Home Mechanical Keyboards Epomaker EK68 Review: Small Size, Big Questions – Does It Deliver?

Epomaker EK68 Review: Small Size, Big Questions – Does It Deliver?

by Stuart Charles Black
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Big thank you to April at Epomaker for sending the EK68 to review!

Full disclosure: This is a paid review but I made it clear to them that I do not guarantee positive reviews or recommendations – I make in-depth, honest evaluations based on my impressions and the ultimate value that the product may or may not provide. 

Greetings mate and Welcome aboard!

Stuart Charles here, HomeStudioBasics.com helping YOU make sound decisions, so…

We’re on the home stretch, and after demoing the RT100, Shadow-X, and TH80, we have 1 final contender to discuss in the EK68. 

How does it stack up against the others in the lineup? How would I personally rank all of these in terms of most desirable to least?

We’ll go over all of that and much more in this Epomaker EK68 Review.

By the end, you’ll know definitively which out of the 4 I recommend and why.

So grab a snack, sit back, and relax because…

You’ve Come To The Right Place!

Epomaker EK68

Price: Check Amazon! | Check Epomaker!

In The Box

Epomaker EK68 Keyboard

User Manual

Keycap/Switch Puller

3 Replacement Switches

Replacement Keycaps

Specifications

  • Keys Amount: 66 Keys + 1 Knob
  • Structure: Gasket-mount
  • Shell Material: Plastic
  • Stabilizer Type: Plate-mounted
  • PCB Type: 3/5-pin Hotswap PCB
  • Battery Capacity: 3000mAh
  • Connectivity: Type-C Wired, 2.4 & Bluetooth Wireless
  • Anti-Ghost Key: NKRO in all modes
  • Compatibility: Windows/Mac
  • Dimensions: 325 x 117 x 41 mm
  • Weight: Around 0.8kg

What Is It?

Epomaker EK68 Review

The Epomaker EK68 is a 65% Hot-Swappable Triple-Mode Wired/Wireless RGB Mechanical Gaming Keyboard.

Wow. What a mouthful.

It’s actually the smallest in stature out of the 4 but dons a similar color scheme as the Shadow-X with a sturdily built brushed aluminum chassis.

As always, the included USB Type-A to Type-C braided cable is built very well, and the unit itself feels weighty and substantial without being overly heavy or light.

I really enjoy the font selection this time around, and the “clack” the keys make when typing feels like a cross between overly clacky and not clacky enough.

In other words, it’s just right like Goldilock’s porridge.

The built-in rubberized feet on the bottom ensure the unit won’t move around on your desk, and they even included 2 options for elevating the keyboard.

On the underside of the unit, there are adjustable “feet” if you will. Play around with them to achieve the desired result.

Back Panel

Epomaker EK68 Review

The back side contains your dongle slot, 2 switches, and the USB-C insert. 

The first switch is your Windows/MAC selector, and the second specifies which mode you’re in.

Flick once to the left for 2.4G mode, and all the way to the right for Bluetooth mode.

The middle is USB or wired mode.

Aesthetics

Aesthetically, the unit is rather gorgeous in my estimation, and super compact.

As mentioned in the Shadow-X review, because my hands are so large, I do have a bit of an issue with being cramped, but your mileage may vary.

I think people with very small hands are likely the best fit for this particular keyboard.

For clarification purposes, the unit itself is only around 4 1/2″ wide by 12 1/2″ in length, so keep this in mind before purchasing.

Epomaker has included a Keycap/Switch Puller, 3 extra switches, and some replacement keys for your modding pleasure.

I’m enjoying the dark grey/grey/yellow scheme here, and it’s super easy to swap out keycaps as needed.

Features

Epomaker EK68 Review

The EK68, like the others, comes with what I like to call “The Light Show” but as with the TH80, there’s no LCD display of any kind.

I thought that was a great asset in keyboards like the Shadow-X and RT100, and while I understand the EK68 is meant to be a minimalist design, I still firmly believe all Epomaker products should come with it.

In the case of the Shadow-X, not only could you cycle through the color modes, but you could actually see exactly which one you were on.

I think that’s honestly one of the best features that I’ve come across in recent memory.

Even the RT100, which had an LCD display, didn’t offer that.

In any event, as with the others, you can toggle speed, color, and effects.

Speaking of key combos, let’s take a look at the EK68’s:

Windows

  • FN + ESC = `
  • FN + 1 = F1
  • FN + 2 = F2
  • FN + 3 = F3
  • FN + 4 = F4
  • FN + 5 = F5
  • FN + 6 = F6
  • FN + 7 = F7
  • FN + 8 = F8
  • FN + 9 = F9
  • FN + 0 = F10
  • FN + – = F11
  • FN + + = F12
  • FN + I = PrSc
  • FN + 0 = Scroll Lock
  • FN + P = Pause
  • FN + PGUP = Home
  • FN + PGDN = End
  • Shift + Esc = ~
  • FN + DEL = Insert
  • FN + WIN = Lock WIN Key

Epomaker EK68 Review

Mac

  • FN + ESC = `
  • FN + 1 = Screen Brightness (-)
  • FN + 2 = Screen Brightness (+)
  • FN + 3 = Task
  • FN + 4 = Control Pad
  • FN + 5 = Not Specified
  • FN + 6 = Not Specified
  • FN + 7 = Previous Track
  • FN + 8 = Play/Pause
  • FN + 9 = Next Track
  • FN + 0 = Mute
  • FN + – = Volume (-)
  • FN + + = Volume (+)
  • FN + I = F13
  • FN + O = F14
  • FN + P = F15
  • FN + PGUP = Home
  • FN + PGDN = End
  • Shift + Esc = ~

Function Key Combinations

  • FN + Backspace (Hold 3s) = Reset Keyboard to its Factory Settings
  • FN + Q = Short Press to Switch to BT1; Long Presse to Pair Devices
  • FN + W = Short Press to Switch to BT2; Long Press to Pair Devices
  • FN + E = Short Press to Switch to BT3; Long Press to Pair Devices
  • FN + R = Short Press to Switch to 2.4G Mode; Long Press to Pair Devices

Light Effects

  • FN + Z = FPS Gaming RGB Mode
  • FN + X = LOL Gaming RGB Mode
  • FN + C = 37-Key Office RGB Mode
  • FN + \| = Toggle RGB Effects
  • FN + ↓ = Backlights Brightness (-)
  • FN + ↑ = Backlights Brightness (+)
  • FN + ← = Change Dynamic RGB Direction
  • FN + → = Toggle RGB Colors
  • FN + [{ = Backlights Speed (-)
  • FN + ]} = Backlights Speed (+)
  • FN + L-SHIFT = Record/Save the RGB effect from the above 3 (FN+Z/X/C) RGB Modes

As you can tell, because the EK68 is a minimalist keyboard with significantly fewer keys than the RT100, there are a lot more key combinations you have to make in order to access some of the functions.

I’m not personally a huge fan of this, but your mileage will vary.

Bluetooth Mode

Epomaker EK68 Review

To pair, first make sure the keyboard is in Bluetooth mode by flicking the switch on the back to the left position.

Now Hold FN + Q/W/E for 3-5 seconds until the indicators flash red/green/blue. Now the keyboard is ready to pair.

Head to your phone’s Bluetooth settings and wait for the unit to be discovered.

Once the unit is paired, the light will stop flashing indicating the process is complete.

To cycle between devices, Press FN + Q/W/E.

Wireless 2.4G Mode

Toggle the switch on the back to 2.4G mode and you’ll notice the entire keyboard flash red 3 times when entering in.

From here, hold FN + R for 3-5 seconds until the light flashes fast in white. The keyboard is now ready to pair.

Insert the supplied dongle into a USB-A slot on your PC and you’re ready to go. The R key will stop flashing indicating that the connection is finished.

Wired Mode

Toggle the switch on the back to “USB” and the unit will once again flash 3 times indicating it’s ready.

Multifunction Knob

Epomaker EK68 Review

The multi-function knob is back, but this time pressing it once just mutes the audio. With the RT100 and TH80, pressing it paused the track which was much more ideal.

Turning it back and forth still adjusts the volume.

Replacing Keycaps and Switches

The EK68, like the Shadow-X, RT100, and TH80 employs what are known as hot-swappable keys.

A hot-swappable keyboard is a type of mechanical keyboard that permits the effortless replacement or exchange of individual key switches without the need for soldering or disassembling the keyboard.

Epomaker EK68 Review

Traditional mechanical keyboards necessitate soldering to attach the key switches to the keyboard’s circuit board, making it challenging to swap switches or customize the keyboard’s typing experience.

Hot-swappable keyboards, in contrast, come equipped with sockets or connectors for each key switch, enabling easy switch replacement with minimal effort.

In any event, they include a Keycap/Switch Puller as well as 3 replacement switches.

From here you can replace the switches, but I don’t really have a need to do it at this juncture.

Your mileage will vary.

For a full guide on how to replace them, click here.

Epomaker EK68 Review

Epomaker EK68 Review

Before we give a final verdict, let’s recap some things I liked and disliked about the EK68.

What I Liked:

  • The keyboard is compact, built well, and includes adjustable feet as well as rubberized built-in pads on the bottom.
  • I enjoy the color scheme and overall aesthetic more than I did with the TH80.
  • The keyboard is fun to type on for the most part.

One feature you may not immediately notice is the shape of the F and J keys.

In addition to the small protruding line on each, they actually made them a little more contoured than the rest

This ensures your hands – and specifically both of your index fingers – can find the correct keys a little easier.

I thought this was a thoughtful touch.

Epomaker EK68 Review

What I disliked:

Too Small/Lack of Keys

Even despite being compact and built well, I personally feel it’s too small and wouldn’t purchase one.

In addition to being cramped, I prefer full-sized keyboards with plenty of keys/features but again, your mileage may vary.

Multi-Function Knob

The Multi-Function knob is pretty underwhelming as it mutes the track instead of pausing it. 

I personally don’t ever use mute for anything so that to me is kind of a wasted feature.

In addition, I would like to see Epomaker make a Next/Previous Track button on all of the Multi-function dials.

No LCD Display

I probably won’t dock too many points for this as it’s meant to be a small, minimalist keyboard, but I really have come to enjoy the Display screen on other models and think it should be, with some tweaks, implemented more often than not.

Switches

This is kind of a nitpick, but I really enjoyed the switches front and center on the RT100 where I could see them. The fact that you have to physically turn the unit around to see what you’re doing is kind of annoying.

Again, I understand that this is not a full-sized keyboard and it was likely done as a space-saving measure, so not a huge deal.

Final Verdict

Epomaker EK68 Review

I want to be clear in saying that there’s nothing really wrong with the EK68.

As with the TH80, it’s a perfectly serviceable product given you understand its limitations or you’re actually looking for a small, compact minimalist keyboard with a sparse feature set.

However, for those who are on the hunt for a more feature-rich and immersive typing experience, the RT100 keyboard could be the superior choice in terms of overall value.

The RT100 boasts a full-sized keyboard layout, giving you access to a complete set of keys and the comfort of a traditional design.

What sets it apart is its striking retro aesthetic, which exudes a timeless charm.

The gorgeous vintage look and feel add a touch of nostalgia to your workspace, making typing a truly enjoyable experience.

Furthermore, the RT100 comes equipped with a handy LCD display, providing at-a-glance information and enhancing your productivity while also featuring the pretty addicting GIF capability.

One of the standout features of the RT100 is its multi-function knob.

This knob serves as a versatile tool, allowing you to control various aspects of your digital tasks effortlessly.

It adds an extra layer of convenience to your typing experience, making it a top choice for users who value efficiency.

While the Epomaker EK68 offers portability and customization, the RT100 emerges as a superior value proposition.

With its full-sized layout, striking retro aesthetics, LCD display, and multi-function knob, the RT100 provides an immersive and efficient typing experience that’s hard to beat.

If you’re in search of a keyboard that combines functionality, style, and nostalgia, the RT100 is the one that should top your list.

My best friend, who comes over twice a month, even asked “Where is that other retro keyboard?” He was so enamored with it that we decided to fire it up despite me not being done with the review you’re reading. xD

Learn More:

 

My final rankings for each of these 4 keyboards:

RT100 > Shadow-X > EK68 > TH80 Pro

Well, that’s about it for today my friend! I hope you enjoyed this Epomaker EK68 Review and came away with some valuable insight.

Questions? Comments? Requests? Did I miss the mark on something? Please leave a comment below or contact me! I would be happy to help in any way…

Do you believe the RT100 is the best in this lineup? I would love to hear from you. Until next time…

All the best and God bless,

 

 

-Stu

[Xtr@Ba$eHitZ]

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