Epomaker EP84: An In-Depth Review

The EPOMAKER EP84 Pro is a reliable and attractive option for those venturing into the realm of mechanical gaming keyboards. This 75% layout device is a rebranded version of the well-known Keycool K84, now featuring the EPOMAKER branding, and it comes packed with a bunch of exciting features that make it worth considering.

The Look and Feel

First impressions matter, and the EP84 doesn’t disappoint in this regard. Despite being made entirely of plastic, the keyboard manages to feel robust and comfy in hand. It sports a matte gloss finish that gives it a sleek aesthetic appeal. The board has two adjustable feet and four rubber pads to ensure stability during intense gaming sessions.

Getting Personal with Connectivity and Customization

One of the EP84’s major selling points is its three-mode connectivity, which includes Bluetooth 5.0, 2.4GHz wireless, and Type-C wired options. Even more enticing are its hot-swappable Gateron Pro Yellow switches along with two custom EPOMAKER switches – Flamingo and Budgerigar – which makes switch replacement a breeze without any need for soldering. For those interested in hot swappable keyboards, here is an excellent guide to get you started.

Lighting Effects

The keyboard also boasts north-facing RGB LEDs that support full 16.9 million color RGB with various default effects as well as DIY settings via compatible software. This feature allows each user to give their keyboard a unique personality, although it’s worth noting that these LEDs can interfere with certain Cherry profile keycaps.

Keycaps Quality

The EP84 comes with Botanic Garden Colorway keycaps printed on high-quality PBT material. However, these keycaps are thin double shot PBT with unclear legends. While they look good with RGB on, their quality is somewhat comparable to drop skylight keycaps.

The Gaming Experience

Gaming with the EP84 is a joy due to its compact 75% layout, which retains the function row and arrow keys. If you’re a fan of this layout, here you can find more options of hot-swappable 75 keyboards. The keyboard also features programmable software and NKRO (N-Key Rollover), ensuring each keystroke is registered accurately without any ghosting.

Switches and Their Performance

One of the standout features of the EPOMAKER EP84 is its hot-swappable switches, specifically the Gateron Pro Yellow switches. These switches, along with two custom EPOMAKER offerings – Flamingo and Budgerigar – provide smooth, linear keystrokes without any tactile bump. This results in a uniquely quiet and swift typing experience that makes for faster and less fatiguing gaming sessions.

Software Programming

Programming your own light show can be a delightful way to personalize your gaming setup, and the EP84 makes this process surprisingly straightforward. It comes with compatible software that lets you program a variety of RGB effects. However, newcomers to the world of mechanical keyboards may find this tool somewhat complex initially. With some patience and exploration, you can create stunning lighting effects that complement your gaming style.

In-Depth Look at Layout

The 75% compact layout of the EP84 is a boon for those who appreciate function rows and arrow keys but also want to save desk space. The layout might feel slightly cramped for those used to full-sized keyboards, particularly in regards to the arrow keys’ placement. However, most users find that they quickly adapt to this more compact design after a period of use.

Build Quality And Design Aesthetics

The EP84’s construction is entirely plastic which gives it a lightweight feel but also ensures durability. The matte gloss finish on its plastic adds an elegant touch to its overall appearance while maintaining its gaming aesthetic thanks to RGB lighting. Its Ice Cream and Botanic Garden Colorway keycaps are sure to catch eyes while offering an enjoyable tactile feel during extended gaming sessions.

Pros and Cons

Like any other product, the EP84 has its highs and lows. On the plus side, it’s easy to program lights, sounds good, has lubed switchers, and offers two kickstand levels for comfort. Also noteworthy is its price point – under $100 – which provides value for money considering its features.

However, there are some aspects where the keyboard falls short. Some users have reported issues with the unresponsiveness of the left shift key as well as loud enter keys. Battery issues have also been cited by some users initially. The board’s arrow keys may feel claustrophobic for some users due to their placement and size. Additionally, the stock stabilizers might require replacement as they aren’t of top-notch quality.

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Overall, despite some minor setbacks, the EPOMAKER EP84 Pro Upgraded Mechanical Gaming Keyboard offers an excellent entry point for those new to mechanical keyboards. With a comfortable default angle, unique color palettes, and hot-swappable switches, it’s an affordable and customizable keyboard that makes the world of gaming keyboards more accessible.