Epomaker Keyboards

Epomaker Theory TH80 Review

The EPOMAKER Theory TH80 is a 75% keyboard kit currently on sale for $89.99 on Amazon. The TH80 was sent to me by a retailer in exchange for my honest review. My board came with Gateron Pro Black switches. I primarily used the TH80 with a PC running Windows 10.

The EPOMAKER Theory TH80 comes in a blue cardboard box. Besides the board itself, the package included a user manual, a keycap puller, and a braided USB-C to USB-A cable.

The EPOMAKER Theory TH80 has a plastic case with a medium bezel and rounded corners. The TH80 is even heavier than the Akko 3068B. The keyboard has a recessed USB-C port on the left side of the board. The bottom of the board has retractable feet to raise the typing angle, a small switch to activate the board’s wireless functionality, and an inbuilt slot which holds the board’s 2.4 GHz wireless receiver when not being used. USB ports are a prized commodity on my PC, so I did not use the 2.4 GHz receiver. I did use the Bluetooth functionality in conjunction with a generic dongle. I used the TH80 at my desk 1–1.5 meters from my computer, so I do not have a real sense of the limits of the wireless range. The keyboard goes into a power-saving sleep mode when using the Bluetooth mode and requires a second or two after an initial input to wake up and begin registering keystrokes.

The EPOMAKER Theory TH80 is my first 75% keyboard. Coming from a more compressed 65% layout, I sometimes hit the “Page Up” or “Page Down” buttons when reaching for the “Delete” key. I do not understand the selection of “Page Up” and “Page Down” as the two additional keys besides “Delete” along the exploded rightmost row of keys. I would rather have “Home” and “End.” Thankfully, these keys can be rebound in the keyboard’s optional software suite. As always, I greatly appreciate having dedicated arrow keys.

The EPOMAKER Theory TH80 includes a knob in the top right-hand corner. I frequently forgot it was there and had to remind myself to make use of it. Part of this is force of habit from using the Windows controls to adjust volume for so long. Additionally though, the knob is harder to actuate than it probably should be. It has very defined steps but the level of resistance that must be overcome to turn the knob is excessive.

The keycaps are dye-sub PBT in MDA profile. MDA is a reduced height SA variant. I do not like this profile as much as Akko’s ASA profile or Epomaker’s own GSA profile. MDA is still higher profile than I would like. The quality of the dye-sub is mostly excellent. The outlines of letters and symbols are very sharp, and the keycaps feel both smooth to the touch and robust in terms of build quality. However, the thickness of lines and lettering is inconsistent for many of the non-alpha keys.

The EPOMAKER Theory TH80 makes use of polyethylene (PE) foam and has the marble-y sound associated with PE. The board is fairly muted in terms of volume. The consistency of the factory lube on the Gateron Pro Black switches is good for the most part but there are some keys which are noticeably scratchier than others. The TH80 has very good stock stabilizers on the modifiers, but the spacebar is not as smooth sounding or feeling. The spacebar appears slightly warped, and there is a slight rattle.

The LED backlighting appears to be limited to solid colors and static RGB without the use of the associated software. Even with the software, the lighting mode options seem limited. The RGB lighting itself is very bright, and the LEDs are south-facing, which eliminates potential interference with Cherry profile keycaps.

The software allows the user to rebind every key other than the default function key, and offers a robust selection of alternative keybindings. This selection includes the media control functions but not the wireless or or backlight controls. I did not use the software for during my review period, as I was mostly satisfied with the stock shortcuts. Worth noting is that some shortcuts, such as “Print Screen” do not match up with what the manual indicates they ought to be. Unfortunately, the user does not appear to be able to add additional function keys.

Overall, the EPOMAKER Theory TH80 is a good prebuilt mechanical keyboard but I recommend lubing the switches yourself and touching up the stabilizers to make it sound and feels its best.

Sound Test:

The EPOMAKER Theory TH80 can be purchased at the link below:

EPOMAKER Theory TH80 75% Hot Swappable RGB 2.4Ghz/Bluetooth 5.0/Wired Mechanical Gaming Keyboard with MDA PBT Keycaps, Large Capacity Battery, Knob Control for Windows/Mac/Linux : Video Games (amazon.com)


Epomaker RT100 Review

The Epomaker RT100 is a 97-key keyboard that currently retails for $105.99 on Amazon. It has a removable mini-LCD display which can be used as a system monitor, and connects via wire, Bluetooth, or 2.4GHz wireless. The RT100 was sent to me by an affiliate of Epomaker in exchange for my review. I used the RT100 with a PC running Windows 10.

The RT100 is a decent prebuilt keyboard given its price point in terms of build and features, but it proved unreliable in my evaluation. Despite being plugged in and the wireless mode being turned off, the low battery indicator would randomly flash on and the keyboard would become unresponsive, disrupting my gaming sessions. This is unacceptable for a wired keyboard and I cannot recommend the RT100 as a result.

The RT100 comes in a white cardboard box and includes a user manual, a thick USB-C to USB-A cable, and a combination keycap and switch puller. The cable uses premium materials and hardware.

The RT100 has a beige case with medium bezels and rounded corners. While the color scheme is intended to resemble early personal computer peripherals, the form factor reminds me more of premium office keyboards from the 2000s. Its USB-C port is discreetly recessed 3/4 of the way down the back right of the keyboard. Switches that control the keyboard’s wireless functionality and swap between Windows and Mac compatibility are located nearby the USB-C port. There are four white LED indicators nested between the alpha keys and the numpad which correspond to Num Lock, Caps Lock, Windows Key lock, and a low power indicator from top to bottom.

The RT100 feels substantial in the hand. The bottom of the board has two nested sets of retractable feet to raise the typing angle. Both sets of feet have antiskid rubber pads. Three rubber bumpers are located along the bottom edge of the case’s underside. Behind a removable panel is a secondary USB-C port, which is used for the mini-LCD screen, and a storage slot for the 2.4 GHz wireless receiver.

The RT100 omits the Insert, Home, End, Menu, Print Screen, Scroll Lock, Pause/ Break keys and Numpad Delete keys. These keys can be accessed through other keys in combination with the function key. To accommodate the arrow keys, the right Alt, Windows, and Control keys are 1U in size, while the right Shift key is horizontally compressed and the right Control key is shifted left .Additionally, the 0 key is 1U and shifted right on the Numpad. My greatest problem with the RT100’s layout is that the Delete key is positioned too far up and to right for my pinky to reach easily without removing my hand from the board.

The keycaps are PBT with a high, MDA profile — not ideal for me, as I prefer a lower profile. The walls are thick and the legends are sharply defined with consistent font thickness.

The RT100’s stabilizers are good out of the box. The spacebar could benefit from more lubricant but it is still one of the better sounding spacebars I have heard on a prebuilt keyboard.

The keyboard advertises a gasket mount design, which provides a fairly comfortable typing experience, though the key response is not overly soft or bouncy.

The RT100 advertises the use of poron foam and bottom case foam. The keyboard does have the stereotypical marble-y sound associated with foam. Despite the foam, it still sounds mildly hollow.

My board came with Epomaker Flamingo switches. Flamingos are a dual spring linear switch with a 47 gf actuation and a 60gf bottom out. They use polycarbonate housings and POM stems. The Flamingo switches are very smooth and I am interested in trying them in a more premium keyboard.

The RT100 features a glossy black plastic knob with RGB LED backlighting. The knob has defined steps and audible clicks but has very little resistance. The knob feels substantially cheaper than the rest of the keyboard, and the aesthetic contrast between the knob and the rest of the keyboard is jarring.

The LED backlighting is full RGB. The backlighting is bright, and the LEDs are south-facing. There are a variety of different lighting effects, and the direction, speed, and brightness of the light effects can be adjusted. Furthermore, Epomaker’s software allows for rebinding all keys except Function and Escape.

I am hesitant to grant Epomaker’s software administrator permissions required for the mini-LCD screen to access real-time system temperature and CPU usage data.

I used the RT100 in wired mode, but I also tested that it connected wirelessly via 2.4 GHz and Bluetooth.

The Epomaker RT100 can be purchased below: