding and classic mechanical keyboard sound.
Each keypress will sound full but dampening sharp peaks, without exhibiting any hints of a hollow nor bouncy sound yet with a thocky flavour.
On top of that, the stabilizer do an remarkable job as there are no rattling noises and excellently tight non-wobbly keys.
As you can see from our photograph below, the stabilizers have a generous amount of lube applied – actually the biggest amount of lube we have seen in comparison with the other 3 EPOMAKER keyboards that we have recently reviewed.
As mentioned on all EPOMAKER keyboards that we have reviewed, the software does it’s job as it should, allowing full access to all options and all per key customizations, reprogramming and macros but it could benefit from some updates to improve the aesthetics a bit and improve batch processing of multiple keys at the same time.
Inside, the keyboard sports a very large 4000mAh rechargeable battery in comparison with the 3800mAh from the non-PRO model, which is quite a generous capacity for a keyboard without displays or too many lights to drain the battery.
Through the software, you can maximize the duration of the battery according to your use by setting the lights-off timeout and wireless timeout.
In our tests, the keyboard has been running strong and way above half charge, even after a week of continuous use.
A welcome feature is the fact that the keyboard can be used while charging, even if set to any of the wireless modes.
EPOMAKER TH80 PRO Technical Specifications
EPOMAKER TH80 PRO
75%, 80 Keys
Yes, 3 pin or 5 pin switches compatible
USB-C, Bluetooth 5.0, 2.4 GHz
Windows & Mac
Supports NKRO in all modes
328 x 142 x 40mm
Inside the box
• 1 * Keyboard
• 1 * Type-C Cable
• 1 * Instructional Manual
• 1 * 2.4G Dongle
• Mac-Modifier Keycaps
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