KiiBOOM Phantom 81 V2
| Mechanical Keyboard | Hot-Swappable | Wireless/Wired | Gasket-mounted |
KiiBOOM Phantom 81 V2, a special looking mechanical keyboard with premium build quality.
KiiBOOM is a young company that has gone full-in with the quality offered inside their products. With a catalog growing day by day that goes from keyboards to number pads and headphones, KiiBOOM might eventually gain a more popular recognition for their products.
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KiiBOOM Phantom 81 V2 Review
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KiiBOOM Phantom 81 V2 Scores
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ACCESSORIES & PACKAGING
The KiiBOOM Phantom 81 V2 comes in a nice packaging with plenty protection inside that will grant a safe shipping of the product.
Included with the keyboard you get:
• Large cloth
• 2x extra switches
• 1x keycap puller
• 1x switch puller
• 2x screws replacement
• 1x braided USB-C cable
• 1x screwdriver
Right away you will notice that the KiiBOOM Phantom V2 is not the typical black keyboard that you see on mainstream keyboards.
In fact, this KiiBOOM keyboard has a fully see-through acrylic frame with a coloring accent (“blue” in our case) that gives it a completely refreshing and unique look.
The Phantom 81 V2 has 82 keys in an ANSI layout and a metal knob on the upper right area. On the bottom left of the knob you will find 4 status LED lights that inform the connectivity mode, CAPS-Lock and charging status.
On the back edge you get access to the power on/off switch, Mac/Windows switch and the USB-C connection.
If you flip around the keyboard you will see the same transparent acrylic used for the bottom case but with a large metal plate on the center with the KiiBOOM branding and a metallized color matching the model that you chose.
Overall, the KiiBOOM Phantom V2 combines a minimalistic approach in an eye-candy design.
The KiiBOOM Phantom V2 is available in 5 different colors:
The keyboard has a good case shape and inclination for a better ergonomic use but we found it to be a bit too tall in height. In fact, we consider that the excess of height makes the keyboard fully comfortable only if used with a wrist rest pad that lifts the level of your hands in relation with the keyboard – maybe for the V3 version the brand could bundle a wrist pad instead of the large cloth.
CONSTRUCTION & BUILD
The KiiBOOM Phantom V2 has a south facing, hot-swappable PCB, accepting both 3-pin and 5-pin switches without having to desolder and resolder your switches when and if you decide to change them.
The keyboard has a gasket-mounted design and polycarbonate plate, everything is contained inside a rugged acrylic frame/case that is completely transparent – you can see the back of the board and Kailh-sockets through the transparent back plate of the case.
Actually, with the KiiBOOM Phantom V2 you are getting the quality of a custom keyboard but fully assembled from factory.
To match the unique design of the KiiBOOM Phantom 81 V2, the keyboard comes with fully translucent keycaps. The keycaps have ASA profile and polycarbonate construction with a generous thickness that resembles more the quality of a premium PBT keycap than a standard PC or ABS type.
Unlike other competitors offering see-through keycaps, these keycaps are not frosted, cloudy nor pudding-styled, they are fully transparent like a piece of glass, resulting in a 100% shine-through effect.
From a backlighting and uniqueness point of view, these keycaps surely will provide an eye-candy feel and giving it a wow-factor.
The keycaps have a very smooth finish with no texture at all which, despite the non-texturized build, offer a tactility that is completely free of slippery issues.
On the other hand, the structure nature of the keycaps has 2 drawbacks; the first one is that when the RGB backlighting is turned on you will be unable to read the font of some keycaps and the second one is that in rooms with big overhead lighting, the keycaps will reflect the light sources with a strong glare that could, also, reduce the readability of each keycap.
The knob has one of the best feel and overall usability of all the knobs on other keyboards reviewed – its metal construction adds up to the nice experience using it. Basically this is due to the excellent balance between tactile (and clicky) feedback with the right amount of resistance from the knob, allowing a confident and fluid movement that is neither too loose nor too stiff.
As well as seen on the keycaps, the switches used on the KiiBOOM keyboard are fully transparent, allowing the backlight to shine-through without losing brightness nor been blocked by the structure of the switches.
The specific model inside the Phantom 81 V2 are the KiiBOOM Crystal switches – the brand does not offer any switches variants for the Phantom 81 V2.
The KiiBOOM Crystal are linear switches with a very smooth travel that does not show any traces of scratchiness with an actuation force of 55gf and a travel of 3.60mm; these qualities give you a fast switches experience with sufficient force resistance as to avoid undesired inputs.
Since part of the score-weighting in this category is the availability of the switches, we cannot score the “Switches” section anywhere higher than what we assigned.
KiiBOOM Crystal Switches
Linear 5 Pins Mechanical Switches
• Total Travel
• Pre Travel
• Actuation Force
• Bottom Force
• Stem Material
• Housing Material
The KiiBOOM Phantom 81 V2 offers a tri-connection design that includes an USB-C wired mode and 2 wireless modes.
When used wirelessly you can opt to either use the 2.4GHz with the bundled dongle or to go dongle-free with a Bluetooth 5.0 wireless connection.
When tested, the keyboard showed high reliability in both wireless modes without hiccups nor unexpected disconnections.
On top of that, the keyboard was quick to wake up from any power-saving sleeping status (you can set through the app the timeout before it goes into sleep)
Moreover, unlike some Epomaker keyboard, the KiiBOOM did never exhibit any double key input registering – neither in wired nor wireless modes.
To power the keyboard while in wireless mode, the Phantom 81 V2 carries inside a rechargeable battery with a fairly large capacity of 4000mAh.
CUSTOMIZATION & REPROGRAMMING
With its MX keycaps and 3/5 switches compatibility, users will have total freedom to customize their keyboard without limits.
On top of that, this KiiBOOM keyboard can be fully reprogrammed per-key – even the knob rotating function can be reprogrammed.
As well as reprogramming, the keyboard accepts macros per-key, lighting design per-key and 3 independent layers.
Moreover, the keyboard includes an on-board memory to save any customization applied to it, making it independent of any background running software to conserve the custom settings.
PERFORMANCE & USE
If you enjoy or prefer linear switches for typing, the KiiBOOM Phantom 81 V2 will offer you an outstanding typing experience with their responsive but mistyping-free switches, force/travel balance and their superior sound.
Despite not informing the polling rate, this KiiBOOM model is well-featured to be a good gaming keyboard thanks to the phenomenal RGB lighting, fast linear switches, hot-swappable board, NKRO and anti-ghosting – all in a 75% layout.
With its full reprogram ability, F number row and customizable knob, the KiiBOOM can provide most of the necessary specs for a smooth workflow in a productivity-friendly keyboard.
Offering both wireless and wired modes and the access to dedicated arrow keys, DEL, Home, Pg Down, Pg Up and a media knob; the Phantom 81 V2 can be an excellent keyboard for office and work sessions.
Also, the quality performing switches and build materials add up to an excellent experience while using it.
Being equipped with Bluetooth wireless connectivity and plenty of keys that include the F number row for mobile shortcuts, the KiiBOOM Phantom can be a capable keyboard for tablet and mobile users.
On the other hand, this is a heavy keyboard reaching nearly 1.5Kg, which probably will make it a wiser choice if you use your iPad in a fixed/semi-fixed desktop environment more than for users on-the-go that plan to hop from one café to another one.
Without any doubt, lighting is one of the strong features of this keyboard. In fact, the brand has carefully designed and thought the way to fully emphasize the eye-candyness of the backlighting on the KiiBOOM Phantom V2 by combining it with fully transparent keycaps, switches and case. Moreover, the intensity of the LEDs is far stronger than every other keyboard that we have reviewed.
To push it even further, the KiiBOOM comes with a vast variety of lighting pattern designs that are really different between each other – also you can opt for a visualizer music-following interactive lighting setting (that is quite nice) or allow the keyboard to replicate the light/shadows of any picture that you upload to the software.
In addition to the switches backlighting, the keyboard has an extra LED lighting design that goes around the edges of the case. These side-lighting LEDs can be customized (or eventually turned off) independently from the main switches lights by choosing among a couple of presets and several lighting colors.
If you are a hardcore keyboard enthusiast with some expertise and knowledge with barebones DIY keyboard kits and diverse keycaps and switches you might fear that the KiiBOOM Phantom V2 will be yet another average sounding pre-assembled keyboard; instead, this KiiBOOM keyboard offers outstanding performance in the sound department.
The superior quality comes from the fine care dedicated in the design, construction and selection of optimal materials for the Phantom V2. Among these there is the use of plate-mounted pre-lubed stabilizers that perform like stabs from custom keyboards that you manually lube, the linear pre-lubed switches and the excellent, thick keycaps; all of them incased in a solid acrylic frame that uses a gasket-mounted design and an acoustically-dampening layering.
The KiiBOOM Phantom V2 comes pre-assembled with KiiBOOM Crystal switches, from these switches assembled in this keyboard model they showed a ping-free, full sound with a premium mechanical keyboard sound profile that was inline with keyboard/switches combos like custom keyboards assembled with linear switches such as Gateron Pro Yellows.
Moreover, the stabilizers are so well assembled and carefully pre-lubed that perform like what you would expect from a barebones keyboard kit – rattling and wobbliness will never be seen on the KiiBOOM stabs.
KiiBOOM Phantom 81 V2 Technical Specifications
Number of Keys
Hot-swappable with 3/5-pin Mechanical Switches
South-facing RGB LEDs
USB-C, Bluetooth 5.0, 2.4GHz Wireless
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