If you visit my blog often you’ll see that my cycling activity has increased, which means my recreational time online has dropped. I’ve got a bundle of items to review and thought I’d kick off with something I was really excited about, a new mechanical keyboard!
Okay, you’ve probably worked out from the photo this keyboard isn’t for me – I got this one for my daughter but I’ll be honest I really like it. This is the $65 Epomaker SK61 which packs a lot of features into a very small and neat package!
Here are the highlights;
- 60% Layout with 61 Keys
- Gateron Red Optical Switches – Hot Swappable!
- PBT Dye-Sub Keycaps
- 16.8 Million Colour RGB Lighting
- Waterproof Switches and Mainboard
- Braided USB-C to USB-A Cable
When I removed the keyboard from the box my daughters face was one of joy and that only got better when I connected it to my system and the RGB lighting kicked in. The actual box the keyboard came in isn’t an exciting one, but the contents are impressive.
What is in the box?
- Silver/Grey Braided USB-C to USB-A Cable
- Instruction Leaflet
- Keycap Puller
- Switch Puller
- Apple Keycaps (Command, Control & Option)
Removing the keys to swap is an effortless task, and part of the appeal with these keyboards. I’m building a new desktop for my daughter next year to replace her laptop and may consider building her a Hackintosh so I’ll keep these keycaps safe!
You can see here I’ve opted for the Red switches made by Gateron. I really like them, being optical switches there is no sharp click but the response feels nice and somehow a little softer than the Cherry Browns I use on my main keyboard (I hate the term daily driver!). The photo above also shows the amazing quality and finish on those keycaps – it’s something that is very underrated.
The sell of a mechanical keyboard to someone who hasn’t used one before is difficult so you may look at this and think $65 for a pink and white keyboard? However the typing experience on this little board is something one must experience to appreciate.
I wanted to also call out that this keyboard is in ANSI layout and there is no ISO UK layout available however ISO UK 60% keyboards are a difficult thing to find, and build yourself. My position is this, you’re already making a sacrifice going for a 60% keyboard so going for an ANSI one isn’t a big deal.
You’ll notice there are no cursor or function keys on this keyboard, these functions are performed using the Function key at the bottom right of the keyboard. It quickly becomes natural and the same method is used to change the RGB settings – the RGB Preset, Brightness and Speed are all adjustable on the keyboard itself. Don’t like RGB? Fn+Backspace turns it off.
Before we go onto my only complaint with this keyboard I’ll finish on RGB, using the additional software you can further customise the RGB to an individual key level, modify 4 presets that remain on the keyboard and also set up macros. I didn’t opt to do this, personally I don’t use RGB on my main board and think my daughter will love the cycling colours the board does as default for now.
What is that complaint of mines? It would be nice to have a legend on the keycaps themselves. If you don’t change the RGB or use the function keys a lot you could quickly forget which key is which. I think on the top or side of each keycap it would have been nice to have the function displayed but that is a minor complaint, I will be sticking the legend to the bottom of the keyboard so we don’t lose it.
Overall this is a really nice keyboard. It feels very well put together, has a great element of customisation and feels delightful to type on. I have absolutely no hesitation in recommending this.
I’ve uploaded a quick video review of this keyboard which includes a typing test at the end, if you’re interested check it out below!