Redragon Horus K618: The Best Value Low-Profile Keyboard

Redragon Horus K618 low profile keyboard on a desk
Redragon is a keyboard manufacturer that is no stranger to making value-focused mechanical keyboards.

The Redragon Horus K618 is a low-profile keyboard providing a solid experience at a competitive price. The Horus K618 offers wireless connectivity, macro keys, and a variety of other features to make it a good option for anyone who is looking for a full-size mechanical keyboard.

Today we are going to take a look at Redragon’s Horus K618 and see if this low-profile board is the one for you.

The Verdict

A comparison between the board lubed and unlubed

Rating: 4 out of 5.

The Redragon Horus K618 is a low-profile, wireless mechanical keyboard that is perfect for those looking for value. Redragon features Bluetooth and 2.4ghz connectivity, RGB lighting, dedicated media keys, a dial, and a hotswap PCB.

A low-profile keyboard is often found to be more comfortable. With the K618, Redragon is delivering a lot of what the competition offers at a lower price point.

For the price, Redragon gives a lot of features and a pretty solid build. For the gamer who wants a low-profile board that will give them a solid experience all while not breaking the bank, the Horus K618 has a lot of potential. Furthermore, if you want to get a screwdriver out, the K618 is not too difficult to mod if you are interested in a more satisfying sound and feel.


In The Box

Unboxing of Redragon Horus K618 low profile keyboard

Inside the box, Redragon gives you everything you need and more.

Keyboard: The keyboard comes in a sleeve of protective foam to protect it while in transit.

USB-C Cable: You get a braided cable with a 90-degree angle so it can be nicely plugged into the side of the keyboard.

Switch Puller: A metal switch puller is included in case you ever need to replace a switch or if you want to mod this board. The puller isn’t anything too fancy but it does the job.

Wire Keycap Puller: Along with the switch puller you get a decent quality wire keycap puller. This is a nice inclusion as taking off your keycaps is essential if you are cleaning or modding your keyboard. Often companies included a cheap plastic puller that may scratch your keycaps or don’t include one at all.

Extra Switches: If any switch ever breaks, eight extra switches are included in the box.

Sticker and Documentation: You are given a sticker with the Redragon logo along with any documentation that you may need for the board.

Overall everything is packed quite nicely and it is good to see that Redragon gives you quite decent extras to go along with the board.

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Build Quality

Angled view of Redragon Horus K618 low profile keyboard

For the Horus K618, Redragon elected to go with a plastic case and thin aluminum top piece. The rubber media keys are made of rubber and the scroll wheel is also made of aluminum. The board comes in at about 700g (about 1.5 lbs) in a full-size form factor. It looks to be about the height of most modern membrane keyboards at around 2cm tall or just under an inch. If this is too big for your desk then Redragon also offers a tenkeyless variant.

The K618 feels pretty solid and this choice in material is not bad for the price. If an aluminum case is important to you then I would suggest spending a bit more for the Keychron K1 which offers an aluminum build and hotswappable PCB.

On the bottom of the board are four rubber feet. Two of which flip out for additional height adjustment. On the side of the board are a power switch and the USB-C port. The side placement of the port is not ideal but since this board is wireless I rarely used the board wired anyway so it was not much of an issue. Additionally, the wire given with, a 90-degree angle, remedies this issue.

Overall the build is decent for the price and the design is quite nice.

The Keycaps

Close up of Redragon Horus K618 mechanical keyboard

On the Horus K618 you get low-profile ABS keycaps that feature doubleshot legends. This means that the main legends are permanent. For the secondary functions printed in white, those are pad printed so that could become an issue later down the line after extensive use.

The ABS keycaps feel smooth and are what you would expect for a gaming keyboard. The only flaw with the keycaps is the legends. Although the legends while not wear off, they don’t look that great. They have this sort of gamer font with some letters not having connected parts of the letter like on the A or the O keys.

That being said the legends are a good size so they are easy to read and they let a decent amount of RGB lighting through. Also unlike most low-profile mechanical keyboards, the Redragon Horus K618 has switches with cherry-style stems. This means that if you ever wanted to change the keycaps you actually could.

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The Switches and Stabilizers

Mechanical keyboard switch next to a low-profile switch

Redragon offers one switch option with the K618 with their low-profile red switches made by Outemu. Weirdly these switches have a different pin layout than the regular low-profile Outemu switches. These switches look to be about half the height of a regular key switch. The low-profile reds are a linear switch with an actuation force of 45g.

The low-profile reds are about what I would expect from other low-profile mechanical keyboards. They feel pretty decent for the average gamer and they were comfortable to type on for extended periods.

The switches are on a hotswap PCB meaning typically you would be able to replace the switches with other types of switches. However, the nonstandard pin placement means you cannot actually replace them with other switches. Honestly, this is one of my least favorite things about the board but the fact that this is even offered for the price is nice. You are still able to easily replace a switch if it is broken and mod the keyboard pretty easily because of the hotswappable PCB.

The stabilizers on this board are cherry-style plate mount stabs. They were alright. They were better than most gaming keyboards I have had experience with from the likes of Logitech or Razer however they were nothing crazy. Luckily because the board is hotswap I was able to put some dielectric grease onto the stabilizer wires and they sounded much better afterward. Overall the stabs are fine for most people.

RGB Back Lighting and Software

RGB on the Redragon Horus K618 mechanical keyboard

Redragon’s Horus K618 features RGB lighting. The lighting is pretty bright and definitely better than some of the competition. There are a few onboard presets that can be cycled through without using any software. If you want a clean look you can change the lighting all to white.

The software lets you control the lighting, change mappings, and a few other basic things. It is not as good as VIA, arguably the best keyboard software, or even Corsair iCue but it is better than having nothing. Many keyboards even from companies like Keychron have no official software support this is nice to see.

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Wireless Connectivity

Buttons on Redragon Horus K618 mechanical keyboard

Aside from the option for a wired connection, Redragon gives you two other options for this board. Connection via a 2.4ghz USB dongle or Bluetooth 5.0. You can connect up to 3 devices with Bluetooth 5.0.

The dongle is stored magnetically at the bottom of the board which is nice so you don’t lose it if you aren’t using it.

Personally, I used the dongle the most. It requires no setup and delivers a connection with less latency than Bluetooth. Although I would recommend a wired connection when gaming, I found that using the 2.4Ghz connection was pretty solid. I never felt like it was ruining my experience during single-player or even casual multiplayer gameplay.

The K618 features a 1900mAh battery that Redragon states should last for up to 30 hours. With white LEDs and the 2.4Ghz connection, I was able to get around 25 hours of use. If you use the RGB lighting you might get a little less and with lighting turned off you would probably get more. It also depends how much you are actually typing on the board in a day. You could probably go three to five days with this board.

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When the board is not being used, after a minute, it will go into a sleep state to conserve battery. If you start typing on it though it will start typing almost immediately. This is better than my experience on a lot of other wireless boards like on Keychron boards. Also when you are running low on battery the board wi

Overall wireless connectivity makes the experience of using this board very enjoyable. It is well implemented and I don’t feel like they cheaped out at all.

Media and Macro Keys

Media keys on Redragon Horus K618 mechanical keyboard

Media and macro keys are always a nice to have. Before I had a dedicated macropad they were a must for me.

The media keys work well. They feel slightly mushy but have a tactile response when you press them down. There are also secondary functions for some keys which can do things like open the calculator app.

The scroll wheel allows you to either change the brightness of the lighting or volume. I found that it doesn’t make much of an impact in changing volume. You have to scroll it all the way down just to go down 2 percent. To me, it isn’t that great for changing volume on the fly. Also, I wish the macro keys had dedicated backlighting at all times too.

Conclusion

Top view of Redragon Horus K618 mechanical keyboard on desk

Overall what would bring the Redragon Horus K618 to 5 stars for me is if it had the same pin placement for regular outemu hotswap, nicer keycap legends, and an aluminum frame. That being said the K618 delivers a solid build and plenty of features that make this a very enjoyable experience.

If you want an aluminum build, compatibility with different types of switches, and dedicated mac support then Keychron’s low profile offerings like the K1 may be a better option for you. However, if you want a better wireless experience, brighter lighting, macro keys, and software then get then the K618 is the one for you.

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I also found that it is easy to compare the K618 to the Logitech G915. You get most of what the G915 has with the Horus K618. If you are willing to pay extra though, for over double the price, the G915 offers better software, a low latency lightspeed wireless connection, and slightly better-looking keycaps.

All this being said I still think that the Redragon Horus K618 is the best value low-profile keyboard that you can buy today.

So if you would like the Redragon Horus K618, check it out here at the Redragon store.

Thanks for reading and if you would like to see more keyboard content, check out our keeb reviews or the sound tests on my YouTube channel.

Epomaker B21 Review: Retro With A Twist

Epomaker has pioneered the budget side of mechanical keyboards making some fantastic value boards. This is no different with the Epomaker B21 mechanical keyboard that features a retro-style design. The B21 is a wireless, 65% mechanical keyboard with a few unique features to pair with its classic design.

Today we will take a look at Epomaker’s B21 to see if the retro board is the one for you.

The Verdict

Top view of Epomaker B21 mecahnical keyboard.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

The Epomaker B21 is a 65% budget wireless keyboard, perfect for those on a budget and want a retro-looking Bluetooth board. The things boasted on the B21 are dynamic backlighting, a 4000mAh battery, media keys, dials, and Mac & Windows support. Now I’ll be honest in this review, the looks definitely are not for me, but it will still attract the eye of those wanting a retro-looking board.

You get a few different switch options in the Cherry MX line, decent stabilizers, and a pretty nice keycap set for the price. The B21 is certainly a unique board and it stands out with a ton of features.

For anyone that wants a retro design, dials, and an overall solid prebuilt package, the Epomaker B21 is a great option.


In the Box

Inside the box, Epomaker gives you everything you need to enjoy the B21.

Keyboard: The keyboard comes wrapped and surrounded by protective foam to ensure that it is in perfect condition when it arrives.

USB-C Power Cable: You get a rubberized cable that seems well made and is detachable. It matches the color scheme of the board.

Manual: The manual will explain how to use the board as well as get it up and running.

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Build Quality

Side view of the Epomaker B21 mechanical keyboard

With the B21, Epomaker elected to use strong plastic with this board with a smooth feel. The dials are made of metal and the media keys, although not mechanical, still feel pretty good.

The design is love or hate. The retro theme is something that definitely appeals to a certain audience but I think it is pretty decent. For some, they may really dislike the board. The use of glossy plastic, the combination of pink dials with green and off-white keycaps, and rounded edges make this board look a bit childish. This impression was confirmed when my friend’s first impression was that the board belongs in a nursery, which is quite unfortunate when you think of all the benefits it carries.

The top part of the B21 definitely makes this board taller than most 65% options on the market but the width is not any bigger than most 65%s so when for gaming you should still have plenty of mouse space. If you want something that is very portable, this board is still pretty good but there are a few other options that we may recommend like Epomaker’s GX68 XS.

The Epomaker B21 has a decent build for the price and your thoughts on the design depend highly on what you are looking for. If you are looking for a retro design, you may love this board, otherwise, you could see the board as more of a toy than a tool.

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The Keycaps

Keycaps for the Epomaker B21 mechanical keyboard.

Epomaker ties in the retro theme with some off-white, grey, and green keycaps. The keycaps are made from PBT in the ASA profile. The ASA profile is a higher profile that is a bit taller than the standard OEM profile on gaming keyboards but slightly shorter than SA keycaps seen on some custom keyboards.

The keycaps are rounded and sculpted for comfort but the higher profile could take some time to get used to for those who have never experienced something similar. The keycaps feel quite smooth but due to the concave shape, they still are able to hold your fingers and don’t feel too slippery.

The legends are big and centered. Epomaker uses double-shot legends for peak quality and they don’t seem to have any major issues.

Overall the keycaps feel quite good and seem to be a pretty good profile. I do like how they tie in with the theme of the B21.

The Switches and Stabilizers

Epomaker B21 keyboard with keycaps taken off.

You can order the Epomaker B21 with a few options from Cherry. You get linear, tactile, and clicky options.

Cherry MX RedA light linear switch with a smooth travel.
Actuation force: 45 g         
Travel distance: 2 mm
Cherry MX BrownA medium-weight tactile switch with a light tactile bump.
Actuation force: 55 g         
Travel distance: 2 mm
Cherry MX BlueA medium-weight clicky switch. It has a loud sound and sharp tactility.
Actuation force: 60 g         
Travel distance: 2 mm

Cherry is known for providing some of the best switches for pre-built keyboards, especially in terms of reliability. The linear switches are not the smoothest in the world but they get the job done and are perfectly fine for those who do not have an interest in modding your keyboard. The tactile and clicky switches are great alternatives for those who want a bump in their keypress.

The stabilizers are cherry-style plate mount stabs. They were alright. They definitely stood out as being better than the stabilizers of gaming keyboards from brands like Logitech or Razer with some factory lubing applied to the stabs. The stabs won’t make this board sound amazing but are quite good for a prebuilt keyboard.

One of my biggest disappointments with the board is that it is not hotswap. This means that the user will need to manually desolder each and every switch to replace or modify switches and stabilizers. If you want to buy a keyboard and play around with it, the B21 is not the best option for that. For those that want a keyboard that does the job and does it quite well, the B21 does deliver quite a good stock experience.

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Back Lighting and RGB

RGB Led lighting on the Epomaker B21 mechanical keyboard.

As of right now, there is only one color offered on the B21. The board is backlit with white lighting rather than multicolor RGB lighting. The lights are decently bright but because the keycaps are not shine-through the lighting is not that big of a deal.

A nice thing with the lights on the B21 is that you can change the brightness of the lights via the dials on top. Epomaker has not released any information yet on what, if any, software will be available for this board.

Wireless Connectivity

The Bluetooth on the Epomaker B21 is my favorite part of this board. The convenience of switching between three different devices is an amenity that is so useful and easy to use.

So let’s talk about connecting it to just one device first, and the B21 handles that perfectly, so seamlessly. It took me less time to connect the keyboard than it did to plug my charger into my phone the other day. Bluetooth can be easily controlled by the dedicated buttons at the top of the keyboard.

The B21 carries a 4000mAH battery which can get you a few weeks of use with the lighting on and if you opt to turn it off you can use it for over a month. To charge the board, there is a USB-C port, which is pretty standard. On the B21 users can opt to toggle between wireless and wired connectivity modes.

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Media Keys and Dials

Arguably one of the most defining features of the B21 is the media keycaps and dials. The dials are quite a unique feature and allow you to control volume and change the brightness of the lighting.

The media keys are helpful if you are in the middle of working on something and you want to quickly change background music or stop it to focus better. I also am a fan of multimedia keys while gaming so I don’t have to tab out just to change the song.

A nice little quick feature is the ability to open the calculator with a push of a button.

Overall I think the dials and multimedia keys on the Epomaker B21 are quite useful. My only disappointment is the fact that the pink of the dials kind of takes away from this retro theme and feels a little off.

Conclusion

Angled view of the Epomaker B21 mechanical keyboard.

If you want a retro look and a solid prebuilt all at a good price the Epomaker B21 is an excellent option. It delivers good performance and packs quite a few features making it sound out in the market.

The B21 gives you dials, multimedia keys, Bluetooth, and very long battery life. The board also features pretty decent switches, keycaps, and stabilizers.

The only main downsides were the lack of hotswap sockets and the design. Although the design is very subjective I felt like it was a bit childish but if you do love that retro look then it certainly is a nice theme. As a keyboard enthusiast, I would like to see hotswap sockets at this price to allow users to change keys or modify different parts of the board to personalize the feel to their liking if they choose.

All that being said I have enjoyed my experience with the B21 and love to see unique designs like this hit the market.

Thanks for reading this article! If you want updates on our articles, and more information about tech, make sure to join our discord.

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Epomaker NT68: Revolutionizing Portability

Epomaker NT68 keyboard with an iPad and mug.

Epomaker has pioneered the budget side of mechanical keyboards making some of the most well-priced and well-built keyboards ever. Epomaker are responsible for the widely popular GK61 and GK68, many other starter keyboards, and even some more higher end keyboards.

One of their upcoming releases is the NT68. The NT68 is a wireless, 65%, hotswap keyboard with a few tricks up its sleeve to separate it from the other 65% keyboards.

For transparency Epomaker did send this to us for review, that being said I will try my best to not let that influence my review. Let this just be a reminder to take all subjective things I have said (like switch feel, sound, etc.) with a grain of salt.

Our Verdict

Rating: 4 out of 5.

The Epomaker NT68 is a budget hotswap keyboard with wireless, it also features a kickstand making it ideal for laptop and tablet use. Some subjective problems like the unstandardized layout set it back a bit for me but your mileage may vary. Overall, a fun and good buy if you’re a laptop user and primarily work on the go.

Sign up for the NT68 by clicking here!

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In The Box

The unboxing was very textbook; the keyboard was there wrapped in its kickstand with all the other goods in a separate divided compartment.

It came with:

  • Keyboard
  • Documentation
  • Cables – They are kind of small
  • Keycap and Switch Pullers
  • Extra Keycaps
  • Some kickstand Stuff
  • Replacement Switches

Overall, pretty good stuff. The one catch is that the cables the NT68 comes with are 3 inches long, prompting me to believe this keyboard is meant to be used wirelessly most of the time.

Cables for the Epomaker NT68.
A bit small

The Case

Side view of the Epomaker NT68 keyboard.

Starting from the bottom of the keyboard, the NT68 features a minimalistic CNCd aluminum case, which is quite nice. The quality of the aluminum is that off the Drop ALT and its brethren, like the CTRL. That being said its quite light for aluminum weighing in at 572 grams. For comparison my acrylic GK61 weighs in at about 715 grams.

The entire assembly is made from one giant aluminum block sans a removable plate at the bottom made from ABS plastic.

The mounting mechanism is integrated plate which provides for a stiffer typing experience and pingy sound. Although with how thin the top part of the aluminum is, the ping is not nearly as noticeable as other keyboards that use an integrated plate mount method.

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The Keycaps

Keycaps for the Epomaker NT68 keyboard.

The unit we received came with white keycaps with gray keycaps on the modifiers and some dark red accents on the arrow keys and the escape key. Stock they have MAC modifiers but you can add windows modifiers as they are included in the packaging.

Epomaker uses PBT plastic that is semi-textured compared to other PBT keycaps. Overall, they feel quite nice and definitely will not shine up after a while.

The legends are pretty clean. They look a bit more rounded than the standard GMK font which I like since it really adds to the simplistic and modern aesthetic of the keyboard.

The keyboard features flat profile keycaps, similar to XDA except slightly shorter. It is known as GSA and is on a lot of Epomaker’s keyboards. I personally don’t really like flat profile keycaps but you may like it.

Wireless Connectivity

Be gone tangling wires, this keyboard features Bluetooth 5.1, and it’s awesome. It’s easy to connect, pretty fast, and has 6 key roll-over, meaning you can press up to 6 keys at a time.

The NT68 only randomly disconnected for me once which is pretty good compared to keychron just not connecting at all for me until I gave it a full charge.

It connects up to three devices so you can use the NT68 seamlessly between your devices as changing between the devices can be done in a matter of seconds.

To charge the keyboard there is a USB-C connector on the left-hand side of the keyboard along with an on-off switch. I am not too big on the connector being on the side but since this is designed to be primarily a take it and go keeb for laptops and tablets, it makes sense. You can also use this keyboard wired if your heart desires but I would not recommend it considering how short the cables they offer are.

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The Layout

Epomaker NT68 below a Keychron K6 keyboard.
Unstandard bottom row of the NT68 (bottom) vs fully standard Keychron K6 (top)

The layout of this keyboard might make it or break it for you. I’ll say right off the bat that it unfortunately is not standard. But it, fortunately, is not too unstandard. And most 65% keycap sets will fit this keyboard.

Now what makes the NT68 unstandard is that there is an extra function key at the left-hand bottom row of the keyboard. It is a 1.25u sized key alongside 3 other 1u keycaps with the standard control, alt, and windows keys but these are 1u. And for those who are wondering, the spacebar is 6.25u so you don’t have to worry about having weirdly sized spacebars if you want to use an aftermarket keycap set.

Now, when designing really anything, there’s a reason behind all design choices. I personally think the reason for this layout change is to match most laptop keyboards. In a lot of laptops, the function key is where it is on the NT68. This is one of the primary reasons why I believe that this keyboard is designed for laptops and why it is supposed to be used on the go.

Of course, if you don’t like this change and find it unnecessary you can always use the software to change the key mappings, mapping the fn key to control, and so on.

Switches & Stabilizers

Close up of Epomaker Chocolate Brown keyboard switches on a desk.

As far as stock switches go this keyboard comes with the standard Gateron Black, Red, Blue, and Brown switches but it also comes with Epomaker’s custom “chocolate” switches. We got chocolate brown switches which are a tactile switch with similar weighting to Gateron Brown switches. They are pre-lubed with quite good acoustics and feel. Overall, a nice stock switch experience.

Of course, if you don’t like the switches then you can replace them easily with the hotswap mechanic. Thankfully it’s good old hotswap, accepts all switches unlike the Outemu sockets of the K530 and K522 from Redragon.

The stabilizers were hit or miss. Like a lot of prebuilt the pre-lube job was alright. Your mileage definitely may vary but since this is a hotswap board, modding the plate mount stabilizers is very easy.

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Backlighting & RGB

The NT68 features per-key RGB which is quite bright and visible despite the keycaps not being shine through. The keyboard has a plethora of RGB modes saved on board but can all be changed via the software Ppomaker provides.

For now, a software has not been provided but when the keyboard does get launched there will be a software as said on Epomaker’s website.

The Invisible Kickstand

Epomarke NT68 being used as a keyboard for an Apple iPad.

This is the why of the keyboard. The reason you should buy it, its main attraction. It is a foldable kickstand that can hold tablets of many sorts, including phones. It can also prop up a laptop and your keyboard sits on the laptop while the laptop is raised with a bit of an angle.

Another good feature is it covers the keyboard when not in use which will more or less protect your keyboard if it’s stored in your backpack or something like that.

Overall, the feature is pretty cool. I used this keyboard at my desk mostly so I used the stand to prop the board up a bit since the stock typing angle was a bit too low for me. While I was using it on my laptop I used the stand for the same reason and not to prop the laptop up, I tried it but did not work out for me. Wasn’t my chalice of tea but might be yours.


Conclusion

Epomaker NT68 being hidden by its cover.
Stealthy

If you enjoyed this article and you want to talk more about tech then consider joining our Discord and as always thanks for reading!

Sign up for the NT68 Kickstarter by clicking here!

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Epomaker GK68XS Review: Features, Performance, and A Great Price

Are you looking for a keyboard with a ton features and a great value. Epomaker’s GK68XS is a 65% mechanical keyboard that is packed with features like Bluetooth connectivity and a hotswappable PCB.

Today we will take a deep look at Epomaker’s GK68XS and see if it is right for you.

The Verdict

Top view of the Epomaker GK68XS mechanical keyboard
GK68XS with a custom keycap set

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

The Epomaker GK68XS is a great value keyboard for those wanting to join the custom mechanical scene without spending their life savings. For the price, it is one of the better 65% keyboards you can get coming with a whole host of features such as Bluetooth and a hotswapable PCB.

You also get a variety of switch choices, pretty decent stabilizers, and a decent keycap set.

For anyone wanting to start modding their keyboard but don’t want to give up the arrow keys with a 60% board, Epomaker’s GK68XS is a great option.


In The Box

The Epomaker GK68XS is packed with things in the box. Besides the keyboard, inside you will see:

USB-C Power Cable: You get a braided cable that is well made and is detachable. The cable does the job and looks pretty decent.

Split Spacebar Module: This can be swapped with the big spacebar to allow 3 buttons rather than just one. Changing it in and out is as simple as removing 3 screws.

Extra Keycaps: In addition to the keycaps already on the board there are a few extra keycaps for things like a split spacebar, mac specific keys, and for alternate modifier keys.

Extra Switches: If you use the split spacebar there are some extra included switches. They will be the same kind of switch as the rest of your switches.

Keycap and Switch Puller: A wired keycap puller is included. It is better than the cheap plastic one that many companies throw in the box. The wire puller won’t scratch your keycaps. The keycap puller also functions as a switch puller on the other side so you can swap out the stock switches for anything of your choice.

Manual: The manual will explain how to control the RGB lighting, where to download the software, and how to control the secondary functions and shortcuts on the board.

The board has tons of features and it gives you everything that you need to make the most of them. It is very nice to see at a board at such a good price.

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Build Quality

Side view of the Epomaker GK68XS mechanical keyboard

The build quality is adequate for the price with a plastic case with a tilt for more comfort. It is quite simple which I appreciate and has a nice angular design to the case where it tapers down. There are also acrylic and aluminum versions of this case albeit at a much higher cost.

In my opinion, it looks nice however, it has a hollow sound. This is especially bad when you press the space bar since there is some reverb in the sound. If you get this board I’d highly encourage you to put some foam. It is a quick mod that takes about five minutes and makes it sound so much better.

At the back of the case, it has an indented USB-C port. This is quite nice to see because many budget boards still have not switched to USB-C or allow a detachable cable at all.

On the bottom, four rubber feet keep the board from sliding around too much however there are no flip-up feet so you cannot adjust the height. This is not too much of an issue because the case is already at a comfortable height.

The Keycaps

PBT DSA keycaps for the Epomaker GK68XS mechanical keyboard

Epomaker’s GK68XS comes with a pretty nice set of PBT keycaps in the GSA keycaps profile. The legends are dye-sublimated for long-lasting quality. There are also a few extra keycaps in case you want legends for mac or you want to use the split spacebar.

PBT material means that the keycaps will not develop a shine over time. They have a slight texture to them so they are easier to grip onto.

The GSA profile has a uniform height among the keys and is a pretty low profile. There is a slight curvature in the center of each keycap so they mold to the shape of your finger. These keycaps are quite comfortable to use but may take a couple of days to get accustomed to.

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The Switches

Gateron Black mechanical keyboard switch

You can order the GK 68 XS with a variety of Gateron switches. You get linear, tactile, and clicky options.

Gateron Red
A light linear switch with a smooth travel.
Actuation force: 45 g         
Travel distance: 2 mm
Gateron BlackA heavy linear switch with a smooth travel.
Actuation force: 60 g         
Travel distance: 2 mm
Gateron BrownA medium weight tactile switch with a light tactile bump.
Actuation force: 55 g         
Travel distance: 2 mm
Gateron BlueA medium weight clicky switch. It has a loud sound and sharp tactility.
Actuation force: 60 g         
Travel distance: 2 mm

Gateron provides some of the best switches for pre-built keyboards. Their linear switches are often smoother than the competition and their tactile switches have a slightly more noticeable bump than Cherry options. Also since this board is hotswap, you can just change out the switches if you want to.

The Stabilizers

Stabilizers from the Epomaker GK68XS mechanical keyboard

With the GK68XS you will find minimally lubed plate mount stabs. Stock they sound rattly and are a bit scratchy but they have quite a bit of potential if you are willing to mod them.

Stabilizers are very important to how a board sounds and in this case, the GK68’s stabilizers are much better than boards from bigger gaming brands such as Logitech or Corsair.

We found that after making some mods to the board by lubing the stabilizers and adding foam to the bottom of the board helped the stabilizers feel quite smooth and not sound nearly as rattly. If you want that perfect sound for your stabs we would recommend going with some better plate amount stabs from either Durock or Novelkeys for a better experience.

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The Software

Although the GK68 does have software support, it is one of the weaker areas of the board. The software does provide useful functionality but it is complicated to use. It took us some time to understand the software. We found that the interface is not that easy to work with or nice to look at.

While the software does have some issues, it provides a ton of functionality. If you want to remap buttons or have more in-depth lighting then this is the way for you.

In our experience, we found that we did not need it that much as most functions like changing lighting or using a macro can be enabled with a simple key combination but having dedicated software is very nice to see.

RGB Backlighting

Top view of the Epomaker GK68XS mechanical keyboard with RGB lighting on

The GK68 XS features per-key RGB backlighting with a variety of onboard presets. You can change them using different key combinations or via the software.

The onboard solution is a quick way to change lighting but if you want more control the software provides tons of options. It is important to mention that using the software will take some time to understand.

The only issue I faced was that there is seemingly no combination to make a static color unless you want a simple white backlight. I figured you can change to the color-changing mode and just pause it on the color you like but I would have still liked a dedicated key combination.

Hotswap PCB

One of the most exciting features about this board is the fact that it features a hotswappable PCB. This means that you can change out the switches without needing to solder any switches. It takes just a few seconds to replace a switch.

The PCB supports both 3 and 5 pin switches and it is north-facing. This means that the keyboard supports switches from most switch manufactures including Kailh, Cherry, and more. The fact that the sockets are north-facing means that there could be interference with Cherry Profile keycaps.

A hotswap PCB is great for those who want to mod their keyboard to make it sound or feel better. They are also great for those who may want to try different switches.

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Bluetooth Connectivity

Another exciting feature of the GK68 XS is Bluetooth 5.1. You can connect up to three devices. With the 1900mAH battery, you can get a day or two of use out of it depending on if the lighting is on and how much you use the keyboard.

The latency is quite good but I did sometimes notice a delay when playing video games or typing very quickly. In most cases, this is not an issue and I found the connectivity to be quite good.


Conclusion: Should You Get The GK68XS?

Angled view of the Epomaker GK68XS mechanical keyboard

If you heavily rely on arrow keys and want a good value board the Epomaker GK68XS is an excellent option. It delivers excellent performance and tons of features.

For the price, it comes with some good options such as Bluetooth and hotswap sockets which just makes modding and using the board a lot more convenient. The board also has great switches, keycaps, and stabilizers considering the price and the competition.

The main downsides are the plastic case which, unfoamed, sounds quite hollow, and the north-facing switches, causing interference with cherry profile keycaps. There are other boards that may address these issues but if you want a board now and do not want to wait months for a board to arrive or you prioritize Bluetooth, this is a fantastic option.

If you are interested in the Epomaker GK68XS, consider checking it out on Amazon for a great price.

As always thanks for reading and if you are interested in more keyboard content check out our keyboard page.

Please join our Discord if you have any more questions.

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Redragon K552 Review: The Best Budget Mechanical Keyboard

So you want a mechanical keyboard, but the market is littered with options that either break your wallet or just seem too good to be true.

The Redragon K552 is a gaming mechanical keyboard that is great for the budget buyer who wants the satisfaction and performance of a mechanical keyboard without breaking the bank.

By the end of this article, you will get full clarity on one of the most popular budget mechanical keyboards, and if its low price point is the only benefit of the K552.

The Verdict

Top view of Redragon K552 mechanical keyboard

Rating: 4 out of 5.

The Redragon K552 is a TKL sized board. That means it is basically a full-sized keyboard, but it does not have a numpad. Redragon gives you a mechanical experience for a very cheap price. You do not get the nicest keycaps, stabilizers, or build but the raw performance is what makes this board a compelling offer.

When buying the K552, you have two switch options. You can either get linear Outemu Reds or clicky Outemu Blues giving the buyer a couple of different options to suit their preference.

Now we knew coming into this review that for such a low price point, sacrifices were going to be made, but is that enough to overlook those many faults in the keyboard?

The fact that you get this for such a low price is great and for those who want to get into the world of mechanical keyboards or just want to upgrade their gaming setup then this is a great option for you.


In The Box

In the box, you do not get very much. You just get the keyboard along with some documentation. The board comes with a keycap puller, but unfortunately, no switch puller to help users take advantage of the Outemu hotswap. No extra keycaps or stickers, just everything that you need.

It might seem pretty bland, but at the price point, it is expected.

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Build Quality

Angled view of Redragon K552 mechanical keyboard

So the K552 has a bit of a cheap feel to it. It sports a plastic, rectangular case, but does have an aluminum plate. The bezels are quite thin and the paint job feels a bit cheap. Unfortunately, the board does not come with an aluminum build.

Arguably the worst thing about the build is the logo. The logo is on a riser piece that looks quite obtrusive in my opinion. If it bothers you many people have erased it with a regular pencil eraser but it can take upwards of ten minutes to fully get rid of it.

The case does have two kick-up feet for one level of height adjustment.

The board does not have anything else to it, like a USB-C input, a Bluetooth toggle, or a robust aluminum build. If these features are important to you, perhaps you may be interested in the more expensive Redragon K530, which has a USB-C connection and Bluetooth.

The K552 is only sold in the tenkeyless (TKL) size, but if you are interested in a smaller board with less functionality then the Keychron K6 in the 65% form factor is a great option albeit at a much higher price.

The Keycaps

Keycaps of Redragon K552 mechanical keyboard

The K552 features OEM profile keycaps made from ABS plastic. The keycaps develop shine from body oils very quickly. This is because of the use of low-quality ABS plastic. Additionally, the keycaps are very thin.

The OEM profile is the standard among pre-built mechanical keyboards. The keycaps are contoured to match the shape of your hands. Since this is similar to most pre-built mechanical keyboards, if you have used another in the past then there should not be a transition period.

The legends are quite thick and are shine through allowing a lot of the lighting to go through. There are also many inconsistencies in the legends that once you see, you cannot unsee.

The keycaps are one of the weak points of the board. It would have been nice to see PBT keycaps or slightly better legends but for the price, this is expected.

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The Switches

Outemu Blue switches for mechanical keyboard

The K552 is sold with an option of two different switches, linear Outemu Reds and clicky Outemu Blues. The Reds will have a smooth travel all the way down and the Blues will have a slight tactile bump along with an audible click when the switch activates.

This is all preference so if you do like the blues then there is nothing wrong with that or you can go with the red switch option.

On my board, I have the blues. They feel a bit worse than Cherry switches. It is also worth noting that in an older version of the board we did have problems with one of the switches sometimes not working but this was after it a couple of years of extensive use of the board. Although this is all true mechanical switches are typically more reliable than your standard membrane keyboard.

In my opinion, the blues are not very good. They are very very loud, pingy, and scratchy. However, on the plus side, the board has Outemu hotswap. So what this means is that you can remove all your switches with a switch puller, and replace them with other Outemu switches. If you want to put in any other switches, you will have to disassemble the board and desolder the switches from the board.

I put some new, better switches into the board and although it took some time, it totally transformed the board. Opting to go with the stock switches will be fine for most and what you are getting is good considering the price. Most keyboards at this price are not even mechanical so they will have a worse feel and performance.

The Stabilizers

2u stabilizers for a mechanical keyboard

Stabilizers often have a big effect on how a keyboard sounds and the K552’s stabilizers are pretty mediocre for a prebuilt keyboard. Redragon has opted to use Cherry Style plate mount stabs that are not factory lubed, which disappointingly gives the keys a rattly sound upon pressing and of the big keys like space or shift.

The sound and feel will also change based on what switches you use. Clicky switches will block out a lot of the rattle from the stabilizers while linear switches could make rattle or ping more obvious.

The stabilizers are what you would expect for this price but there are ways you can improve them. If you are willing to take some extra time and spend about five to ten dollars you can make your stabs sound a lot better if that is a concern for you.

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The Backlighting

Top view of Redragon K522 mechanical keyboard with red backlighting

The K552 comes with onboard RGB which can be customized through different presets on the board itself with Redragon’s software. By using different function commands, users can make quick changes to their preference of lighting. The LED’s are quite bright, but maybe not as vibrant as Corsair or Razer gaming keyboards.

The dedicated software given to the user is not very good. You cannot do much with it, such as custom lighting presets like you can with Corsair’s boards, but it gets the job done.

Personally, I think it is nice to use the onboard presets because it is quicker and easier than using the software.

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Conclusion: Should You Get The K552?

Angled view of Redragon K552 mechanical keyboard

Should you get the K552? Well like all things, it depends. If you are looking for a mechanical keyboard but do not want to break the bank then this is a fantastic option. 

With mechanical switches, an aluminum plate, and an affordable price, the Redragon K552 definitely has a lot of positives going for it. But at the same time, the terrible keycaps, difficult upgrade path, and no detachability also give the K552 a lot of cons.

The important thing for you as a buyer is to answer the question “is it worth it?” Is it worth having poor keycaps, subpar software, rattly stabilizers, and a weak case for around 30 to 50 dollars?

I would say for a first mechanical board, it is worth it. This is a great way to get a mechanical experience for cheap and if you want something more you can always upgrade if your budget gets bigger. This is a great way to try a mechanical board or improve your setup while not spending money and it is why this board is still one of the most popular keyboards on Amazon.

Overall this board will be good enough for the majority of people that get it but for some, it may pique your interest into something better and more personal like a custom keyboard.

I hope you enjoyed and if you want to learn more about mechanical keyboards, check out some of our other keyboard content.

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Redragon K530 Review: Too Good To Be True?

When I was looking for a cheap and decent 60% board with hotswap capabilities, the Redragon K530 caught my eye. But when I received the K530 in the mail I was very disappointed for two reasons.

The Verdict

Redrapon K530 mechanical keyboard on grass

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

The Redragon K530 is an entry-level budget mechanical keyboard with a 60% layout. It’s Redragon’s first attempt at a 60% keyboard dating back to January of 2020. It delivers shockingly good Bluetooth and hotswap at a decent price with some caveats.

You get a nice simple, solid plastic case in either black or white. It also features one level of height adjustment with some rubber-tipped flip-out feet.

Unfortunately, it only comes with 2 switch options. Either linear reds or tactile browns, more on this later. Lastly, and one of the more important and eye-catching features is the hotswap capabilities or lack thereof.

If you want awesome Bluetooth capabilities and a decent case then this board is prefect for you.


In The Box

In the box you receive quite a bit especially at this price point.

  • The Keyboard: Obviously.
  • Plastic Keycap Puller: Its a standard red puller you will get with most prebuilts. Its not very good and will scratch up your keycaps. We recommend getting a metal one from amazon.
  • Tiny Metal Switch Puller: If you do choose to remove the switches use this. Its not very good for ergonomics but it gets the job done. By the time your finished with all the switches you will question why you even started taking the switches out because of how painful it is.
  • USB Cable: Right angle on the keyboard side to incorporate the USB connector on the side of the keyboard. Not braided but doesn’t develop any kinks, not the greatest cable either.
  • Extra Switches: This is pretty cool, it comes with an extra brown switch, but also comes with an extra Red (Linear but quite light), Black (Linear but heavier then red), and Blue (Clicky with the same weighting as browns.) This is pretty cool if you wanna try out different switches and how they feel.
  • Redragon Sticker: Tacky little sticker with the Redragon logo for people who want to rep the Redragon brand.
  • Documentation: Boring boring boring, except for the manual with all the key bindings and layers, that’s quite useful.
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Build Quality

K530 features a fully rectangular case. No weird shapes like the Keychron K6 or slots for aluminum panels. The case is solid and has barely any flex. On the back, there is a pair of kick-up feet with only 1 level of elevation and a label with some information and branding. Personally, I like it using it without the kick-up feet which makes it has about a 5-degree typing angle but with the feet, it will get up to about 8 degrees.

On the left side, there is a switch for Bluetooth on and off and a 3-way switch to change between Bluetooth modes with an RGB led next to it so show what mode you are on. Another LED is also there to show the battery and when you enter pairing mode.

Buttons on Redragon K530 keyboard

The USB port is on the side, which is a downside for many people. It basically cuts the use of any custom cables and can be negative towards cable management depending on how your setup looks.

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Stock Keycaps

The K530 comes with a set of ABS, double-shot keycaps. These keycaps don’t look very good with a significant and undesirable gamerey font. Speaking of the font it is also very inconsistent where the same letters look different on keys. While this may not be a bad thing the stock keycaps also have shiny and smooth sides which can be prone to scratching and fingerprints.

They are low-quality ABS which means they will shine up very easily and don’t feel very good when typing. Depending on how much you sweat and how much use the keyboard it will shine up in a couple months due to the natural oils and greases produced by your hands.

The keycaps are OEM profile which is common throughout prebuilt keyboards as such. The keycaps are sculpted in a way to hold your hands in place. Refer to the infographic below to see various keycap profiles and their height.

Comparison of different keycap profiles
Via Reddit: u/gtderEvan

The keycaps are either full black or full white. No accents or MAC extras. The sub legends are printed on the side of the keycaps that face you for ease of access.

The Stabilizers

This board features cherry-style plate mount stabilizers that could use some work. They are neither pre-clipped nor pre-lubed but since this keyboard is hotswap both can be done very easily.

Generally, every stabilizer set needs to be lubed for a good experience so if you would like to lube your stabilizers check out this guide by keyboard enthusiast Taeha Types.

Hotswap

PCB of Redragon K530 keyboard

One of the defining factors of this board is that it is hotswap, meaning that you can change the switches without soldering. While this is a welcome feature in most keyboards it is most welcome if it is done correctly.

Most hotswap boards use sockets from Gateron, Kailh, and Outemu. Some higher-end boards will use millmax sockets but usually, those are the only boards that you have to build and solder yourself. This keyboard uses Outemu hotswap sockets which is a huge problem with this board and is the main reason I haven’t recommended it to many people. Outemu hotswap sockets mean that only outemu switches can be used with the PCB since outemu switches have pins that are slightly less thick compared to other switches like Gateron and JWK.

Furthermore, its only 3 pin hotswap. Meaning PCB mount switches like Boba U4 or U4ts wont work without clipping the legs. This is an easy mod that can be done with a nail cutter but is still not favored by many people since its permanently modifying your switches.

Another problem that directly affects the hotswap is the way the LEDs are mounted. Instead of being mounted flush with the PCB, the LEDs protrude a bit as shown.

This can cause switches that don’t have a SMD cutout to not fit properly. Some examples would be Cherry MX Switches with the black housings and most JWK switches.

To conclude, this keyboard has hotswap capabilities but is limited by the fact it only accepts Outemu switches. Outemu switches aren’t the greatest but they definitely aren’t the worst and Outemu manufacturers many switches that are very good like Boba U4 and U4T. Lastly, the SMD issue limits use with even more switches. For this reason, we can’t recommend this keyboard for people looking for hotswap capabilities.

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Wireless

Wireless is where this board shines, it sports Bluetooth 5.0 flawless connecting, a giant battery, and its super easy to connect. It has 2 switches on the side to manage Bluetooth. One for turning the board of and on, and one for changing what device the Bluetooth connects to, and lastly it has a layered button on the keyboard to turn on pairing mode.

Wireless capabilities is definitely where this board shines as it has everything you could possibly need for connecting via bluetooth

Switches

Outemu brown switches

The version of the K530 that we have on hand is the black one with brown switches. These switches are meant to be tactile switches, tactile switches are a mix between linear and clicky; they have the bump of a clicky switch but also aren’t as loud as clickies.

Most brown switches in the keyboard community are known to not have the best tactility. But when I tried these switches I was pleasantly surprised with the amount of tactility they carried.

Redragon K530 with Brown Switches

While the tactility is pretty decent, the spring ping is terrible. The scratchiness and housing and stem wobble is also considerable. The switch uses the Kailh style latches that are quite difficult to open compared to genuine Kailh switches like Box Jades or Box Blacks.

While these do feel better than your average brown switch in terms of tactility, they lose some points in the lack of smoothness and spring ping.

Software

The Redragon software isn’t great but it is something. It is straightforward in terms of lighting and keybinds but if you want to experiment with more layers it will be tough.

Redragon Draconic Software

RGB control is quite extensive and there are a plethora of effects. The RGB is quite bright and vibrant with very good color accuracy. While the RGB is quite bright it is not as bright as the Drop ALT but not as dim as the Keychron K6. If you are looking for a board for the main purpose of RGB i would recommend something like the Womier/GamaKay K66 or K61 since they are at a similar price point and are very RGB-centric boards.

Lighting controls on Redragon Draconic software
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Conclusion

Birds eye view of the Redragon K530
How my K530 looked after thorough modding

Looks can be deceiving and that is the case with the K530. While it is a keyboard that works you won’t be very happy with what you get. The hotswap incompatibilities and the led issues are just too much and outshine anything good with this keyboard.

All in all, I do not recommend this keyboard because of the hotswap and how it does not accept most traditional keyboard switches like Cherry and Gateron switches. The only time I would truly recommend this board is to someone looking for very good Bluetooth, wants a decent tactile experience out of the box, and does not care about hotswap.

Thanks for reading!

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Keychron K6 Review: The Best Board For 100?

The Keychron K6 is a mechanical keyboard that is absolutely packed with features such as Bluetooth connectivity and RGB lighting.

In a compact and efficient 65% layout, the K6 delivers many features that make it a great option for anyone who needs a solid keyboard for a good price.

Let’s dive in and take a deeper look at the Keychron K6.

The Verdict

Top view of Keychron K6 mechanical keyboard.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

The Keychron K6 is 65% that delivers backlighting, macOS support, and the option to get a hotswappable PCB.

In addition to that, the board features wireless connectivity with Bluetooth 5.1 with an 80-hour battery life.

You get a solid case with an adjustable height and if you are willing to pay about 10 dollars more you can get aluminum bezels.

Keychron gives you a ton of customization on what features you want, obviously at an increased cost, to get an aluminum case, hotswap PCB, and RGB lighting. You are also given the option to choose the three main kinds of switch, clicky, tactile, and linear.

If you want a board with a ton of features and great value all with a compact layout, the Keychron K6 is a great option. It’s not only a great value offering but the K6 also makes for a great travel board.


In The Box

Unboxing of Keychron K6 mechanical keyboard

In the box, the K6 comes with several items that will help you get up and running as well as some extras to improve your experience with the board. In the box you will find:

  • USB-C Power Cable: You get a nice braided cable that is USB-C and has a 90-degree angle because the port is on the side. No kinks developed after months of use.
  • Warranty and Information: Keychron gives you all the essential information on how to use the board with clear instructions along with a pamphlet for warranty information.
  • Extra Keycaps: You get additional keycaps to add orange accents and for better support for both Windows and macOS. There are modifier keys for Windows and macOS-specific keys.
  • Keycap Puller: A wire puller is included which makes the process of taking off keycaps very easy while not scratching your keycaps like with cheaper plastic pullers.
  • Key Switch Puller: If you get the hotswap version of the board then a metal switch puller is included. It is not amazing but it does the job.

Overall it is great that you get so many things in the box and the extras really tie in the experience.


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Build Quality

Angled view of Keychron K6 mechanical keyboard

The Keychron K6 has two case designs. Plastic and aluminum. The majority of the case is made from plastic aside from the aluminum top plate. If you do opt for the aluminum version there will be aluminum bezels around the sides for a more hefty feel and premium look.

There is little flex to the board and it feels quite sturdy, especially if you get the aluminum version.

There are 3 levels of height adjustment to the board with a flat typing angle, 6-degree angle, and 10-degree angle. On the bottom of the board, you will also find for moderately size rubber feet to keep the board from sliding around.

The front height was a common complaint with older Keychron boards but while it is still not ideal it is a bit better with the K6. I am able to comfortably type without my wrist rest.

On the left side of the board, you will find a USB-C port along with two buttons. The first button allows you to switch between Windows/Android and macOS/iOS. The other button allows you to switch between Bluetooth, wired, and off.

This is quite a convenient spot for the buttons as it is not in the way and easy to reach but it is not the nicest spot for the cable. It makes cable managing your keyboard cable a lot harder if you are using it in wired and removes the possibility to use custom cables.

For most people, this won’t be too much of an issue, especially if you plan to use the board with Bluetooth.

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The Keycaps

Keycaps for Keychron K6 mechanical keyboard

The K6 comes with a set of ABS keycaps in the OEM profile with doubleshot, shine through legends. Included are some alternate keycaps including some mac keys and accent keys if you want to add an orange accent to the light or escape keys.

Since the keycaps are made of ABS they will develop shine over time but since the set is pretty good quality for a prebuilt board, it will take at least a month for it to show up. This shine will come from the natural greases and oils from your hands.

The OEM profile is the standard among pre-built mechanical keyboards. the keycaps are contoured to match the shape of your hands. Since this is similar to most pre-built mechanical keyboards, if you have used another in the past it will be very easy to get used to.

Since the keycaps use the doubleshot method for the main legends this means that the legends are reliable and won’t fade away. Although the main legends are shine through there are some printed sub legends to show extra functions that work with the fn1 and fn2 keys.

The keycaps, aside from the orange accent keys, have a gray theme with the use of both light and dark gray. They have a very smooth feel too. The legends on the modifiers look modern and simplistic which is very nice in comparison to other pre-built boards that have aggressive-looking legends.

The Switches

Switches for Keychron K6 mechanical keyboard

Underneath the keycaps, Keychron gives you 3 switch options. You get a clicky, tactile, and linear switch from Gateron.

Gateron RedA light linear switch with a smooth travel
Gateron BrownA medium weight tactile switch with a light tactile bump
Gateron BlueA medium weight clicky switch. It has a loud sound and sharp tactility

Gateron provides some great switches for pre-built boards. All these switches are good options but if you get the hotswappable version of the board, you can replace the stock switches with any option of your choosing.

Gateron’s switches have a durability of 50 million keystrokes which just means that these switches will last a very long time and will probably last longer than the majority of other components on the board.

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The Stabilizers

Stabilizers often have a big effect on how a keyboard sounds and Keychron’s stabilizers are some of the better ones that I have tried on a prebuilt keyboard. Keychron has opted to use Cherry Style plate mount stabs that are factory lubed for a better sound and feel.

The sound and feel will also change based on what switches you use. Clicky switches will block out any rattle from the stabilizers while linear switches could make rattle or ping more obvious.

Overall the stabs are not perfect but they are much better than the stabilizers on most gaming keyboards. If you are coming from a Corsair, Razer, or similar keyboards these stabilizers will be an upgrade. If you get hotswap version of the board then you can easily mod the spacebar to sound and feel even better by lubing it and clipping it yourself.

Software (or Lack Thereof)

Sharpkeys Software for Keychron K6

Unfortunately, Keychron has no official software or firmware for any of their keyboards.

Keychron has rumored that they are making a software of some sort but little details are known about it and its release date.

Luckily there are some options that Keychron suggests for you to use. On Windows, they recommend that you use Sharpkeys and Karabiner for MacOS (Note: Karabiner won’t work on Linux and GNU based systems). Both softwares work by remapping the buttons of the keyboard input at a low level in the operating system.

This means that all these changes will not actually save to the board so if you move the board to another device none of your mappings will be there. This also means that if you plan to use any other board with your computer that the mappings will be changed because of these softwares.

Hotswap PCB

Keychron K6 with switches, keycaps, and switch puller

If you choose to pay extra, you can get a K6 with a hotswappable PCB. This means that you can change the switches without needing to desolder anything. This process takes a few seconds just to take out or put in a switch.

The board supports both 3 and 5 pin switches and it is north-facing. This means that the keyboard supports switches from most switch manufactures including Kailh, Cherry, Drop, and much more. The fact that the sockets are north-facing means that there could be interference between the switch and the keycap with high-end GMK keycap sets but it does allow more of the lighting to get through. This will not be an issue for most people that are in the market for this board though.

A PCB with hotswap sockets is a very useful feature and it makes this board great for those who want to get into the mechanical keyboard hobby but if you just want a keyboard to type on then there is no need to spend the extra money.

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Bluetooth Connectivity

One feature that makes the Keychron K6 such a great option is the fact that you can connect the board to three devices with Bluetooth 5.1. This is very useful for those who may use multiple devices or want to travel with the keyboard.

The Bluetooth works with Windows, MacOS, iOS, and Android.

The board supports a 4000maH rechargeable lithium-ion battery. The battery is rated for 80 hours or 10 days with 8 hours of usage, while backlighting is on. This was consistent with my testing. After about 5 minutes of inactivity, the board will go into a low power mode turning off the LEDs. The only complaint you may have is that it takes a few seconds for the board to turn back on.

The latency with Bluetooth actually is not bad. Although I would not recommend it for gaming it is not a terrible experience. Depending on the game, it was not even noticeable that I was still on Bluetooth.

It is worth mentioning that I did have some connectivity issues when I first got the board. At first, the board would not go into pairing mode. I fixed this issue by leaving the board to charge for a few hours and then it worked. Ever since I have never had any issues with Bluetooth.

Mac Support

Angled view of Keychron K6

A very nice feature about all Keychron boards is MacOS support. Many boards only officially support Windows so some boards either won’t work or some of the modifier keys may have no functionality.

On the side of the K6 is a button to change between Windows/Android or Mac/IOS. This is complemented nicely by the Apple-specific keycaps.

This feature is very nice because it means you can use this keyboard no matter what operating system you plan to use. If you are primarily a Mac user then this is one of the best boards that you can get.

Back Lighting

RGB lighting on Keychron K6 mechanical keyboard

The Keychron K6 features either white or RGB backlighting the RGB option will cost a bit more. The RGB lighting is not as bright as gaming keyboards that I have tried from Corsair, Logitech, or Razer. It is not very bright but is still noticeable.

RGB lighting is always nice to have to add to a desk theme and the white blends well in an office environment.

The LEDs along with the modern font of the keycaps are not obtrusive and don’t make the board look overly gamery. The LEDs are versatile for any situation.

Due to the keyboard having no dedicated software currently, all the effects are on the board. There are a variety of effects from static colors to type lighting. With the white LED models you won’t have nearly as many lighting effects.

You can also easily turn on and off the LEDs by pressing either fn1 or fn2 and the light button.

Conclusion: Should You Get The K6?

Side view of Keychron K6 mechanical keyboard

The sub $100 price range is very competitive but the Keychron K6 emerges as a great option with great performance and features.

It delivers tons of utility with a nice-looking case. You get Bluetooth, macOS support, backlighting, and the chance to get a hotswappable PCB. You get all the utility that you need while in a compact 65% layout.

The wireless connectivity helps this board be very portable and it allows you to have a clean setup.

The board is quite sturdy with minimal flex and a decent weight for its size.

The only major drawbacks of the board are the fact that the USB-C port is on the side limiting your options for custom cables and cable management options as well as potential Bluetooth connectivity issues. Luckily the connection issue that I faced had a simple fix but, unfortunately, these issues are common.

If you are interested in checking out this board then you can see the Keychron K6 on Amazon.

Also if you enjoyed this article consider checking out some of our other keyboard reviews.

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